Qualcomm makes bold claims of its new PC platform but will they survive closer scrutiny?

US mobile chip maker Qualcomm has unveiled the latest iteration of its PC platform, claiming it out-performs the x86 and Apple competition.

Scott Bicheno

April 25, 2024

2 Min Read
source: qualcomm

The Snapdragon X Plus platform is a more mainstream iteration of Snapdragon X Elite, which was unveiled last October. Consequently, many of the claims made about it are very similar, including ‘exceptional performance, long battery life, and industry-leading on-device AI capabilities.’ The CPU, GPU, and NPU (neural processing unit, for AI) all deliver superior performance and energy efficiency, according to Qualcomm.


“Snapdragon X Series platforms deliver leading experiences and are positioned to revolutionize the PC industry,” said Kedar Kondap, GM of compute and gaming at Qualcomm. “Qualcomm Snapdragon X Plus will power AI-Supercharged PCs that enable even more users to excel as radical new AI experiences emerge in this period of rapid development and deployment. By delivering leading CPU performance, AI capabilities, and power efficiency, we are once again pushing the boundaries of what is possible in mobile computing.”

Believe it or not, Kondap’s quote was modest and constrained by the standards of a company for which no amount of hyperbole is normally considered excessive in its press releases. Leaving aside the enduring concerns about running Windows on chips that use the ARM, rather than x86, instruction set, Qualcomm’s claims can’t be considered to be fully validated until independent third parties are allowed to benchmark the platform for themselves.

This has apparently not happened yet, with benchmarking specialist site AnandTech relying on Qualcomm-supplied benchmarks in its otherwise thorough overview of the platform. Furthermore SemiAccurate, which has specialised in the chip sector for decades, reckons ‘Qualcomm Is Cheating On Their Snapdragon X Elite/Pro Benchmarks’.

It should be stressed that the claim is based partly on anonymous sources but the story also identifies Qualcomm’s apparent reluctance to deliver on promised deep technical briefings as cause for suspicion. Its main allegation, which is a substantial one, is that ‘the numbers that they are showing to the press and are not achievable with the settings they claim.’

Qualcomm doesn’t seem to have publicly addressed this allegation but the simplest way to disprove it would be to allow third party benchmarking. The Snapdragon X platforms will start appearing in PCs later this year, which will offer the ultimate test of relative performance. It’s likely to excel in Chromebooks and other fanless non-Windows PCs but it will be interesting to see how it compares to laptops running Intel and AMD chips.

UPDATE - 18:00, 25/4/24: We received the following comment from Qualcomm in response to this story: "We stand behind our performance claims and are excited for consumers to get their hands on Snapdragon X Elite and X Plus devices soon."

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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