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Qualcomm’s New Contender in the Processor Market

Qualcomm is stepping up its game in the processor market, posing a challenge to both Intel and Apple. The tech giant’s mid-range Snapdragon X series chip is said to outperform the M3 in terms of performance.

Snapdragon X Plus: A Closer Look

Qualcomm recently unveiled a new lower-end model of its next laptop-grade SoC, the Snapdragon X Plus. This chip shares some similarities with its flagship Snapdragon X Elite, but there are a few key differences.

FeatureSnapdragon X PlusSnapdragon X Elite
GPU Performance (Teraflops)3.84.6

The Snapdragon X Plus, which operates at 3.4 GHz with a total cache of 42MB, is said to match the performance of the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H. Moreover, it reportedly outperforms the Intel chip in power efficiency by a claimed 54%. Qualcomm also claims a 10% performance edge over Apple’s M3 processor.

Implications for Intel and Apple

These claims, if proven true, could spell significant news for both Intel and Apple. The Snapdragon X Plus could be a game changer, even if it only matches the performance of Apple’s M3.

Intel currently dominates the CPU market, holding a 75% share for laptops and 64% for desktop PCs in 2024. However, Intel’s decreased battery life in its laptops is a known issue. A Qualcomm chip that delivers performance levels similar to the powerful M3 while maintaining a battery life of around 20 hours could pose a serious threat to Intel and challenge Apple.

The Future of Qualcomm

Reports suggest that the Surface Pro 10 will be equipped with the Snapdragon X Plus. This device is expected to feature a brighter OLED screen, an enhanced front-facing webcam with AI capabilities, and a Qualcomm chip that offers superior performance and better battery life.

Moreover, the Snapdragon X Elite has demonstrated its capabilities by running Baldur’s Gate 3 through emulation, despite previous technical issues due to compatibility with Windows on Arm (WoA). If Qualcomm can replicate this success with other AAA titles, Apple’s gaming ambitions for its M3 MacBook could be in jeopardy.

While it’s too early to confirm the accuracy of Qualcomm’s benchmark claims, a shift in the laptop market away from Intel could be on the horizon if these claims hold true. Such emerging competition is always beneficial for consumers.

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