Skip to main content

Qualcomm claims its laptops destroy Intel chips in AI tasks

Qualcomm super resolution demo superimposed on a Microsoft Surface Pro 9.
Qualcomm super resolution demo superimposed on a Microsoft Surface Pro 9. Image used with permission by copyright holder

Qualcomm just announced that AI code optimized to take advantage of the full capabilities of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 runs some processes faster than low-power Intel chips. That will make the long-lasting Lenovo ThinkPad X13s and Microsoft Surface Pro 9 more attractive to AI enthusiasts who want to run Stable Diffusion for image generation and other AI apps locally without sacrificing portability.

During Microsoft Build 2023, Qualcomm partnered with Microsoft to push the Snapdragon compute platform’s AI processing further than ever, using the full stack of CPU, GPU, and NPU (neural processing unit) together on ARM-based Windows 11 laptops to accelerate artificial intelligence applications. The idea isn’t to replace cloud computing and server-class processors but to build a hybrid approach that’s faster and more efficient.

On the UL Procyon AI Inference benchmark, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 posted scores demonstrating speeds over two and a half times faster than Intel’s 12th Gen Core i5-1235U when using the integrated GPU and five times faster than the i5’s CPU. This is a great comparison since these processors are considered to be in the same class, but Intel’s i5-1235U is faster in general processing.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is up to five times faster than Intel i5-1235U for AI.

Qualcomm also demonstrated the value of its Hexagon processor for AI. Image enhancement took over four seconds using only the CPU, while the Hexagon crushed that task in less than half a second. Super resolution is a common chore to increase the resolution of an AI image. Upscaling an image with Hexagon was shown to be more than 12 times faster than using only the CPU.

Intel recognizes the value of AI processors and offers a discrete AI processor for some 13th Gen chips, with plans to integrate AI in Meteor Lake, the next generation.

In the meantime, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 claims it’s outpacing Intel’s 12th Gen low-power chip with integrated graphics.

Editors' Recommendations

Alan Truly
Computing Writer
Alan is a Computing Writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. A tech-enthusiast since his youth, Alan stays current on what is…
5 laptops you should buy instead of the MacBook Pro
The side of the open Dell XPS 14 on a white table.

There's no laptop quite like the MacBook Pro right now. No alternatives on the Windows side can match the power, efficiency, and battery life in a laptop of this size -- and that's not even mentioning the Pro's premium features and design.

There are, however, a few laptops that come close, while undercutting it significantly in price. So, if you're looking for a proper Windows alternative to the more powerful configurations of the MacBook Pro, or even just a cheaper laptop that can replicate some of what the MacBook Pro can do, here are a few solid options to consider before shelling out the cash on a MacBook Pro.
HP Envy 16

Read more
What’s the best $300 CPU? I compared two of the best options
Intel Core i5-14600K processor inside its socket.

If you want a midrange processor in 2024, two of the best options available are AMD's Ryzen 7 7700X and Intel's Core i5-14600K. These $300-ish processors offer lots of cores for high performance computing and gaming, as well as 5GHz+ clock speeds. They aren't quite as powerful as the very top chips, but they are still blazingly fast, and have more modest power demands than their higher-end siblings.

But which is the best? If you're looking to buy or build a new PC in 2024, one of these chips might be the best CPU for you. Here's how they stack up.
Pricing and availability
The AMD Ryzen 7 7700X debuted in September 2022 with a launch price of $400. It's since come down in price significantly, and although list prices today are around $350, it's typically available at a discounted price of around $290.

Read more
This is the cheapest 17-inch laptop worth buying today
A woman video chats with her friends on an HP Envy laptop.

If you want your next laptop to come equipped with a larger screen compared to what its peers offer, then check out the HP Laptop 17z. The budget-friendly device is pretty affordable at its original price of $500, but it's even cheaper right now due to a $220 discount from HP that pulls its price down to $280. You're going to have to be quick with your purchase though, because like with most laptop deals, we don't expect the savings to stay up for a long time.

Why you should buy the HP Laptop 17z
The HP Laptop 17z with a 17.3-inch HD+ display is perfect if you want to build presentations, manage spreadsheets, browse websites, and watch streaming shows on one of the biggest screens that you can get on a laptop. Coupled with its relatively cheap price that's easy on the wallet, the HP Laptop 17z holds its spot in our roundup of the best 17-inch laptops as an affordable large-screen laptop.

Read more