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The upcoming Windows ARM laptops may have surprisingly powerful GPUs

A laptop and a camera on a table with a Qualcomm logo on the screen.
Qualcomm

The next generation of ARM-based laptops and tablets with the new Snapdragon X Elite system-on-a-chip (SoC) won’t be coming for a few more months, but new benchmarks already show its potential power in an important way. The results are surprising, and they show that Qualcomm’s new ARM chip has as powerful a GPU as Intel’s latest Core Ultra CPUs.

All of these new tests, which were initially spotted by WccfTech, were performed by Turkish YouTuber Erdi Özüağ in some pretty specific scenarios. Özüağ was able to push beyond the benchmark suites we’ve seen thus far and run the Proycon benchmark, as well as 3DMark and tests in Visual Studio Code and 7-Zip. He used a device with Qualcomm’s reference design, as well as a laptop with an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H CPU. The device with the Qualcomm chip was running at 28 watts of power.

Overall, in the UL Proycon test, which is an AI test that runs machine vision models, the Snapdragon X Elite device slammed the unit with an Intel Core Ultra part. It netted 1,720 points in the test, whereas the Intel Core Ultra chip only hit 478 points. This shows that for developers dealing with AI models, Snapdragon X Elite devices might be the real deal.

Benchmarks showing the power of the Snapdragon X Elite against the Intel Core Ultra chip i n an AI test
Erdi Özüağ/ YouTube

For GPU testing, in 3D Mark, which simulates, gaming, the device with Snapdragon X Elite’s Adreno GPU was on par with Intel’s offering. It put up a total average result of 39 frames per second (fps) against the 38 fps for Intel’s integrated Arc GPU. Both results mean lighter games should be pretty playable on the devices. The same also applies to testing in 7-Zip, where the Snapdragon X Elite unit finished the test in 22 seconds, while the Intel Core Ultra device finished in 23 seconds.

It should be noted that the Core Ultra GPU was already a massive upgrade over the previous generation. In our testing, we saw improvements as high as 44% increases in GPU performance over the previous generation of Intel laptops. The fact that the upcoming Adreno GPU has performance parity with Intel’s latest is certainly impressive.

Moving beyond graphics to more everyday tests, however, the Snapdragon X Elite didn’t do so well. The Visual Studio Code test that complies sample code is a good example. It completed the test in 37 seconds, whereas the Core Ultra chip did the same in 54 seconds.

Benchmarks don’t always equate to actual performance, though, and each device maker can tweak the chip to their own liking. Still, things do seem pretty promising, and this shows hope that next-generation ARM-based devices like the Surface Pro 10 could finally be as powerful as their Intel-based models, at least in some tasks.

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Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
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