CPU Showdown: Snapdragon X vs. Intel Core vs. Apple M3

CPU Showdown: Snapdragon X vs. Intel Core vs. Apple M3

CPU Showdown: Snapdragon X vs. Intel Core vs. Apple M3

New benchmarks provide the clearest comparison yet between the latest Snapdragon X, Intel Core, and Apple M3 CPUs.

You may have heard that Qualcomm is making a significant push to incorporate its Arm-based processors into Windows machines, including the new Surface devices unveiled in May.

Without having these devices in our lab, we can’t confirm if the performance claims hold true. However, Gordon obtained some concrete data and discussed it in the latest PCWorld YouTube video.

The sponsored analyst firm Signal65 has released benchmarks for the new Surface Laptop equipped with a Snapdragon X Elite processor. They compared it to a Surface Laptop 5 with an Intel 12th Gen CPU, an MSI Prestige featuring the Intel Core Ultra 7 Meteor Lake, Apple’s latest M3-equipped MacBook Air (also an Arm processor), and an older Surface Pro 9 5G with the Qualcomm-supplied Microsoft SQ3 chip.

The benchmarks were extensive, covering aspects like heat and noise levels, but the most significant results were in other areas. For instance, the new Surface Laptop leads with 21 hours of local video playback.

This performance is more than double that of the Surface Laptop 5, nearly double the Surface Pro 9, and significantly surpasses the MacBook Air. Similar results were observed in Procyon Productivity testing. Of course, battery life comparisons aren’t exactly equal due to variations in battery size, screen size, resolution, etc.

Regarding raw computational power, the new Snapdragon X Elite outperforms previous-generation Windows machines and nearly doubles the performance of the older Qualcomm-equipped Surface Pro 9 in Geekbench. The MacBook’s M3 excels in single-threaded performance by 15 percent but lags by the same margin in multi-threaded tasks.

Cinebench results show a similar pattern, with the MacBook leading in single-thread performance and the Snapdragon X Elite excelling in multi-thread tasks. In Handbrake video transcoding, the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H surprises by delivering 40 percent faster performance than the Snapdragon X Elite. Nonetheless, the new Arm-based Surface Laptop still outperforms the rest.

In Chrome, running natively on both Windows and macOS in x64 and Arm versions, the MacBook easily wins. It outperformed the Surface Laptop with Snapdragon by 27 and 40 percent in Speedometer and JetStream tests, respectively. Still, the latest Windows machine narrowly edges out the Intel Core Ultra 7-equipped MSI laptop.

Read more