Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 SoC will power the next generation of Windows on Arm laptops

nanoguy

Posts: 1,046   +15
Staff member
In brief: Qualcomm has two new chipsets for Windows laptops, which are faster than their predecessors and integrate support for 5G and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity. The real star of the show should have been the Nuvia-designed chipset that will compete with Apple's M-series chipsets, but that won't show up in an actual product until 2023.

Qualcomm’s latest SoC for Windows laptops is now official, and it’s called the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Compute Platform. The name is certainly a mouthful, but the company promises this new chip will enable “extreme mobile computing experiences that will deliver more than just a laptop.”

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3’s defining feature is connectivity, with Qualcomm offering OEMs a choice between the Snapdragon X55, X62, or X65 5G modems, as well as support for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E. The company claims the new chipset offers up 80 percent faster CPU performance and up to 60 percent faster GPU performance when compared to its predecessor, which should make for a snappier experience when running both native and emulated apps.

Qualcomm's Senior Director Of Product Management Miguel Nunes explained the 8cx is built on a 5 nm process node. The CPU is based on four Arm Cortex-X1 "Prime" cores running at 3 GHz and four Cortex-A78 "Efficiency" cores running at 2.4 GHz, with a total of 14 megabytes of cache. Nunes says this allows for a 40 percent boost in single-threaded workloads and an 85 percent boost in multi-threaded workloads compared to the 8cx Gen 2 SoC.

These improvements are accompanied by a more capable Spectra ISP, which Qualcomm says will enable better autofocus performance, auto-white balance, auto-exposure, and up to 4K HDR video capture. Along with audio noise and echo suppression, this should make for better quality video conferencing on laptops equipped with the new chipset, assuming that manufacturers won’t cheap out when it comes to the webcam they integrate into their designs.

It’s worth noting the 8cx Gen 3 is merely a stopgap solution until Qualcomm can launch its Nuvia-designed laptop chip, which is said to offer comparable value to that of Apple’s M-series chipsets. That said, it will support Microsoft’s Pluton security chip, which will bring TPM-like functionality and make laptops based on the 8cx Gen 3 more attractive to government and education clients.

In addition to the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, Qualcomm also introduced the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 Compute Platform, manufactured on a 6 nm process node. It will deliver up to 60 percent better CPU performance and up to 70 percent better GPU performance when compared to its predecessor, as well as 5G and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity. The company says we can expect to see the first laptops based on the new chipsets sometime in the first half of 2022.

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Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,980   +1,571
For us tech nerds, computer performance enthusiasts etc, ARM computing is boring. It’s small, efficient, doesn’t have big fans and cooling systems, it doesn’t need big beefy power supplies and most importantly it’s not all about getting the most frames per second out of your latest online shooter. It’s just simple everyday personal computing.

Think for a moment at what the vast majority of people are using desktops and laptops for. They will benefit from ARM with quieter, fanless machines, longer battery life and smaller devices.

X86 in the personal computer space is dying, left to the fringes, to the enthusiasts. Much like how the horse was left to become a hobby rather than a necessity.

Well, this will happen when windows finally sorts out its windows on ARM mess…
 

rmcrys

Posts: 93   +86
For us tech nerds, computer performance enthusiasts etc, ARM computing is boring. It’s small, efficient, doesn’t have big fans and cooling systems,

Apple doesn't sell millions of iOS / Macos devices as well Dell / Samsung success with slim windows devices because they are noisy. It shows that most buyers want slim, quiet laptops with long battery life and game consoles to play.

Only the game "nerds" that live alone or with their mothers, have giant, noisy, full with LEDs desktops "to show who are the bosses" (at least on their basements...). Everyone else wants chic shiny slim PCs with great power (Dell, MacBook Pros).

Back to Qualcomm: big efforts in 2021-2022 to still not even match an M1. But for Windows ecosystem it isn't that bad. Intel / AMD are fighting hard but I bet in 5 years most laptops will be running an arm chip.
 

Hardware Geek

Posts: 417   +473
Now that the Qualcomm exclusivity deal has been made public knowledge, we know why there has been so little progress in the windows on arm front. Hopefully that ends soon and we see some competition in that space. I personally would love to get a windows on arm machine but right now the prices are outrageous considering how low the performance is.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,013   +4,828
For us tech nerds, computer performance enthusiasts etc, ARM computing is boring. It’s small, efficient, doesn’t have big fans and cooling systems, it doesn’t need big beefy power supplies and most importantly it’s not all about getting the most frames per second out of your latest online shooter. It’s just simple everyday personal computing.

Think for a moment at what the vast majority of people are using desktops and laptops for. They will benefit from ARM with quieter, fanless machines, longer battery life and smaller devices.

X86 in the personal computer space is dying, left to the fringes, to the enthusiasts. Much like how the horse was left to become a hobby rather than a necessity.

Well, this will happen when windows finally sorts out its windows on ARM mess…
LMFAO, x86 is dying? Usually people wait until there is a viable alternative before claiming "x" is dead. For a decade now we've been hearing that ARM is going to replace x86, and for a decade now x86 has been selling better then ever.

Thanks for that, I needed a good laugh this morning.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,013   +4,828
Apple doesn't sell millions of iOS / Macos devices as well Dell / Samsung success with slim windows devices because they are noisy. It shows that most buyers want slim, quiet laptops with long battery life and game consoles to play.

Only the game "nerds" that live alone or with their mothers, have giant, noisy, full with LEDs desktops "to show who are the bosses" (at least on their basements...). Everyone else wants chic shiny slim PCs with great power (Dell, MacBook Pros).

Back to Qualcomm: big efforts in 2021-2022 to still not even match an M1. But for Windows ecosystem it isn't that bad. Intel / AMD are fighting hard but I bet in 5 years most laptops will be running an arm chip.
2012 called and wants its prediction back.

Oh, also, the "sweaty nerds in moms basement" cliche hasnt been true for over a decade. PC gaming is mainstream baby!
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,980   +1,571
LMFAO, x86 is dying? Usually people wait until there is a viable alternative before claiming "x" is dead. For a decade now we've been hearing that ARM is going to replace x86, and for a decade now x86 has been selling better then ever.

Thanks for that, I needed a good laugh this morning
What’s actually funny is that you apparently think there isn’t a viable alternative. You must have been born yesterday!

You emphatically do not have a clue what you’re talking about generally do you. Just an FYI both Apple and Windows own the last major OS left still supporting X86 for personal devices and both are moving to ARM. Apple already has, Windows is developing its own silicon and has already made windows for ARM.

You can deny this is happening as much as you like but you are wrong if you do.
 
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LMFAO, x86 is dying? Usually people wait until there is a viable alternative before claiming "x" is dead. For a decade now we've been hearing that ARM is going to replace x86, and for a decade now x86 has been selling better then ever.

Thanks for that, I needed a good laugh this morning.
This past year we've seen it happen. People don't like the M1 because it's energy efficient, or because it uses 4 watts at idle, they like it because it's FAST. The M1 runs Windows ARM like a champ, and most Windows programs run well through either emulation, virtualization, or WINE. We're seeing companies develop software specifically for ARM Windows or OSX and we're getting performance that is better in most cases than x86 at a similar price point.
One day, Qualcomm might have something similar.
 

bviktor

Posts: 611   +984
LMFAO, x86 is dying? Usually people wait until there is a viable alternative before claiming "x" is dead. For a decade now we've been hearing that ARM is going to replace x86, and for a decade now x86 has been selling better then ever.

Thanks for that, I needed a good laugh this morning.
Dude, at this point in time, there's no current-gen Macbook Pro that has an x86 chip in. Do you get that? There's a definite, obvious trend. These chips are more powerful yet consume less power.

Don't ask my why Windows laptops suck, but that's the case regardless of architecture. And I'm not saying this of Windows, I'm saying this of Windows laptops. Windows on the desktop is completely fine.