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What is the Snapdragon X Plus? Qualcomm’s 10-core PC chip explained

Qualcomm has just revealed another PC chip as part of its upcoming Arm-focused push. The new Snapdragon X Plus sits underneath the already-announced Snapdragon X Elite. Here are the full details.

An exciting new frontier in Windows computing is set to land over the next few months, with Qualcomm bringing Arm chips to the platform in a big way. Apple has seen huge success from its transition to the technology, so could this be Windows’ version of the Apple M1 moment?

We know Snapdragon’s new chips are likely coming to the Microsoft Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 with other manufacturers to follow at some point. But, now, we know it isn’t all about the X Elite. But, just what is the newly announced Snapdragon X Plus?

What is Snapdragon X Plus?

The Snapdragon X Plus is a new 4nm Arm-based platform from Qualcomm for laptops. The chip sits below the Snapdragon X Elite but still aims to provide “exceptional performance, long battery life, and industry-leading on-device AI capabilities”.

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Qualcomm is touting that the X Plus’ multi-threaded CPU performance is 10% faster than the Apple M3, with the flagship X Elite being 28% faster. Compared with the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H, Qualcomm states it can offer 37% faster multi-thread performance while using 57% of the power. For the GPU, the X Plus is showcased as topping the Intel by 36% at 50% of the power. On the AI front, Qualcomm reports a 100x increase in its NPU over the “PC laptop competition”.

The X Plus features a 64-bit architecture, 10 cores (up to 3.4GHz), 42MB of total cache, a GPU with up to 3.8 TFLOPs and an NPU of up to 45 TOPS. For RAM, the technology used is LPDDR5x and up to 64GB is supported while SD, NVMe SSD over PCIe Gen 4 and UFS 4.0 storage is supported.

Snapdragon X Plus reference design – Image Credit (Qualcomm)

The newly announced chip also supports dual cameras of up to 36-megapixels, a single camera of up to 64-megapixels and up to 4K HDR video capture. In terms of visuals, it can drive up to UHD at 120Hz with HDR 10 on-device as well as external display support for three monitors at up to UHD and 60Hz or two displays at 5K and 60Hz.

You’ll find a Snapdragon X65 5G modem onboard, with peak download speeds of 10Gbps and peak upload speeds of 3.5Gbps. The rest of the wireless connectivity rounds out at support for up to Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4. For ports, there’s support for up to USB4.

The 10-core CPU is built upon Qualcomm’s new Oryon platform, developed with the team the company acquired from the purchase of Nuvia, so it has been a long time coming. It aims to offer strong performance and efficiency, in similar fashion to Apple’s M-series.

Expectedly, AI is a strong focus, with Qualcomm stating this chip powers “the next generation of AI PCs”. The X Plus features the same 45 TOPS NPU as the flagship X Elite, which Qualcomm says is the “world’s fastest NPU for laptops”.

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