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Snapdragon X Plus vs Snapdragon X Elite: What’s the difference?

Qualcomm is gearing up to take on Apple, AMD and Intel in the laptop space this year, with the launch of the new Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus chips. 

Both of these new laptop chips are based on Arm architecture, as the company hopes to replicate the success of Apple Silicon

But what are the differences between the Snapdragon X Plus and Snapdragon X Elite? We’ve created this comparison guide to highlight the key specs.

Snapdragon X Elite has more processing power

We haven’t had a chance to test either of these laptop processors just yet, but by judging the specs sheet, it looks like the Snapdragon X Elite will offer more processing power. 

The Snapdragon X Elite features 12 cores up to a frequency speed of 3.8Ghz, whereas the Snapdragon X Plus packs in 10 cores up to 3.4GHz. 

This means that the Elite not only has two extra cores to aid with multi-tasking, but can also reach a higher clock speed, which will have a big impact on overall performance. 

Qualcomm has also announced that both chips will support up to 64GB RAM, although this will be dependent on the configuration options for each laptop. 

Snapdragon X Elite has a stronger GPU performance 

The two Snapdragon processors feature an Adreno GPU, which will be important for graphics-intensive workloads such as gaming and content creation. 

However, the specs of the Adreno GPU do differ between the two Snapdragon processors. For the Snapdragon X Plus, the GPU performance is capable of up to 3.8 TFLOPs. As for the Snapdragon X Elite, it has three different flavours depending on which laptop you go for, with two limited to 3.8 TFLOPs, and the third capable of up to 4.6 TFLOPs. 

This means the Snapdragon X Elite has a higher performance ceiling when it comes to graphics performance. It’s important to note that these are just integrated graphics though, and so are unlikely to be able to compete with discrete options from Nvidia and AMD. Expect it to be more of a rival to the Apple M3 chip rather than components designed for gaming machines. 

Snapdragon X Plus AI performance
Credit: Qualcomm

Snapdragon X Plus shares the same AI performance 

Laptop makers are investing a lot into AI this year, so it’s no surprise to see that Qualcomm is making sure its new Snapdragon chips are also up to snuff in this area. Both chips feature a Qualcomm Hexagon NPU to maximise AI performance. 

Surprisingly, the Snapdragon X Plus seemingly matches the Snapdragon X Elite for AI performance, with both offering up to 45 TOPS (Trillions Operations per Second). Qualcomm claims this is the world’s fastest NPU for laptops.

What does this all mean though? A high AI performance will speed up processes that utilise artificial intelligence. Qualcomm confirms that its chips will support Windows Studio Effects, which can help to blur your background and block out unwanted sounds during a video call. Plenty of more AI-powered apps are expected to arrive in the near future too, putting Qualcomm in a very strong position. 

Both processors support Wi-Fi 7

Wi-Fi 7 is the latest wireless technology, offering peak rates up to 40 Gbps when using the 6GHz band. It also supports new features such as Multi-Link Operation, which allows users to use multiple bands to connect to a single device in order to maximise performance and efficiency. 

Wi-Fi 7 devices are still thin on the ground, but Qualcomm has confirmed that its new chips will support the new wireless technology. Of course, you will need a Wi-Fi 7 router in order to reap these benefits, which still costs a lot of money. 

Fortunately, there will be backwards compatibility for Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 6 too, so your laptop will still be able to make use of older wireless setups before you eventually make the upgrade. 

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