Snapdragon X Elite vs Apple M3 – In the ever-evolving world of technology, two giants, Qualcomm and Apple, have recently unveiled their latest processor offerings – the Qualcomm X Elite and Apple M3. Both chips promise to revolutionize the laptop and mobile device industry with their cutting-edge features and powerful performance. In this detailed post, we analyze the Snapdragon X Elite and Apple M3, comparing their CPU, GPU, NPU, and more. Join us to see if Qualcomm outpaces Apple in processors.
CPU: Are Nuvia Cores Better? In the race for CPU supremacy, the Snapdragon X Elite and Apple M3 face off. The Snapdragon X Elite, by Nuvia’s ex-Apple engineers, boasts Oryon cores challenging Apple in the laptop arena.
|Snapdragon X Elite
|Exact specs are not known
|12x high-performance cores
|6x high-performance + 6x efficiency cores
|3.4GHz (23W), Dual-core boost up to 4.0GHz (23W), 3.8GHz (80W), Dual-core boost up to 4.3GHz (80W)
|Up to 4.05GHz
|New Adreno GPU
|Apple’s next-gen GPU
|14 or 18 cores
|23W and 80W (two profiles)
|Hexagon NPU, 45 TOPS
|Up to 16 cores, 18 TOPS
|Unified Memory (RAM)
|Up to 64GB
|Up to 36GB
|Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4 LE
|Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3
|Snapdragon X65 5G modem (optional and discrete)
|AV1 encodes and decode
|The exact specs are not known
Snapdragon X Elite CPU
Snapdragon X Elite vs Apple M3: X Elite, built on TSMC’s 4nm process, boasts 12 high-performance Oryon cores, omitting efficiency cores. It employs a tri-cluster design with four cores in three tiles.
Qualcomm offers two thermal profiles for different use cases, with power configurations ranging from 23W for thin and light laptops to 80W for high-performance devices. This range in power profiles allows for varying clock speeds.
- Snapdragon X Elite (23W): Maximum clock speed of 3.4GHz with two cores capable of boosting up to 4.0GHz.
- Snapdragon X Elite (80W): Maximum frequency of 3.8GHz with two cores that can be boosted up to 4.3GHz.
Apple M3 CPU
Apple M3 Pro, boasting 12 CPU cores (6 high-performance and 6 efficiency cores), is built on TSMC’s 3nm process with a whopping 37 billion transistors. Early Geekbench scores suggest a max clock speed of 4.05GHz, with the power profile pending confirmation.
80W Snapdragon X Elite outperforms Apple M3 Max in single-core tests, while M3 excels in performance cores compared to 23W X Elite at 4.0GHz. In multi-core tests, the comparison is complicated due to different core counts.
Geekbench 6 Scores
- Snapdragon X Elite (23W): Single-core score of 2,741, multi-core score of 13,021.
- Snapdragon X Elite (80W): Single-core score of 3,238, multi-core score of 17,181.
- Apple M3 (Base): Single-core score of 3,095, multi-core score of 11,724.
In the battle of CPUs, it seems that the Snapdragon X Elite is on par with the Apple M3, demonstrating impressive performance at a lower TDP. However, further evaluation is required, considering the power consumption of the M3 chipsets.
GPU: Apple or Snapdragon? The GPU battle intensifies as we compare the Adreno GPU of the Snapdragon X Elite with Apple’s next-gen GPU in the M3 series.
Snapdragon X Elite GPU
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite has an integrated Adreno GPU delivering 4.6 TFLOPS, surpassing the 10-core GPU in the base Apple M2 chip from the previous year.
Apple M3 GPU
It takes its GPU to the next level with the M3 chipset, introducing a new architecture, and support for ray tracing, Mesh Shaders, and Dynamic Caching. Apple aims to position macOS as a potent gaming platform.
While Qualcomm’s GPU benchmarks show the Snapdragon X Elite outperforming the older Apple M2 GPU, it’s uncertain if it can surpass the M3’s GPU with more cores.
ML and AI Engine As we enter the AI age, competition in the silicon industry for on-device AI experiences is fierce.
Snapdragon X Elite AI Engine
Qualcomm equips the Snapdragon X Elite with its Hexagon AI Engine, capable of delivering 45 TOPS. When combined with all the compute units, including the CPU, GPU, NPU, and Sensing Hub, it can deliver an impressive 75 TOPS. The Snapdragon X Elite is ahead in terms of on-device AI capabilities.
Apple M3 AI Engine
In contrast, the Apple M3 chipset’s 16-core Neural Engine can perform up to 18 TOPS, which is lower than expected considering Apple’s previous A17 Pro’s capabilities. The M3 family, however, provides up to 128GB of Unified memory, enabling the loading of large language models.
Memory Speed Comparison Memory speed is a crucial factor in the overall performance of a processor.
Snapdragon X Elite Memory
The Snapdragon X Elite utilizes 16-bit 8-channel LPDDR5X memory with support for up to 64GB capacity and a memory bandwidth of 136 GB.
Apple M3 Memory
The Apple M3 Pro has a 192-bit memory bus, reducing the LPDDR5 memory bandwidth to 150GBps from 200GBps. The M3 Max supports up to 128GB of memory, offering a better memory speed than the X Elite.
Connectivity and More Connectivity options play a vital role in enhancing the overall user experience.
Snapdragon X Elite Connectivity
The Snapdragon X Elite features Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4, and LE support. Laptop manufacturers can opt to include a 5G modem for an always-connected PC experience. It also supports AV1 encoding and decoding for efficient video streaming.
Apple M3 Connectivity
The Apple M3 provides Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 support but lacks support for mobile connectivity. It offers AV1 decoding but not encoding.
Has Qualcomm Finally Beat Apple? In CPU cores, Qualcomm excels with the Snapdragon X Elite at a lower 23W TDP. However, for GPU, improvements are needed to rival Apple’s M3 with more cores.
Furthermore, to replace x86 as the preferred gaming hardware platform, Qualcomm must prioritize software compatibility with Microsoft. In terms of NPU and connectivity, Qualcomm is currently leading the race and setting benchmarks for on-device AI experiences.
Concluding this Snapdragon X Elite vs Apple M3 comparison, both excel in various aspects. The ongoing battle between these giants promises exciting technological advancements.
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