HomeNewsEarly Benchmarks: Snapdragon X Elite Can't Compete with Apple's M4

Early Benchmarks: Snapdragon X Elite Can’t Compete with Apple’s M4

The ongoing battle between Apple and Qualcomm in the chipset market has taken another fascinating turn. Ever since Apple unveiled its new M4 chipset alongside the OLED iPad Pro, tech enthusiasts have been eager to pit it against Qualcomm’s latest offering, the Snapdragon X Elite. The anticipation grew exponentially with Microsoft’s launch of the Surface Pro 11 and Surface Laptop 7 on May 20, 2024, featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite processor. Naturally, comparisons were drawn to see how Qualcomm’s new processor stacks up against Apple’s M4 and its predecessor, the M3.

Technical Specifications

Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite

  • Architecture: 64-bit ARM-based
  • Cores: Up to 12
  • Clock Speed: 3.1 GHz
  • AI Capabilities: Enhanced AI processing with dedicated AI cores
  • Thermal Management: Advanced thermal solutions to handle heat dissipation

Apple M3

  • Architecture: 64-bit ARM-based
  • Cores: 8 Performance cores and 4 Efficiency cores
  • Clock Speed: Up to 3.2 GHz
  • AI Capabilities: Integrated 16-core Neural Engine
  • Thermal Management: Superior cooling mechanisms in MacBooks

Apple M4

  • Architecture: 64-bit ARM-based
  • Cores: 9 or 10 depending on the variant
  • Clock Speed: Up to 3.5 GHz
  • AI Capabilities: Enhanced Neural Engine
  • Thermal Management: Improved thermal solutions for higher efficiency

Benchmark Analysis

Geekbench Results

Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite

  • Single-core Score: Ranges between 2,200 and 2,800
  • Multi-core Score: Around 14,000

Apple M3

  • Single-core Score: Approximately 3,000
  • Multi-core Score: Around 15,000

Apple M4

  • Single-core Score: Up to 3,700
  • Multi-core Score: 13,000 to 14,500 depending on the core count

Comparative Analysis

Single-Core Performance

Apple’s M3 and M4 chips outshine the Snapdragon X Elite in single-core performance. The M3’s single-core score of 3,000 and the M4’s 3,700 demonstrate Apple’s prowess in optimizing single-core efficiency. This is critical for tasks that rely heavily on single-thread performance, such as web browsing and certain productivity applications.

Multi-Core Performance

While the Snapdragon X Elite’s multi-core score of around 14,000 is impressive, it still falls short of the M3’s 15,000. The M4’s multi-core performance varies depending on the number of cores, but it remains competitive, especially considering the improved thermal management in MacBooks that could boost these scores further.

Heat and Efficiency

Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite

Reports suggest that the Snapdragon X Elite runs hotter compared to Apple’s M3. This heat generation could impact the long-term performance and efficiency of devices, especially those without robust cooling solutions.

Apple M3 and M4

Apple’s chips benefit from superior thermal management, particularly in their MacBook lines. This allows the M3 and M4 to maintain higher performance levels without significant throttling, ensuring consistent efficiency and user experience.

AI Capabilities

Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite

Qualcomm emphasizes the Snapdragon X Elite’s advanced AI capabilities, which are geared towards enhancing AI workflows. This focus is likely to become a key battleground in the future as AI-driven applications continue to grow.

Apple M3 and M4

Apple’s Neural Engine remains a standout feature, providing robust AI processing power that enhances various applications, from image recognition to real-time language translation. The M4’s enhanced Neural Engine promises even greater AI capabilities, ensuring Apple stays ahead in the AI race.

Future Prospects

Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite

Qualcomm and Microsoft are optimistic about the Snapdragon X Elite’s potential in AI and other advanced computing tasks. Future iterations of this chip could close the performance gap with Apple’s offerings, especially as AI becomes more integral to computing.

Apple M4 Pro and M4 Max

Anticipation is high for the forthcoming M4 Pro and M4 Max chips, which are expected to deliver even greater performance. These chips will likely push the boundaries further, solidifying Apple’s position as a leader in high-performance computing.


While the early benchmarks show that Apple’s M3 and M4 chipsets outclass the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite in several key areas, the competition remains fierce. Qualcomm’s focus on AI and its potential for future advancements suggests that this battle is far from over. For now, Apple maintains a performance edge, but the evolving landscape promises exciting developments ahead.

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