Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 CPU of Windows 11 reaches Apple M2’s multi-core performance

Qualcomm is diligently working on its next-generation processor, named “Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4” or “Hamoa”, specifically designed for running “Windows 11 on ARM”. Benchmarks reveal that the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 achieves a single-core score of 1197 and a multi-core score of 9337. In comparison, Apple’s M2 chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2023) delivers higher scores of 2595 (single-core) and 14197 (multi-core). Despite the single-core performance still lagging behind Apple’s M2, the gap is closing when it comes to multi-core performance, indicating positive progress for “Windows 11 on ARM” and increased competition in the CPU market.

Microsoft remains committed to “Windows 11 on ARM”, collaborating closely with Qualcomm to develop the next-generation Snapdragon processor, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4. Recent benchmark results show that Qualcomm’s latest CPU for Windows 11 on ARM is catching up to Apple M2 and even demonstrates comparable performance in certain multi-core tests. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 achieved a single-core score of 1197 and a multi-core score of 9337. On the other hand, the Apple M2 in the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2023) achieved significantly higher scores with 2595 in single-core performance and 14197 in multi-core performance. However, when comparing other benchmarks of the Apple M2, such as those found in 2022 MacBook Air models, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 appears to be narrowing the gap in multi-core performance. To be more specific, the MacBook Air models equipped with the Apple M2, running at clock speeds of 3478 MHz and 3480 MHz, achieved multi-core scores of 9795 and 10082, respectively.

According to the data obtained from Geekbench tests and reported by Windows Latest, Qualcomm internally refers to the “Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4” as “Hamoa”. It incorporates adapted ARM cores that give it an advantage over its predecessor, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, which was unable to surpass Apple’s M1 chip. These new cores are believed to have been developed by Nuvia engineers, a company acquired by Qualcomm. Nuvia, founded in 2019 by three former Apple engineers, is known for its contributions to the advancements in Windows 11 on ARM processors. Qualcomm’s investment of $1.4 billion in the company seems to be yielding positive results.

The benchmark performance of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 is quite impressive. Windows Latest discovered a new QRD listing showcasing Qualcomm’s powerful Oryon prototype, featuring 12 cores and up to 16GB of RAM. This new processor, optimized for Windows 11, is a 12-core system-on-chip (SoC) with a configuration of eight performance cores and four efficiency cores (8+4 core configuration).

It’s important to note that the benchmark results indicating the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 as a strong competitor to Apple’s M2 chip were achieved under x86 emulation, rather than x64. Although older versions of Geekbench may introduce potential inaccuracies, the results are still remarkable. These benchmark findings hold promising implications for Windows 11 on ARM and demonstrate Qualcomm’s advancements in the CPU domain. This is only the beginning, as Qualcomm is currently developing its most robust lineup of ARM-based PC CPUs, known as “Snapdragon X”.

The leaked data references the internal components of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 and includes a sample name of “Qualcomm CRD 1 Processor”, featuring 12 cores and a size of 16.0. The BIOS mentioned is “Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. 6. O. BOOT. MXF.2.4-00188. I-HAMOA-I”.

Directly comparing the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 with Apple’s M2 chip yields the following results: the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 achieves a single-core score of 1197 and a multi-core score of 9337, while the Apple M2 in the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2023) achieves a single-core score of 2595 and a multi-core score of 14197. However, additional benchmark results for the Apple M2 indicate that the Snapdragon 8cx is narrowing the gap in multi-core performance. For instance, MacBook Air models from 2022 equipped with the Apple M2, running at clock speeds of 3478 MHz and 3480 MHz, achieved multi-core scores of 9795 and 10082, respectively. In comparison, the multi-core performance of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 is showing remarkable progress.

Although the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4’s performance is still not on par with Apple’s M2 chip, it is steadily closing the gap, especially in multi-core operations. The single-core performance of the Snapdragon chip significantly falls behind that of Apple’s M2, but the difference in multi-core performance is getting smaller. It’s worth noting that the chip being tested is an early engineering sample, and various factors such as under-development firmware and unoptimized installation of Windows 11 and drivers may have affected the lower single-core test results. Keep in mind that there is still ample time for improvement, as the first device featuring the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 is not expected to debut until the end of 2023 or early 2024.

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