Copilot+ PCs might get new Snapdragon X chips to take on MacBooks as Qualcomm seemingly has more ARM chips up its sleeve

Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit photos from stage and demo samples
(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

Qualcomm could have more Snapdragon X chips on the boil to follow the current crop of Elite and Plus models of these ARM-based CPUs that are already out there in Copilot+ PCs.

At least going by a leak that VideoCardz reported, flagged up by a reader of the site – so add the appropriate dose of skepticism – who dug into GPU driver files in a Copilot+ PC to unearth details of some new Snapdragon X processors that have yet to be announced or leaked.

According to the info in the Adreno GPU driver – which should be easy enough to verify – there are four additional models, one of which is a new bottom-tier Snapdragon X Elite variant (X1E-76-100). That’ll boast 12-cores, as with all the Elite chips, and presumably a slower boost speed than the current lowest-tier version.

The other three hidden CPUs are Snapdragon X Plus (10-core) models, one of which should fall in between the flagship Plus chip and the only other variant available now, and the other two will be below the latter.

So, there’s an inbound X1P-62-100 model which will in theory be the second-tier Plus chip – between the flagship X1P-64-100 and X1P-56-100 – and following up the rear we could have two X1P-42-100 and X1P-40-100 versions.


Analysis: Thumbs-up for more choice

It seems that those two bottom-tier Snapdragon X Plus chips might be substantially cut back, given the 40-series notation, compared to the 60 and 50 variants. However, we can’t tell anything about the specs from these clues in the GPU driver, all we have is the names and the possible existence of these processors.

Of course, just because they’re in the Adreno GPU driver files doesn’t necessarily mean that Qualcomm will ever release these CPUs. While the plan might be to do so – or was in the past, when the driver was put together, perhaps – that could still change, or might have already changed. These variants may never see the light of day, but there’s a fair chance at least some of them will.

It’s always good to have more options, naturally, for Copilot+ PCs at different price points. Thus far, the new Snapdragon X-powered laptops have had something of a mixed initial reception, as while they definitely look good on paper, and mostly perform well in practice, there are seemingly areas where they fall down. Most notably because certain games or apps may not run as well as you’d hope (or even at all).

To be fair to Qualcomm, though, those are issues that are on the software side – with Windows on ARM and emulation (Microsoft’s Prism tech) – rather than the actual hardware inside Copilot+ PCs.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).