Windows 10 on ARM still fails to beat Apple M1 in leaked benchmark

Qualcomm Snapdragon
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

We reported a few weeks back that Qualcomm is expected to launch a new version of its ARM-based Snapdragon 8cx chip for Windows 10, to compete against Apple's M1 chip.

Windows Latest has now discovered a benchmark score for an engineering sample of this new processor on GeekBench that shows some impressive progress in multi-core performance, though these results are still dwarfed by the Apple M1 results after it destroyed ARM-based CPUs in initial benchmarks.

While Qualcomm has traditionally focused on things like battery life, these results seem to confirm that this latest Snapdragon chip will be more optimized for performance, featuring an eight-core configuration comprising four “Gold+” high-end cores and four “Gold” high-end cores in a bid to close the gap between Surface devices and Apple's Silicon-based range of products.

The benchmark listing was made public last week, showing a “Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD)” that is presumed to be the third generation of Snapdragon 8cx for Arm-based Windows 10 devices, with the Geekbench score stating the new processors will achieve a clock speed of 2.69 GHz.

The M1 is still sitting pretty at the top

Windows Latest has also compiled the results into the above chart that compares both the single-core and multi-core performance of various Surface Pro X devices and the M1-based MacBook Air. As we can see, this latest offering from Qualcomm is still no match for the Apple Silicon, but the large improvements against the previous Snapdragon generations are still commendable.

No other details have been revealed about this rival to the M1 chip, but as with any information that doesn't come through official channels, don't take this leak as gospel.

It also appears that the third generation of Snapdragon 8cx will be on equal footing with Intel Tiger Lake-U, which will likely only add more salt into Intel's wounds. Intel's CPUs have been lackluster recently when compared to rival products from AMD and Apple.

In any case, we could expect an improvement on these results given that engineering samples are usually outperformed by the final product. It's unlikely that the Surface Pro X range will be able to dethrone Apple Silicon any time soon, but Windows 10 on Arm will need some vast improvements before it can come close to the M1's level of performance.

Jess Weatherbed

Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.