Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite attracts unprecedented PC partnerships

Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite reference design 2Image: Mark Hachman / IDG

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X Elite platform and its Oryon CPUs for Windows PCs are apparently shockingly fast. And, whether or not you believe it, PC partners apparently do.

Qualcomm closed out a second day of presentation on the Snapdragon X Elite platform by posting a screen of its PC partners, and for the first time in Windows on Arm’s history, there are a lot. All told, nine PC manufacturers listed themselves as “partners” — not overtly committing to a Snapdragon X Elite PC, but more likely than not.

The PC partners include Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, the Microsoft Surface brand, Samsung, and Xiaomi. Honor, a phone maker, also appeared at the Qualcomm Technology Summit here in Maui to announce its entry into the PC space — though as a Chinese phone maker, it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll ship PCs into the U.S. market.

The number is surprising, because only three PC makers (Lenovo, Microsoft, and HP) have committed to supporting Snapdragon before for Windows on Arm PCs, through multiple generations. The others have not. Samsung executives have said before that they expect these laptops to ship in mid-2025. (None of the PC makers announced a specific PC that will use the Snapdragon X Elite, but those announcements typically arrive at the CES show in Las Vegas in January.)

Qualcomm has said this week that its Snapdragon X Elite platform, which it has not broken out into multiple chips, can outperform 13th-gen Core chips from Intel and integrated GPUs from AMD.

That’s telling, because Qualcomm is also going after a typically demanding market: gaming. The chip makers showed a medley of games that apparently will run on Snapdragon: from Baldur’s Gate III to Control to Warframe to Guild Wars and Minecraft: Legends. All may be a bit on the older side, but the message is clear. If Qualcomm’s Snapdragon offers the performance to compete against Intel, than why not use it for work and play?

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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