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Snapdragon 8CX vs Core i5-8250U on laptop running Windows 10: Intel, Qualcomm is not kidding!


Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx is a series of chips designed specifically for laptops running Windows, specifically connected computers (Always Connected PC – ACPC) but these machines have not yet been sold in the market. Since then we hardly know how much performance the Windows laptop running Snapdragon 8cx has. This time, xda-developers had a chance to try it out and the results became clear. They compare to a laptop running Intel Core i5.

Laptop Windows uses ARM architecture processor and more specifically, Snapdragon chip is not new. Microsoft itself was ahead of the Surface RT line at the time, running Nvidia Tegra and Windows 8.1 RT SoC but failed, the second generation of this machine was also killed and part of the reason is the application ecosystem for The ARM processor platform is too small, the traditional x86 application does not run since then, which makes them picky users even with longer battery life than laptops running Intel processors.

2 years ago Qualcomm tried again with two HP Envy x2 and ASUS NovaGo laptops running Snapdragon 835 but despite achieving 20 hours of on-screen battery life, the performance was not good because the Snapdragon 835 was a SoC optimized for mobile devices like smartphones. Qualcomm knows that the technology world is very concerned about a battery-saving processor while the opposite Intel competitor is still speedy. So the Snapdragon 8cx was developed to meet this need – while increasing performance while maintaining long battery life.

Based on what is announced by Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8cx is similar in structure to the Snapdragon 855 but with GPUs, the integrated graphics processor Andreno 680 Extreme and the CPU that handles Kryo 495 calculations are twice as powerful. 855.




Qualcomm has doubled the number of semiconductors and memory bandwidth for the Snapdragon 8cx to meet the more complex data transmission needs of computers and Windows operating systems. Increasing the bandwidth will allow the Snapdragon 8cx to be able to export on two 4K monitors that support HDR, from which basic users can work in the office and entertain digital content on a high-resolution screen.

In addition, Snapdragon 8cx also supports 5G mobile network connection with Snapdragon X55 5G modem integrated with 4G LTE modem available as Snapdragon X24. Thus users will be able to connect mobile data with both standard 4G or 5G networks.

In terms of power consumption, the Snapdragon 8cx is also 60% more energy efficient than the Snapdragon 855.

2 machines compared performance:

1. A reference machine of Qualcomm:
CPU: Snapdragon 8cx
RAM: 8 GB
SSD: 256 GB NVMe
Screen: FHD (1920 x 1080 px)
Battery: 49 Wh
OS: Windows 10 1903

2. An unknown Ultrabook:
CPU: Core i5-8250U
RAM: 8 GB
SSD: 256 GB NVMe
Screen: 2048 x 1080 px
Battery: 49 Wh
OS: Windows 10 1809.

There are a few things to keep in mind on these two devices: the difference in screen resolution, the Core i5-8250U with the Intel HD Graphics 630 GPU, will have to take on a larger resolution than the device. run Snapdragon 8cx. Add to that the difference in Windows 10 version despite the performance impact of the OS version is not much with the benchmark application below.



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As for test tools, it should be noted that Microsoft Office, 3DMark or PCMark tools are all x86 applications. The Snapdragon 8cx runs x86 applications through an emulator while the Core i5-8250U is an x86 CPU. Efforts to run Windows on the ARM processor platform have been unsuccessful due to lack of support for x86 applications and this time Microsoft corrected it from the start. And another note is that the device runs the fanless Snapdragon 8cx, so in heavy load situations, it will be hard to keep the pulse as high as the Core i5-8250U.



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First with the PCMark 10 tool, xda-developers use the Application Test test, which only runs office applications including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Edge browser. This test demonstrates the actual task instead of the simulated content such as video conversation and image processing commonly seen on PCMark 10 test package. The results are interesting when the Snapdragon 8cx machine has higher overall score. quite good compared to Core i5 running machine. However, it can be seen that the ability to handle large data in Excel spreadsheets is still lower than Intel microprocessors, the gap is up to 500 points. Particularly for the browsing test with Edge, the 8cx Snapdragon running machine is higher than the Core i5-8250U but according to me, this score is not fair because the Core i5-8250U and integrated GPU have to render the website on Edge with resolution 2048 x 1080 and Snapdragon 8cx still render at FHD resolution.



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Following the 3DMark Night Raid test – a graphics test for laptops using integrated graphics processors and specifically supporting ACPC computers with DirectX 12, Snapdragon 8cx scores a total of graphics graphics from 5710 – 5815 points, 700 – 800 points higher than the Core i5-8250U. According to UL – the 3DMark benchmark software designer, the Night Raid has a reference point level of 5000, those with 5000 points or more can play CS: GO at 70 fps, Dota 2 at 70 fps and LoL at 80 fps with low to medium graphics settings, 1080p resolution.



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The Graphics Raid Night tests show that the Snapdragon 8cx has a frame rate of about 25 fps with Graphics Test 1 and 36 – 37 fps with Graphics Test 2. The 2 Graphics tests focus on harnessing the power of the GPU Adreno 680 Extreme and it shows much higher performance than Intel UHD Graphics 620 on Core i5-8250U. Of course the CPU performance when processing graphics, the Snapdragon 8cx score is not as good as the Core i5-8250U with just under 4100 points while the Core i5-8250U has over 4400 points.



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As for battery life, xda-developers use the built-in battery test in PCMark 10. The results are amazing when a laptop running Windows 10 can reach nearly 17 hours (opening multiple applications, running multiple) ) and nearly 20 hours when playing video continuously. When off, standby battery life can be 22 to 23.5 hours. Meanwhile, the Core i5-8250U running battery has a maximum battery life of only 10 hours and 21 minutes, playing video continuously reaches 12 hours and 17 minutes while the rest time is up to 15 hours and 45 minutes. The battery life of this Ultrabook is not bad compared to the current Ultrabook models but compared to the Snapdragon 8cx is far behind. Xda-developers is not talking about screen brightness or other factors but it is not difficult to predict SoC using ARM architecture like Snapdragon 8cx will be able to bring long battery life and why Microsoft as well as many companies follow chasing the idea of ​​ACPC.

In fact, how does a computer running Snapdragon 8cx deliver performance? Below is a series of videos made by Qualcomm to test Snapdragon 8cx with a lot of familiar applications like Microsoft Excel, Outlook, Paint3D, web browsing, Photoshop and opening many applications to run multitasking, what the Snapdragon 8cx shows firmly make you surprised!



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