Custom Qualcomm Chip Beats 10nm Intel Lakefield SoC in MS Surface Pro X

The past year was quite unsatisfactory for Intel. AMD’s Ryzen 3000 processors destroyed Intel’s existing 9th Gen Coffee Lake lineup, and for the first time in over a decade, AMD gained a foothold in the server market. The 64 Core Epyc Rome CPUs offer exceptional performance at unbeatable prices and that is exactly why enterprises are looking towards team red as a potential partner. The mobile space was the only segment where AMD didn’t start uprooting Intel’s decade long dominance.

That changed quite fast in the very first month of 2020. With the launch of the Ryzen 4000 APU lineup, Intel has nowhere left to run. As if things weren’t bad enough already, it seems like that ARM CPUs are making inroads into the desktop and server markets. Although in the immediate future, they won’t be a threat, it’s nice to see that they’re making steady progress:

In the above picture, we’ve got a 3DMark benchmark with an Intel Lakefield SoC pitted against a custom Qualcomm SoC. The former has four low-power Tremont cores and one high-performance Sunny Cove core, while a GPU powered by the Gen11 design handles the graphics side of things. All these will be based on the new 10nm process.

On the other hand, we don’t know much about the Qualcomm SoC. As per the info provided by Microsoft, it’ll be a 3GHz ARM chip with a GPU rating of 2 TFLOPs. This will most like be a 4+4 core config with four small (low power) cores and four large (high performance) cores. The 3GHz boost clock likely pertains to the latter.

In the above test, the Qualcomm SoC thrashes the Intel Lakefield chip in the graphics tests but in the CPU based Physics, the latter reigns supreme. This makes sense as Intel’s part being based on the x86 design is more suited for the benchmark while Sunny Cove’s high IPC further bolsters the performance.

In terms of the GPU performance, Gen11 although a potent architecture is a significantly cut-down variant of the 96EU version found on the Ice lake chips. Qualcomm’s 2 TLOP promise means that they’ve got a beefy GPU backing up the ARM cores, and this benchmark proves it.


Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, and almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.
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