Snapdragon X Elite Gaming Performance Falls Short in Early Reviews


The arrival of laptops powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite processor and Microsoft’s Copilot+ system has sparked excitement in the tech world. However, early reviews paint a mixed picture, with impressive performance in some areas overshadowed by disappointing gaming capabilities.

Snapdragon X Elite
Snapdragon X Elite

Initial Impressions: A Promising Chipset with a Gaming Hiccup

  • Market Debut and Early Reviews: Laptops featuring the Snapdragon X Elite and Copilot+ have hit the market, and reviewers are sharing their initial impressions.
  • Focus on Productivity: Qualcomm’s primary focus for the Snapdragon X Elite appears to be productivity tasks, as evidenced by their marketing approach.
  • Gaming Performance Concerns: Unfortunately, early reviews reveal underwhelming performance in 3D games. This raises questions about the platform’s suitability for serious gamers.

While the Snapdragon X Elite boasts impressive features for productivity and multitasking, its gaming capabilities fall short of expectations.

Navigating Emulation Challenges

A key hurdle for Snapdragon X Elite laptops in the gaming realm is emulation:

  • x86/x64 Emulation Issues: Some games struggle to run due to compatibility issues when emulating the x86/x64 architecture on the ARM-based Snapdragon X Elite.
  • Limited configurability: Even for games that do launch, reviewers encountered limitations in adjusting resolution and achieving acceptable frame rates with upscaling technologies.

These emulation hurdles create frustration for gamers accustomed to a wider range of graphical options and smoother gameplay.

Benchmarking the Performance Gap

Let’s delve into specific benchmarks showcased in early reviews:

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: A popular reviewer struggled to run the game at a playable frame rate. On “low” settings and 720p resolution, TechTablets reported an average of 35 fps with drops as low as 20 fps in Novigrad, a demanding area of the game.
  • Dirt 5: Another reviewer, Matthew Moniz, tested the racing simulator Dirt 5. The Snapdragon X graphics delivered a meager average of 23 fps on “medium” settings at 1280×1080 resolution.
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These benchmark results highlight the current performance limitations of Snapdragon X Elite laptops in running modern 3D video games.

Qualcomm’s Priorities: Power Beyond Games

It’s important to consider Qualcomm’s stated priorities for the Snapdragon X Elite:

  • Focus on Productivity: Several reviewers emphasize that Qualcomm didn’t prioritize gaming during the processor’s marketing and development.
  • AI and Performance: The Snapdragon X excels in other areas, with a powerful NPU (Neural Processing Unit) designed for AI tasks and solid performance for non-gaming workloads, even while emulating x86-based systems.

For users seeking an all-in-one device that prioritizes productivity, battery life, and AI capabilities, the Snapdragon X Elite may still be a compelling option.

A Future of Improved Gaming Performance?

While the current situation might appear bleak for gamers, there’s a potential ray of hope:

  • Adreno Control Panel Anticipation: Reviewers suggest that future improvements could come from a dedicated Adreno control panel from Qualcomm.
  • Software Optimization: Further software optimization could also enhance gaming performance on Snapdragon X Elite devices.

These potential advancements could significantly alter the overall gaming experience on Snapdragon X Elite laptops.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Are Snapdragon X Elite laptops good for gaming?

A: Early reviews suggest current performance isn’t ideal for demanding 3D games. However, future software and driver updates could improve gaming capabilities.

Q: Why do some games not work on Snapdragon X Elite laptops?

A: Emulation issues can prevent certain games designed for x86/x64 architecture from running smoothly on the ARM-based Snapdragon X Elite.

Q: Does the Snapdragon X Elite processor have any strengths?

A: Yes, the Snapdragon X Elite excels in areas like productivity tasks, battery life, and AI applications due to its powerful NPU.

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Q: Should I buy a Snapdragon X Elite laptop for gaming?

A: If your primary focus is high-performance gaming, it may be best to consider laptops with traditional x86/x64 processors. However, if portability, battery life, and strong productivity features are your priorities, a Snapdragon X Elite laptop.