Qualcomm is Planning a Snapdragon 7cx for PCs, Too

Posted on June 3, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile, Windows 10 with 17 Comments

Last year, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 8cx chipset for PCs. But the firm is planning a lower-end PC chipset, too.

Qualcomm has never formally announced this product. But Qualcomm vice president Don McGuire revealed its existence in an episode of the Mobile Tech Podcast timed for this past week’s Computex tradeshow.

As you might imagine, given the name, which McGuire said was only “provisionally” named at this time, the Snapdragon 7xc will be less powerful than the Snapdragon 8cx and less expensive for PC makers to acquire. As such, it will target lower-end PCs in the $300 to $800 range, whereas the 8cx is aimed at premium PCs.

Also unclear at this point is what kind of performance we can expect from the 7cx. Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon 8cx is roughly as powerful as a U-series Intel Core i5 processor. So it’s possible that the 7cx will offer something akin to Intel Atom, Celeron, or even Core i3 performance levels.

MacGuire also makes an interesting claim about Google, noting that the search giant was originally interested in porting its Chrome browser to the Arm platform but held off when initial sales of the woefully-underpowered Snapdragon 835 and 850 didn’t deliver many new customers. The improved performance of the 7cx and 8cx, he says, should change Google’s mind.

PC makers are expected to ship the first Snapdragon 8cx-based PCs in time for the holiday selling season. But it’s not clear if the 7cx will be available at that time as well.

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Comments (17)

17 responses to “Qualcomm is Planning a Snapdragon 7cx for PCs, Too”

  1. siv

    I will be very interested to see what the real world performance of the 8CX, if it really is as good as a core i5 U Series then the possibilities for some long battery life laptops should become a reality. It just depends if they will allow us to run Win32 apps or even 64 bit native apps or will we be stuck with a Windows 10 S failure again?

  2. Greg Green

    Apparently many missed the part where the Snapdragon 8cx is as fast as an i5 U part.

    From Windows Central:

    “Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx smashes Intel Core i5 in new PCMark10 benchmarks

    What you need to know

    The Snapdragon 8cx got benchmarked against the Intel Core i5-8250U.

    The 8cx chip often beats a Core i5 in performance, nearly doubles battery life.

    Press were invited to run the benchmarks themselves to validate.”

    From PCWorld:

    “Qualcomm's benchmarks show Snapdragon 8cx running as fast as Intel's Core i5

    Granted, it's an older Kaby Lake-R chip being used as a comparison, but Qualcomm's 8cx chip continues its campaign to convince us that it belongs in a PC.”

    MS Office was used in some of the PCMark benchmarks. Battery life increased extensively. The i5 never lasted more than 16 hours, ranging from 8 to <16 in the various benchmarks, and the Snapdragon started at 16 hours and lasted 23 hours at idle. Video benchmark was 10-12 hours for i5 vs 17-20 for Snapdragon.

    If these scores hold up in actual laptops consumers will have some wonderful laptops and intel will have some serious trouble.

  3. waethorn

    Atoms have been discontinued for everything except the embedded market.

  4. Tony Barrett

    Qualcomm obviously think there's a market for these chips on traditional PC and Laptop form-factors - unfortunately, they've only really got Microsoft to work with, and one things for sure, attempts at shoe-horning Windows onto non-x86 chippery, in whatever form, has failed again and again and again. You can pretty much be sure that Qualcomm will have some decent hardware and Microsoft will f*ck up their part!

    • wright_is

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Microsoft did fairly well at porting NT to other platforms, such as MIPS and Alpha, but nobody ever sold enough machines, because there was little to no third party software and there was little third party, because they never sold enough machines to make porting their software worthwhile.

  5. brettscoast

    Thanks for the heads up Paul this is a very interesting development there are already some benchmarks around the place for the Snapdragon 8cx chips which look promising, I believe these new 7cx chips would need to offer something equivalent to core i3 performance to be a viable alternative.

  6. Pbike908

    Has to be better than Celeron or Atom.... Celeron runs chrome os

    Ok....but I couldn't imagine a Celeron on Windows PC ..

  7. longhorn

    I wish they didn't call it Windows. They could call it NT on ARM, because the Windows brand makes people assume that it is Windows and that it is compatible with Win32 software and drivers. It's better people find out before they open the box.

    Modern OS is a better fit for ARM, because then people have no expectations.

  8. IanYates82

    I suspect Microsoft will continue the work of porting Chromium over to ARM even if Google won't. MS needs the browser component able to run natively anyway (embedding in other ARM apps, battery & perf, etc)

  9. codymesh

    there's no way they make this a slower chip than the 855 - it's probably an in-between

  10. lezmaka

    Just what an ARM based Windows computer needs, less performance!