Microsoft will test a new Surface PC with an Arm chips

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A benchmark for a prototype Microsoft PC with Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor has been spotted on Geekbench. Maybe your next Surface Pro X, or a brand new PC.

Apple MacBook Air (2020 – M1)



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How does the pricing table work?

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (Core i5)

Opening price 1179 euros


Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (Core i5)

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How does the pricing table work?

Arm chips and Windows haven’t worked well together so far. Optimization issues, performance at half mast, Surface Pro X and SQ1 processors and then SQ2 (Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 1 and 2 renamed by Microsoft) haven’t really been able to convince so far. However, using arm chips can bring some interesting elements. We particularly think about very low power consumption and excellent autonomy. The exciting arrival of Apple’s M1 chips, which is also based on the Arm architecture, has proven that it is possible to combine performance, low consumption, autonomy and silent operation of Macs equipped with them.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 announced at the end of 2021. © Qualcomm

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 announced at the end of 2021. © Qualcomm

As a reminder, Qualcomm, with its Snapdragon 8cx, relied above all on energy efficiency, but now the manufacturer clearly wants to improve the performance of its chips. For this purpose, it intends to introduce with 8cx Gen 3 a new design at 5nm, with doubling of the high-performance cores of the chip – which will bring the total to eight – always accompanied by four low-power cores.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Surfaces

This is exactly the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 that was discovered in a benchmark test on Geekbench 5 software, built into a PC called OEMVL OEMVL. This kind of codename has already been used by Microsoft on the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, or Surface Book and it’s reasonable to think it’s a computer from the range just tested. The Surface Pro X is the only model that includes Arm processors, so it’s expected to get a refresh this year.

Geekbench score for the respective prototype.  © Geekbench

Geekbench score for the respective prototype. © Geekbench

The scores are in any case much better than the 8cx Gen 2 equipped Surface Pro X which shows around 800 in single core and 3250 in multi core. A commendable performance gain, which could allow the 8cx Gen 3 to compete with 11th-generation Intel processors like the Core i5-1135G7 or even Core i7-1165G7 on certain PCs, or AMD’s Ryzen 5 5500U. Be warned, Geekbench is optimized for Arm, which is not yet the case for all Windows applications and in practice 8cx Gen 3 could be lower than Core i5. Highly advanced use with photo or video processing programs will in no way be possible, but office automation will be quite comfortable with this level of performance.

The competition will be fierce

However, Qualcomm may face some severe criticism. The scores are far from those of Apple’s M1 chips or 12th-generation Intel processors, so the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is already behind. If this new Surface device doesn’t hit the market until the fall, as rumors suggest, the gap will be wider with the already announced M2 chipset by then, widespread AMD Ryzen 6000 processors and 13th-gen Intel on the way.

Snapdragons could do well if the power efficiency was excellent and the autonomy of the PCs improved significantly, but here again, the M1s have already taken the lead for a long time. Optimization will also be a key element to watch, but it will be necessary to wait several months before being able to test and compare all this, if Microsoft does reveal the Surface Pro X, which doesn’t have anything official at the moment.

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