The Snapdragon 8cx is the first 7nm PC chip, built to compete with Core i5 on Windows 10

For the third day of its Snapdragon Technology Summit, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 8cx, its third chipset for Windows 10. Unlike the Snapdragon 835 and 850 before it, the 8cx isn't derivative of a mobile SoC; this is built from the ground up for PCs. The firm says that the performance is on par with an Intel Core i5.

The CPU includes eight Kryo 495 cores, which are built on a 7nm architecture, and Qualcomm boasts that this is the fastest Kryo CPU that it's ever built. Indeed, it's faster than the Kryo 485 CPU that was announced yesterday for the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform. It also has a larger cache at 10MB than previous generations, which should allow for faster multitasking.

And then there's the Adreno 680 GPU, which Qualcomm once again says is its most powerful GPU ever. The firm says that it's 2x faster than the Adreno 630 GPU on the Snapdragon 850 while being 60% more efficient, and 3.5x faster than the Adreno 540 on the Snapdragon 835.

“With performance and battery life as our design tenets, we’re bringing 7nm innovations to the PC space, allowing for smartphone-like capabilities to transform the computing experience,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager of mobile for Qualcomm Technologies. “As the fastest Snapdragon platform ever, the Snapdragon 8cx will allow our customers to offer a powerful computing experience of multi-day battery life and multi-gigabit connectivity, in new thin, light and fanless design for consumers and the enterprise.”

The chipset also includes the new Snapdragon X24 4G LTE modem, which supports download speeds of up to 2Gbps and upload speeds of up to 316Mbps. Of course, integrated cellular connectivity is one of the key value propositions of Windows 10 on ARM, as is better battery life and that it instantly wakes.

But if that battery life isn't enough, it includes support for Quick Charge 4+. That means that you can charge your PC really fast, although specifics can't be provided without knowing how big of a battery it has to charge. It also supports USB 3.1 Gen 2, which means that you can connect up to two 4K HDR monitors. Unfortunately, there's no direct support for Thunderbolt 3, as that's an Intel thing.

When Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon 8cx is on par with an Intel Core i5, it's not talking about a 5W Y-series chip either. The company confirmed that this is meant to go head to head with a full 15W Core i5. This is based on single-core performance.

Unfortunately, you won't be able to get your hands on a Snapdragon 8cx device just yet. PCs with the new Compute Platform are expected to ship in the third quarter of 2019.

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