Qualcomm says its Snapdragon X Elite is faster than Apple M3

Snapdragon X Elite
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm claims its upcoming Snapdragon X Elite chip is 21% faster than Apple’s M3 processor.

During a demo shown to Digital Trends (thanks, MacRumors), Qualcomm’s SoC (System on Chip) scored 15,300 on the Geekbench 6 multi-core test whereas Apple’s M3 chip achieved 12,154. Qualcomm failed to mention TDP (Thermal Design Power). 

As I learned when I attended this year’s Snapdragon Summit, the Snapdragon X Elite chip will have at least two thermal designs: one for 23W and another for 80W. The latter would naturally yield better performance, but it’s unclear if the company used an 80W Snapdragon X Elite chip for the demo in question. You can find out more in our Snapdragon X Elite benchmark story.

Snapdragon X Elite

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

When we benchmarked the new MacBook Pro 14-inch featuring the entry-level M3 chip and 8GB of RAM, it scored 11,870 on Geekbench 6’s multi-core test. During the Snapdragon Summit, the Snapdragon X Elite reference devices scored 15,130 and 14,000 — with the former having a TDP of 80W and the latter 23W. This leads me to believe the X Elite chip used in the demo we’re discussing had an 80W TDP, though that’s not certain. Regardless, Qualcomm’s Geekbench 6 score for the M3 chip closely resembles our test number.

A Qualcomm PR representative told Digital Trends that while the experiences won’t be the same because the chips are running on Windows 11 and macOS Sonoma (respectively), that hardware remains a consistent metric.


We won’t know what the Snapdragon X Elite chip is truly capable of until we’ve had a chance to run our own benchmarks. If Qualcomm’s math is accurate, its upcoming processor could give Apple silicon a run for its money. Well, at least the entry-level M3 chip. Outside of raw performance, the X Elite’s AI capabilities could also provide an edge over current M-series processors.

We won’t see devices with Snapdragon X Elite until the middle of 2024. At that time, Qualcomm will have to duke it out against not only Apple, but also Intel which just announced its AI-driven Meteor Lake chips. The latter’s Raptor Lake Refresh processors will also provide X Elite with competition. That said, if Qualcomm’s SoC is up to snuff, it could become a legitimate rival to Apple and Intel. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.