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Snapdragon X Elite notebooks should be able to display Windows games

Qualcomm is set to usher in a new era of notebooks as early as June, as the ARM chip Snapdragon X Elite is set to be unveiled at Computex 2024. Compared to many other chips of this type, the Qualcomm model will also be able to run Windows games smoothly – as the manufacturer has now confirmed at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2024.

Snapdragon X Elite: notebooks become gaming-ready

ARM chips are not suitable for gaming. This premise was true in the past, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite is set to change that. At least that’s what Issam Khalil, an engineer at Qualcomm, told The Verge at GDC 2024.

Until now, chips with ARM architecture have not been able to run more complex games smoothly due to the lack of a dedicated graphics unit. However, various notebooks with the Snapdragon X Elite chipset, which have not yet been officially unveiled, will be able to play even modern games.

With the “Windows on Snapdragon” platform, developers would have three options for making their games run on ARM laptops: The first option is to port the titles natively to ARM64. According to Khalil, this results in the best CPU performance and the lowest power consumption.

Developers are also able to develop a hybrid ARM64EC app. Windows libraries and drivers are executed natively, while the rest of the application is emulated, which should enable “almost native” performance.

The third option is probably the most relaxed for game developers. Because here they don’t have to do anything at all. Using the x64 emulation of the Snapdragon X Elite chips, Windows games are emulated on the ARM platform.

However, this is the most computationally intensive option for the CPU and could well be accompanied by performance losses. However, GPU performance should not be affected by the emulation. At the same time, the first calculation when translating the code blocks should affect the CPU, but further runs should then be faster thanks to the cache.

GPU performance and possibilities

However, there are some limitations with option 3, full emulation. For example, this is not possible if the applications or games use a kernel driver. These include anti-cheat systems.

In terms of the GPU, the Snapdragon X Elite is said to rely on an Adreno chip with drivers for DirectX 11, DC12, Vulkan and OpenCL. DX9 and OpenGL 4.6 are also supported via mapping layers.

This should also be interesting with regard to the connections of notebooks equipped with the ARM chip. In combination with Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4, it should be possible, at least in theory, to connect an eGPU to the laptops in order to significantly increase gaming performance.

Khalil did not want to reveal in detail which games run on the laptops. However, the company is in the process of trying out “all the top titles on Steam” and is therefore confident that most games will run.

However, concrete details on the performance of the new chips are still scarce and it remains to be seen whether demanding games such as Cyberpunk 2077 or Dragon’s Dogma 2 can really be played smoothly on the mobile platform. Previous leaks spoke of 12 cores and a base clock speed of 4.01 GHz for one of the presumably four chipsets.

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Qualcomm is set to usher in a new era of notebooks as early as June, as the ARM chip Snapdragon X Elite is set to be unveiled at Computex 2024. Compared to many other chips of this type, the Qualcomm model will also be able to run Windows games smoothly – as the manufacturer has now confirmed at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2024. Snapdragon X Elite: notebooks become gaming-ready ARM chips are not suitable for gaming. This premise was true in the past, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite is set to change that. At least that’s what Issam … (Weiterlesen...)

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