Would you buy a laptop with a snapdragon processor / Windows on ARM?

I haven't seen any threads about this so I'm going to mention it here, about a month ago Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon X Elite processor for laptops, not phones. This is actually the work of a company they bought a few years ago called Nuvia that was created by ex-Apple engineers who worked on Apple's M series of CPUs, besides the snapdragon branding, it doesn't really have anything in common with the smartphone SOCs, it's a different design entirely.

Release date for laptops with these processors is supposedly mid-2024 so about half a year from now, not much is known yet but there are some benchmarks and previews:

https://www.xda-developers.com/snapdragon-x-elite-benchmarks/

Personally I think more competition is always good and without counting Apple because they have their own walled garden ecosystem or chromebooks which are very low end and I consider different products entirely, this is the first time someone tried to make a dent  in this intel/AMD space which is definitely welcome IMO. However I am not overly excited about this for the simple reason that Windows on ARM has historically been a failure and depending on Microsoft and software developers to try to make it better is a gamble, my guess is the first few years are going to be rough as the software support is not there and x86 emulation will make things run slower than they should be, but over the long term if they don't give up on this and they create a market for it, it could pay off massively in a way that benefits both them and consumers.

  • I personally wouldn't buy one because 
    1. Its a new technology,that is still basically experimental and prone to more failure and bugs.
    2. ARM is ARM. It will never be the same as an x86 processor. It will take years for it to be on the same level and it will still not reach the performance of x86 processors as they advance quicker.
    3. It will be a much slower experience,obviously. And in general. everyone is used with intel and amd. by that i mean the overclocking experience,general user interface and all of that stuff. snapdragon will be a newcomer and it will be harder to adapat with them.

  • It's not really new, ARM and RISC computers have been around for decades and Apple didn't actually bring them to the market either. They just made them more prominent through their usual clever marketing.

    I would gladly use one as long as all the programs are ported properly to run on the architecture or there's a WOWARM kit like WOW64 to make AMD64 programs run on ARM.

    Linux distributions also have the march because most of them already have ARM builds, the crux is each ARM machine has slightly different architecture so needs an individual 'image' tailored for them still. So until there's a universal ARM that runs on most if not all of these devices I believe AMD64 still very much has a future. And if you are wondering why I'm using the term AMD64 instead of X86, that's because all 64-bit operating systems are actually AMD64 and not X86 (which is now only supported for the few remaining 32-bit machines still in use)

  • I mean it all depends on what the machine is designed for and the cost of such too.
    Apple is ARM, thing is its all proprietary software and hardware at extreme expense.
    For me, I like the traditional Windows set up. I mean it would be good to see for less powerful machines, but it's hardly going to replace the flagship gaming machines.

  • Personally, I would wait a fer years to be sure All newly released games runs if not better at least the same as on X86 processor. I believe ARM will be very strong competitor in the near future. Nobody taught of this until apple showed what the architecture is capable of. 

  • No, the software is missing that is compiled for ARM and I don't want to deal with the issues that are going to happen. I'd rather have an AMD laptop.

  • I wouldn't buy first gen either but I don't agree with a few things.

    ARM is ancient and ARM processors have been built for decades, perhaps you're confusing it for RISC-V? Windows on ARM is also not new, x86 emulation was in patent hell and exclusivity contracts for a long time so Microsoft never bothered to put real effort into it until recently.

    Also, performance is not dependent on the ISA, you can definitely make ARM processors as powerful as x86, they already exist, but mostly as datacenter solutions. In fact, AMD and Nvidia are already making ARM CPUs to compete against Qualcomm in 2025 when contracts expire, high performance ARM CPUs for consumers will come.

    The last part you mentioned is really the only hurdle, the fact that software support needs to exist first, hardware will work slower than it should until applications natively support the ARM architecture, how much of a problem it will be remains to be seen.

  • Very interesting, but looking closer at those benchmarks, they're not necessarily the most impressive. The Cinebench test results are pretty wild, but then when you look at graphics rendering and PCMark productivity tests, the Snapdragon processors fall short of competitors. Now I know these processors won't serve as the GPUs (at least I don't think so...), but just wanted to point that out.

    However, I'm all for competition and pushing market prices down. All tech is highly inflated right now, so adding something new to the mix should be a benefit, and Qualcomm will have incentive to outclass the competition because as the article says: it's an uphill battle.

  • ok i learned alot from these replies thanks guys

  • If it has full emulation of X86 or porting of all the apps I use and will discover then yes its worth while. Also if it becomes available to the custom PC market it would make it more appealing. 

  • If you want AMD specifically then I can tell you AMD and Nvidia are also making ARM CPUs, estimated release around ~2025:

    https://www.reuters.com/technology/nvidia-make-arm-based-pc-chips-major-new-challenge-intel-2023-10-23/

    Though I think you meant a laptop with an AMD x86 processor specifically. But who knows, when they come out we may be surprised, ryzen on ARM will be interesting to compare.