Snapdragon X Elite Reviews are Out: Solid Performance and Great Battery Life

In Short
  • Copilot+ PCs have started shipping and the embargo has lifted. In early impressions, Snapdragon X Elite delivers solid performance and battery life.
  • Snapdragon X Elite matches the performance of Apple M3 and the battery life for everyday tasks comes close to 13 hours.
  • The emulation performance is also quite good for x86 apps. However, x86 games don't work well on Copilot+ PCs yet.

It’s June 18th, and the embargo has finally lifted. Many outlets have shared reviews of Snapdragon X Elite laptops aka Copilot+ PCs. Currently, the Asus Vivobook S15 has been reviewed which packs the third SKU (X1E-78-100) in the Snapdragon X series lineup. Here are the key findings and insights we found about Snapdragon X Elite’s performance, and battery life.

Snapdragon X Elite CPU Performance

For the past many months, Qualcomm claimed that Snapdragon X Elite’s Nuvia-designed Oryon CPU cores perform along the lines of Apple M3, and it has turned out to be true.

Dave2D in his YouTube video demonstrated that the Asus Vivobook S15, powered by Snapdragon X Elite (X1E-78-100), outperforms MacBook Air M3 in multi-core tests on Geekbench and Cinebench. Not just that, it also performs better than Intel Core Ultra 9 185H and AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS.

snapdragon x elite cpu performance
Image Courtesy: Dave2D via YouTube

Tom’s Guide also says that in the multi-core Geekbench test, the Snapdragon X Elite outranks the base Apple M3. However, in the single-core test, the Apple M3 is about 28% faster than the X Elite which runs at 3.4GHz.

Snapdragon X Elite GPU Performance

As for the Adreno X1 GPU, the Snapdragon X Elite does better than AMD Radeon 780M and Intel Arc GPU in the 3DMark WildLife Extreme test. However, when using the Vulkan API on Geekbench Compute, X Elite’s Adreno GPU performs worse which is quite strange. Dave2D in his review says the Snapdragon X Elite’s GPU is “decent” and it’s on par with mobile GPUs from AMD and Intel.

snapdragon x elite gpu performance
Image Courtesy: Dave2D via YouTube

By the way, Adobe Premiere Pro doesn’t have a native ARM64 app for Windows on ARM yet. Adobe is working to bring the native version of the app. Meanwhile, you can run it under the emulation mode and reviewers say that the performance is usable for editing videos up to 1080p resolution. Besides that, DaVinci Resolve runs natively on ARM PCs now.

Snapdragon X Elite Battery Life

Now, how long does the Snapdragon X Elite laptop last? The battery life test is the most important one for me, and I am sure there are many out there who want to find out about the battery life claims. The Asus Vivobook S15 comes with a 70 Whr battery pack and Dave2D says that it lasted for 10 hours 46 minutes under light load, coming close to the MacBook Air M3 (11 hours and 18 minutes).

It delivered 2 to 3 hours more than Intel and AMD-powered laptops. Under medium load, Snapdragon X Elite performed better than all the chipsets, standing at 7 hours and 47 minutes. And under heavy load, the Asus Vivobook S15 lasted 4 hours 12 minutes, ranking second after the MacBook Air M3. He further says that after overnight sleep, the laptop only lost 1% to 2% of the battery which is remarkable.

snapdragon x elite battery life
Image Courtesy: Dave2D via YouTube

Tom’s Guide reports that the battery dropped from 100% to 47% over a 12-hour time span with mixed usage of Photoshop, more than 20 Chrome tabs, music playing, and watching videos on Netflix. It can easily last for two days with mixed usage, a rarity that we have only seen on M-series Apple MacBooks.

Matthew Moniz in his YouTube video says that he got an amazing battery life of 13 hours and 40 minutes on the Asus Vivobook S15. He further says that if you are using a native ARM64 app, the battery life will get even better. When running heavy x86 apps under the emulation mode, the battery life takes a hit.

Snapdragon X Elite Gaming Performance

While the Asus Vivobook S15 is not a gaming laptop per se, and it houses the third SKU which delivers up to 3.8 TFLOPs (vs 4.6 TFLOPs on the top-end SKU), the gaming performance is respectable even under emulation. Dave2D showed the framerate for various games, configured at low graphics settings along with Auto Super Resolution enabled.

snapdragon x elite gaming performance
Image Courtesy: Dave2D via YouTube

Under the emulation mode, Cyberpunk 2077 delivered a framerate of up to 34 FPS, Baldur’s Gate 3 up to 35 FPS, Overwatch 2 up to 83 FPS, and so on. Keep in mind that there were occasional stutters during the gameplay.

Matthew Moniz says that x86 games don’t run well on Snapdragon X Elite and games glitch out every now and then. However, while playing games compiled for ARM64, they work great. You can find a list of games optimized for Snapdragon X Elite from our dedicated article.

Snapdragon X Elite Emulation Performance

During the Copilot+ PC launch, much was talked about the new Prism emulation layer, and it appears the translation layer is really impressive. While running x86 apps (light to medium) apps, users won’t find any issues. Even when running heavy x86 apps like Adobe Premiere Pro, the app is usable and the render time has been greatly reduced, almost matching the native performance.

snapdragon x elite emulation performance
Image Courtesy: Dave2D via YouTube

As mentioned above, gaming performance under emulation is respectable, but there are occasional stutters and most games refuse to load because of kernel-level anti-cheat implementation. Microsoft and Qualcomm are working with gaming studios to bring native games to the ARM64 platform. Meanwhile, the Prism emulation layer is also being optimized to deliver better gaming performance on the fly.

Snapdragon X Elite: Thermals and Fan Noise

While the MacBook Air M3 has a fan-less design, Snapdragon X Elite laptops come with fans for cooling. Dave2D says while multitasking, you would hardly hear the fan spinning. The laptop remains within 30 dB of fan noise during light to medium tasks. However, while running heavy applications, the fan noise gets audible, reaching up to 42 dB.

snapdragon x elite fan noise
Image Courtesy: Dave2D via YouTube

Matthew Moniz also says that for everyday tasks, the fan noise is almost silent. But if you push the system under heavy load, the fan noise does get louder, but it’s still better than Intel and AMD processors.

WindowsCentral in its review says that under heavy load, the temperature hovers around 107 degrees F (41.6 degrees C) which is slightly on the hotter side.

So that is all about Snapdragon X Elite’s early review. Keep in mind that every OEM has configured the Qualcomm PC chipset in unique ways, striking a balance between performance, battery life, and thermal management. We are waiting to get our hands on one of Snapdragon X Elite laptops in India. Once we receive a Copilot+ PC, we will run several benchmarks and share in-depth results with you. So stay tuned with us.

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