July 14, 2024

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Microsoft Surface ARM Laptops Outperform MacBook Air – But Not MacBook Pro

Microsoft Surface ARM Laptops Outperform MacBook Air – But Not MacBook Pro

Microsoft Surface ARM laptops powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite X1E-80-100 chip claim to be on par with or better than Apple Silicon devices. Tests show they (mostly) outperform the MacBook Air, but not last year’s MacBook Pro models.

Benchmark tests reveal that the chip delivers very impressive performance, leaving both Intel and AMD far behind…

Arm Computers vs MacBook Air M3

Microsoft was right about one thing back in April: The company said it was confident that Arm-powered Windows laptops would outperform the MacBook Air M3.

A comprehensive set of measurement tests by the edge Sure, Microsoft’s latest Surface laptops generally outperform the latest Air. The same goes for all other Windows laptops running the same chip, including models from Dell, Lenovo, Acer, and Samsung.

But even there, the site notes that the MacBook Air is still ahead. some Of time.

This is the most powerful thing Microsoft has ever been able to compete with MacBooks on price, performance, and battery life, and while Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips don’t directly beat Apple’s M3 (with an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU) in every one of our benchmarks, they could leave Intel and AMD scrambling to catch up with another competitor — this time, on their own turf.

But the story is different with the MacBook Pro.

However, when it comes to the chips in the 2023 MacBook Pro, things are different.

The 16-core M3 Max is significantly ahead of the rest of the field, and the 12-core M2 Max is slightly faster in Cinebench 2024 multi-core than the fastest X Elite chip.

The same is true when we look at GPU performance.

Integrated GPUs aren’t great for gaming, 3D rendering, or any other graphics-heavy workloads, and that includes all of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X chips. (Apple’s integrated GPUs are an exception, especially as they scale up; the massive 40-core GPU on the MacBook Pro M3 Max outperforms AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm.)

Microsoft’s x86 emulator can’t compare.

Just as Apple Silicon Macs need an emulator to run some legacy Intel-based applications, Arm PCs also need an emulator to run some legacy Intel-based applications.

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Microsoft claimed in April that its Prism x86 emulator would be faster than Apple’s Rosetta 2 emulator, but that doesn’t seem to be entirely true.

We tested all Snapdragon laptops using the emulated x86 version of Blender, a popular free 3D modeling and drawing software that is a core part of our benchmarking toolkit. […]

While CPU render times with the Arm64 version were within a minute of integrated GPU render times on the Intel Arc, and nearly identical to the AMD Radeon 780M, they took four times longer than the base MacBook Air M3.

Battery life is close, but still lagging

Another claim from Microsoft that didn’t hold up was that its latest device would offer 20% longer battery life than the 15-inch MacBook Air.

When I tested the latest 13- and 15-inch MacBook Airs, they lasted about 18 hours on a charge when I used them as I normally would during a typical week, with the screen brightness set as close to 200 nits as possible. None of the Snapdragon laptops’ batteries lasted as long as the M3 Air’s 18 hours, but most weren’t far behind, averaging 14 to 16 hours.

9to5Mac Opinion

There’s no doubt that the latest Snapdragon chip is incredibly impressive. Beating the MacBook Air M3—even if not in every metric—is no small feat. Doing so while getting Close For the same battery life is a longer life.

We’re also likely to soon see Intel and AMD enter the same realm of performance and battery life, perhaps even surpassing Qualcomm, as both follow Apple’s approach of integrating RAM into the processor.

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But the MacBook Pro shows that Apple is still ahead of the race so far, before any M4 version appears.

All this competition is great news for Mac users: the closer the competition gets to catching up, the more incentive there is for Apple to keep pushing the boundaries.

picture: Microsoft

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