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Qualcomm Snapdragon X gaming laptop performance proves disappointing

Despite initial hype around demos seen during trade shows, early gaming laptops have shown that gaming on the Adreno GPU isn't all that great..

Snapdragon X Elite gaming performance issues

While only a handful of Qualcomm X Elite series laptops have made their way into the hands of reviewers and customers, the early indication is that the 3D gaming performance isn’t as revolutionary as expected, leaving the door open for AMD’s Strix Point and Intel’s Lunar Lake processors.

It may be early days, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon X looks unlikely to power any of the best gaming laptops on the market, even for gamers looking to save money and accept mid-range performance. Issues such as game launch failure and locked settings are proving too much to look past in some of the Asus laptops powered by the chip.

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While general computing performance and battery life are said to be good, the Qualcomm Snapdragon X is failing to even boot games like Fortnite. In the latest Broken Silicon podcast episode, Moore’s Law Is Dead summarises the early data from laptops that are out in the market and it all leads to the conclusion that the Snapdragon X chips are performing well in everything apart from gaming.

In some of the benchmarks shown, the Snapdragon X Elite X1E-78-100 (the weakest of four X Elite chips) produced just 20.4fps in GTA V, and 37fps in Strange Brigade. This is on top of reported issues where games simply don’t boot at all, or don’t allow for basic settings to be changed such as the resolution, supposedly due to issues with emulation. Overall, the AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS and Ryzen 7 7840U both outclassed the Snapdragon X Elite in these tests.

This headache for Qualcomm is worsened by the fact that AMD Strix Point laptops are expected to be released as early as July, and are thought to improve on the CPU and battery life performance of the Snapdragon X, while having zero compatibility issues when it comes to gaming. While a price is unconfirmed, they could be quite competitive albeit more expensive than the current Snapdragon X lineup.

For a look at what pre-release performance looked like, check out our report from an early look at Baldur’s Gate 3 running on a Snapdragon X Elite.