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Baldur’s Gate 3 runs surprisingly well on this Arm laptop

The Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite will run Windows games using x64 emulation, and developers can still optimize titles specifically for Arm.

A close up of a custom baldur's gate 3 protaganist

It’s easy to get lost in the world of high-end hardware, but sometimes it’s far more impressive to see a game on a system on which it has no business running. Such is the case with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite Arm laptop chip, which was recently demonstrated running Baldur’s Gate 3 at 1080p, with a frame rate of 30fps.

While no serious PC gamers will be giving up their best graphics card and x86 gaming CPU in favor of this emulation tech right now, it’s still a marvel to see in action and will certainly have an audience. Devices based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite SoC aren’t set to release until later this year, but this demo is a shining example of what’s possible with its x86/64 emulation system.

What’s most impressive about this demo is that Qualcomm has stated that developers don’t have to do anything in order for their games to work on the chip, although there are steps they can take to optimize the final product.

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Should a developer wish to optimize its games for Arm platforms, it can do so by creating an outright Arm port or creating an ARM64EC app where the Windows libraries and Qualcomm drivers can run natively.

Plus, of course, if Qualcomm can get Windows games working on its Arm silicon and integrated GPU, then there’s no reason why Nvidia can’t do the same either. This doesn’t just have implications for the laptop market, but the handheld gaming PC market too, as Arm chips are generally much less power hungry than their x86 equivalents.

The demo, captured recently by @Lexcyn, only shows a few seconds of gameplay, but the frame counter in the top left-hand corner does float around the 30fps mark for the majority of the clip. The performance of games on the Snapdragon X Elite (which combines a 12-core Arm CPU with Qualcomm’s own Adreno GPU design in one chip) is said to be similar to that of the AMD Radeon 780M iGPU found in some AMD laptop CPUs. It has 768 stream processors, and

Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t the only game to be tested on these Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite chips, as it has also demonstrated Control and Redout 2 running on its Arm silicon.

If you’d rather stick to more traditional desktop setups to play your games, we can show you how to build a gaming PC with our comprehensive step-by-step guide.