Snapdragon X Elite Vs. M3: A Close Competition?

M3 offers better gaming performance while X Elite is good choice for multi-core operations

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snapdragon x elite vs m3

With all the hype created by Qualcomm’s new upcoming processor, Snapdragon X Elite with Geekbench listings, everyone has a lot of expectations from the hardware component. Another popular player in the arena proving its supremacy is M3. Here, we have compared Snapdragon X Elite vs. M3 to help you understand which is the superior choice.

Snapdragon X Elite vs. M3 : Which is best?

Snapdragon X Elite vs. M3: Specifications

Snapdragon X Elite
CPU cores12
(dual-core boost)
3 clusters of equally powerful cores; 12 threads
(4 performance cores, 4 efficiency cores)
It supports 24 GB unified memory
Instruction Set ARMv9ARMv8
CacheL2: 12MB (shared)L1: 192K (per core) || L2: 16MB (shared)
Frequencies4.0GHz boost
3.4GHz base
3.7GHz performance
2.4GHz efficiency
Memory (as tested)16GB16GB
TransistorsNA25 billion
Fabrications process4 nm3 nm
GraphicsQualcomm Adreno GPU
Up to 3.8 TFLOPs
Apple M3 GPU
Up to 4.1 TFLOPs
10 or 12 cores
Qualcomm Hexagon NPU
Up to 45 TOPS
10 cores
Up to 18 TOPS
Up to 64 GB
8448 MT/s transfer rate
135 GB/s bandwidth
Up to 24 GB
6400 MT/s transfer rate
100 GB/s bandwidth
20 W
PCIe version4.04.0
ConnectivityWi-Fi 7
Bluetooth 5.4
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3

CPU performance

The CPU that comes with the new hardware component by Qualcomm looks fairly better than the predecessors. With 12 performance cores, it is superior than Apple M3 which comes with 4 performance cores, and 4 efficiency cores. However, when it comes to the base frequency, Apple M3 is the clear winner.

Qualcomm has released the Snapdragon Elite X comes with three variants, with slight difference in terms of multithred frequency, TFLOPS, and Dual-core boost. The variants are: X1E-84-100: 23405 multithread and 3876 single thread, X1E-80-100: 22653 multithread and 3350 single thread and X1E-78-100: 23595 multithread and 3195 single thread.

The Apple M3 doesn’t have any variant and comes with ARMv8 instruction set which is lower than Snapdragon Elite.

Graphics performance

The Graphics performance looks promising with Qualcomm Adreno 750 integrated GPU. As for Apple M3, the GPU comes with Dynamic cahcing, which enables the use of local memory in hardware in real time.

On the D Mark WildLife Extreme benchmark, which focuses on short-term performance,  Snapdragon X Elite got 6,260 points while the Apple M3 scored 8,284 points, which indicates that Apple M3 powered computer have better GPU performance than those of Snapdragon X Elite.

NPU performance

In terms of NPU performance, Snapdragon X Elite can deliver up to 45 TOPS while M3 delivers only up to 18 TOPS. So, for AI-enriched features, X Elite is the go to.

Gaming performance

Matt Talks Tech when tested both the processors while gaming, Apple M3 maintained higher average frames per second (FPS) in all tested games, which means you will have better gaming experience on a device powered with M3 than a Windows computer with Snapdragon X Elite.

Battery Life

Qualcomm claims to give twice the battery life on a laptop powered by Snapdragon X Elite than Intel  Core Ultra 7 155H.

Also, when Dave2D, a popular YouTuber, used Asus Vivobook S15 powered by Snapdragon newest processor with 70 Wh battery pack and tested it under light load, found out that the device lasted for 10 hours and 26 minutes, which is close to the MacBook Air M3 (11 hours and 18 minutes).

Overall performance

When it comes to power and efficiency, Snapdragon Elite X delivers a well-balanced performance. With an Neural Processing Unit (NPU) of 45 TOPS, it can be considered as AI powerhouse.

Coming to Apple M3, being the first chip built on industry-leading 3 nanometer process, comes with a technology which allows 25 billion transistors fitted into a smaller space.

GeekBench v6 results

Here is the GeekBench v6 results when common operations used in real-world apps were performed:

Snapdragon X Elite (X1E-84-100)Apple M3 
Single core score28803009
Multi-core score1521111815
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 11 Pro (64-bit)macOS 14.1 (Build 23B2073)
ModelQualcomm CRD
iMac (24-inch, 2023)
Snapdragon X Elite – X1E84100 – Qualcomm Oryon CPU
Apple M3
Topology 1 Processor, 12 Cores
(12 performance cores)
1 Processor, 8 Cores
4 Performance and 4 efficiency cores
IdentifierARMv8 (64-bit) Family 8 Model 1 Revision 201Apple M3
Base Frequency4.20 GHz4.05 GHz
Cluster 18 Cores4 Cores
Cluster 24 Cores4 Cores
Size16 GB16 GB

Single- Core & Multi-Core performance

Tasks performedSnapdragon X Elite (X1E-84-100) Single-CoreM3 Single CoreSnapdragon X Elite (X1E-84-100) Multi-Core PerformanceM3 Multi-Core Performance
File Compression2569
369.0 MB/sec
413.0 MB/sec
1.15 GB/sec
1.26 GB/sec
13.9 routes/sec
16.9 routes/sec
91.8 routes/sec
75.8 routes/sec
HTML5 Browser3188
65.3 pages/sec
62.5 pages/sec
338.7 pages/sec
264.5 pages/sec
PDF Renderer2924
67.4 Mpixels/sec
313.9 Mpixels/sec
416.5 Mpixels/sec
313.9 Mpixels/sec
Photo Library2902
39.4 images/sec
36.7 images/sec
279.2 images/sec
188.1 images/sec
17.0 Klines/sec
18.3 Klines/sec
144.9 Klines/sec
94.7 Klines/sec
Text Processing2724
218.2 pages/sec
229.2 pages/sec
268.6 pages/sec
297.0 pages/sec
Asset Compression2768
85.8 MB/sec
87.3 MB/sec
774.8 MB/sec
452.3 MB/sec
Object Detection2998
89.7 images/sec
75.3 images/sec
374.4 images/sec
280.5 images/sec
Background Blur2852
11.8 images/sec
11.5 images/sec
67.7 images/sec
50.2 images/sec
Horizon Detection2967
92.3 Mpixels/sec
112.2 Mpixels/sec
556.7 Mpixels/sec
497.5 Mpixels/sec
Object Remover2578
198.2 Mpixels/sec
287.7 Mpixels/sec
1.21 Gpixels/sec
933.8 Mpixels/sec
103.1 Mpixels/sec
99.5 Mpixels/sec
509.0 Mpixels/sec
404.0 Mpixels/sec
Photo Filter3434
34.1 images/sec
36.4 images/sec
117.6 images/sec
114.8 images/sec
Ray Tracer2457
2.38 Mpixels/sec
2.38 Mpixels/sec
25.0 Mpixels/sec
12.9 Mpixels/sec
Structure from Motion2858
90.5 Kpixels/sec
97.2 Kpixels/sec
588.6 Kpixels/sec
428.5 Kpixels/sec

The Conclusion: Snapdragon X Elite vs. M3

Qualcomm has 50% more cores and there are 12 performance cores as compared to 4 performance and 4 efficiency cores in Apple M3. however, it is only 21% faster.

Also, it is still behind in the single core performance from Apple M3 but has proven to be better in mult-core performance, which makes the Qualcomm processor a strong contender for tasks that benefit from parallel processing.

Apple M3 comes with a powerful GPU delivering superior graphics performance and is better for gaming as well. When it comes to battery efficiency, Snapdragon X Elite appears to be promising as it can be used for longer operational times compared to its predecessors.

So, if you want a processor with better multi-core capabilities, Snapdragon X Elite should be your go to but you are looking for a processor efficient in single-core tasks and better gaming experience, Apple M3 is the best option.

If you want to learn about how Qualcomm performs when compared to Ryzen, check out our Snapdragon X Elite vs Z1 Extreme guide.

We also have compared Qualcomm against other brands, so check out our guides on Snapdragon X Elite vs Z1 Extreme and Snapdragon X Elite vs M4 for more information.

If you are wondering about the hardware differences, don’t miss out on our guide on Snapdragon X Elite versions to know more about each CPU.

What do you think about these new chips by Qualcomm, are they ready to beat Apple M3? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

More about the topics: CPU, snapdragon