New Microsoft Surface with Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite chip shows excellent results, with reservations.

Microsoft Surface 7 Register Impressive Performance in Snapdragon X Elite Benchmark Tests

In recent benchmark tests conducted, the Microsoft Surface 7, equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite processor, displayed impressive performance results and excellent battery life. In several metrics, it matched the performance of the Apple MacBook Air. However, some of Microsoft’s claims appear to have been exaggerated.

Ryan Shrout from Signal 65 led a series of tests on the Snapdragon X Elite to evaluate if it met the capabilities claimed by Microsoft. This was introduced at its recent “Copilot+PC” event, which also showcased the latest Surface laptop lineup.

The new Surface Laptop 7 with the Snapdragon X Elite was compared with the older Surface Laptop 5 featuring the Intel Core i7-1255U (Alder Lake) processor, the Surface Pro 9 featuring the Microsoft SQ3 chip, MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO (Meteor Lake, Intel Core Ultra 7 155H), and the MacBook Air 15 powered by the M3 chip.

Comparison analysis between different laptops. Source: Microsoft

Under duress, the Snapdragon X Elite Surface laptop heated up more than its Intel-powered Surface and MacBook Air counterparts. However, its heat production was less than that of the Prestige. In standard loads, the Snapdragon X Elite processor performed better. The MacBook Air also registered superior outcomes in all thermal tests.

Microsoft further claims that the new Surface is incredibly quiet. This statement holds true under a standard workload test (single-threaded Cinebench 2024 test) where the X Elite powered machine showcased itself as the quietest of all contenders with a noise level of 26.3dB. However, a multi-threaded test positioned it to be noisier than both the MacBook Air and the previous generation Surface.

On battery life, the Surface excelled in its video playback test, registering the longest life among all the tested systems. In terms of performance, the Surface Snapdragon X Elite ranked first in multi-threaded performance in Cinebench and Geekbench. The Apple laptop narrowly surpassed it in single-threaded tests. The Surface 7 also outpaced all others in artificial intelligence tests. Its neural processing unit (NPU) performance was two times faster than the Microsoft SQ3 chip and MacBook Air in the Procyon AI image generation test.

Graphical chart of test results. Source: Techspot

Multiple other tests were conducted, including graphics performance. The X Elite was approximately twice as fast as the other two Surface laptops, but the Meteor Lake with integrated Arc Graphics outperformed it in several cross-platform 3DMark tests. The MacBook Air also was quicker in Solar Bay Unlimited and Steel Nomad tests.

In conclusion, the X Elite demonstrated good and in some cases, exceptional results. However, these were not as groundbreaking as Microsoft had proclaimed. TechSpot noted that the tests were commissioned by the Redmond company and were not independent. It raises the question about potential bias in these tests.

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