Apple’s M3 Chip Challenges Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite

Apple is making waves in the tech world with its upcoming ‘Scary Fast’ global event, scheduled to stream on October 30th at 5 pm PT, or midnight on Halloween for UK viewers. This event marks an unprecedented move for the Cupertino-based company, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time for Qualcomm, whose Snapdragon X Elite had recently created a buzz. In this article, we explore the clash between Apple’s M3 chip and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite, the implications for high-end computing, and the potential advancements in the technology landscape.

Apple’s Strategic Move

The timing of Apple’s ‘Scary Fast’ event appears far from coincidental, and it seems to be a calculated move to steal the limelight from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite announcement. Although the name may be whimsical, the implications are significant, particularly in the competitive landscape of high-performance processors.

Snapdragon X Elite vs. Apple’s M2

Before diving into the potential impact of Apple’s M3, let’s examine the Snapdragon X Elite and its positioning against Apple’s current M2 chips. Qualcomm has promised impressive performance with the X Elite, claiming it to be the “most powerful, intelligent, and efficient processor in its class for Windows.” This assertion hints at a significant leap in the performance of Windows laptops, possibly bringing them on par with or even surpassing Apple’s MacBooks in high-end computing tasks, including resource-intensive activities like 4K video editing.

The Snapdragon X Elite’s specifications are noteworthy, with an estimated performance that is nearly double that of some 13th Gen Intel processors, such as the Core i7-1360p. It is expected to outperform the i7-1360p in Geekbench tests, indicating a substantial performance boost. Additionally, Qualcomm claims that the X Elite will be approximately 68% more energy-efficient than some of its direct competitors, including the i7-1360p.

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Under the Hood: Snapdragon X Elite

The Snapdragon X Elite shares the same 4nm process as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, boasting 12 high-performance cores capable of reaching speeds of up to 3.8GHz. Moreover, it offers a dual-core boost that can push the processor to a remarkable 4.3GHz. The processor’s memory architecture is equally impressive, featuring a 42MB total cache and up to 136GB/s of bandwidth.

In a direct performance comparison, Qualcomm confidently asserts that the Snapdragon X Elite surpasses Apple’s current M2 chips by offering 50% faster peak multi-threaded performance. This is a considerable achievement, especially considering that Apple’s M2 processors are known for their exceptional performance. The X Elite’s advantage is partially attributed to its reportedly higher Thermal Design Power (TDP).

The M3 Chip’s Enigma

Amidst Qualcomm’s announcement, the looming question is the arrival of Apple’s M3 chip, which has remained shrouded in secrecy until now. Although not officially confirmed, numerous indicators suggest that Apple will unveil the M3 chip in the upcoming ‘Scary Fast’ event. The M3 chip is rumored to utilize TSMC’s advanced 3nm process, a notable advancement from the 5nm technology employed in Apple’s current flagship laptops.

According to reports, the base configuration of the M3 chip will likely include 8 CPU and 10 GPU cores. The hardware that is most expected to debut with this chipset is the highly anticipated 2023 iMac. The aging iMac 2021 currently relies on the outdated M1 chip, making it ripe for an upgrade, and the M3 is poised to leapfrog the capabilities of the M2.

Additionally, respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has hinted at a lineup of M3-powered MacBook Pro models taking the spotlight at ‘Scary Fast.’ If the MacBook Pro M3 is indeed introduced next week, it could lead to a surge in demand, potentially making it as challenging to acquire as scaling Everest with toothpicks instead of an ice axe.

Unveiling the M3 Max and M3 Ultra

In a twist of intrigue, there is a possibility that the ‘Scary Fast’ event may reveal not only the base M3 but also the M3 Max, which could incorporate 16 processor cores and 40 GPU cores. This enhancement would further elevate the M3’s performance capabilities.

For those yearning for even more power, the rumored M3 Ultra chip could be the stuff of nightmares for competitors. Featuring a staggering 28 CPU cores and an astonishing 80 GPU cores, the M3 Ultra could redefine the landscape of high-performance processors. However, it is more likely that Apple will focus on the base M3 and possibly the M3 Pro chipsets at the upcoming event.

Apple’s Dominance in Processing Power

Despite the formidable advancements in the Snapdragon X Elite and the existing prowess of Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm, Apple’s relentless innovation positions it as a dominant force in the technology market. With the impending release of the M3, Apple seems poised to secure a substantial lead in processing power, leaving competitors striving to catch up.

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Challenges for PC Industry Leaders

For Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm, the challenge lies in keeping pace with Apple, a company known for consistently raising the bar in terms of processing power and innovation. Apple’s advancements force these industry giants to contemplate innovative solutions to remain competitive. As the technology landscape evolves, engineers at these companies must sweat over developing cutting-edge technologies to stay relevant in a fiercely competitive market.


Apple’s ‘Scary Fast’ event promises to reshape the technology landscape, pitting its upcoming M3 chip against Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite. While Qualcomm’s X Elite holds great promise, the anticipation surrounding Apple’s M3 and its rumored capabilities could overshadow its competition. As the tech world eagerly awaits this showdown, the dynamics of high-performance processors are poised for a dramatic shift, and the race for innovation in processing power continues to intensify.

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