Today, Qualcomm is backing up that talk with some actual benchmark numbers, and things are looking very promising. Qualcomm has picked the Core i5-8250U (Kaby Lake Refresh) as the primary competition for the Snapdragon 8cx. The Core i5-8250U is a quad-core processor (8 threads) with a base clock of 1.6GHz and a turbo clock of 3.4GHz. Qualcomm didn't provide clocks for the Snapdragon 8cx, but both test systems were equipped with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD. One peculiarity, however, is that the Intel system was running the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, while the Qualcomm system was running the newly released Windows 10 May 2019 Update.
In the PC Mark 10 application benchmarks, can see that Qualcomm's "expected scores" have the Snapdragon 8cx being outpaced by the Core i5-8250U in the Excel benchmark, but coming out ahead in PowerPoint, Word, and Edge (and in the final score as well). The overall score amount to less than a 10 percent overall advantage for the Snapdragon 8cx.
On the Night Raid graphics benchmark, the Snapdragon 8cx puts up a strong showing on in its overall score, outpacing the Core i5-8250U by over 10 percent. The graphics score was especially strong, although the Snapdragon 8cx was let down by its CPU score.
The Snapdragon 8cx, however, put up its best showing on the battery life benchmarks. Qualcomm's offering was delivering an average of about 8 additional hours of runtime in the apps and video benchmarks, while delivering another 7 to 8 hours while idle.
Needless to say, it looks as though Qualcomm might have a winner on its hands -- although we have to caution that we're looking at handpicked benchmarks on prototype hardware. But if Qualcomm and its partners can deliver on performance and battery life with shipping products, it could get interesting for consumers looking to extract epic runtimes from their devices.
We should also mention another wrinkle in this Intel versus Qualcomm showdown: Intel is preparing to move to 10nm (after a long, long stay at 14nm) for its U-Series processor during the closing months of 2019. Depending on when Qualcomm can actually get Snapdragon 8cx into the hands of its partners, it could be a much closer fight in the end.