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Apple M4 vs Snapdragon X Elite: Can Qualcomm Compete?

Apple has once again taken over Qualcomm’s lead in silicon chips in just the latest jump, this time with the Apple M4 chip, before the Snapdragon X Elite introduction. This is precisely why we selected the latest iPad Pro with an OLED screen that is equipped with the Apple M4 and relative to the later Windows PC chipset Snapdragon X Elite to compare. This essay analyses the CPU, GPU, and NPU/trained potential of the appropriate mechanism to identify the stronger among consumer chips.

Apple M4

Snapdragon X Elite vs Apple M4

The Apple M4 chipset is available in two versions: one with 9 CPU cores and one with 10 CPU cores. Specifically, the M4 chipset is based on TSMC’s 2nd-gen 3 nm process node. Therefore, it offers better performance and efficiency. The first version of the M4 chipset contains 3 performance and 6 efficiency cores, and the second contains 4 performance and 6 efficiency cores. Both are clocked at 4.4 GHz.

By comparison, the Snapdragon X Elite is available in four variants, three of which have 12 CPU cores and one with ten CPU cores, the X Plus, manufactured on TSMC’s older 4nm process node. The highest-end variant also features a peak frequency of up to 3.8GHz and a dual-core boost of 4.2GHz, but the Apple M4 model is still better at 4.4GHz.

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image 1 72 jpg Apple M4 vs Snapdragon X Elite: Can Qualcomm Compete?

However, the difference is evident by looking at the Geekbench scores. All four variants of Snapdragon X Elite have a single-core best score lower than the Apple M5 Here, only the base variant has a higher multicore score than the Apple M4 with a score of 15,422, a 6% margin.

While considering the GPU option, the Apple M4 offers 10 GPU cores with HW-accelerated Ray Tracing and Mesh Shading features. On the other hand, the Snapdragon X Elite is reported to come with only 6 remaining GPU cores, without the HW-accelerated Ray Tracing. The NPU option implies that the M4 Neural Engine with 16 cores can achieve up to 38 TOPS, compared to 45 TOPS ensured by Hexagon NPU for Snapdragon X Elite. Therefore, Qualcomm offers more advantages in AI computing up to 45 TOPS.

image 1 74 jpg Apple M4 vs Snapdragon X Elite: Can Qualcomm Compete?

The memory bandwidth of the base Apple M4 is 120 GBps, which is slightly lower than the Snapdragon X Elite LPDDR5X memory of up to 135 GBps. Moreover, Qualcomm provides both AV1 encoding and decoding. Apple only offers AV1 decoding at the moment, but it is possible to upgrade the M4 in the future.

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  1. How do CPU speeds and core counts impact performance in the Apple M4 and Snapdragon X Elite?

    CPU speeds (GHz) and core counts determine processing power and multitasking capabilities. Higher speeds and more cores generally mean better performance.

  2. Why is GPU performance significant in chipsets like the Apple M4 and Snapdragon X Elite?

    GPU performance is crucial for tasks like gaming and graphics rendering. More GPU cores and advanced features enhance gaming experiences and graphics rendering speed.


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