ALL Desktop-Grade Arm Chips Listed – Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia 

October 26, 2023
the evolution of Arm for desktop

ARM is a type of processor architecture that is widely used in mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. ARM stands for Advanced RISC Machine, which means that it uses a reduced instruction set computing (RISC) design that simplifies the hardware and improves the efficiency of the processor. ARM processors are known for their low power consumption, high performance, and scalability. 

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all-desktop-grade-Arm-Chips-list-Apple-Qualcomm-and-Nvidia-3

However, ARM processors are not only limited to mobile devices. In recent years, there has been a growing trend of using ARM processors for desktops and laptops, especially for Windows and Mac computers. These processors offer several advantages over the traditional x86 processors, such as Intel and AMD, such as longer battery life, faster responsiveness, and enhanced connectivity. Moreover, these processors can support various applications and use cases, such as gaming, professional workloads, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). 

The Hype of Upcoming Oryon CPU 

One of the most anticipated ARM-based processors for Windows laptops is the upcoming Oryon CPU from Qualcomm. The Oryon CPU is expected to be released by late-2022 or early-2023 and will be based on a custom ARM architecture developed by Nuvia, a startup founded by former Apple engineers that specializes in high-performance ARM-based processors. The Oryon CPU will claim to have the best-in-class multi-threaded and single-threaded CPU performance, beating competitors such as Intel Core i7 and Apple M2 Max in Geekbench 6.1 benchmarks. It will also claim to have the best-in-class graphics performance, delivering up to 4.6 TFLOPS of graphics performance with its Adreno GPU. It will also claim to have the best-in-class AI performance, supporting various AI applications and use cases for Windows laptops, such as natural language processing, computer vision, speech recognition, and machine learning

The Oryon CPU will offer a superior user experience with longer battery life, faster responsiveness, and enhanced connectivity. It will also offer a seamless integration with Windows 11, the latest operating system from Microsoft that supports ARM-based processors natively. It will also offer a high compatibility with Windows applications, supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit apps, as well as native ARM apps

The Oryon CPU is expected to power the next generation of Windows-on-Arm laptops, which will launch in late-2022 or early-2023. Qualcomm says that the Oryon CPU will revolutionize the electronic components industry by offering a new level of performance and efficiency for Windows laptops

In this listicle, we will introduce you to the other desktop-grade ARM chips that you should know about. These chips are designed for Windows and Mac computers and offer high performance and efficiency for different types of users and needs. We will also compare these chips with their x86 counterparts and show you how they differ in terms of features and performance. 

Part 1: 5 years of the Qualcomm-not-quiet-inside 

PRODUCT YEAR CPU CORES GPU CORES MODEM AI ENGINE PROCESS 
SNAPDRAGON 835 2017 8 (4x Kryo 280 Gold + 4x Kryo 280 Silver) 256 (Adreno 540) Snapdragon X16 LTE Hexagon 682 DSP 10 nm 
SNAPDRAGON 850 2018 8 (4x Kryo 385 Gold + 4x Kryo 385 Silver) 256 (Adreno 630) Snapdragon X20 LTE Hexagon 685 DSP 10 nm 
SNAPDRAGON 8CX 2019 8 (4x Kryo 495 Gold + 4x Kryo 495 Silver) 128 (Adreno 680) Snapdragon X24 LTE Hexagon 690 DSP 7 nm 
SNAPDRAGON 8CX GEN 2 2020 Same as Snapdragon 8cx Same as Snapdragon 8cx Snapdragon X55 5G Same as Snapdragon 8cx Same as Snapdragon 8cx 
SNAPDRAGON 8CX GEN 3 2021 Same as Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, but with higher clock speeds (4×3.15 GHz +4×1.8 GHz) Same as Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 Same as Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 Improved AI engine (15 TOPS) Same as Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 
SNAPDRAGON X ELITE (ORYON CPU) Expected by late-2022/early-2023 Custom ARM architecture developed by Nuvia;12 high-performance cores (4×3.8 GHz +2×4.3 GHz);42 MB of total cache;64 GB of LPDDR5x memory; 4.6 TFLOPs Adreno GPU Snapdragon X65 5G modem NPU (45 TOPS);Spectra ISP (64 MP) 4-nanometer process 
Qualcomm Desktop-Grade Arm SoCs (2017-2024)

1. Snapdragon 835 

The Snapdragon 835 is an ARM-based system-on-chip (SoC) that was released by Qualcomm in 2017. It was originally designed for Android smartphones and tablets, but it was also used for Windows laptops under the brand name Snapdragon Compute Platform. The Snapdragon 835 features an 8-core Kryo 280 CPU (4×2.45 GHz + 4×1.9 GHz), an Adreno 540 GPU, a Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, a Hexagon 682 digital signal processor (DSP), and a Spectra 180 image signal processor (ISP). The Snapdragon 835 offers low-end performance, comparable to Intel Atom or Celeron chips. It also has limited compatibility with Windows 10 on ARM, only supporting 32-bit apps. The Snapdragon 835 has a low market share, only used by a few OEMs such as HP, Asus, and Lenovo. 

2. Snapdragon 850 

The Snapdragon 850 is an ARM-based SoC that was released by Qualcomm in 2018. It was an upgraded version of the Snapdragon 835, specifically designed for Windows laptops under the brand name Snapdragon Compute Platform. The Snapdragon 850 features an 8-core Kryo 385 CPU (4×2.96 GHz + 4×1.7 GHz), an Adreno 630 GPU, a Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, a Hexagon 685 DSP, and a Spectra 280 ISP. The Snapdragon 850 offers slightly improved performance, comparable to Intel Core m3 or i3 chips. It also has improved compatibility with Windows 10 on ARM, supporting some 64-bit apps. The Snapdragon 850 has a low market share, only used by a few OEMs such as Samsung and Lenovo. 

3. Snapdragon 8cx 

The Snapdragon 8cx is an ARM-based SoC that was released by Qualcomm in 2019. It was the first SoC from Qualcomm that was designed from scratch for Windows laptops under the brand name Snapdragon Compute Platform. The Snapdragon 8cx features anan 8-core Kryo 495 CPU (4×2.84 GHz + 4×1.8 GHz), an Adreno 680 GPU, a Snapdragon X24 LTE modem, a Hexagon 690 DSP, and a Spectra 390 ISP. The Snapdragon 8cx offers mid-range performance, comparable to Intel Core i5 or i7 chips. It also has good compatibility with Windows 10 on ARM, supporting most 64-bit apps. The Snapdragon 8cx has a low market share, only used by a few OEMs such as Microsoft and Samsung. 

4. Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 is an ARM-based SoC that was released by Qualcomm in 2020. It was an updated version of the Snapdragon 8cx, with the addition of a Snapdragon X55 5G modem. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 features the same components as the Snapdragon 8cx, except for the modem. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 offers the same performance as the Snapdragon 8cx, but with enhanced connectivity. It also has the same compatibility with Windows 10 on ARM, supporting most 64-bit apps. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 has a low market share, only used by a few OEMs such as Acer and HP. 

5. Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is an ARM-based SoC that was released by Qualcomm in 2021. It was an upgraded version of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, with higher clock speeds and improved AI engine. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 features the same components as the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, except for the CPU and AI engine. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 features an 8-core Kryo CPU (4×3.15 GHz +4×1.8 GHz) and an AI engine that can handle up to 15 TOPS of AI computations. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 offers slightly improved performance, comparable to Intel Core i5 or i7 chips. It also has the same compatibility with Windows 10 on ARM, supporting most 64-bit apps. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 has a low market share, only used by a few OEMs such as Lenovo and Samsung. 

6. Snapdragon X Elite 

The Snapdragon X Elite is an ARM-based SoC that is expected to be released by Qualcomm in late-2022 or early-2023. It is Qualcomm’s first custom ARM-based SoC for Windows laptops, under the brand name Qualcomm Elite SoC Platform. The Snapdragon X Elite is based on a custom ARM architecture developed by Nuvia, a startup founded by former Apple engineers that specializes in high-performance ARM-based processors. The Oryon CPU will feature 12 high-performance cores (4×3.8 GHz +2×4.3 GHz), 42 MB of total cache, 64 GB of LPDDR5x memory, a Snapdragon X65 5G modem, an Adreno GPU, a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) that can handle up to 45 TOPS of AI computations, and a Spectra image signal processor (ISP) that supports up to 64 MP cameras. The Oryon CPU will be manufactured using TSMC’s 4-nanometer process technology, which enables higher transistor density and lower power consumption. 

The Snapdragon X Elite will claim to have the best-in-class multi-threaded and single-threaded CPU performance, beating competitors such as Intel Core i7 and Apple M2 Max in Geekbench 6.1 benchmarks. It will also claim to have the best-in-class graphics performance, delivering up to 4.6 TFLOPS of graphics performance with its Adreno GPU. It will also claim to have the best-in-class AI performance, supporting various AI applications and use cases for Windows laptops, such as natural language processing, computer vision, speech recognition, and machine learning. 

TheSnapdragon X Elite will offer a superior user experience with longer battery life, faster responsiveness, and enhanced connectivity. It will also offer a seamless integration with Windows 11, the latest operating system from Microsoft that supports ARM-based processors natively. It will also offer a high compatibility with Windows applications, supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit apps, as well as native ARM apps. 

The Snapdragon X Elite is expected to power the next generation of Windows-on-Arm laptops, which will launch in late-2022 or early-2023. Qualcomm says that the Oryon CPU will revolutionize the electronic components industry by offering a new level of performance and efficiency for Windows laptops. 

The Snapdragon X Elite is a game-changer for VR, MR, and other cutting-edge technologies. It will enable you to create and enjoy more realistic and interactive VR and MR experiences, as well as leverage the power of 5G and AI for your applications. If you are interested in buying the Oryon CPU-powered laptops from us, icdrex.com, your trusted and authentic electronic components supplier, please contact us for more information or place an order today. Thank you for reading our listicle and feel free to share your feedback or questions in the comments section below.  

Part 2: Nvidia’s Arm SoCs 

x1arch
Product Year CPU Cores GPU Cores Process 
Tegra X1 (Nintendo Switch) 2017 4 (ARM Cortex-A57) 256 (Maxwell) 20 nm 
Xavier NX 2020 6 (4x Carmel +2x Denver) 384 (Ampere) 12 nm 
Rumored PC chips Expected by 2025 Unknown Unknown Unknown 
Nvidia’s Arm SoCs 

1. Nvidia Tegra X1 SoC 

Nvidia is one of the leading companies that produces ARM-based SoCs for various applications, such as gaming, AI, and robotics. One of the most popular products that uses Nvidia’s ARM SoC is the Nintendo Switch, a hybrid console that can be played both as a handheld device and as a TV-connected device. 

The Nintendo Switch is powered by a custom version of Nvidia’s Tegra X1 SoC, which features four ARM Cortex-A57 cores and a 256-core Maxwell GPU. The Tegra X1 was originally designed for mobile devices and launched in 2015, but it was adapted for the Switch in 2017. The Switch uses only the Cortex-A57 cores and runs them at lower clock speeds than the original Tegra X1 to save power and reduce heat. The Switch also has 4GB of LPDDR4 memory and 32GB of internal storage. 

The Tegra X1 SoC provides decent performance for the Switch, but it is not very future-proof, as it is based on an outdated architecture and process node. The Switch can run games at 720p resolution when handheld and up to 1080p resolution when docked, but some games struggle to maintain a smooth frame rate or have to lower their graphical settings. Moreover, the Tegra X1 SoC is vulnerable to hacking and piracy, as some hackers have exploited a hardware flaw in the chip to run unauthorized software on the Switch. 

To address these issues, Nintendo has been rumored to launch an upgraded version of the Switch, which could use a newer Nvidia SoC based on the Ampere architecture. Ampere is Nvidia’s latest GPU architecture, which powers its GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards and its Jetson Xavier NX SoC for edge AI applications. Ampere features improved performance, efficiency, and features over Maxwell, such as ray tracing and DLSS (deep learning super sampling). 

According to some reports, the upgraded Switch could use a custom version of the Jetson Xavier NX SoC, which features six ARM Cortex-A57 cores and a 384-core Ampere GPU. The new SoC could also support up to 8GB of LPDDR4x memory and up to 64GB of internal storage. The new SoC could enable the Switch to run games at higher resolutions and frame rates, both handheld and docked. It could also support 4K output when docked, using DLSS technology to upscale lower-resolution images using AI. Additionally, the new SoC could have better security and compatibility with Windows 10 on ARM, opening up new possibilities for developers and users. 

Nvidia’s plan for its ARM SoCs is not limited to the Switch, however. The company is also working on developing ARM-based CPUs for Windows-based PCs, according to Reuters. Nvidia has started designing ARM-based CPUs in what could be a major expansion of Microsoft’s Windows on ARM work. Nvidia and AMD could both be ready with PC chips as soon as 20251

Nvidia’s decision to offer ARM-based CPUs will be a strategic move, in collaboration with Microsoft’s broader initiative to enhance ARM-based processors for Windows PCs, aiming to compete more effectively against the ARM-based system-on-chips used by Apple in its Mac computers. Nvidia’s ARM-based CPUs will leverage its expertise in graphics and AI, as well as its technologies such as CUDA and DLSS. 

2. Xavier NX 

The Xavier NX is an ARM-based SoC that was released by Nvidia in 2020. It was a scaled-down version of the Nvidia Jetson AGX Xavier, which was designed for autonomous machines and edge AI applications. The Xavier NX is also designed for edge AI applications, such as robotics, drones, smart cameras, and autonomous vehicles. The Xavier NX features a 6-core ARM CPU (4x Carmel +2x Denver), a 384-core Nvidia GPU, a 48-core Nvidia DLA, a 7-way VA, up to 8 GB of LPDDR4x memory, and up to 51.2 GB/s of memory bandwidth. The Xavier NX can deliver up to 21 TOPS of AI performance while consuming only 15 watts of power. The Xavier NX offers high AI performance and efficiency, suitable for edge AI applications. It also has good compatibility with Linux operating systems and Nvidia software tools. The Xavier NX has a moderate market share, used by several OEMs and developers for various edge AI projects. 

Part 3: Apple’s Arm SoCs 

apple-M-series

Apple is another company that has been developing its own ARM-based SoCs for its products, such as iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Apple’s M-series is a family of ARM-based SoCs that power its Mac desktops and notebooks, as well as some of its iPad models. The M-series chips offer high performance and efficiency, as well as high compatibility with macOS operating system and Apple software applications. 

PRODUCT YEAR CPU CORES GPU CORES NEURAL ENGINE CORES MEMORY CAPACITY MEMORY BANDWIDTH PROCESS 
M1 2020 8 (4x Firestorm + 4x Icestorm) 16 Up to 16 GB Up to 68 GB/s 5 nm 
M1 Pro 2021 10 (8x Firestorm + 2x Icestorm) Up to 16 16 Up to 32 GB Up to 200 GB/s 5 nm 
M1 Max 2021 10 (8x Firestorm + 2x Icestorm) Up to 32 16 Up to 64 GB Up to 400 GB/s 5 nm 
M2 2022 8 (4x Firestorm + 4x Icestorm) 10 16 Up to 64 GB Up to 100 GB/s 5 nm 
M2 Pro 2023 Up to 12 (8x Firestorm + 4x Icestorm) Up to 19 16 Up to 32 GB Up to 200 GB/s 5 nm 
M2 Max 2023 Up to 12 (8x Firestorm + 4x Icestorm) Up to 38 16 Up to 96 GB Up to 400 GB/s 5 nm 
M3* Rumored for 2024/2025 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown 3 nm 
All Apple M-Series Arm Chips List

Apple is another company that has been developing its own ARM-based SoCs for its products, such as iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Apple’s M-series is a family of ARM-based SoCs that power its Mac desktops and notebooks, as well as some of its iPad models. The M-series chips offer high performance and efficiency, as well as high compatibility with macOS operating system and Apple software applications. 

The M-series chips can be divided into three generations: 

M1: The first generation of Apple silicon for Macs, launched in November 2020. It features an 8-core CPU (4x high-performance + 4x high-efficiency), an 8-core GPU, a 16-core Neural Engine, a unified memory architecture, and a 5-nanometer process. It offers high performance and efficiency, comparable to Intel Core i9 chips. It powers several Mac models such as MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac, as well as iPad Pro and iPad Air models

M1 Pro and M1 Max: The second generation of Apple silicon for Macs, launched in October 2021. They feature a 10-core CPU (8x high-performance + 2x high-efficiency), a unified memory architecture, up to 64GB of memory, up to 400 GB/s of memory bandwidth, and a 5-nanometer process. The M1 Pro has up to 16 GPU cores and up to 200 GB/s of memory bandwidth, while the M1 Max has up to 32 GPU cores and up to 400 GB/s of memory bandwidth. They also feature dedicated ProRes accelerators for pro video processing. They offer improved performance and efficiency over M1, comparable to Intel Core i7 chips. They power several Mac models such as MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac

M2: The third generation of Apple silicon for Macs, launched in June 2022. It features an 8-core CPU (4x high-performance + 4x high-efficiency), a 10-core GPU, a 16-core Neural Engine, a unified memory architecture, up to 64GB of memory, up to 100 GB/s of memory bandwidth, and a second-generation 5-nanometer process. It offers improved performance and efficiency over M1, comparable to Intel Core i5 chips. It powers several Mac models such as MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac

M2 Pro and M2 Max: The fourth generation of Apple silicon for Macs, launched in January 2023. They feature an up to 12-core CPU (8x high-performance + 4x high-efficiency), a unified memory architecture, up to 96GB of memory, up to 400 GB/s of memory bandwidth, and a second-generation 5-nanometer process. The M2 Pro has up to 19 GPU cores and up to 200 GB/s of memory bandwidth, while the M2 Max has up to 38 GPU cores and up to 400 GB/s of memory bandwidth. They also feature enhanced custom technologies, such as a faster 16-core Neural Engine and Apple’s powerful media engine. They offer the best-in-class performance and efficiency among Apple’s M series. They power several Mac models such as MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac

M3: The rumored fifth generation of Apple silicon for Macs, expected to launch in 2024 or 2025. It features an unknown number of CPU and GPU cores, an unknown Neural Engine configuration, a unified memory architecture, an unknown memory capacity and bandwidth, and a 3-nanometer or smaller process. It is expected to offer the most advanced performance and efficiency among Apple’s M series. It could power future Mac models such as MacBook Pro, Mac Studio, and iMac Pro

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