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Microsoft is confident Windows 11 on ARM emulation outperforms Apple Rosetta 2

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Microsoft is confident Windows 11 on ARM emulation outperforms Apple Rosetta 2

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Snapdragon X Elite and M3

Last month, Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 with Intel Core Ultra NPU lineup. While these will appeal to business users, they are among the first AI-powered PCs with a dedicated NPU. Microsoft is confident in the capabilities of its AI PCs and believes that they represent the future of computing, with the potential to outperform Apple’s emulation technology.

The Verge reported that Microsoft is confident its AI PCs will outperform the M3 MacBook Air in overall performance. That is not a small claim, and the Snapdragon X Elite processor’s benchmark does raise a concern for M3-powered machines. Our tests also showed that Snapdragon X Elite chips outperform AMD and Intel flagships.

If you look at the leaked benchmarks, the Snapdragon X Elite processor is ahead of old Apple Silicon in every aspect. It struggled against the M3 Pro chip in some tests; however, those scores were from an unoptimized build of Windows 11.

Since Microsoft is confident about beating the M3 Macbook Air, the Geekbench scores and real-world performance must have improved in these two months. Snapdragon X Elite-powered Surface devices are expected to launch this summer. Multiple OEMs will also launch laptops powered by Qualcomm’s AI-focused chip.

Snapdragon X Elite benchmark
Snapdragon X Elite benchmark | Image Courtesy: Geekbench / WindowsLatest.com

Snapdragon X Elite will use emulation to run x64 apps, and Microsoft is confident that it will be faster than Apple’s Rosetta 2, which works on the new M-processor Macs. Despite this emulation layer, the overall app performance will be faster.

We previously reported on the Snapdragon X Elite hands-on experience and found that Qualcomm’s AI chip could handle some light gaming. After the release of its business editions of Surface devices, Microsoft could unveil the consumer editions of these devices with Snapdragon X Elite chips.

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Snapdragon X Elite Red OutSnapdragon X Elite Red Out
Snapdragon X playing Elite Red Out | Image Courtesy: WindowsLatest.com

Microsoft firmly believes that AI PCs will become mainstream in the next three years. With features like AI Explorer, Microsoft Studio Effects, and Copilot that work natively, they surely will be hard to ignore.

AI takes center stage in the next Windows 11 version

Windows 11 is already experimenting with Automatic Super Resolution, an AI upscaling feature, and Windows Studio effects to improve the video calling experience. All these AI features sound interesting, but not all will become available when the Snapdragon X Elite PCs launch in the summer.

Microsoft already has some prerequisites for a device to be considered an AI-PC. One is a Copilot keyboard key, which is a cry for attention. Unless the key does something highly specialized other than launching the Copilot app, it is useless.

Some AI features will become available when Windows 11 24H2 is released for all users (probably in September or later).



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