Qualcomm has used the Computex 2018 to introduce its new processor Snapdragon 850. The new model has eight Kryo 385 cores and is part of the Always Connected PC (ACPC) platform, which is beginning to focus this manufacturer, with a long battery life for laptops with Windows 10 to equip one of these new processors. The appearance, last year, of the first laptops with Windows 10 on ARM left us all a bit crazed. Yes, it is true that the autonomy of the batteries of laptops that equipped ARM processors was much higher than that of laptops that mounted x86 processors. However, its performance, in most applications, was still quite mediocre, being always below the current Intel processors in the tests that were made at the time.
The idea of the Always Connected PC platform is not really a bad idea. The most commonly used programs for PC users would be programmed natively according to the architecture of ARM, while the other applications would use a “translator” that would interpret the x86 instructions to the ARM processor. This concept became a reality last year, when the first models equipped with Snapdragon 835 processors were launched, but the user experience that was expected did not materialize in anything solid.
As its name suggests, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 is based on the same Snapdragon 845 processor that is so successful in the mobile phone market today, with most high-end smartphones and tablets, using this processor model. However, not everything is equal between both models of processors, since the version that mounts the Snapdragon 850 has an extra 150 MHz frequency in the main cores.
Probably the biggest difference we are seeing between the Snapdragon 850 and the previous Snapdragon 835. In fact, Qualcomm has announced that the new platform should be up to 30% more powerful compared to the old, with 20% extra battery life and up to 20% extra in the data transmission speed. The fact is that Qualcomm has replaced its old integrated graphics Adreno 540 with the new Adreno 630. The modem that used the 835 was also improved by a new Snapdragon X20, which promises Cat 18/13.
Anyway, we must not forget that the strength of this Always Connected PC platform is the useful life of the batteries, for which Qualcomm has stated that now the batteries should be capable of holding several days running for each load.
The first devices that mount the new processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 and Windows 10 on ARM should reach the market later, during this year 2018.