高通公司宣布斯纳普龙 8cx, 一个 "极端" 处理器的 windows 笔记本电脑
高通能否在您的下一台 Windows PC 中取代英特尔？
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"X" 代表 "极端"。这就是高通市场部希望你考虑的新的八核斯纳普龙8cx。
它是一款全新的处理器, 适用于始终连接的 Windows 笔记本电脑和二合一敞篷电脑, 从高通的角度来看, 它 可能 似乎有点极端。从物理上讲, 它是该公司有史以来制造的最大的处理器, 拥有迄今为止最强大的 CPU 和 GPU 高通设计。高通表示, 这将是个人电脑平台的首款7nm 芯片, 击败一个挣扎的英特尔的一拳, 也是斯纳普龙有史以来最大的表演飞跃。该公司承诺的 "惊人的电池寿命", 高达2Gbps 的手机连接。
It’s the mobile chipmaker’s first purpose-built chip for Windows, instead of the tweaked smartphone chips it’s tried to squeeze into laptops before. “It’s a real PC, that can do real multitasking and productivity,” the company says.
Mind you, none of that necessarily means it’ll deliver “extreme” performance compared to rival laptop chips from Intel, Nvidia, and AMD. We’re talking about thin laptops, not beefy gaming rigs. But this time, Qualcomm may have finally wrung enough power from its silicon to build a competent portable PC. Qualcomm expects the first 8cx computers to ship in the second half of 2019.
When it comes to graphics, Qualcomm says its new Adreno 680 Extreme GPU in the 8cx is twice as fast as the one in its previous Snapdragon 850 for Windows laptops — the one in Samsung’s recently released Galaxy Book 2 and the Lenovo C630 WOS — and 60 percent more power efficient than that chip to boot. It can also support two 4K HDR external monitors simultaneously, up from just one monitor before.
On the CPU side of things, Qualcomm claims its 8cx has performance comparable to a 15-watt Intel U-series processor, the same type you’ll find in most of today’s thin-and-light Windows machines. Except Qualcomm’s chip will draw less than half the electricity — just 7 watts. And in sustained performance, Qualcomm believes its processor is twice as fast as an Intel chip that has to work within a thermal envelope of just 7 watts. (Compare to Intel’s own 7-watt Y-series processor, like the one in Apple’s new MacBook Air, or imagine a U-series Intel chip that’s in an unusually thin laptop with less room and no fan to cool down.)
Qualcomm wouldn’t tell us which benchmarks it used to generate those numbers, though.
If there’s a performance advantage, it’s probably because it’s the first 7nm PC chip ever made. With smaller circuits than Intel, Qualcomm can theoretically choose to get more performance or more battery life from that extra efficiency, and it seems to have chosen performance here.
But maybe the biggest deal here is that Snapdragon might finally have enough memory to power Windows properly. A mere 4GB in the Galaxy Book 2 felt pretty limiting, enough that a dozen Chrome browser tabs felt like too much to handle. But the Snapdragon 8cx will support up to 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM, with greater bandwidth, as well as speedier NVMe solid state drives — though some manufacturers may still opt for slower storage.
And of course, we’re talking about laptops that’ll likely come with built-in cellular connectivity — it’s a Snapdragon, after all! But you might be surprised to learn this Snapdragon won’t come with built-in 5G, and it doesn’t support Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem either. But that’s no big loss right now, and Qualcomm says it’ll have a 5G solution later. In the meanwhile, it’s got Qualcomm’s new X24 LTE modem baked in for (theoretical maximum) 2Gbps speeds. That’s the same modem you’ll also find in Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855 for phones, and the laptop chip will similarly support 4×4 MIMO antennas for LTE.
Qualcomm says battery life will be comparable to the Snapdragon 850, which is good — our Galaxy Book 2 review showed us that a Snapdragon laptop can easily last all day. It’ll also support USB-C quick charging using Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+. There’s also support for USB 3.1 Gen 2, theoretically doubling how much data you can sling over your USB cables to 10Gbps, as well as both Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistants.
You can probably expect these devices to cost more than a Snapdragon 850 laptop, too: Qualcomm says it’ll continue to offer the Snapdragon 850 alongside this machine, and shoot for different pricing tiers.
Of course, having a first-class citizen of a Windows laptop means more than just performance and features. It requires app support, and it’s impossible to say right now if it’ll have the apps you personally use when it comes out. But Qualcomm does say it’ll support Windows 10 Enterprise, both the Chrome (well, Chromium) and Firefox web browsers will run natively and many more apps are or will be ported over. Here’s a snapshot of some supported apps that Qualcomm wanted to highlight:
Last month, Microsoft removed a big hurdle to Windows on ARM development by letting developers recompile their existing apps to new 64-bit ARM versions.
So that’s the Snapdragon 8cx — though one major missing detail is which manufacturers will actually build computers around the chip. Honestly, this was a little weird:
所以这是超级奇怪。联想的马特？巴雷达 (Matt Bareda) 走上高通舞台, 谈论永续为笔记本电脑的承诺, 并强调其过去与高通公司的合作关系--然后再次走了 *, 实际上没有 * 承诺制造斯纳普龙8cx 设备。
— Sean Hollister (@StarFire2258) December 6, 2018
You shouldn’t read too much into it yet, but a Lenovo exec walking on and off stage without actually promising to build a Snapdragon 8cx computer is a weird way to end the day. Qualcomm does have a reference device at the show, though: the company briefly flashed a silver slab of laptop at the very end, and we’ve gotten to play with it since.
Update, 7:12 PM ET: Clarified that Qualcomm’s performance comparison at 7-watts is to other chips with a 7-watt thermal envelope, not necessarily Intel’s 7-watt Y-series chip.