A 'Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Next Gen' processor has appeared in Geekbench’s online result browser. The listing was unearthed by Windows on Arm (WoA) developer Gustave Monce. Subsequent raw data digging performed by Kuba Wojciechowski revealed that this 'Next Gen' part is the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 (if a genuine result). This Qualcomm processor, codenamed Hamoa, is notable as it is expected to be the product which debuts the Nuvia team's CPU cores for a significant boost in performance.
An early sample of Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 (Hamoa) just showed up on geekbench!It's an early sample that doesn't tell us a lot about the performance, but at least it confirms the core layout (8+4). https://t.co/20kGFf0knh pic.twitter.com/GPw9remvu6March 29, 2023
We've previously discussed the impact Nuvia’s CPU core designs are expected to have on the world of PCs powered by the Arm architecture. To recap: the Nuvia team is headed up by three senior Apple execs who departed the Cupertino company after the first Apple Silicon (M1) projects had been successfully delivered.
Before they were bought up by Qualcomm, Nuvia published a series of slides touting the astounding performance of their CPU cores. You can look back at previous articles for the chart(s) but to quickly summarize: they showed the expected performance per watt of the Nuvia CPU cores cast a very long shadow on the contemporary x86 competition (AMD, Intel), as well as Apple’s best Arm architecture SoCs at the time.
In a nutshell, Qualcomm’s release of Nuvia core CPUs for Windows PCs should have a similar disruptive impact as the launch of the original Apple Silicon (M1) — but on the more expansive world of Windows PCs.
Circling back to today’s Geekbench leak, let's take a look at the CPU information section, to start. According to this data, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 is a 12-core SoC with a hybrid 8+4 core configuration. Previous leaks indicate, more specifically, that there are eight performance cores and four efficiency cores.
The data shows the SoC’s base frequency was 2.38 GHz. Previously, we heard the P-cores could boost to around 3.4 GHz, with the E-cores somewhat slower at around 2.5 GHz. An 'Adreno' GPU is mentioned in the system information, but it does not otherwise improve on earlier reports, which pointed to the presence of an integrated Adreno 740 GPU.
These Geekbench results — assuming they're genuine — are, unfortunately, nothing to get excited about. Monce reckons this is partly due to the chip under test being an "early engineering sample." Other reasons for the clock/performance shortfalls could be the influences of early firmware and driver software. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 (3.0 GHz octa-core) easily beats this Gen 4 chip in both the 1T and nT Geekbench tests.
While it's great to see indicators that suggest Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 chips are 'in the wild,' it's hard to believe the hype. We hope things will change (and that leaks will be more revealing and impressive) in upcoming months. Remember, there's still plenty of time for optimization, as Qualcomm and partners aren't expected to launch products until the end of 2023 or in early 2024.