Snapdragon X Elite powered Copilot+ PCs are worse for PC gaming than initially thought

According to reviews, Intel Core Ultra 7 155H laptops offer double the gaming performance than Snapdragon X Elite Copilot+ PCs. Ouch.

1 minute & 46 seconds read time

With the new Copilot+ PCs featuring the Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite processor, Microsoft is banking on AI features (exclusive to Copilot+ PCs), battery life, and Windows on Arm compatibility to drive interest. The latter includes PC gaming, with native and emulated support. The idea is simple: if you can play a PC game on a traditional Windows 11 laptop or desktop rig, you should be able to do the same on one of the new Copilot+ PCs.

Baldur's Gate 3 runs fine on Copilot+ PCs, but the list of games that don't is long.

Baldur's Gate 3 runs fine on Copilot+ PCs, but the list of games that don't is long.

Even though the DirectX team has worked hard to ensure compatibility (and stable performance) with various titles, it sounds like Windows on Arm gaming is still in the early 'beta' days. Translation: expect incompatibility and performance issues with a range of titles.

Each Elite chip features an integrated Qualcomm Adreno X1 GPU, and with the most powerful variant put to the test by PCWorld, there's still a lot of work to be done. The outlet goes so far as to compare the launch to the early days of Intel Arc graphics.

First, the games Microsoft demoed as examples of titles that run fine on Copilot+ PCs - Baldur's Gate 3 and Control - are playable. However, the list of games that failed to launch due to anti-cheat or crashed due to DirectX errors or incompatibility issues with the emulation layer covers several popular PC games. PUBG: Battlegrounds, Counter-Strike 2, Warframe, Apex: Legends, Diablo IV, and Valheim - all failed to run.

Comparing performance with an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H laptop with integrated Arc graphics and Arc blows the Snapdragon X Elite out of the water. Sid Meier's Civilization IV, a game from 2014, runs at 72.3 FPS in 1080p on the Core Ultra 7 155H while only managing 21.5 FPS on the Snapdragon X Elite.

It's a similar story with Valve's DOTA 2, 106.6 FPS on the Core Ultra 7 155H and only 52.8 FPS on the Snapdragon X Elite. The Arm CPU struggles here with stability, too, with a 17.8 1% low figure.

Gaming performance on the Snapdragon X Elite is half what you'd find on an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H laptop - when it works. With both Intel and AMD launching new mobile chips with next-gen integrated GPUs this year, for those wanting a Copilot+ PC that can run PC games, it's certainly looking like a wait-and-see situation. Here's hoping Windows on Arm gaming improves in the coming months.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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