Qualcomm may have plans to announce new chipsets during its annual Snapdragon Summit, but that is still a long way from now, meaning that Microsoft’s Surface Pro 9 will not be treated to the latest and greatest hardware. Instead, according to an update, it will feature Qualcomm’s existing Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, but it will likely get a few tweaks and be called the SQ3 instead.
Only Other Notebook Where the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Runs in Is the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s
Earlier, we reported that Microsoft would end up merging its Surface Pro family, suggesting that the Surface Pro 9 would arrive in both ARM and Intel-based flavors. At the time, we had no information as to which specific SoC would fuel its innards, but given that Qualcomm was the only firm focusing on ARM chips for Windows-based machines, our impulse thought was that Microsoft’s 2-in-1 would sport a modified version of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3.
Our hunch turned out to be correct because according to Rich ‘Rose Gold’ Woods on Twitter, the Surface Pro 9 will feature Microsoft’s SQ3 chip that the software giant will develop in collaboration with Qualcomm, and it will be based on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. The SQ3 chip could vary slightly in CPU and GPU clock speeds, but other than that, the SoC will share the majority of the similarities with Qualcomm’s silicon.
Too early for the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 to be announced at Snapdragon Summit
Surface Pro 9 will have an SQ3 based on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3
— Rich 'Rose Gold' Woods (@TheRichWoods) September 12, 2022
In terms of performance, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 performs decently, but it fails to beat the M1, let alone the M2, which explains Qualcomm’s acquisition of Nuvia so that custom chipsets are developed to take the fight to Apple. Also, we believe that the Surface Pro 9 will get pen support and all the goodies that come with an ARM-based chipset, such as exceptional battery life and 5G support.
The Intel-based versions will likely feature 12th-generation processors intended for portable computers, so performance and efficiency will vary between the two Surface Pro 9 models. Microsoft may announce the new lineup next month, so we will keep you updated in the coming weeks.
News Source: Rich ‘Rose Gold’ Woods