Qualcomm says it’s tested 1,200 x86 Windows games on its new X Elite Arm chip but won’t say how well they actually run

Qualcomm has been bigging up its new Snapdragon X Elite chip yet again, this time at the Computex show. In terms of technical details, little new emerged from Qualcomm’s Computex keynote, but the company did make even more bullish noises than before about the X Elite’s gaming prowess when running Windows.

Qualcomm’s President and CEO Cristiano Amon took to the show stage claiming that the company has tested and optimised 1,200 Windows games on X Elite, including many triple-A games. “We’ve been working with Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, Remedy, Ubisoft, EA, Larian Studios and many more…and, of course, Xbox Studios,” he said.

Amon also briefly painted a picture of how AI and the X Elite’s NPU could impact gaming. He invited the audience to think about the potential of the NPU running large language models locally on the device and how that could impact NPCs or non-player characters and the gaming experience.

Essentially, he was getting at the possibility of much more realistic interactions and conversations with in-game NPCs thanks to LLMs. “We’re at the beginning of revolution of gaming for AI,” he concluded.

What Amon notably didn’t do was appeal to any specifics whatsoever. There was no impressive demo of a hot triple-A title running on the X Elite. No talk of whether the X Elite would largely have to emulate x86 titles or if Qualcomm was working with game developers to recompile various titles from their existing x86 code base to the Arm instruction set that the X Elite uses.

Nor did he have any data, no quoted frame rates, no direct comparisons of the X Elite’s Adreno GPU with any competing integrated GPU in an x86 chip from Intel or AMD.

Back when Qualcomm first took the wraps off its new chip in March, it showed off Baldur’s Gate 3 being emulated on the X Elite courtesy of what we now assume is the new “Prism” layer in Windows for Arm.

1,200 games “tested and optimised” but no actual details on performance… (Image credit: Qualcomm)

It hit around 30fps at 1080p, which is really very impressive and implies the chip and the whole emulation environment in Windows for Arm has lots of potential. But at the same time, that’s just one game.

It’s certainly a little worrisome that Qualcomm had so little substance to say or show at Computex—1,200 games tested and optimised sounds great, but what does it mean?

We’ll find out soon enough as the first Snapdragon X Elite laptops are just weeks away. But one thing is for sure. The hardest test for the new chip and for the whole idea of running legacy x86 code in emulation mode on an Arm chip in Windows is going to be gaming. Bring it on.