Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 chip built for Windows PCs

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Qualcomm is on a bit of a roll as of late, announcing chips for multiple purposes other than a Smartphones, they have announced a new wearable SoC as well as new chips specifically for VR headsets. They are now going all in with Windows 10 on Arm, moving away from focussing on just smartphone chips.

The company unveiled the Snapdragon 850 — a processor designed specifically for Windows devices. The chip is supposed to drive a new generation of Windows on Snapdragon devices around this holiday season, made by Qualcomm's numerous partners.

While it is technically a new SoC, in reality, it appears to be a tweaked Snapdragon 845, which is understandable. The larger nature of Windows PCs means that they can run at higher clock speeds without overheating. The extra space in larger chasses allows for better dissipation.

The new chip will be clocked at 2.96GHz which is suspiciously the same number as the ASUS ROG phone is clocked at. Qualcomm has used a comparison to the 835 mobile platform which is found on current Arm PCs and state that it should provide an additional+30% performance, +20% battery life, and +20% wireless speeds.


The Snapdragon X20 LTE modem now supports licenced 10 MHz spectrum with LAA, which Qualcomm states should allow for Gigabit connectivity speeds in 90% of the worldwide LTE markets when combined with carrier aggregation technology.

The S850 also uses the upgraded audio and video codec features that were used in the S845. This includes support for H.264 and HEVC 4K encode and decode for video playback services, and support for extended 4K video capture from integrated cameras. There will also be support for HDR displays and 4K capture through the onboard camera

The biggest selling point of Windows 10 on Arm is the phenomenal battery life, the 850 is supposed to last up to 25 hours, depending on your use. So if you commute or work remotely a lot and don't need any fancy software or powerful processing these laptops have the potential to be a game changer.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 vs 845 vs 835
SoC Snapdragon 850 Snapdragon 845 Snapdragon 835
CPU Large Cores 4 x Kryo 385 Gold
2.95 GHz
4 x 256 KB L2
4x Kryo 385 Gold
@ 2.8GHz
4 x 256 KB L2
4x Kryo 280 Gold
2MB L2
Small Cores 4 x Kryo 835 Silver
? GHz
4 x 128 KB L2
4 x Kryo 385 Silver
1.77 GHz
4 x 128 KB L2
4 x Kryo 280 Silver
1.90 GHz
1 MB L2
DSU 2 MB L3 2 MB L3
GPU Adreno 630 Adreno 630 Adreno 540 @ 670/710MHz
Memory ? 4x 16-bit CH @ 1866MHz

3MB system cache

4x 16-bit CH @ 1866MHz
ISP/Camera Dual 14-bit
Spectra 280 ISP
Dual 14-bit
Spectra 280 ISP
1x 32MP or 2x 16MP
Dual 14-bit
Spectra 180 ISP
1x 32MP or 2x 16MP
2160p 10-bit H.265
2160p60 10-bit H.265
2160p30 (2160p60 decode),
1080p120 H.264 & H.265
Integrated Modem Snapfragon X20 LTE
Cat 18/13
Snapdragon X20 LTE
Cat 18/13
Snapdragon X16 LTE
Cat 16/13
Mfc. Process 10nm LPP 10nm LPP 10nm LPE

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