Firefox running on a Qualcomm 8cx-powered PC feels surprisingly decent


Qualcomm’s new, purpose-built Snapdragon 8cx is the corporate’s likelihood to lastly energy a Home windows laptop computer price shopping for. Battery life and built-in mobile connectivity (learn: your laptop computer at all times has an web connection) have at all times been the corporate’s strengths, however its earlier Snapdragon 850 didn’t have at all times have sufficient uncooked horsepower to muscle by means of a internet browser filled with internet apps.

We gained’t know if that’ll really change till we’ve spent some high quality time with actual Snapdragon 8cx-powered computer systems — of which none have been introduced up to now — however I did simply get my fingers on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx reference design laptop computer, and my first efficiency impression was promising.

Picture by Sean Hollister / The Verge

Once I fired up a beta of a new Firefox browser that’s been overhauled to natively run on ARM-based computer systems, I used to be in a position to simply open up a dozen browser tabs and scroll by means of them with none main points. That’s whereas a PowerPoint presentation and a Home windows Retailer occasion hovered within the background, and whereas mirroring to an exterior monitor. It wasn’t a buttery clean expertise, but it surely wasn’t a laggy one both, and it felt like I had headroom to spare.

And I’m not simply speaking about a dozen situations of Google. I’m speaking about web sites with a decent quantity of web page load and a few ongoing demand on a pc’s reminiscence and processor, together with The Verge, CNET, a pair of YouTube HD movies, a Google Sheets spreadsheet, and a absolutely loaded occasion of Tweetdeck with all my social media columns. It did take a second for the spreadsheet to load correctly, however that might have been connectivity — I used to be browsing on a pretty restricted 20 Mbps Verizon LTE connection on the time.

Clearly, this isn’t practically sufficient testing. I didn’t run a single quantitative benchmark. Additionally, the pleasant on-site Qualcomm rep wouldn’t let me entry the Home windows Activity Supervisor to see simply how a lot my browser load was stressing the brand new chip.

Picture by Sean Hollister / The Verge

And there’s not a lot to say in regards to the reference design itself. It appears and feels like a fairly generic, mid-range, skinny however a little plasticky Home windows convertible, with a pretty dim display and a digital camera bump round again. None of these items will essentially be true of ultimate gadgets from correct PC producers.

We’ll hopefully have the possibility to check extra in mid-2019, when Qualcomm expects the primary 8cx gadgets will come to market. For now, the early Firefox efficiency is a good signal.



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