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Microsoft Shows Off Gaming Power of Snapdragon X Elite with Baldur’s Gate 3 and Borderlands at 30 FPS

The performance level of Windows on ARM systems with the Snapdragon X Elite is comparable to mid-range gaming setups.


has put the spotlight on 's X Elite chipset during its Build 2024 event, demonstrating its potential to enhance gaming performance on devices.

The Snapdragon X Elite, developed by Qualcomm, is integrated into Microsoft's latest Copilot+ PC range. The new chipset aims to surpass current Intel-based ultrabooks by offering better battery life and more efficient cooling. A notable feature is the inclusion of a Neural Processing Unit (NPU), which facilitates local AI operations, thereby boosting overall device functionality. The new Surface Pro 11 and Surface Laptop 7, powered by this chipset, are expected to run cooler than their predecessors, addressing previous overheating concerns.

Gaming Performance and Emulation Capabilities

Gaming performance on the Snapdragon X Elite was a focal point of Microsoft's presentation. Despite the need for emulation for many applications and games, the results were promising. For instance, Baldur's Gate 3 was demonstrated running at around 30 frames per second (FPS) on a Surface Pro 11. Additionally, Borderlands 3 was shown running smoothly on the Snapdragon Developer Kit, aided by the new native “Auto SR” Super Resolution technology. This performance level is comparable to mid-range gaming setups, making it suitable for 720p to 1080p HD gaming at 30 FPS. Such capabilities could be particularly beneficial for smaller devices and handhelds like the ASUS ROG Ally or Steam Deck.

On the new website worksonwoa by linaro, you can find out which games and soon also other apps run well, run with glitches or don´t run on Windows on ARM at all. Using the “Perfect” filter as of today lists 747 games, which is quite impressive. Like popular benchmarking sites, the project works with user submissions, and everybody is invited to participate.

Window on ARM ready software

Here's what each of those terms mean, according to Linaro:

“Perfect: Runs at 60+ FPS at 1080p resolution with no glitches / issues that affect gaming experience
Playable: Runs at 30+ FPS at 1080p resolution with minimal glitches/ issues that affect gaming experience
Runs: Runs with bugs that may affect gaming experience
Unplayable: Does not run due to anti-cheat or other failures”
The information is intended to serve as a guide, but does not absolutely guarantee that a game will run. The results have been tested, but may not work on your specific machine and configuration. If your results differ, please contribute to the site with your own findings.”

Future Prospects and Strategic Initiatives

Microsoft's efforts to enhance native Super Resolution support and encourage native development on Windows on ARM are promising for future devices. The Snapdragon X Elite's capabilities suggest potential applications in future Xbox consoles or handhelds, with improved battery life and performance in compact form factors. Xbox president Sarah Bond is reportedly leading a team focused on “game preservation” for future devices, hinting at potential emulation of Xbox One-era games on ARM-based hardware.

The advancements in the Snapdragon X Elite chipset and Microsoft's strategic initiatives indicate a promising future for Windows on ARM gaming, potentially transforming portable gaming devices with better battery life and performance.

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.