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

Qualcomm's new and specially designed Snapdragon 8cx is finally an opportunity to empower a Windows laptop that is worth buying. Battery life and an integrated cellular connection (read: laptop always connected to the Internet) has always been a company's strength, but the previous Snapdragon 850 did not have enough raw horsepower to fill the Web browser with web apps. 19659002] Until we actually have a little time with a real Snapdragon 8cx-based computer (so far unknown to any computer), we do not know if this really will change. But I was impressed with first performance using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx reference design laptop.


firefox running on a qualcomm 8cx powered pc feels surprisingly decent

Photos from Sean Hollister / The Verge

When I started beta testing a new Firefox browser that was tuned to run by default on ARM-based computers, I was able to open and scroll through dozens of browser tabs. There is no important problem. While PowerPoint presentations and Windows Store instances are mirrored to an external monitor as they are shown in the background. It was not a smooth experience like butter, but it was not too relaxed, and I felt like I could afford it.

And I am not just talking. There are about 12 Google cases. I Verge CNET talks about a considerable amount of page loads and ongoing demand for computer memory and processors, including a pair of YouTube HD videos, a page. A fully loaded instance of Tweetdeck that includes Google Sheets, all my social media columns. It took 1 second for the spreadsheet to load properly, but it might have been connected. At the time, I was surfing a fairly limited 20Mbps Verizon LTE connection.

Clearly this test is not enough. I did not run a single quantitative benchmark. I also could not see how much stress my new browser chips load on my new browser, by accessing the Windows Task Manager from a friendly on-site Qualcomm representative.


1544143714 377 firefox running on a qualcomm 8cx powered pc feels surprisingly decent

Photograph by Sean Hollister / The Verge

I will say a lot about the reference design itself. It is a fairly common and medium-thin appearance, but looks like a rather pale window convertible, with camera bumps on the back. Neither of these is inevitable for the end device of a suitable PC manufacturer.

We hope that Qualcomm will be able to do more testing in the middle of 2019, when it is expected to release the first 8cx devices. At this time, early Firefox performance is a good sign.

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