Qualcomm wants to beat Intel, AMD and Nvidia with its own ARM gaming CPUs

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When you think of the manufacturers behind the best gaming CPUs out there, you’ll think of AMD or Intel before Qualcomm comes to mind. However, as computers slowly but surely transition from the 43-year-old x86 instruction set to an ARM-based one, it may not be long before our gaming PCs start using Qualcomm processors.

During the company’s Investor Day 2021 presentation (which you can view here), CEO Cristiano Amon said Qualcomm is “very well positioned to be the platform of choice for PCs in the inevitable transition to ARM.” Qualcomm doesn’t see ARM alone as the future. Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay describes ARM-based PCs as “an amazing opportunity”. Meanwhile, Apple has already made the transition from x86 with its own shockingly powerful M1 chips, and Nvidia continues to pursue the purchase of Arm Ltd., an ARM processor design company in the UK.

While Qualcomm is keeping the performance metrics close to its chest, Qualcomm claims that its upcoming Snapdragon CPU, designed for next-generation laptops, “was built for performance and energy efficiency,” with an Adreno GPU with “discrete graphics performance.”

While Qualcomm has yet to prove itself in the PC gaming market, the company isn’t entirely lacking in gaming credentials as its Snapdragon processors power both flagship Android smartphones and some of the best VR headsets like the Oculus Quest 2 .

However, Amon believes that “gaming is moving to the cloud”. “It’s a breeze for a game developer to develop a game, host it in the cloud, and be compatible with every single screen, be it a television, computing device, or phone.” That belief seems to be at least partially shared by Nvidia as the company recently strengthened its game streaming service Geforce Now with RTX 3080s.

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