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ARM based Computers Editorial Mobile Computing

ARMs Race | Microsoft SQ2 vs Apple A14 Bionic

In the realm of ultra-powerful ARM Silicon for mobile computers, Apple and Microsoft can claim they have the two most powerful, but between them which one performs the best? We will examine benchmarks for both Apple’s new A14 Bionic and Microsoft’s SQ2 chips.

Surface Pro X Sq2 Press Group

Apple’s commitment to move all of their Macs to Apple-made Silicon unifies their entire hardware eco-system under a series of future Apple-made ARM-based SOC’s. Another recent announcement of their A14 Bionic chip in the new iPad Air shows that Apple is continuing to innovate with its silicon and is still the chip to beat in the industry.

Microsoft is taking a different approach, the company will develop Windows 10 for both x86 and ARM chips concurrently, which could maintain its dominance in enterprise and gaming but could deprive the momentum Windows 10 on ARM needs to win over developers and prosumers alike.

Perhaps our recent reporting that Windows 10 on ARM is gaining 64-bit legacy app emulation support in November, will help a bit.

A14 vs SQ2

SOCA14 BionicSQ2
Cores6-Core 3GHz8-Core 3.15GHz
Frequency2.99GHz3.15GHz
RAM4GB16GB
Geekbench Best Single core1589802
Geekbench Best Multi core43423153

Apple’s A14 Bionic benchmarks

Microsoft SQ2 Benchmarks

Microsoft’s SQ1 was based on Qualcomm’s first-gen 8cx and it is believed that SQ2 is based on Qualcomm’s 8cx Gen 2 5G. Microsoft’s SQ2 is an upclocked version of Qualcomm’s 8cx Gen 2 5G but without the 5G modem. So far Microsoft haven’t provided any performance details regarding the specifics of the SQ2.

qualcomm snapdragon 8cx gen 2 5g performance

An arrival of an Intel-powered Surface Pro 8 with a Pro X-like design and LTE would likely deprive Surface Pro X and its SQ Arm-based chip of oxygen and severely limit its market success. Let’s hope that a 3rd-Gen Surface Pro X will see success like Surface Pro 3 did. The only difference is that Surface Pro 3 wasn’t competing with a Surface that is so similar like the Surface Pro 8 will likely be to Surface Pro X.

Despite the lack of a major upgrades here, the Surface Pro X remains a very attractive option made even better with the addition of Platinum and the new keyboard colors.

Will our readers be getting a new Surface Pro X, keeping the Pro X you have now or sticking with your current PC? Let us know in the comments below.