Meet Snapdragon 7c and 8c – Qualcomm’s New Mainstream and Entry-Level Laptop Solutions

** Qualcomm sponsored the travel and accommodations for Legit Reviews to attend Snapdragon Technology Summit. **

At the 2018 Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit the company made news in the PC industry by announcing the Snapdragon 8cx compute platform. The Snapdragon 8cx was arguably “the most extreme Snapdragon ever,” and looked to change what one could expect from a Windows-on-Arm device going forward. Fast forward to this Fall and you can finally purchase Snapdragon 8cx platforms like the Samsung Galaxy Book S ultrathin, ultralight 13.3-inch laptop. Samsung says the Galaxy Book S features 40% greater CPU performance, 80% greater graphics performance than the Galaxy Book 2, and is capable of 23 hours of continuous video playback on a single battery. It is certainly a premium platform, but that specific model starts at $999.

At this years annual tech summit Qualcomm didn’t announce a successor to the Snapdragon 8cx, but rather two new Snapdragon processors to help bring the price down for their Always Connected PC (ACPC) product lineup. The two new parts that were introduced are the Snapdragon 7c and Snapdragon 8c. Both are Octo-core chips designed for fanless laptop applications at much better price points than the Snapdragon 8cx.

The Snapdragon 7c compute platform is aimed at entry-level devices in the $399 to $499 price range. The Snapdragon 7c is built on the 8nm process and features the Octa-core Qualcomm Kryo 468 CPU (2.4GHz), Qualcomm Adreno 618 GPU, Snapdragon X15 LTE modem, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, location sensors, Spectra 255 ISP, and support for up to 10GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The Qualcomm AI Engine on the Snapdragon 7c delivers over 5 trillion operations per second (TOPS) of performance. Qualcomm told Legit Reviews that the Snapdragon 7c brings 25% boost in system performance and up to twice the battery life versus laptops powered by the Intel Celeron N5000 processor (4-core, 12nm, introduced in 2017). We did a little digging around and laptops powered by the Celeron N5000 processor can be found for around $249.

If you want something a little more powerful you can move up to the Snapdragon 8c that is targeted for laptops in the $499 to $699 market. This chip uses the advanced 7nm manufacturing process and features a Kryo 490-based CPU (2.45GHz), Adreno 675 GPU,  Hexagon 690 DSP, Qualcomm AIE DSP AI Engine, a Snapdragon X24 LTE modem (can be paired with an X55 5G modem), Wi-Fi 802.11ad 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, location sensors, Spectra 390 ISP. The Snapdragon 8c is 30% faster than the Snapdragon 850 that won a decent number of laptop designs. The Snapdragon 850 will be phased out now that the Snapdragon 8c has been announced as it has newer technologies, better battery life and improved performance. The Qualcomm AI Engine reaches six TOPS on the Snapdragon 8c.

Here is a quick table going around that shows the Specifications of the new and existing compute platforms by Qualcomm for always-on, always-connected laptop.

Snapdragon 7c Snapdragon 850 Snapdragon 8c Snapdragon 8cx
CPU 2.4GHz Kryo 468, octa-core 2.96GHz Kryo 385, octa-core 2.45GHz Kryo 490, octa-core 2.84GHz Kryo 495, octa-core
GPU Adreno 618 Adreno 630 Adreno 675 Adreno 680
Process 8nm 10nm 7nm
4G Snapdragon X15 Snapdragon X20 Snapdragon X24
5G No Snapdragon X55 (Optional)
AI 4th Generation Qualcomm AI Engine
DSP Hexagon 692 Hexagon 685, Qualcomm All-Ways Aware technology Hexagon 690, Qualcomm All-Ways Aware technology
Bluetooth 5.1 5.0
USB 3.1
Memory 2133MHz LPDDR4 1866MHz LPDDR4x 2133MHz LPDDR4x
Storage eMMC 5.1, UFS 3.0 UFS 2.1 Gear3 2L NVMe SSD, UFS 3.0
Display
  • Maximum On-Device Display Support: FHD (2048×1536 @ 60 Hz) & QXGA (2048×1536 @ 60 Hz)
  • Maximum External Display Support: QHD (2560×1440 @ 60 Hz)
  • Max On-Device Display: 4K Ultra HD
  • Max External Display: 4K Ultra HD
  • Maximum On-Device Display Support: 4K Ultra HD
  • Maximum External Display Support: Two 4K Displays
Camera Spectra 255; 4K HDR capture at 30fps, dual 16MP, single 32MP Spectra 280, 4K HDR capture at 30fps, dual 16MP, single 32MP Spectra 390, 4K HDR capture at 30fps, dual 16MP, single 32MP
Audio Qualcomm Aqstic audio technology, Qualcomm Aqstic smart speaker amplifier

Qualcomm aptX audio technology: aptX Classic, aptX HD

Audio Technology: Qualcomm TrueWireless Technology, Qualcomm Aqstic audio technology, Qualcomm aptX audio technology

Qualcomm aptX audio playback support: Qualcomm aptX, Qualcomm aptX HD

Audio Technology: Qualcomm TrueWireless Technology, Qualcomm Broadcast Audio technology, Qualcomm Aqstic audio technology, Qualcomm aptX audio technology

Qualcomm aptX audio playback support: Qualcomm aptX, Qualcomm aptX HD