Leaked benchmarks of Windows 10 on ARM are not impressive

Within the next few weeks, and likely before the end of the year, Microsoft and its hardware partners will unveil Windows 10 laptops running on Qualcomm's flagship 835 processor. While Microsoft and Qualcomm have pitched exceptional battery life without sacrificing performance on these devices, leaked benchmarks suggest there is still work to do if the two companies are to deliver on that promise.

Winfuture.de discovered several entries on Geekbench's website that are listed as "Qualcomm CLS" systems running 32-bit versions of Windows 10 S and Windows 10 Pro. Sorting these entries by high score, the best numbers achieved so far are 1,202 for Geekbench's single-score benchmark, and 4,263 for its multi-core test.

Those are far below what can be achieved by Core i3 laptop, as MSPowerUser notes, but the scores also lag behind Android devices running on the Snapdragon 835. Current smartphones powered by the same system-on-chip typically score over 2,200 points in the single-core test, and over 7,700 points in the multi-core test.

"We are thrilled that OEMs are sharing our vision to bring the Windows 10 experience to the ARM ecosystem, powered by Qualcomm Technologies,” Matt Barlow, corporate VP of Windows marketing, said a few months ago. "This collaboration offers consumers something new and that they have been craving—the best of a mobile computing experience with the best of Windows 10, all in one thin, light, connected device."

The numbers so far do not represent "the best of a mobile computing experience," though to be fair, there are several reasons that could explain why they're comparatively low. They were likely run on pre-production machines that weren't fully optimized. Rough drivers could also explain the performance gap.

Now of this matters a ton for PC gaming anyway, though we don't want to completely dismiss the situation. After all, the Snapdragon 835 with its Adreno 540 GPU is, on paper (567 GFLOPS) fater than Intel's HD Graphics 630. That's good enough for some light gaming and playing games like Hearthstone.