Qualcomm is actually releasing a Snapdragon X Elite desktop PC on June 18 and dammit I want one

Qualcomm Snapdragon Dev Kit
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

After the announcement yesterday of a slew of new Qualcomm-powered Windows AI laptops, with all the major notebook manufacturers getting on board, the company has today announced a new desktop PC to go with them. The new Snapdragon Dev Kit is exactly what it says it is: a little machine designed to aid developers in coding and recompiling their Windows applications natively for the new Arm-based Snapdragon CPUs.

But it's sleek, comes with the most powerful Snapdragon X Elite chip we've seen—with a higher boost clock speed than any touted for its laptops—has all the ports, and I am absolutely digging the transparent look with the black PCB. 

The chip at its heart is still a 12-core X Elite, but it has a designation of X1E-00-1DE and comes with a boost clock 100 MHz higher than the X1E-84-100 (the top of the laptop range) offering a dual core boost of up to 4.3 GHz. 

Otherwise it's still using the same Oryon cores with 42 MB of total cache, a 4.6 TFLOPs Adreno GPU, and maybe most importantly, the 45 TOPs Hexagon NPU. 

Important, because this is a dev kit designed specifically to help developers not just port application code over to the Arm ecosystem to work natively on the Snapdragon silicon in Windows, but also to shift over a bunch of the processing that can be run on the NPU instead of the CPU.

The Snapdragon X Elite is, after all, currently the only hardware capable of matching what Microsoft wants when it comes to Copilot+ AI PCs. They need to be able to deliver 40+ TOPs of AI processing power, and no, it doesn't count GPUs in that. Because it's only allowing these Copilot+ features to run natively on the NPU, for reasons.

The rest of the Dev Kit specs deliver 32GB of LPDDR5x memory and 512GB of NVMe storage. On top of that you get a bunch of USB4 Type-C sockets, a pair of Type-A, an ethernet, an audio combo jack, and a HDMI port. You also get Qualcomm's Wi-Fi 7 capable networking silicon, too.

Obviously the Snapdragon Dev Kit isn't really designed for home users, and we still have no idea how it really functions in the Windows environment under emulation, less so whether the X Elite CPUs will "just work" with PC games, but there is a certain perverse part of me that really wants to get hold of one and see what happens when I strap an eGPU to it.

The Snapdragon Dev Kit should be available from the Windows on Snapdragon developer portal now, priced at $900.

Snapdragon Dev Kit specs

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ProcessorSnapdragon X Elite X1E-00-1DE
Clock speed3.8 GHz
Dual Core Boost4.3 GHz
Total cache42 MB
GPU performanceUp to 4.6 TFLOPs
NPU performanceUp to 45 TOPs
Memory32 GB LPDDR5x
Storage512 GB NVMe SSD
I/O3x USB4 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1x RJ45 Ethernet, 1x 3.5mm audio, 1x HDMI
WirelessWi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4
Dimensons199 x 175 x 35 mm
Weight970 g
OSWindows 11
Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.