When it announced its Windows 10 on ARM, specifically on Snapdragon 835, thrust late last year, Microsoft emphasized power efficiency as the primary selling point. What it might not have disclosed is that those savings in battery life might come at the cost of a significant hit in performance. Following last week’s revelation of a now deleted Geekbench entry comes one that drags ASUS’ name into the news. Sadly, this Windows 10 on ARM sighting might be the worst we’ve seen so far.
This isn’t a case of Windows 10 on ARM vs Windows 10 on x86. It is, after, arguable that a quad-core Intel Core i7, even a fanless one, could outperform an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 under certain condition. No, this is a case of Windows 10 on ARM versus, say, Android on ARM, running on the exact same chipset and closely similar hardware.
An Android device running on a Snapdragon 835 averages 2,200 on single-core and 7,700 on multi-core tests on Geekbench. Last week’s mysterious “Qualcomm CLS” device 1,202 and 4,263 on those same scores. This ASUSTeK TP370QL, in comparison, yields an embarrassing 889 in single-core performance and 3,174 in multi-core at its highest.
Granted, the ASUS device has only 4 GB of RAM, versus the Qualcomm CLS’ 8 GB. And, granted, these are most likely development boards with very early versions of Windows 10 on ARM. There are, however, still no signs of progress, nearly one year after the initial announcement.
At this point, it isn’t clear where Microsoft wants to take Windows 10 on ARM anyway. It has all but lost interest in the mobile market, as far as pushing Windows 10 itself goes, and might be eyeing a very niche market for Windows 10 on Snapdragon-powered tablets, possibly for industry use. But with benchmark scores like that, it might be dead on arrival.