In 2019 launched the Surface Pro X with the SQ1 processor, meant to be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor specially adapted by Microsoft to run Windows 10 on ARM better.

As our readers know, this did not really close the performance gap with Intel processors, and in 2020 Microsoft launched a Surface Pro X update with the new SQ2 processor, meant to address the concerns.

German site DrWindows reports that their benchmarking however revealed no discernable difference between the “two” processors:

Browser benchmark Jetstream 2

  • Surface Pro X 2019 with SQ1: 89,614
  • Surface Pro X 2020 with SQ2: 90,664

Antutu benchmark

  • Surface Pro X 2019 with SQ1: 286,740
  • Surface Pro X 2020 with SQ2: 286,271

Geekbench 4

  • Surface Pro X 2019 with SQ1: 3,530 (single core), 11,927 (multi core)
  • Surface Pro X 2020 with SQ2: 3,627 (single core), 12,042 (multi core)

Today they called the processor upgrade a  “fraudulent label” after Microsoft merged the firmware support for the two processors:

Surface Pro X with SQ2 processor
Windows Update History NameDevice Manager NameVersion and Update
Microsoft Corporation – System Hardware UpdateQualcomm(R) Bus Device – System devices1.0.1220.0

  • Improves system stability and merges support for both Surface Pro X SQ1 and SQ2 devices.
Qualcomm(R) Hexagon(TM) 690 DSP – System devices1.0.1260.0

  • Improves system stability and merges support for both Surface Pro X SQ1 and SQ2 devices.
Qualcomm(R) Hexagon(TM) 690 DSP – System devices1.0.1260.0

  • Improves system stability and merges support for both Surface Pro X SQ1 and SQ2 devices.
Qualcomm(R) System Manager Device – System devices1.0.1120.0

  • Improves system stability and merges support for both Surface Pro X SQ1 and SQ2 devices.
Qualcomm(R) System Manager Device – System devices1.0.1160.0

  • Improves system stability and merges support for both Surface Pro X SQ1 and SQ2 devices.
Qualcomm(R) System Manager Device – System devices1.0.1220.0

  • Improves system stability and merges support for both Surface Pro X SQ1 and SQ2 devices.
Qualcomm(R) System Manager Device – System devices1.0.1280.0

  • Improves system stability and merges support for both Surface Pro X SQ1 and SQ2 devices.
Qualcomm(R) USBC UCSI Participant – System devices2.9.139.0

  • Improves system stability and merges support for both Surface Pro X SQ1 and SQ2 devices.
Surface Pro X Power Engine Plug-in Device – System devices1.0.1260.0

  • Improves system stability and merges support for both Surface Pro X SQ1 and SQ2 devices.

They noted that it is more likely that improvements in Windows 10 on ARM between 2019 and 2020 were responsible for any perceived improvements, and that these would be felt equally on both the old and new Surface Pro X.

It is fair to say Microsoft has not delivered on the promise of having its own processor, and it increasingly appears to have been more a marketing rather than technical move.

What do our readers think? Let us know in the comments below.

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