Everything you need to know about this portable gaming chipset

When Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in 2021 with a 30% GPU improvement and other energy efficiency gains, the company had another interesting announcement the next day. It unveiled the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 gaming platform, with a heavy focus on gaming. At that time, Qualcomm also introduced a development kit created by Razer. Since then, the Razer Edge has been released with the G3x Gen 1 mobile game.

Qualcomm has chipsets for many different devices — wearables, extended reality (XR) devices, computers, and cars — so expansion into games has always been a potential. The Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 gaming platform aims to unify all of Snapdragon Elite Gaming technologies into one cohesive product. It’s a chipset built specifically for gaming, with upgradeable GPU drivers for better gaming, true 10-bit HDR gaming, support for external monitors up to 4K resolution at 144fps, USB-C for future XR accessories, and support for game streaming from the cloud, devices computer or keyboards. It supports Qualcomm’s 5G mmWave Modem-RF as well. Given the proliferation of games on Android, Qualcomm said at the time that it’s currently focused exclusively on providing its chipset for Android devices, so we likely won’t see its technology in an NVIDIA Tegra/Nintendo Switch competitor — at least, not yet.

However, this is the company’s first real foray into the gaming market, and it has the potential to grow to a lot more in the future. It didn’t delve too deeply into the capabilities of the new chipset, although since the company built a developer kit alongside Razer, Qualcomm clearly has an idea of ​​the direction it wants to push this. We’ve got our hands on the Razer Edge, which features a new chipset, and check out the chip in more detail.

Razer is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x Gen 1

With the launch of the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1, Qualcomm has unveiled its first developer kit powered by the platform. It has partnered with Razer to produce an exclusive development kit with some of the best hardware you can get in a mobile device.

This kit clearly laid the groundwork for the Razer Edge, as it was built just for developers to let them explore the potential of Qualcomm’s mobile gaming vision. Qualcomm said at the time that it had to serve the developer community first to make them aware of what was possible.

“Razer is very excited to partner with and support Qualcomm Technologies on its path to introducing new cutting-edge technology to the global gaming industry,” Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and CEO of Razer, said at the time. “Together, Qualcomm Technologies and Razer will lead the way with innovative new solutions that push the boundaries of resolution and quality available in mobile gaming, transforming the way gaming is experienced.”

Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 is just an overclocked Snapdragon 888 processor

Playing Fortnite on Razer Edge 5G

After our review of the Razor Edge — which is actually a tablet with a 6.8-inch screen and a separate Razer Kishi console — we took a closer look at what exactly the Snapdragon G3x is. He is. As it turns out, it’s identical to the Snapdragon 888; It’s overclocked a bit more than the Snapdragon 888+ was.

Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 has an octa-core design, with four Cortex A55 cores, three Cortex A78 cores, and two Cortex X1 cores. They are clocked at 1.8GHz, 2.42GHz, and 3GHz respectively, which makes them compatible with the Snapdragon 888+. The software identifies this chipset as the SM8350, which is the part code for the Snapdragon 888.

Where things are a little different is in the GPU. While it is Adreno 660, it is clocked at 900MHz. This is even higher than the Snapdragon 888+, which has an Adreno 660 clocked at 840MHz.

Will that actually help overclock it? It assumes a bit, and with the active cooling that Razor includes in the Edge, it’s capable of sustained performance for a long time. This appears to be what enables this chipset to be able to output to an external display at 4K and 144Hz, even with the official product chipset for the Snapdragon 888+ showing that Qualcomm only expects it to hit 4K at 60Hz. Just like Snapdragon 888+, Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 also supports Vulkan 1.1, not the latest Vulkan 1.3.


There’s also a built-in 5MP, 1080p 60fps webcam with two microphones, which gamers can make use of for online game livestreams, and there are four speakers powered by Snapdragon Sound. Qualcomm says the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 has the thermal and processing headroom for gaming, capturing, pairing with a webcam and microphone, and batch uploading broadcasts, though we haven’t specifically tested this.

For now, we can only speculate as to what Qualcomm intends to do with the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1. It, oddly enough, doesn’t seem to be much more powerful than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, if at all. Qualcomm describes this device as the “next level” of mobile gamers. Given that the company has also announced a partnership with ESL (Electronic Sports League) with more to come next year, we may see similar devices at the forefront of mobile esports in the future. Even with a device in hand, it looks like an odd chipset that will likely make more sense with future iterations.

Razer Edge 5G
Razer Edge

The Razer Edge and Razer Edge 5G are excellent gaming mobile devices that deliver plenty of power in flawless style. The Razer Edge offers Wi-Fi support, while the Razer Edge 5G supports 5G exclusively with Verizon.

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