"Gate-model quantum computers are theoretically capa- ble of exceptional performance in certain applications, al- though it is unclear how useful they will be in general. The Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm (QAOA) of Farhi et al. has been proposed as a possible path towards making gate-model quantum computers effective at solving problems in combinatorial optimization.

Recently, Rigetti Computing published results of QAOA run on their 19-qubit gate-model quantum computer. The inputs they considered can also be solved on D-Wave quantum annealing systems, providing an opportunity to compare the two quantum processing units (QPUs) directly. Re-producing their tests, we found the probabilities of returning an optimal solution to be 99.6% for the D-Wave 2000Q and 0.001% for the Rigetti 19Q. In addition, the D-Wave 2000Q was able to solve 102 copies of the problem in parallel. The advantages in quality and size of the D-Wave 2000Q, taken together, provide an improvement of 10 million times in terms of ground-state throughput per sample."