Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Sep 2013 17:46 UTC
Apple

The only review of the iPhone 5S you'll need to read - AnandTech's.

At the end of the day, if you prefer iOS for your smartphone - the iPhone 5s won't disappoint. In many ways it's an evolutionary improvement over the iPhone 5, but in others it is a significant step forward. What Apple's silicon teams have been doing for these past couple of years has really started to pay off. From a CPU and GPU standpoint, the 5s is probably the most futureproof of any iPhone ever launched. As much as it pains me to use the word futureproof, if you are one of those people who likes to hold onto their device for a while - the 5s is as good a starting point as any.

It's a crazy world where the future of Apple becomes apparent not in its software, but in its hardware. The 5S looks like a significant step forward, and in my view, hints at a future where Apple's laptops and maybe even desktops will be powered by ARM, not x86. If I had the spare cash, I'd plonk it down for a 5S in a heartbeat - as it stands now, I have no way of testing iOS 7 myself.

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Reviews
by WorknMan on Wed 18th Sep 2013 19:39 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

These reviews always paint an incomplete picture. What we really want to know is, what sort of defects does this phone have? And they all have 'em. Only way to know is wait for 2 or 3 weeks, until millions of people get their hands on it. A review from a handful of 'journalists' never tells the whole story.

Reply Score: 1

Excited again
by dsmogor on Wed 18th Sep 2013 20:02 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

5s is the first iPhone that got me excited since iP4.
The SOC seems really a class of its own, something that licenced ARM designs will have tough time to match for a couple of years.
The camera also looks to be the best 8MP design around.

From HW perspective IP look better than ever.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Excited again
by WereCatf on Wed 18th Sep 2013 20:24 UTC in reply to "Excited again"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

something that licenced ARM designs will have tough time to match for a couple of years.


Based on...what, exactly? ARM has already had 64-bit designs available for a while now and they are already in use in various non-mobile boards. Performance? Well, we'll know when some manufacturer picks the designs up and plops them down in a mobile device. I'm just saying that I do not see anything specific that would back up your claim.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Excited again
by dsmogor on Wed 18th Sep 2013 20:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Excited again"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

None of those designs is really mobile ready, so the nearest competitikn is still A15 which while demonstrating ARM isa prowess simply falls short in performance / power.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Excited again
by puenktchen on Wed 18th Sep 2013 20:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Excited again"
puenktchen Member since:
2007-07-27

ARM has already had 64-bit designs available for a while now and they are already in use in various non-mobile boards.


Like where?

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Excited again
by tylerdurden on Thu 19th Sep 2013 07:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Excited again"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17
RE[4]: Excited again
by puenktchen on Thu 19th Sep 2013 11:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Excited again"
puenktchen Member since:
2007-07-27



I don't think there is a shipping product with those. They still only seem to sell developer boards.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Excited again
by tylerdurden on Thu 19th Sep 2013 16:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Excited again"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

The manufacturer claims they're available now. And yet Apple hasn't released the iPhone to the public yet. So what's your point?

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Excited again
by leos on Fri 20th Sep 2013 01:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Excited again"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

The manufacturer claims they're available now. And yet Apple hasn't released the iPhone to the public yet. So what's your point?


The 5S is shipping right now.

Reply Score: 3

Speed not everything
by unoengborg on Wed 18th Sep 2013 20:54 UTC
unoengborg
Member since:
2005-07-06

Nice that they have managed futureproof their phone by going 64 bit. However the phones of today are so fast that it really doesn't matter if they are twice as fast, or even half as fast to do everyday tasks. Today the limiting factors are internet connection speed, download limits, and battery life.

As for iOS7, Apple really needed to improve their feature set to stay competitive. As of iOS7 they have allmost every feature of Android, but the new userinteface could have been better.

The new button design that basically is blue text will be hard to grasp to a lot of people, and many apps needs to be redesigned to gaphically fit in the new environment. It feels like an uglified version of Android

Reply Score: 1

RE: Speed not everything
by leos on Fri 20th Sep 2013 01:09 UTC in reply to "Speed not everything"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21


The new button design that basically is blue text will be hard to grasp to a lot of people, and many apps needs to be redesigned to gaphically fit in the new environment. It feels like an uglified version of Android


I doubt anyone is going to be confused. Adoption of iOS7 only a couple days after release is already around 30%. As for apps being updated, a bunch already have, it doesn't take long. Until the rest are updated, the old ones work fine.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 18th Sep 2013 21:02 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

...hints at a future where Apple's laptops and maybe even desktops will be powered by ARM, not x86.


I always chuckle when I see comments like these. It's not going to happen. Apple doesn't have enough volume with laptops/desktops to support it's own chip designs. Motorola couldn't keep performance up nearly enough for the desktop (and after a while not even in laptops), and IBM couldn't scale down to laptop power/thermal limitations.

There's no reason to think Apple will somehow magically be able to design high-perofrmance laptop/desktop chips with such small volumes.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by puenktchen on Wed 18th Sep 2013 21:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
puenktchen Member since:
2007-07-27

If anything like that happens at all it will be some kind of a more general purpose version of iOS taking over the consumer laptop market where chips are already powerful enough anyway.

Edited 2013-09-18 21:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 18th Sep 2013 21:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Powerful enough for whom? Apple's A7 is nearly 20% slower at Geek Bench 3 than a Core i3 3217u - a chip launched 2nd quarter of last year.

Intel's just-released Atom Z3770 (Bay Trail) is about 15% faster than A7 at the same benchmark, also. A7 might be fast enough if all you do is sit in a coffee shop and blog, but much more than that, not really.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by puenktchen on Thu 19th Sep 2013 11:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
puenktchen Member since:
2007-07-27

Powerful enough for whom?


Fast enough for most consumers. And I wasn't talking about the A7 but about the processors used in notebooks right now.

But right now I'm using a notebook with a dual 2 core which isn't much faster than the A7. I'm really not suffering because my CPU is to slow. If I have to wait it is because of network, hard disk, low memory = again hard disk - or bad programming which locks something up. Only games really tax the system and again it isn't the CPU which gets hammered. A fast memory bus and a strong gpu are more important than the cpu which is already fast enough in most cases.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by leos on Fri 20th Sep 2013 01:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21


Intel's just-released Atom Z3770 (Bay Trail) is about 15% faster than A7 at the same benchmark, also. A7 might be fast enough if all you do is sit in a coffee shop and blog, but much more than that, not really.


DId you even read the review? In Anandtech's tests the A7 is about on par with bay trail (of course every benchmark is different). That is plenty fast enough for many activities.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Treza on Wed 18th Sep 2013 22:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

There's no reason to think Apple will somehow magically be able to design high-perofrmance laptop/desktop chips with such small volumes.


Not magically.
Just with tons of cash.

Apart from a few low volume embedded designs, many PowerPC from Freescale were made for Apple. Now Apple sells more hardware.

I think that Apple could afford to go that route and they start to have the engineering expertise. Whether they will do it or just float the idea to put pressure on Intel, is just speculation for now. Maybe they do not even know what they will do.

There is also a huge difference between laptop CPUs and high end server and workstation hardware. An ARM MacBook Air is doable, a desktop computer is far more challenging and Apple has not enough volume in that niche to compete against Intel.

As a CPU enthusiast (and amateur architect), the fact that they don't publish anything and share nothing about their ideas is quite frustrating and a bit unfair, compared to the normal practices of that industry which is quite open about micro-architecture and implementation details.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 18th Sep 2013 23:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Motorola/Freescale chips sucked for a long, long time. Freescale stopped pursuing high-performance desktop chips and repurposed the 7400 series for more embedded uses, because Apple was their only customer for the desktop and weren't selling enough chips to support competing against Intel.

IBM wasn't willing to spend the engineering resources to shrink the PowerPC 970 to fit into a laptop, because Apple didn't have enough volume to support it.

Apple could possibly afford to do it, but can they afford to maintain it? I doubt it. They probably wouldn't reuse the A7, since it isn't as simple as just upping voltage and clock rate. The A7 is soundly beaten by even the lowest-end chip that Apple is using for the Air.

There is also a huge difference between laptop CPUs and high end server and workstation hardware.


Um, this is pretty much false. Intel's highest-end Xeons use the same Haswell core that is used across the MacBook Air line. The differences come in things like cache size, and integrated graphics. Once you get much below the size of chips used in the Air, that's where core designs change significantly. For this, Intel has Atom, which the higher-end tablet-oriented designs trounce the A7.

Now, Apple might be able to scale A7 up to low-end MacBook Air performance and us it there, but that would split the MacOS X ecosystem in two, which would be a terrible thing for users and developers. This means that for Apple to switch to their own in-house Arm designs, they'd have to come out with a chip capable of competing across the whole range of Intel chips they already use.

I simply don't see this happening.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by bansal98 on Thu 19th Sep 2013 06:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
bansal98 Member since:
2006-09-06

It's true that A7 is slower than Intel chips but then A7 is much cheaper as well. Apple could easily plonk a bunch of them in a laptop and still come out ahead both in terms of cost and performance.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by mutantsushi on Thu 19th Sep 2013 21:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
mutantsushi Member since:
2006-08-18

The tablet platform and laptops specifically have alot of convergence.
Apple's tablets are successful so far, if this volume is unsustainable, how is ANYBODY designing CPUs for these?
Convergence with low-end laptops (and low-end desktops as Apple does them) is INCREASING the scale of tablet-class ARM CPUs.
The basic fact is that these are all closely related architectures using commercially available production, so comparison to Apple's situations with IBM/Motorolla PowerPC is simply not apt.

Consumer performance needs in desktop/laptop simply have barely moved over the past 5 years, and with GPUs taking over more work that trend will likely flatten even further... meanwhile tablet/phone CPUs performance keeps increasing. It's basic math to see those curves converging at some point. It doesn't really matter if the even-more-mass-produced low end Intel CPU might be more powerful than a similar ARM CPU, if consumers don't actually need the better performance.

Apple in particular is hardly competing on a level play field with other PC manufacturers, people who buy Apple computers are selecting from amongst the options that Apple offers, with only much vaguer constraints impacting on whether they are "in the Apple market" or not.

Edited 2013-09-19 22:01 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Tony Swash on Thu 19th Sep 2013 12:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

There's no reason to think Apple will somehow magically be able to design high-perofrmance laptop/desktop chips with such small volumes.


This comparison is interesting though.......

http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/9797549125/

The only way Apple would do ARM in Mac is if they could use the same processor as is in the iPhone and iPad in which case they would have ample volumes. Using ARM in mac may never be practical and may never happen and and is way off yet, but not as far off as it was month ago before the A7.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Neolander on Thu 19th Sep 2013 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

This comparison is interesting though.......

http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/9797549125/.

Either there's something very wrong with this guy's Macbook, or something dramatically changed in Geekbench's testing methodology from v2 to v3. Because there's no way a Macbook which was released only four years later would get a five-fold increase in benchmark results, if we consider how slowly laptop performance improves these days.

http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/compare/1952237/1952292

Edited 2013-09-19 17:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by tylerdurden on Thu 19th Sep 2013 16:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17


There's no reason to think Apple will somehow magically be able to design high-perofrmance laptop/desktop chips with such small volumes.


That's because Apple wouldn't use an ARM chip for high-performance parts. A low-end laptop or desktop running iOS however...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by darknexus on Thu 19th Sep 2013 16:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

That's because Apple wouldn't use an ARM chip for high-performance parts. A low-end laptop or desktop running iOS however...

Is a scary thought indeed, considering what that would represent. Imagine a laptop with no USB connectivity, no support for any external storage, and a gated app community. Creepy, but if anyone could get people to buy something like that it would certainly be Apple. When people start accepting all of that on a laptop or even worse, a desktop, we'll know that the end of free computing is really upon us.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by mutantsushi on Thu 19th Sep 2013 21:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
mutantsushi Member since:
2006-08-18

Excuse my comment if you were just meaning to disparage Apple and not intending your comment to actually be taken seriously...

ARM CPUs have nothing do with presence or lack or ports or other features.
Here is a review discussing a Samsung ARM-CPU netbook that has USB3, USB2, HDMI, and SD slot.
http://www.zdnet.com/review-the-arm-powered-samsung-chromebook-7000...

Re: the idea of fragmenting the CPU architecture for low-end/hi-end OSX products, I don't see the big deal.
Apple's compiler infrastructure allows dual-binary app's and you just need to select the desired target processors. The only apps which really will make heavy use of architecture specific products are high-end products, so that segment will remain unfragmented. (and increasingly they are making use of GPU resources not CPU, even though GPUs are fragmented between OEMs and intermediary interfaces are used e.g. OpenCL)

This is not a video game console, apps can be and are written to run on a wide variety of chips, normally that is the same instruction set, but the actual architecture details can often vary widely as seen in PowerPC processors. 99% of apps are simply not making any CPU-specific calls, they are using OSX APIs and that's it.

In this day and age isn't it just laughable when you see somebody with a $2000 Macbook Pro that they use for webbrowsing, writing, photo-editing and movie watching? Presumably they might have bought a cheaper product from Apple if it was offered, but Apple manages to milk this segment of customer for all it's worth by only offering larger screen sizes in "Pro" models. Ultimately, screen size is not correlative with required CPU power, most PC manufacturers already know this even if Apple pretends otherwise, and 15"-17"-23"+ screens can all be succesfully ran with an ARM CPU for 95% of users.

Edited 2013-09-19 21:35 UTC

Reply Score: 4

"must have it"
by Janvl on Wed 18th Sep 2013 21:35 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

http://phonestory.org/#obsolescence

5c/5s a new sign of "the intelligence" of people.

Reply Score: 0

Cash?
by biffuz on Thu 19th Sep 2013 10:14 UTC
biffuz
Member since:
2006-03-27

If I had the spare cash, I'd plonk it down for a 5S in a heartbeat

Thom, you should just stop purchasing new phones every month ;)

Reply Score: 3