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

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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RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 18th Sep 2013 23:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
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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 Parent Score: 3

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

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.

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

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 Parent Score: 3