Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 13th Sep 2017 16:40 UTC

With the iPhone X revealed, we really have to start talking about its processor and SoC - the A11 Bionic. It's a six-core chip with two high-power cores, four low-power cores, and this year, for the first time, includes an Apple-designed custom GPU. It also has what Apple calls a Neural Engine, designed to speed up tasks such as face recognition.

Apple already had a sizeable performance lead over competing chips from Qualcomm (what Android phones use) in single-core performance, and the A11 blasts past those in multicore performance, as well. Moreover, the A11 also performs better than quite a number of recent desktop Intel chips from the Core i5 and i7 range, which is a big deal.

For quite a few people it's really hard to grasp just how powerful these chips are - and to a certain extent, it feels like much of that power is wasted in an iPhone, which is mostly doing relatively mundane tasks anyway. Now that Apple is also buildings its own GPUs, it's not a stretch to imagine a number of mobile GPU makers feeling a bit... Uneasy.

At some point, these Apple Ax chips will find their way to something more sizable than phones and tablets.

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by zaxx386 on Wed 13th Sep 2017 16:56 UTC
Member since:

Source of the A11 compared against recent desktop chips is suspect at best.

It is a twitter table with no explanation for where the numbers come from, no references at all. It amazingly shows the Intel Core i7 just besting the Core i3 series. I think someone manufactured data to get attention.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Performance
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 13th Sep 2017 17:22 in reply to "Performance"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:

Nothing suspect about it. That's Jeff Atwood, and those are GeekBench numbers. you can look them up yourself.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Performance
by leech on Wed 13th Sep 2017 17:47 in reply to "RE: Performance"
leech Member since:

I always thought the problem when benchmarking hardware is that for fair comparisons you would also need to be running the same software. I mean you could have a hardware platform that could seduce women for you, but if the software running it would only work in polygamous communities, it wouldn't be very useful....

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Performance
by Kochise on Wed 13th Sep 2017 18:39 in reply to "RE: Performance"
Kochise Member since:

edit : (same as above)

Edited 2017-09-13 18:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Performance
by Licaon_Kter on Wed 13th Sep 2017 18:53 in reply to "RE: Performance"
Licaon_Kter Member since:

Better link:

Now, if these are true, Qualcomm CEOs will flip some tables. ;) ;) ;)

I love competition, better tech for Android in the end. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Performance
by Alfman on Thu 14th Sep 2017 00:55 in reply to "RE: Performance"
Alfman Member since:

Thom Holwerda,

Nothing suspect about it. That's Jeff Atwood, and those are GeekBench numbers. you can look them up yourself.

You can't always take benchmarks for granted, it takes time for independent benchmarks to confirm the results. I was browsing geekbench results and I was surprised at how inconsistent the results were even for different runs on the exact same CPU.

For example:

These huge discrepancies could mean there's a problem with the benchmark, or they're being bottlenecked by components other than the CPU, in which case it's not a good benchmark to use to strictly compare CPU performance.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Performance
by tylerdurden on Wed 13th Sep 2017 21:28 in reply to "Performance"
tylerdurden Member since:

From a microarchitectural standpoint Apple's high performance cores are excellent, they really are that close to the contemporary lake core in IPC.

They're not going to outperform an i7 (it has more cores + SMT), but they're certainly giving a run for their money to the low power dual core i3s and i5s.

The performance of the iPad pro is quite eye opening, when compared with a microsoft surface tablet. The CPU performance diference is down to single digits/error margin. And have much better GPU performance, with a lower overall power consumption.

Their cost is significantly lower than the deep mobile intel parts. Hell, thank goodness that Apple is not selling those chips to 3rd parties, that would be problematic for intel.

I don't like apple as a company or care much for their products. But credit where credit is due, they basically came out of nowhere and they're now one of the top CPU/GPU architecture outfits in the world.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Performance
by tidux on Wed 13th Sep 2017 23:39 in reply to "RE: Performance"
tidux Member since:

That's exactly why I do want them sold to third parties. Imagine a blob-free A11 based laptop for Linux, or a convertible that runs Android.

Reply Parent Score: 2