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Apple's A11 Bionic SoC is kind of insane
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-09-13 16:40:52

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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RE[4]: Expect ARM Powered Macbook
By Kochise on 2017-09-15 17:41:22
And people will install linux because windows is proprietary and spy on them.
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RE[5]: Expect ARM Powered Macbook
By zima on 2017-09-15 18:15:23
> And miniscule portion of people will install linux because windows is proprietary and spy on them.
Fixed that for you...

People were OK with most past Windows editions, so Windows beeing prioprietary is of no concern to them. As for spying - Google is also spying on people, and they happily use Google services regardless / I don't see you predicting an exodus away from Google.
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RE[4]: Expect ARM Powered Macbook
By tidux on 2017-09-15 18:17:21
I'm not, actually. That's why Adobe will recompile for ARMv8 sooner or later. Photoshop already had ports to m68k and PowerPC for prior generations of Apple hardware. Apple laptops and mobiles will sell well for the foreseeable future, and companies will chase those profitable consumers.
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RE[5]: Expect ARM Powered Macbook
By zima on 2017-09-15 18:25:59
With this post, I agree. But above, when asking if you're joking, I was reffering to the idea that if Photoshop isn't available on ARM, people will switch to GIMP or Krita...
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RE[3]: Expect ARM Powered Macbook
By Bill Shooter of Bul on 2017-09-15 19:11:56
Do you think they'll stick with the iPad name? I'm guessing something Odd like iPad X or Macbook Air X or maybe even Bionic X with a Bionic X pro.

Bionic X being IOS and Bionic X pro being MacOs, but otherwise indistinguishable. Sort of like the Surface RT / Surface Pro.
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RE: Comment by leos
By Jonteponte7112 on 2017-09-15 20:33:33
How telling that you get no response to this comment on the Apple hatefest that is OSnews. What I don't understand is why everyone and their dog has been superhyped on VR for years when anyone with an interest in technology and half a brain understands that AR vill be a thing on mobile years before VR is going to.

Basically all the negative analysis of the new iPhones being completely "meh" have left out the AR story. Even going to great lenghts trying to make a case for all that power not really being needed in a mobile phone. They (meaning Android phones I guess) are apparently "good enough" as is.

Has the techworld gone mad?
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RE[4]: Performance
By Alfman on 2017-09-16 00:52:33
Drumhellar,

> Exact same CPU, but different OS (OS X 10.12 vs 10.10) In this, every single sub-benchmark is faster on the newer version of OSX, without exception.

That probably has more to do with it.



Could be that, or maybe different memory or some other arcane mainboard controller... who knows, we're not given enough data. If I owned these devices, I would conduct my own tests to get to the bottom of it.

However my point was that regardless of the reason for the discrepency, the mere fact that these wide discrepancies exist is in itself a sufficient reason to question the accuracy of geekbench as a measure of CPU performance.

In other words, this evidence proves that one can not assume the geekbench scores are representative of CPU performance unless it's the only variable that changed.

I'm curious to revisit this in the future to see where it goes!
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RE[3]: Performance
By bert64 on 2017-09-16 03:06:49
Thermal throttling...
Power throttlijng...
Background tasks...

Many factors could affect benchmark results.
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RE[3]: Comment by yoshi314@gmail.com
By bert64 on 2017-09-16 03:15:52
Apple are building high end processors, such processors would never be put into budget models of anything
There are plenty of low end budget processors available, and their performance is inferior. People are often willing to pay more for a superior product.
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RE: Probably too late for most people to see this ...
By bert64 on 2017-09-16 03:19:32
Manufacturers of CPUs and GPUs may want to work that way, but they can only do so because their competitors are doing the same.
If Apple are producing massively superior hardware, then there will be demand for competitive designs from other suppliers, as well as reduced demand for the inferior designs.
Other manufacturers will be forced to step up their designs to compete with Apple, in the same way Intel have tended to step up their game shortly after AMD do.
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