Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,972
17,355


The 2020 iPad Pro models are equipped with an A12Z processor that is the same as the A12X processor in the 2018 iPad Pro models but with an extra GPU core enabled, TechInsights confirmed today.

ipadprosizes11and12.jpg

Speculation that Apple was using the same chip began shortly after the new iPad Pros launched and benchmarks found little in the way of performance improvements.


Apple didn't highlight changes to CPU performance, but there is one difference - the A12Z features an 8-core GPU, while the A12X has a 7-core GPU.

Information provided in March by TechInsights suggested that the A12X was simply an 8-core GPU chip with one GPU core disabled, indicating the A12Z is a re-binned A12X with that latent GPU core enabled.

At the time, TechInsights said that it planned to conduct a floorplan analysis to determine whether there are any differences between the A12X and the A12Z, which has now been completed, and the GPU chips are the same. A full report on TechInsights findings will be available on its website to those with a subscription.

It is not unusual for chip manufacturers to disable one core of a processor when a chip isn't meeting yield levels, and that's perhaps what happened with the A12X. The manufacturing of the chip has now improved enough that yields have gotten better and all 8 cores are functional, resulting in the A12Z chip.

Article Link: A12Z Chip in iPad Pro Confirmed to Be Same As A12X, But With Extra GPU Core Enabled
 

Unregistered 4U

macrumors 601
Jul 22, 2002
4,542
2,977
I always enjoy these chip views :)

BUT, is the same core in every chip disabled? :) I’m imagining that a test was run, it said 7 cores passed (doesn’t matter which 7) and then it was binned for the 2018 iPad Pro. Now, will someone please create the app that tells me which of the 8 in my iPad Pro isn’t working? My personal guess for mine? The lower bank, lower left one. Because when I’m holding my iPad, I can feel a tiny weight difference Compared to the 2020 iPad Pro... /s
 
Last edited:

furqan8421

macrumors regular
Jun 27, 2007
140
239
So based on this information, if you have the 2018 iPad pro, this upgrade is pretty unimpressive.

Realistically there was no real reason to upgrade if you own a 2018 model

I know one of the biggest upgrades is the camera but I don’t know too many people who frequently use the camera feature to begin with

Nothing wrong with the updates as they are nice, but again just not enough for most with a 2018 model to upgrade.
 

UltimateSyn

macrumors demi-god
Mar 3, 2008
3,698
5,394
Massachusetts
This does seem like an unexpected interim release. I wonder if the new contract with Qualcomm prevented Apple from releasing a 5G version with the current chipset.


50% more RAM, double the base storage, new camera, WiFi 6, etc.
As a counterpoint... if you have a 1TB model, which has the 6GB RAM, and no WiFi 6 router, the upgrade is basically pointless.
 

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
9,988
7,458
So.. the thing that I bought last year has a GPU core purposefully disabled? Isnt that kind of like the battery thing they were sued for?
No. It was advertised as a 7 core GPU.


As a counterpoint... if you have a 1TB model, which has the 6GB RAM, and no WiFi 6 router, the upgrade is basically pointless.
As mentioned ad nauseum in other threads, Apple's main target market for current model iPad Pros and iPhones, is NOT owners of the previous model. If you have a 2018 model, the incentive to upgrade is low. The incentive to upgrade is significantly higher for those with previous models (or who have no iPad Pro at all).
 

audiomatt

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2017
88
122
Realistically there was no real reason to upgrade if you own a 2018 model

I know one of the biggest upgrades is the camera but I don’t know too many people who frequently use the camera feature to begin with

Nothing wrong with the updates as they are nice, but again just not enough for most with a 2018 model to upgrade.


People that upgrade like clockwork just to have the latest never made sense to me anyway.
 

carlos700

macrumors 6502
Dec 17, 2004
354
148
Omaha, NE
Apple refreshes and rebrands on a better binning and it's a huge controversy. AMD, NVIDIA, Intel have been doing it for decades. Some Radeon RX 5700 cards can be turned into XTs with a bios flash. Sometimes people could unlock disabled cores on a Core i3 or Celeron.
 

adib

macrumors 6502a
Jun 11, 2010
512
386
Singapore
As an 2018 iPad Pro user, I would like to activate the 8th core, please.

Would you like the 8th core to be activated but only works half of the time and crashing your app when the core locks up or return unexpected results?

These are quite common in chip production – extra "stuff" are produced because the costs are marginal to make those, then tested, and if some parts are defective then just disable them and label the item as a "lower-grade" product. Like how Intel 486SX chips are really 486DX with the numeric co-processor disabled, because it failed testing.

Food production also works similarly. Farmers would harvest the fruits and vegetables then grade them accordingly. The finest one goes to restaurants, second grade goes to supermarkets, the broken ones becomes pickle or kimchi, and the almost-spoiled ones are materials for sauces and pastes.
 

Hyperchaotic

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2005
168
193
As a counterpoint... if you have a 1TB model, which has the 6GB RAM, and no WiFi 6 router, the upgrade is basically pointless.

DUH, if you're happy with your current device and you don't need what is offered by the new device an upgrade is pointless. Isn't that valid for pretty much device ever? What are we even discussing here?

It would be a great upgrade for my iPad Air 2 but I'm broke.
 

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
9,988
7,458
Apple refreshes and rebrands on a better binning and it's a huge controversy. AMD, NVIDIA, Intel have been doing it for decades. Some Radeon RX 5700 cards can be turned into XTs with a bios flash. Sometimes people could unlock disabled cores on a Core i3 or Celeron.
Who says it's a huge controversy? In the popular media, this GPU thing has proven to be pretty much a non-issue. The bigger issue is that the CPU has no performance improvement. The fact that the 8th core was always there already is more of a curiosity than anything.
 
  • Like
Reactions: motulist

currentinterest

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2007
521
338
Perhaps the strategy here is to introduce a new miniLED 8GB RAM, U1 chip, A14X, 5G capable iPad in October, reduce the price of the early 2020 iPad Pro version to that closer to the iPad Air, and then discontinue the air.
 

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
9,988
7,458
Perhaps the strategy here is to introduce a new miniLED 8GB RAM, U1 chip, A14X, 5G capable iPad in October, reduce the price of the early 2020 iPad Pro version to that closer to the iPad Air, and then discontinue the air.
I'm pretty sure the next one won't have 8 GB RAM (at least not in all models). However, if it gets 5G, A14X and mini-LED, I'm buying for sure. I don't really care about U1. I'm pretty sure we will get 5G and A14X in 3 quarters from now, but I'm less convinced of mini-LED and U1.
 
  • Like
Reactions: diandi
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.