A9X is likely the last generation of Dual Core iPad CPUs

Discussion in 'iPad' started by TheRealAlex, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. TheRealAlex macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    #1
    Not sure how I feel about this. It pains me to write this but given Apple previous moves and reading the Apple tea leaves. Now the next CPU will be the AX or A10 whatever they call it. Likely a Dual Core to be used in the Next iPhone. Reports show it will be made by TSMC at 10nm. Now at 10nm for a Tablet version that affords more room on the die and A Dual Core A10X does not seem appropriate for new iPad Pro tablets launching in 2017.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/gener...ust-learned-about-the-apple-inc-a10-chip.aspx

    Another thing that peaked my interest was that anytime Apple goes backwards its a bad move. the A8X was Tripple Core going to a Dual Core A9X is a step backwards even though its faster more cores is always better. Heck the performance benchmarks the A8X vs the A9X are so close if you add another core to the A8X you may equal or exceed the A9X.

    I'm so troubled by a Quad Core A10X and 4GB RAM launching in 11 months I am seriously considering returning my 9.7 iPad Pro. As happy and gushing as many of us are with it now. I can't help feeling that its gonna be blown out of the water. Unlike the iPad Air 2 which has been going strong since Late 2014

    I can see Apple launching an iPad Pro 2 in 11 months and new Apple Pencil 2 with much needed updates like.

    Wireless charging
    Improved responsiveness
    internal LED's lights which change the entire color of the pencil
    a pressure sensitive button

    and finally killing off the iPad Air 2 and dropping the iPad Pro 9.7 down to $499.
     
  2. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    #2
    Just came in here to point out that's not how multiple cores work. They don't scale linearly.
     
  3. gobikerider macrumors 65816

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #3
    It's not like Apple to do quad core if anything they would make the A10X another tri-core chip. Also they will stick with the current 14nm fab process as 10nm won't be mass available until late 2017 at the earliest probably. New iPad Pro probably fall 2016 and new 9.7 in Spring 2017 with same chip. MY guess is A10X with same dual core design minor efficiency improvements allow for 2.4Ghz speed. All new gpu with 2x performance. Just my thoughts but I'm not expecting another massive leap were it doubles the performance of last years model like Air-Air2 was. Probably same improvement as Air2-Pro if not slightly less.
     
  4. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #4
    Anandtech speculates that the A8x was tri-core as a power-saving measure, because they couldn't shrink the chip small enough. They managed to do that with the A9x, which is why Apple moved back to 2 cores.

    If anything, this "regression" suggests that Apple will continue to stick with 2 cores for quite time to come.
     
  5. gobikerider macrumors 65816

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #5
    Precisely, I couldn't recall that reason but that's it. Gotta love anantech
     
  6. Commy1 macrumors 6502a

    Commy1

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    #6
    It seems very likely if Apple wants to continue down the Laptop Replacement route that whatever they create next will be better, that's just the nature of technology. Waiting 11 months seems very silly, obviously the device wasn't a necessary tool for you. By that logic waiting 24 months because the next next next one will be better is also an option. Future proofing is impossible.

    I feel reassured that Apple won't abandon its current products in later more demanding OS versions. They've kept their 5+ year old devices working very well considering the technological gaps and that won't likely change anytime soon.
     
  7. gobikerider macrumors 65816

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #7
    I agree the next one will always be better to a degree, but if you don't really need it just wait keep using your iPad until you actually need the upgrade. I use the same logic that people on iMore podcast use for upgrading Macs. Upgrade when it is nesscary not because to a new thing. The longer you don't compulsively upgrade the better your upgrade will be. Patience is rewarded.
    My cycle for iPads is 4 years then upgrade. Luckily my first iPad was a Air 2 so these 4 years should be relatively smooth and speedy sailing.
     
  8. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #8
    I am thinking that the number of cores is not more important than speed. Sometimes I feel like it is just hype with this "core wars" thing when sheer CPU speed is very important.
     
  9. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #9

    1. Wireless charging would be great, but is most likely technically impossible for that size in the near future. Could be wrong, just seems that way.

    2. Improved responsiveness? Seriously? What could you possibly improve there?

    3. LEDs - This is gimmicky and un-Apple like, and would add to the cost of the device. Besides, what professional wants their drawing/editing tool to distract them by glowing in color?

    4. Apple would never add a button, even though I like the ones on Wacom pens. The only thing they may add one day is the eraser on the other end.
     
  10. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #10
    It depends on what you expect to do with it. In some cases, more cores is better. In others, faster cores with fewer of them are better.

    iOS allows 1 primary app, 1 secondary (split screen) and some background tasks to be running at once. And these background tasks are usually I/O bound, using very little CPU. So heavy multitasking is not a big deal here. That basically leaves things like video editing, audio editing, code compiling, etc as ways you benefit from more cores rather than faster cores. Without those apps getting heavy use (or in a couple cases, not even existing), then no, more cores don't make sense if you can get 2 faster cores. Most general use I've seen tends to benefit more from good single core performance (even though my own workflow will use as many cores as you can feed it).
     
  11. TheRealAlex thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    #11
    Given how the A8X runs a lower clock 1.5Ghz I don't see any advantages in the A9X it's just a faster A8X minus 1 core to adjust for temps and power usage.

    Now waiting forever is not what I'm thinking about. But I can just smell some key updates coming like

    4GB of RAM currently 9.7 Pros have single channel 2GB DDR4
    New Quad Core 10nm A10X CPU
    USB C or USB 3.0 speeds the 9.7 Pro is stuck on 2.0
    Redesigned body because how long can they stick with the iPad Air 2 design

    If only 1 of the above things happen the 9.7 Pro ends up as worst iPad ever next to the iPad 3

    Looks like I'll need a cheap tablet to hold out 11 months this is going back.
     
  12. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #12
    In what scenario do you envision quad core helping users?
     
  13. apolloa macrumors G3

    apolloa

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    #13
    No, the next iPad will be an updated Mini and Air, the Mini will adopt the A9 from the iPhone, and the Air I suspect will go back to dual core.
    And I am struggling to see the complaint about this as the OP correctly states the A9X stomps the other processors despite having dual cores? Dual cores means better battery and less heat, just look at the Snap Dragon 810 mess, and the 820 I believe has gone back to dual core main cores along with the low power cores.

    No point adding more cores for no real benefit.
     
  14. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #14
    What a joke. I think you are "smelling" something else.
     
  15. TheRealAlex thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    #15
    With much improved battery life right now we have 2 CPU's A9X going full speed most of the time. Well you don't drive your cars with the gas pedal floored all the time. Sometimes you need less power or more or even hardly any.

    A QUAD Core A10X would allow less intensive Apps to use less power maybe even shutdown 2 Cores and let other apps if necessary use all 4 Cores for gaming

    And 4 Core would fulfill the Professional imagine of the iPad Pro line. Today's world everything is about Multiple Core and multithreaded apps. Apple can't ignore this forever.

    Users would be thrilled to be able to pick from a Saving Power Mode or a Normal Mode one would give them the 10 hour battery life we enjoy now. The other maybe 15 hour battery life but probably no gaming.

    This realization has been really shaken things up as much as I love my iPad Pro. I can just see Apples marketing in 11 months or so. The New iPad Pro 2 Apples first Quad Core CPU the A10X
     
  16. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #16
    I have a 12 core 2010 Mac Pro and a 4 core Skylake PC. Guess which one is faster, even in many multithreaded apps?
     
  17. gobikerider macrumors 65816

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #17
    Sky lake duh it's way more power efficient.
     
  18. jerwin macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    #18
    Power efficiency is neither here nor there.
     
  19. gobikerider macrumors 65816

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #19
    Then why is skylake faster with 1/3 the amount of cores
     
  20. jerwin macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    #20
    Because the 12 core mac pro is clocked at 2.66 Ghz, and the 6700 is clocked at 4.0 Ghz (4.2 with turboboosting). if the workload can't be divided efficiently into more than four parts-- a common enough situation. the 6700k will complete the job in a fraction of the time.
     
  21. gobikerider macrumors 65816

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #21
    Yes and the reason the i7 is clocked 4.0 ghz is because new architecture is a lot more power efficient allowing for higher clock within smaller envelope of power.
    i7 6700k max TDP= 91 watts
    Intel Xeon X5650 6 core max TDP = 95 watts
    Your Mac Pro Dual 6 Core Xeons X5650 max TDP = ~200watts
     
  22. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #22
    Yes the Skylake trumps the aforementioned Mac Pro in most tasks. To put it in context, the 6700K single core Geekbench score is about twice as high the X5650 at default clock speeds (and easily overclocks to 4.7ghz). When your first four cores are that much faster they can offset the need for more cores. Sure more cores is better but most devs have given up creating so many threads when it's easier to code for more efficient CPUs. Adobe After Effects for example no longer has multi CPU rendering option. It is moving towards a smart renderer.
     
  23. jerwin macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    #23
    A blackbox powered by marketing? Sounds spiffy.
     
  24. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #24
    This is exactly what clock speed scaling helps handle (not a new trick). When the load is light, then you can scale back the clock speed quite a bit. I don't buy the statement "going full speed most of the time" at all. I actually expect that the A9X is actually running quite a bit under the max clock speed most of the time.

    And interestingly, gaming multi threading is very asymmetric. It doesn't scale up linearly, and the multi-core processors in the latest consoles are there more to ensure it can devote cores to specific tasks (Kinect input, dashboard, etc) so they can run in the background without impacting the game. And because it is asymmetric, you will tend to have one thread be your bottleneck. You go multithreaded to make room for that one bottleneck, not to scale to many cores. So a design aimed at helping make more room on a single thread will help that one bottleneck, meaning you can get more complicated graphics/worlds, or faster frame rates when you get more overhead to do that work.

    Eh, I wish it were true, especially since we can't expect single core performance to continue to scale forever. But the reality is that this future reality where core count is important hasn't come to pass, really. Few applications can scale well beyond a couple of threads, and even then it can't even saturate two cores because in reality what the app is doing is spawning threads to do I/O tasks without blocking the UI thread to do it. Or it uses something like GCD to keep the heavy work off the main thread, but then the main thread ONLY handles UI.

    What's failed to materialize are basically three things:
    1) A good mechanism to make more work parallelizable. Concurrent access to data is an annoying nut to crack, and it's super easy to create bugs that crash your application. And in many apps, tasks need to be done to the data in serial anyways, such as say, handling user input to data (be it a picture, or what have you).
    2) An incentive for certain app developers with legacy code to fix very core, very complicated issues that prevent them from even getting their heavy work off the UI thread. Unless you are in very specific areas like video/audio/image processing, the work simply cannot scale to large numbers of cores. And that's only if the app can support it (legacy code is a big blocker here).

    Put simply, there is a vast majority of user scenarios where a dual-core processor that has the same multicore performance as a quad-core processor will be twice as fast on the dual-core processor, simply because of the better single core performance. And since the multicore performance is the same, apps that do scale perfectly (let me know if you actually found one) will have the same result. And this is a phenomenon I encountered on OS X, not even talking about iOS at this point.

    If I want a good day-to-day experience, I get an iMac. If I have to compile large codebases, then I get a Mac Pro. Since I don't do the latter at home, there you go.
     
  25. Kal-037 macrumors 6502a

    Kal-037

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Location:
    Depends on the day, but usually I live all over.
    #25
    That's it!... I'm waiting until 2035 for the iPad Expert Pro Edition. It should have a 34.28Ghz A33X processor, 64GB RAM, 132mp camera with 28k video recording at 360 fps, a diamond IGZO-AMOLED display, 8 speakers on each side of the ipad, an advanced anodized titanium back casing, 4 ports (USB-Z, super lightning, and 2 Thunderbolt v.33.) I imagine it will also have an actual A.I. Siri with the ability to hold a conversation with you and even ask you questions... then probably 4 antigrav engines on the backside so you can use the iPad to hover to work. ;)

    Seriously though, I doubt the next iPad will be so great it makes the A9X worthless, it will be the usual 1.5-2x CPU and GPU, better camera, better display, etc etc. :)


    K.
     

Share This Page