Do you think the Apple A9 SoC have a Triple-Core CPU?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by maclunian, May 23, 2015.

  1. maclunian macrumors member

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    #1
    So much has come out in the last week about the iPhone later this year.

    But something that was not yet mentioned was what the :apple:A9 SoC will have.

    So... what do you think it will have out of these?

    - Triple-Core CPU?
    - Hexa- (or Octa-) Core GPU?
    - Up to 2x faster at CPU and/or GPU Tasks?
    - 3 (or 4) billion transistors?

    I know the :apple:A8X processor was a big leap forward (much better than the :apple:A8) but what are your thoughts about the overall performance of the :apple:A9 chip in respect to the above possibilities at the moment?
     
  2. soupcan macrumors 6502a

    soupcan

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    #2
    I think we will see either a tri or a quad core for the A9 along with 2 GB of RAM. There's no need for more cores, they're there to fill up the spec sheet. Most apps don't use all those cores anyway, so you're much better off with high single core performance, in which case the A8 still beats the Galaxy S6.

    Here's a fun chart:

    [​IMG]

    Of course the S6 beats the A8 in terms of multi-core performance because the S6 has more cores. Yet the performance doesn't scale really well for the Exynos 7 in the S6. If Apple were to add 2 more cores for a quad core A9 it would bring the score up to about 5300 (that's before the regular single-core performance increase because of a new gen CPU architecture), which is about 500 points more than the Exynos 7 in the S6. That's a lot. That's faster than my 2011 MacBook Air (with the i5 that is). I mean, the tri-core A8X gets about 4500 points in Geekbench. That's only 300 points less than an Exynos 7 chip which has one extra core which is also clocked way higher. That's impressive.
     
  3. PortableLover macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    A8x on ipad already has 3 cores and 2gb of ram, I assume that the a9 will inherit this and perhaps the X version on the iPad may go to a quad core maybe.
     
  4. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    #4
    The tri-core and 2gb of ram in the iPad air 2 could possibly be there to support split-screen multitasking in a future update, as well as run more powerful apps like pixelmator. If the iPhone won't get such a feature, there's no need to have the specs to support it.
     
  5. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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  6. XTheLancerX macrumors 68000

    XTheLancerX

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    #6
    That's what I was wondering. How will a chip so powerful handle itself in such a small space with such a small battery?

    Anyway, I'm assuming the A9 will essentially be an A8X, 3 CPU cores, 8 GPU cores, 2 GB of RAM. Hopefully. That would be killer, and there would be no more iPhone "Plus" users complaining. Would be buttery smooth. The iPad would probably gain another CPU core and higher clock speed, improved efficiency and architecture. Not much else they can do. A8X is already amazing enough.
     
  7. Matheew944 macrumors regular

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    #7
    A10X will be a killer. A8X isa excelent processor... much better than the Air 1 that I already tasted
     
  8. Camoxide macrumors regular

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    #8
    Yes
    The A8 is 89 mm2
    The A8X is 128 mm2
     
  9. placidity44 macrumors 6502

    placidity44

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    #9
    I'd bet tri-core with 2gb of ram. Since Apple makes both the hardware and software I'd bet anything they aren't octacore. Even the dual core 64-bit A8 holds its own against phones with octacore chips.
     
  10. nj-morris macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    #10
    Yes, the A8X is bigger than the A8. And the thing is, the A8X is like a whole new generation anyway, so they could just put the A8X in the next iPhone, make it 14nm, and brand it as the A9, and nobody would complain.
    Another thing we have to bear in mind is the upcoming iPad Pro. If they put the same SoC, people will say, what is the point of this 'Pro' iPad if it has the same specs as the Air? So unless :apple: make 3 different purocessors, the iPad Air 3 will have to have the normal A9. This will encourage them to make the A9 a worthy successor to the A8X, like the A7 was to the A6X. The A9X in the Pro will probably have an improved GPU, maybe an improved CPU, maybe with more cores in either, and more memory. That should satisfy people.
     
  11. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #11
    Plus the A8X isn't the same type of POP (Package on Package) as the A8, in fact none of the bigger iPads have been since the iPad 3. The A8X has its RAM outside the package on the logic board, so more room might still be needed. Apple would have to incorporate the RAM into the package.

    My best assumption is that the A9 will be a smaller, repackaged A8X and the A9X will be a either a higher clock speed tri-core (think 1.8/1.9GHz) or quad core with the same clock speed (1.5GHz) most likely the latter however. The A9 may also have the same clock speed as the A8 (1.4GHz) for battery purposes.

    It's all speculation at this point but those are my predictions and I'm sticking to them.

    Go 2 GB of RAM!! :D
     
  12. XTheLancerX macrumors 68000

    XTheLancerX

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    #12
    That would satisfy me. The smaller chip would be more efficient, yes? So better battery life. And since it would be a generation ahead it probably would feature improved architecture, and as a result, have even better performance. I hate the idea of the iPhone and iPad getting the same processor (since iPad Air and iPhone 5S, iPad Air has always had stuttering problems with the translucency of iOS 7/8 and always has had RAM limitations) but if they can make these "regular" chips powerful enough to perfectly power an iPad as well, go for it. I just don't want an underpowered iPad. But I think the days of that are over with A8X and beyond, as long as they don't do something stupid and throw in a 4K display or something and only give marginal improvements like what they did with the iPad 3.
     
  13. nj-morris macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    #13
    Did you ever use the 5S? Because I'm pretty sure it has the same issues as the iPad Air and Mini 2 on iOS 8. I'm pretty sure it was just a case of making it 64-bit without increasing the memory. That was a mistake.
     
  14. XTheLancerX macrumors 68000

    XTheLancerX

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    #14
    I've heard it hardly has an issue at all. It has to push like a quarter of the amount of pixels than what's necessary on the mini 2 and air. Would make sense that it handles iOS 8 fine because the iPhone 5 seems pretty decent, the 5S should be much better. And the iPhone 6/6+ are 64 bit and have the same amount of RAM, and same speed RAM as the 5S.
     
  15. Apples n' Stone macrumors 6502a

    Apples n' Stone

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    #15
    Don't mean to p*ss on the parade, but that S6 score is a bit high...
     

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  16. Apples n' Stone macrumors 6502a

    Apples n' Stone

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    #16
    Typically the following phone has a higher benchmark than the tablet that came the year before. This is my iPad Air 2, so we can expect a higher multi core score. (Better performance)
     

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  17. soupcan, May 26, 2015
    Last edited: May 26, 2015

    soupcan macrumors 6502a

    soupcan

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    #17
    That's multi-core scores. Still. A tri-core iPad beats an 8-core Galaxy which is newer.

    I want to see the single core scores of both the A8, A8X and the Exynos.

    So the A8 has around 1610, the A8X as you said 1807, and the Exynos...

    Around 1500.

    As I said, single core performance matters more on mobile phones. So the A8 and the A8X eat the Exynos. Wonder what A9 will do. Probably crap on it afterwards.
     
  18. Apples n' Stone macrumors 6502a

    Apples n' Stone

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    #18
    I hope so, following this. Come November I hope for an even faster iPad to hold. I will run a benchmark on my 6 plus now and see what we get.
     
  19. cmichaelb macrumors 68020

    cmichaelb

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    #19
    You forgot about marketing and public perception.
     
  20. XTheLancerX macrumors 68000

    XTheLancerX

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    #20
    Yeah, I hate when people are like: "the iPhone is so weak, it's only as powerful as any crappy android phone from 2012!"

    They simply refuse to admit that efficient architecture and such makes a dual core 1.4GHz processor just as powerful or more powerful than a quad core 2.1GHz processor. The benchmarks say it all. Yes, benchmarks are higher for the other high end android phones, but only for the multi score cores. Multicore scores don't matter as much because smartphones don't use several cores at a time usually. Single core score is truly what needs to be great, and frequently the iPhone takes the cake in that regard. But no, people still are hung up over the spec sheets.

    I'm sure those single core scores of around 1800 or more will come to the iPhone 6S as they may (hopefully) just repackage the A8X into a smaller, more efficient chip. That will be a good competitor. And the additional RAM as well as the potential optimizations of iOS 9 will make pages and apps sit in memory for huge amounts of time without the need to be refreshed to free up memory. Let's hope iPhone 6S+iOS 9 is the next great thing, as iPhone 6 (especially plus) and iOS 8 aren't really mixing well.
     
  21. soupcan macrumors 6502a

    soupcan

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    #21
    My guess is it will be an A8X on a smaller package and maybe an extra CPU core. And of course 2GB of RAM. Presumably LPDDR4. Apple is so far ahead in the CPU department that they actually don't need to do a lot. Sure, make it more power efficient by going to 16 or 14 nm, but that's it. Apple has another year or 2 before the competition catches up. Again, talking about single-core performance here which is what matters.

    And of course the multi-core scores are higher on an 8-core device than on a 2-core device. Something would be REALLY REALLY wrong if it wasn't.

    I always use the same sane logic when people say "well Android has a higher market share than iOS". No **** it does. With the thousands of devices running Android it would be REALLY REALLY wrong if it didn't beat iOS. It's thousands of devices vs what, iPhone 5C, 5S, 6, 6+, iPod touch, iPad Air and Air 2 and all the iPad mini's. That's 10 iDevices vs thousands of Android devices. That's impressive.
     
  22. nj-morris macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    #22
    Agree. Android need to have quad-core processors with 2GHz and 2GB of memory for them to run fine on Android. Whereas :apple: can put half of all of those specs and run in the same way. People don't have a good time on their phone just because they have the knowledge that they have an octa-core processor.
     
  23. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    #23
    What marketing? Apple didn't even expressly announce that their A8X processor had 3 cores; we had to infer that for ourselves from the extra 50% transistors in the keynote.

    People didn't care when Apple stuck with dual-core processors even as the competition moved on to quad-core chips (and time has proven that Apple made the right call). Why should they care when Apple includes more cores all of a sudden?
     
  24. cmichaelb macrumors 68020

    cmichaelb

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    #24
    When an average consumer walks into the cell phone company store and the sales rep starts discussing phones, spec comparison becomes part of the marketing. I've been in the store and seen it happen- even my buddy, who is in end high end medical sales, falls for it.

    "The sales guy told me this Samsung had special glass that won't scratch, and it has x number of cores on its chip etc."

    "Yeah, that's Gorilla Glass, first used in cell phones on the original iPhone. Did he name one app that actually utilizes multiple cores?"

    WE, people who post in and read these kind of forums, are not the norm.
     
  25. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #25
    That's the method for marketing android, iPhones are marketed differently in the stores. I've heard it first hand.
     

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