iPad Pro How could a Quad Core A10 CPU horribly affect the iPad Pro

Discussion in 'iPad' started by TheRealAlex, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. TheRealAlex macrumors 68000

    Sep 2, 2015
    So it's getting a lot closer to that time and more and more credible leaks are suggesting a Quad Core A10 CPU in the iPhone 7. I wanted to know what everyone thinks about how that. And developers fully utilizing the A9X Which will likely end up as the last Dual Core X Chip. So heres my speculation.

    Terrible resale value who wants a 2 Core machine when a 4 Core one is way better.
    Developers target the largest market and over night when the iPhone 7 goes on sale despite the Pro having a 1 year head start the iPhone 7 will be the most available platform with millions more units on the market.
    The A9X won't be able to Cope with iOS updates targeted at Quad Core CPUs.

    On a side note this maybe good news for iPad Air 2 owners with A8X CPUs since developers will be able to spread the work load across 3 Cores. And the iPad Air 2 has a monumentally huge install base over the iPad Pro.
  2. ericwn macrumors 68000

    Apr 24, 2016
    My guess is that resale value won't suffer dramatically. There are lots of Macs with two core CPUs out there, just take a look at all the 13" retina MBP units. Developers target the devices they see as valid platforms for their apps, not necessarily the biggest group. You make it sound as if computers with quad core CPUs would not be of value while we have seen in the PC and Mac space for years how much more performance one gets out of these chips.
  3. gtjeta macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2012
    I imagine you are aware the dual core iPad Pro CPU outperforms the triple core iPad Air 2 even in multicore tests. Each of the iPad Pro cores are much more powerful than the iPad Air 2 cores. And much of the developed code uses basically only one core. A quad core CPU in A10 (if real) would surely have a reduced power per core, due to iPad thermal constraints, or at least not a too increased single core performance.

    You should be aware in Android world there are octacore processors which are much less powerful the iPhone dual core CPUs. So number of cores as a performance metric is useless.

    Of course a CPU improvement will be attained, but you should not expect iPad Air 2 be faster than iPad Pro, and any iOS product can expect no less than 3 years of support.
  4. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    I am not aware of any rumours that the A10 chip will sport more than two cores.

    As it stands, 4 cores can be worse than 2, since they generate more heat. This can cause the processor to throttle its own performance to reduce heat, which in turn reduces speed. Which kinda defeats the entire point.

    Anandtech did an analysis a few years back (with the A7 chip of the iPhone 5s) detailing why he felt a dual-core chip was better than a quad-core one in a heat-constrained device like a smartphone or even a tablet. There's also the issue of mobile apps generally not needing that many cores in the first place.

    I guess you are right in that a quad-core processor would "horribly" affect any future iPad Pro though. Until we see more apps support this, it would potentially harm the user experience more than help it.
  5. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    It would be more likely to have three cores than four. But even if that was the case, the third core in the Air 2 is largely neglected anyway.

    Plus, it would be weird for the A10X to be tri-core, since its predecessor is dual-core and its predecessor is tri-core. That would mean that the Air 2 would have an advantage over the A9X models, which would never happen.
  6. Booji macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2011
    One thing that Apple does better than anybody is not neglecting users of older hardware. Based on past history, Apple gear holds its value very well no matter if the next generation specs are much better.
  7. Appleaker, Aug 11, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016

    Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    I don't think it'll be quad-core, and Apple wouldn't want to do that seeing as a lot of their Macs are dual-core machines and having quad-core iOS devices may indicate (to the average consumer) that it is better than their Macs. Although saying that makes me think they are likely to do it with the X chips as you say.

    It would also take up more space within the device and produce more heat if it were done with the A10, again indicating that it would be done with the iPads first.

    I believe the only reason the A8X was triple-core was because they wanted to achieve that high level of performance and the chip was intended for the iPad Pro.
  8. Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
    A9X is a dual core chip, A8X is triple core.
  9. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I think there are way more important things to worry about.

    I will still enjoy my two iPad Pros just the same.
  10. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    Sorry that's what I meant, I've corrected it now.
  11. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    ....Why would a quad core (which probably isn't happening) A10 device destroy the resale value of an A9 device? You realize that nobody but tech nerds cares about the specs of the device. A9's are FAST, and the iPad Pro of this generation will have the same historical resale value as every iOS device before.

    Consumers care about generations, not the nitty gritty details they don't understand.
  12. kodos macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2010
    For the kinds of applications that people are using iPad Pros for right now, I doubt this will affect much of anything - except for guys who buy gear based on specs, and they are mostly Android fans.

    I struggle to see how this thing is utilizing even the two cores it has right now for most of the workload most people throw at it.
  13. Beavix macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2010
    Developers have always targeted the largest market, which is the iPhone. Period. So nothing new here.
  14. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Little to no effect. Just like single core to dual core (iPhone 4 to 4S) or 32 bit to 64 bit (iPhone 5 to 5S) or 1 gb to 2 gb of RAM (iPhone 6 to 6S) or 30 pin to Lightning (iPhone 4S to 5).

    The great thing about incremental updates is they are incremental updates, so resale isn't drastically affected.
  15. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    Apple is perfectly able to NOT to fall for the "I have more cores then you" war. There are many times when the stubbornness of Apple is annoying, this but this one of those occasions where they have a really good point. It's silly to have an octacore processor in a phone, not any phone can have all cores running at full capacity because of thermal constraints. The individual cores are usually slow and there is no software that can use 8 cores effectively, so it's pretty useless.
    The A8X was a triple core because they couldn't gain enough processor speed vs thermal dissipation vs efficiency vs thermal constraints. But the A9X went back to 2 cores and I expect the A10X to be 2 cores again. Most people don't realize that Apple is really good at designing those ARM processors, but if you would want some good insight into it, Anandtech.com has some really nice articles on the subject:
    Really worth while reading:

    From Anandtech:
    The fact that Apple dropped back down to 2 CPU cores is unexpected given that we don’t expect Apple to ever go backwards in such a fashion, and while we’ll never know the official reason for everything Apple does, in retrospect I’m starting to think that A8X was an anomaly and Apple didn’t really want a tri-core CPU in the first place. A8X came at a time where Apple was bound by TSMC’s 20nm process and couldn’t drive up their clockspeeds without vastly increasing power consumption, so a third core was a far more power effective option.
    Overall this means that iPad Pro and A9X will set a very high bar for tablet CPU performance. As we’ve already seen in the iPhone 6s review, the Twister CPU core is very potent and in most cases faster than any other ARM CPU core by leaps and bounds. Cranking up the clockspeed a further 22% only serves to open up that gap even further, as Twister is now reaching clockspeeds similar to the likes of Cortex-A57 and A72, but with its much wider execution pipeline and greater IPC. This is also the reason that an Intel Core CPU comparison is so interesting, as Intel’s tablet-class Core processors in many ways are the target to beat on overall CPU performance, and we’ll be touching upon this subject in greater detail a bit later.
  16. Tapiture macrumors 6502a


    Oct 1, 2016
    As another poster in another thread mentioned, java is single thread so if the 4 cores are individually weaker that would actually mean web surfing would perform BETTER on the 2 core iPad Pro.
  17. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    In the mobile market this is where Apple shines. They know the software and hardware. If a higher frequency is better for their software they can use less cores and higher frequencies CPUs.

    They know well in advance when to change the hardware to meet the demands of their software so transitioning to higher core counts is easy for them, well easier.

    We really need to start talking specific applications before a higher core count outweighs higher frequencies. Video encoding for example, where crunching large amounts data over an extended period of time is where more cores is clearly noticeable in real life. That said my iPad Air 2 using iMovie for a 4K video...imo it's impressive what it can do with the hardware. Again though 1st party software is the reason.

    On there Mac line, not really sure what they are thinking. The dual core in the Mac Mini for example, you can get CPUs with higher core counts and higher frequencies. Cooling could be a consideration however they've done it in the past. In the end Apples a business and I'm fairly confident a lot of these decisions are made for financial reasons.
  18. businezguy macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    My prediction is Apple will upgrade the iPad 12.9 and 10.5 (or whatever it will be) to the A10X which will be a dual core processor with another dual core lower power processor, similar to what's in the iPhone. I hope I'm right, because I'd love to see how much battery life the iPad would be during low powered operations such as reading a book or word processing if it could run on low power.

    The iPad is such a powerful device already, upgrading to a dual core A10X would be more than enough of an upgrade speed wise. But improving battery life for the iPad, there's an opportunity Apple shouldn't pass up.

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