What do you think the third core in the A8X is used for?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Andres Cantu, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    Now that we know that the iPad mini 4 has an A8 chip with 2GB of RAM, it is safe to say that the extra gig of RAM is the necessary component for split-screen multitasking. In that case, what do you guys think the third core in the A8X used for?

    My theory is that they needed that third core because they knew that they would not introduce an iPad Air 3 this year, so they needed a chip that would still be considered fast a year after its introduction. Next year they'll probably put the A9X in the iPad Air 3, the A9 in the iPad mini 5, an A10X in the iPad Pro 2, and an A10 in the iPhones 7 and 7 Plus.
  2. Left4DeadBoy macrumors regular


    Sep 20, 2015
    A chip that could still be considered fast, a year after... its introduction. Will such a chip make its way home?
  3. jev425 macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    I think the air 2 even though it won't have the 3D Touch or whatever new "features" the newer iPads bring, will still be able to perform smoothly even two years from right now
  4. DSTOFEL macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2011
    +1: IMO, The iPad Air 2 and the iPad 2 are the two best in the history of iPads in terms of longevity (i.e. In their time).
  5. Whoakapi macrumors regular

    May 26, 2010
    The Air 2 wouldn't be so awesome if Apple had put 2GB RAM in the Air 1.
  6. Andres Cantu thread starter macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    That's true, same goes for the iPad 1 if it would have had 512MB of RAM.
  7. DSTOFEL macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2011
    The Air 2 would be just as awesome in that case....the Air 1 would just have been better...a bit more future proof!
  8. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    The third core is just available for periods when extra threads need to work. Pretty much any phone/tablet, running off of battery, can't be running all cores full out very long or the battery will quickly go dead. And the device get hot. But, for brief periods, multithreaded apps can get stuff done faster with 3 cores than with 2 or 1.
  9. mi7chy macrumors 601


    Oct 24, 2014
  10. Billy95Tech Suspended

    Apr 18, 2014
    Definitely agree and soo true!!! :)
  11. Smoovejayy macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2012
    This. My iPad Air 2 runs flawlessly, albeit I have to start from scratch since recovering data in the process of downgrading from 9.1 to 9.0 is a b***h. I love my iPad Air 2 but I honestly would like to know if it does take advantage of the third core. I think one user said it: when multitasking, the OS takes up the third core. Also for future proofing I suppose. I'm starting to see the separation between my 6S and Air 2: 3D Touch.
  12. rkuo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2010
    Multitasking, definitely. You can also bet the extra core is helping with image decoding and other web page rendering tasks. Really depends on the apps.
  13. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    It isn't split like that. An app doing nothing (even if visble) should be fully idle and not be using any cores at all. An app that is multithreaded can be using multiple cores. Cores are not assigned to anything, but they are used to balance load on the CPU when possible.

    More cores will benefit some scenarios where it can be multithreaded, by allowing work to be done faster and letting the CPU get back to sleep faster. There's also certain views in UIKit that intentionally split their drawing across multiple threads (anything using CATileLayer), those get better drawing performance with more cores so you don't get that "tile pop" during scrolling as badly.

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