Will the iPad Air 2 have a shorter life span due to its one-off tri-core processor?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by saintforlife, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. saintforlife macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    This is from Anandtech's iPad Pro review:

    Does this mean the iPad Air 2 could have a relatively shorter app/developer support? Going forward could the developers leave out the iPad Air 2 because of its one-off tri-core processor architecture and app incompatibility, or will they just design all apps to work with two cores only leaving the 3rd core unused on the iPad Air 2?
  2. klover macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2009
    No expert but I don't see how the core count has any impact on app compatibility. There are various single, dual and multi core SOCs on dozens of devices running identical software.
  3. AdonisSMU macrumors 604

    Oct 23, 2010
    Air 2 is already not being updated until next year at the earliest... Not sure what you want.
  4. JT2002TJ macrumors 65816

    Nov 7, 2013
    I would think it would have less of a lifespan because of having less RAM. I'll bet the new standard will be 4GB ram on iOS devices from now on.
  5. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    I'm no expert either, but I don't think that it works the way the OP suggests. I don't think that apps have to be specifically made to work with 3 cores or 2.
  6. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    Really? Because the vast majority of iOS devices in the wild don't even have 2GB. The iphone and iPad Mini lines JUST got 2GB two months ago. 4GB won't be the "standard" on iOS for some time.
  7. yegon macrumors 68030

    Oct 20, 2007
    Won't see 4gb RAM in the iPhone till the iPhone 8 (that is, after 7 & 7S). If in doubt, look at history.

    Air 2 will likely be very, very long lived, much like the iPad 2. I'd be surprised if the Air 3 had more than 2gb tbh.
  8. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Apps are either written for a single core or multi core. The amount of cores really dosnt matter.
  9. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    Agreed. I think that 4GB of RAM will be a Pro exclusive feature for some time. The rest of the iOS line has only just gotten 2GB, and Apple doesn't typically make frequent leaps in this regard.
  10. JT2002TJ macrumors 65816

    Nov 7, 2013
    The reason I say about the RAM is, my theory is as apps are developed for the pro, developers will advantage of the RAM, eventually maybe even the iphone 7, they will want access to it. It really isn't a "leap frog" to simply add more RAM... As long as the OS supports it (and we now know it does), it is simply a matter of adding the hardware.
  11. saintforlife thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    Thanks. I was not sure either. Maybe some developers can weigh in with their thoughts on whether core count matters when it comes to app development.
  12. joelypolly macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2003
    Melbourne & Shanghai
    Core counts don't really matter for most developers unless they are explicitly trying to load all cores. Otherwise Grand Central Dispatch and other multithreading frameworks work on queues and will automatically load available cores.
  13. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    East of Eden
    Deleted in light of Gav2k's post.

  14. supersalo macrumors 6502


    May 14, 2010
    As a developer, number of cores only time matters if you're doing something CPU intensive. Then it's s matter of optimizing any slow performance on the older hardware.

    But as for actual software instructions? No, there's no difference.
  15. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    Except, the Pro has a screen that is much larger in terms of pixels. Part of adding more RAM is so that you have somewhere to store the buffers needed for views and the like. So that's some of your memory usage. And if you are going to be multitasking more often on the larger screen, more RAM is useful there.

    I suspect that whatever replaces the Air 2 will also have 2GB of RAM for a couple more years.

    As a developer as well, I'll add that how many cores does matter depending on how well an app can be made multithreaded. When you add cores, you can get speed gains if the work can be spread across them easily. That means you get it done faster, and get the CPU to sleep sooner, saving power. However, if the work cannot be parallelized as nicely, you want fewer, faster cores (like the Pro). And again it's about getting work done faster, so the CPU can go back to sleep sooner. I suspect the design of the Pro with two very fast cores is addressing the reality that the apps they want to run are still mostly single threaded. Even if that single thread is not the main thread (a technique for doing work in serial while still being responsive to events).
  16. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2012
    Yeah, the single core speed is the most important stat for real world usage IMO. No one will realistically be using these to build a render farm and the things you will do tend to be very interactive in real time, which is where it's hardest to parallelize. Two cores has consistently proven to be enough in practice for this type of system because you usually just need one core focused on your foreground task and another available to handle background/secondary functions.

    To address the OP and the Anandtech article directly: It's an issue of perspective. If you are judging device performance by multicore benchmarks then it's possible the A8X will feel slower than this score would suggest. I would argue that you should really use single core benchmarks to judge CPU speeds, and in that context the A8X will perform exactly as its benchmarks suggest even if developers fail to make good use of all 3 cores. Even if Apple had gone with 2 cores last year, that doesn't mean they could have increased single core speed (they would have if it were realistic).
  17. Billy95Tech Suspended

    Apr 18, 2014
    I think so as well it use to be 2GB of RAM but now it is 4GB RAM the new standard on IOS devices especially on the Ipad.

    Hopefully the Ipad Air 3 will have 4GB of RAM! :)
  18. TurboPGT! Suspended

    Sep 25, 2015
    It does not.

  19. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    As I mentioned above, 4GB of RAM is definitely not the standard for iOS devices. Until 2 months ago, only one iOS device even had 2GB of RAM. The vast majority of iOS devices currently being used are equipped with 1GB of RAM. It will probably still be years before that changes.
  20. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    The ipad mini 4 was just released this year and sports an A8 processor, which has fewer cores and lower clock speeds than the ipad air 2. Any software update which screws the ipad air 2 will affect the ipad mini 4, and Apple is obligated to support the mini 4 much longer (since it is a newer product).

    I believe we won't have to worry about the Air 2 for some time. I like to think that it it this year's ipad released a year early. It should remain future-proof for some time to come.
  21. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    Honestly I think it could be the other way round. I think more developers will do apps for air than the pro

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