Apple's A10 chip for the iPhone 7 pops on Geekbench: as fast as the A9X

The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, or whatever Apple decides to title them in the end, are likely arriving with new tickers inside, or the next generation Apple processors, dubbed tentatively A10. The A10 is expected to be built on the 16nm FinFET node of TSMC, of which the foundry has doubled production in the last few months so as to be able to ramp up for the grand launch in September.

TSMC and the other foundries, however, still aren't ready for mass production on 10nm, though they do have trial batches out, hence the 16nm node for Apple A10 is the same used for the A9. Still, since it will be an improved design, we can expect better performance, lower power consumption, and lesser heating, as evolutionary steps go. How much better performance?

Well, the first A10 results have appeared on Geekbench, and, as you can see in the chart above, the single-core performance is pretty mighty, as we've come to expect from Apple's processor designs. The A10 scored only a tad lower than the Apple A9X in the two iPad Pro models, which are currently the fastest iOS machines out there, and about 20% higher than the A9 chip that is in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, too. 

That's not a negligible jump, and yet the score lift from A8 to A9 was in the realm of 50%, so we'd wager to guess the improvements in the actual A10 chip footprint and power consumption would be the more significant ones. In fact, there are rumors that the A10 will be made with the unique "fan-out" method that reduces its size, leading to either a slimmer phone, a larger battery, or more space for other internal components. In fact, there is speculation that went for all three - it has allegedly placed a 1960 mAh battery in the iPhone 7, despite making it a tad slimmer than the 6s, but we'll wait for the official unveiling or a second rumor source before we can believe that.

The A10 will still be an evolutionary step over the A9, though, as a popular Weibo account that often spills the beans on upcoming mobile chipsets has tipped today that the A10 is once again a dual-core chipset with strong single core performance, just like the last few editions. There isn't much you can throw at the A9 from the App Store or while browsing and taking pictures that will choke the processor, so there is no need to go overboard with horse power for the sake of power consumption anyway.

source: IIceUniverse (Weibo) via




Posts: 2815; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

No improvement? Fail!

4. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Yes there is? Troll Fail! The A9X is from the iPad Pro, not the iPhone 6S.

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

He's too much of a troll to see that.

6. Chidoro44

Posts: 52; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

I guess reading is hard for you.

9. pagal

Posts: 49; Member since: Jul 04, 2016

Why no improvement?

16. InsertUsernameHere

Posts: 430; Member since: Aug 31, 2014

What do you mean no improvement?

44. Nopers unregistered

Nah, that's perfect. If the performance hasn't been enhanced that means the efficiency has. Everyone is always saying "flagship mobile processors are overkill" but as soon as the Apple A10 was rumored to be just as strong as the A9X suddenly that's not good enough.

2. twens

Posts: 1172; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

One thing about apple. Processor power is not that necessary. The OS is optimized enough to do what it does.

32. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Agreed they need to increase ram for better multitasking, resolution for better quality screen and gpu to keep smooth performance at higher resolution.

45. Nopers unregistered

Nah RAM management is fine on 2GB, 3GB is likely for the 7+

7. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

Not a big jump really. Look at the A9 vs the A8x, the A9 thrashed it. But I guess the A8x didn't make a very big jump from the A8, so whatever. It doesn't matter though, it's not like Apple needs to make the iPhone any faster, given the competition.

21. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I have an ipad Pro 12.9 and this think is ridiculously fast. I haven't seen a stutter or pickup yet! Putting that power in a phone with a 4.7 or 5.5 inch screen will be insane! Also, the A9 is still smoking most current gen Android phones.

23. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

With all that said above, I dont think the extra speed will be noticeable in day to day use.

29. tedkord

Posts: 17311; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The A9 loses in overall benchmarks to most current flagship CPUs. However, your next point is right, all current top end mobile SOCs are already more than fast enough.

51. AmashAziz

Posts: 2898; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Where does it lose except in gGeekbench multi-core (due to just 2 cores) and in antutu 6.0 with only 3000-4000 difference. Well I donot know why the A9 looses in antutu even with a tiny difference. But I have seen it win in all other tests. However if you want to ignore tests, no issue. iPhone is still fastest in overall performance and fluidity. Not my guess, but based on 17-18 speed comparisons which I've seen.

11. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

single core score is just useless.. what apps out there that only use single core?

13. adecvat

Posts: 638; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

What apps use dual core?

17. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

None. We still live in 90's.

19. thesyd

Posts: 5; Member since: Jul 31, 2015

Almost every single one.

38. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Most iPhone apps are optimized specifically for Single Core usage. It saves power, while maintaining top performance for longer.

41. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

Single core saves power! LOLOLOLOL. The only reason multi core processors were created was for power saving.

12. UglyFrank

Posts: 2193; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

It will be interesting to see the performance gains since it will be the first year in a while where the processor hasn't had a node shrink.

15. jove39

Posts: 2145; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Wow A9x performance in A10. A9x has performance comparable to Core M series. This is really good. Any improvements in battery size for iPhone7? I want to buy regular iPhone instead of Plus.

24. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

The battery is alleged to be growing now - to 1960mAh, 14% improvement.

20. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Still in testing phase, the actual processor could probably beat a9x with ease, my bet 3100-3200 in single score while 6000 in multi score.

25. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I'm no chip expert, but I would imagine these chips are final and being assembled in the units. I guess they could clock it higher in the software. Again, I'm no expert. Is that something they can do after the fact?

46. Nopers unregistered

Unlikely but they could be testing a low power mode.

47. cheetah2k

Posts: 2220; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Isn't everything Apple produces running a low power mode? Its the only way they can make their devices last half a day before charging... HAHAHAA

52. AmashAziz

Posts: 2898; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Take your trolls and your face somewhere else. This section is for sensible people!

30. JMartin22

Posts: 2369; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

The fall is the ARM architecture update for Apple, Spring of next year will show us what architectural improvements the likes of Qualcomm and Samsung are going to make. So for the next 5-6 months, the A10 will have a leg up

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