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Single-core A5 CPU in new 1080p Apple TV doubles RAM to 512MB

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
A teardown of the new 1080p-capable Apple TV has found that its single-core A5 processor features the same 8 gigabytes of memory, but doubles the RAM of its predecessor to 512 megabytes.

The new Apple TV features a custom-built A5 processor that, unlike the A5 CPU found in the iPhone 4S or iPad 2, features only a single processing core, instead of two. But while Apple removed one of the cores from the CPU, it left the RAM at 512 megabytes, according to a teardown of the device conducted by XBMC community member "aicjofs" (via MacRumors).

The RAM in the new Apple TV is built by Hynix, and is believed to be the same memory utilized in the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.

While the RAM has been given an upgrade, the internal flash memory, which is used to cache video files when they are streamed, remains static at 8 gigabytes.

The updated set-top box is also said to feature a second antenna that its predecessor did not have. Its exact purpose is unknown, but it was suggested that the antenna could be to improve Wi-Fi connectivity and speed.

The previous Apple TV, which was capable of outputting 720p high-definition video, ran on the A4 processor that is found in the iPhone 4 and first-generation iPad. The previous Apple TV featured 256 megabytes of RAM.




Meanwhile, the new iPad features a unique A5X CPU that has even more RAM, with a gigabyte of onboard memory. The dual-core CPU also features a new quad-core embedded graphics processor that gives the new iPad even greater graphical capabilities.

Together, the new iPad can stream 1080p high-definition video over AirPlay to the new Apple TV, allowing users to watch high-quality content on their HDTV.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While the RAM has been given an upgrade, the internal flash memory, which is used to cache video files when they are streamed, remains static at 8 gigabytes.

1) Since iTunes Store 1080p isn't much larger than its 720p due to the new profile used this makes sense.

2) I wanted an AppleTV SDK and App Store in the past but I now think this is best handled with the upgrades Apple has made to AirPlay

Quote:
The updated set-top box is also said to feature a second antenna that its predecessor did not have. Its exact purpose is unknown, but it was suggested that the antenna could be to improve Wi-Fi connectivity and speed.

Perhaps they have also added an additional 802.11n spatial stream. It seems highly unlikely that they added 802.11ac to their hobby, first.

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #3 of 24
512MB is not enough RAM for people who measure their self esteem in gigabytes

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #4 of 24
I wish there was a way to stream the content ad hoc to the atv instead of it having to travel via the router, don't see why radio waves have to travel all around the house via my baby sons room, instead of just pushing play and leaving the iPad close to the atv, although I appreciate the technical difficulty in achieving this.

Anyway the atv has come to its own, or come close to its own with this release, it remains to be seen what apple plans to do with the rumoured tv set, I hope atv stays as a stand alone product as well.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Perhaps they have also added an additional 802.11n spatial stream. It seems highly unlikely that they added 802.11ac to their hobby, first.

Are ther any routers or pcs with 802.11ac yet? Is it still a provisional standard or is it close to finalisation?
post #6 of 24
Hopefully the extra antenna solves the problem with my second ATV in my back bedroom. Even though it is next to an Airport Express which is set up to extend my network it loads extrememly / painfully slowly from my iTunes library. This is a severe flaw that is mentioned frequently on discussion boards.
post #7 of 24
For most people, "memory" and "RAM" are synonymous, so saying it has 8GB of memory and 512MB of RAM is a bit confusing.

Why not describe the 8GB as "storage" or "flash"?
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance" - Steve Ballmer
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"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance" - Steve Ballmer
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post #8 of 24
Having purchased the new Apple TV for the sole reason of streaming the contents of my iPad2 to my home theater I was disappointed to find poor data transfer rates. Music videos do not play smoothly and frequently stop. I have not worked though this issue at this time and will report back once I find the exact problem/solution.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

I wish there was a way to stream the content ad hoc to the atv instead of it having to travel via the router, don't see why radio waves have to travel all around the house via my baby sons room, instead of just pushing play and leaving the iPad close to the atv, although I appreciate the technical difficulty in achieving this.

Just paper your son's room with aluminum foil. That's really what it was meant for. If you have any left over, make everyone in your family a tin foil hat.
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

512MB is not enough RAM for people who measure their self esteem in gigabytes

I was going to make a similar comment. I can't wait for all the people who say Apple has lots of money and should have had a quad core processor in this thing - and 32 GB of storage.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #11 of 24
This needs to be in the iPod touch

iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.66GHz 8GB RAM 120GB Intel 320M
Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 8GB RAM, iPhone 5 32GB Black

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iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.66GHz 8GB RAM 120GB Intel 320M
Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 8GB RAM, iPhone 5 32GB Black

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post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Just paper your son's room with aluminum foil. That's really what it was meant for. If you have any left over, make everyone in your family a tin foil hat.

Keep your iPhone as much as you can in your jeans pocket, you ll be doing humanity a favour.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Venkman View Post

Having purchased the new Apple TV for the sole reason of streaming the contents of my iPad2 to my home theater I was disappointed to find poor data transfer rates. Music videos do not play smoothly and frequently stop. I have not worked though this issue at this time and will report back once I find the exact problem/solution.

That should help with debug. In any event Ethernet is a good thing, people often expect to much from WiFi.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

I wish there was a way to stream the content ad hoc to the atv instead of it having to travel via the router, don't see why radio waves have to travel all around the house via my baby sons room, instead of just pushing play and leaving the iPad close to the atv, although I appreciate the technical difficulty in achieving this.

Anyway the atv has come to its own, or come close to its own with this release, it remains to be seen what apple plans to do with the rumoured tv set, I hope atv stays as a stand alone product as well.

Wifi will have zero effect on your child's brain or upbringing. Any evidence to the contrary is usually just real science being misinterpreted/misappropriated by people who want to sell you stuff. If the energy was intense enough to interface with organic systems we probably would have evolved the ability to see (or otherwise perceive) background micro-wave radiation in the natural environment. Only reason micro-waves ovens cook food is because they are a very specific frequency which is able to wobble an intra-molecular bond inside water molecules.

Advertisers know anxiety is the primary emotion that drives parents to purchase. Dont be conned.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

I wish there was a way to stream the content ad hoc to the atv instead of it having to travel via the router, don't see why radio waves have to travel all around the house via my baby sons room, instead of just pushing play and leaving the iPad close to the atv, although I appreciate the technical difficulty in achieving this.

Anyway the atv has come to its own, or come close to its own with this release, it remains to be seen what apple plans to do with the rumoured tv set, I hope atv stays as a stand alone product as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

Keep your iPhone as much as you can in your jeans pocket, you ll be doing humanity a favour.

You're not doing anyone any favors by being so misinformed.

If you're so worried about the WiFi radiation, why don't you move the access point to a more central location? Or just turn it off if you really think it does damage.

If you meant to get around bandwidth and signal degradation, I don't know why Apple doesn't have more ad-hoc capability. But you'd still have that distance limitation when you want to stream media from the internet.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Perhaps they have also added an additional 802.11n spatial stream. It seems highly unlikely that they added 802.11ac to their hobby, first.

I called it . I figured they'd silent release the extended range like the airports. *pats self on back*

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Hopefully the extra antenna solves the problem with my second ATV in my back bedroom. Even though it is next to an Airport Express which is set up to extend my network it loads extrememly / painfully slowly from my iTunes library. This is a severe flaw that is mentioned frequently on discussion boards.

I had a similar problem in my daughters room. Thats the only one that uses my airport express as an extender- and it gets slow- the new ATV I can happily report is lightning fast in comparison. In fact- all locations are better. Very happy with these upgrades (albiet small ones).

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #17 of 24
I picked up the 3rd gen Apple TV over the weekend and I have to say I really like the speed bump from the 2nd gen version. Even with a single core, the difference in speed between the A4 and the A5 is noticeable. My problem with it is that there isn't a interlacer hidden in the circuitry which means it can't do 1080i to my classic 65" Mitsubishi. So it's falling back to 480p which really sucks (my TV doesn't do 720p from external sources).

This means that I either have to take it back to the store or upgrade my classic receiver (built before HDMI switching and built in scalers). It's going to sting to end up spending upwards of $1000 to satisfy a $99 device (my wife won't let me replace the TV for another couple of years).
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

I picked up the 3rd gen Apple TV over the weekend and I have to say I really like the speed bump from the 2nd gen version. Even with a single core, the difference in speed between the A4 and the A5 is noticeable. My problem with it is that there isn't a interlacer hidden in the circuitry which means it can't do 1080i to my classic 65" Mitsubishi. So it's falling back to 480p which really sucks (my TV doesn't do 720p from external sources).

This means that I either have to take it back to the store or upgrade my classic receiver (built before HDMI switching and built in scalers). It's going to sting to end up spending upwards of $1000 to satisfy a $99 device (my wife won't let me replace the TV for another couple of years).

tell your wife you are going to buy a new sports car instead.... Then after a few days, tell her you will settle for the new TV.
post #19 of 24
I picked up the new ATV on Friday when I got the new iPad. Setup was easy and it worked flawlessly until Sunday when I rented a movie from iTunes. I started to see flashes of white at the bottom of the screen and the occasional audio stutter. Late Sunday night I decided to track down the issue to see if it was in the saved download or something else. It was both - as I could rewind the movie and sometimes replicate the flash in the exact same spot and sometimes not.

I did all of the standard fixes (resetting, soft and hard reboots, etc.). By Monday morning (this morning) the flashes were occurring with great frequency and not just when viewing the rental movie.

Apple tech support walked me through the video settings (which were initially set to Auto) and it turned out that ATV was having difficulty displaying at 1080p 60 Hz, while 720p 60Hz was fine. This points to a hardware failure and the unit will be returning to the store for a replacement.

I'm just curious if anyone else has seen this issue (Apple tech said it was new to them)?
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

I picked up the 3rd gen Apple TV over the weekend and I have to say I really like the speed bump from the 2nd gen version. Even with a single core, the difference in speed between the A4 and the A5 is noticeable. My problem with it is that there isn't a interlacer hidden in the circuitry which means it can't do 1080i to my classic 65" Mitsubishi. So it's falling back to 480p which really sucks (my TV doesn't do 720p from external sources).

This means that I either have to take it back to the store or upgrade my classic receiver (built before HDMI switching and built in scalers). It's going to sting to end up spending upwards of $1000 to satisfy a $99 device (my wife won't let me replace the TV for another couple of years).

An HDTV that can't take 720p sounds like it's about 10 years old maybe. It does look like they took away the 1080i for this model.

$1000 gets a pretty sizable TV, $1500 replaces the TV with a new Mitsu of the same size.

It might be simpler to get the previous AppleTV, unless you were intending to get a new receiver anyway. I'd check the Apple online store for refurbished versions of the previous model from time to time. They're out right now, but I'm sure more will keep trickling in.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

You're not doing anyone any favors by being so misinformed.

If you're so worried about the WiFi radiation, why don't you move the access point to a more central location? Or just turn it off if you really think it does damage.

If you meant to get around bandwidth and signal degradation, I don't know why Apple doesn't have more ad-hoc capability. But you'd still have that distance limitation when you want to stream media from the internet.

I am very well informed thank you very much on the effects of non ionizing radiation, or just enough to not be on the receiving end of average worn sarcasm by the average joe. I will not reveal my major for privacy reasons, but I have friends in both the electrical and biological sciences who are also convinced of the potential dangers cell phone radiation poses, the vested interests hindering more robust research, and the available long term studies pointing to brain tumors after a threshold of long term cell phone use. I am also aware that wifi poses a minimal risk as compared to cell phone em radiation. I am no alarmist, but I have my concerns.

I have turned it off at times, and I 've also considered ethernet; unfortunately a more central placement of the router would mean the bedrooms at the back would suffer from signal reception, but for this I am considering and augmenter at the back.

Bandwidth and signal degradations are also issues as you point out. I would think a more ad hoc way of connecting the ipad to the atv would be very useful. Why steam web content say from the router to the ipad, then stream it back via airplay to the router to be streamed in turn to the atv? If I understand this correctly, this is what's happening. I appreciate it's technically much easier to use the established wifi network via the router to centralize the process.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

An HDTV that can't take 720p sounds like it's about 10 years old maybe. It does look like they took away the 1080i for this model.

$1000 gets a pretty sizable TV, $1500 replaces the TV with a new Mitsu of the same size.

It might be simpler to get the previous AppleTV, unless you were intending to get a new receiver anyway. I'd check the Apple online store for refurbished versions of the previous model from time to time.

I've been lobbying my wife to replace the TV for the last year. The Mitsubishi 65813 was a top of the line, state-of-the-art TV for 2003. But state of the art then for rear projection was 9" CRT guns that could actually resolve 1080 dots across (most TVs of the day couldn't). DLP arrived about the same at 720p resolution and 1080p soon after with varying degrees of success. Most of those had crummy scalers and my Mitsu didn't even try...it didn't even accept 720p from external sources and didn't scale 480i/p (displaying natively instead) which is why I passed on the previous 720p Apple TV.

These days, it isn't that hard to find a LED LCD or plasma set that blows away my old Mitsu in all respects. All of them have scalers that are better than many outbound scalers from 5 years ago. But 65" or larger sets can still be expensive, especially if you are a picky videophile like myself. If I get another 65" set, it will actually look smaller since the old set is nearly 3 feet deep and any new set will hang on the wall. 75-80" flat screens are also available but cost more in most cases (the 80" Sharp is probably the best buck per inch at $2100-$2500 but you can get a better picture elsewhere). Lastly, there would be other costs like installation, a wall mount, and a new AV component/speaker stand to replace the current one which was custom built for the current set.

All in all, a new upper-end receiver is the cheaper route. The current one I has been around for nearly 9 years and I've gotten my money's worth out of it and I can think of a secondary use for it.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

Lastly, there would be other costs like installation, a wall mount, and a new AV component/speaker stand to replace the current one which was custom built for the current set.

All in all, a new upper-end receiver is the cheaper route. The current one I has been around for nearly 9 years and I've gotten my money's worth out of it and I can think of a secondary use for it.

What receiver are you thinking of? The newer Onkyos are phenomenal for upscaling bang-for-buck (with the Marvell Qdeo chip).

Don't let the a flat screen installation scare you at all. If you can mow your lawn, you can hang a flat screen and hide the wires (unless its an outside wall). But if its an inside wall, just cut a tiny whole, run the plugs to your cabinet by fishing them in (super easy)- and get yourself a mount on Amazon for $80 (for a decent one that has completely adjustable angles).

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

I've been lobbying my wife to replace the TV for the last year. The Mitsubishi 65813 was a top of the line, state-of-the-art TV for 2003. But state of the art then for rear projection was 9" CRT guns that could actually resolve 1080 dots across (most TVs of the day couldn't). DLP arrived about the same at 720p resolution and 1080p soon after with varying degrees of success. Most of those had crummy scalers and my Mitsu didn't even try...it didn't even accept 720p from external sources and didn't scale 480i/p (displaying natively instead) which is why I passed on the previous 720p Apple TV.

I thought I found the previous AppleTV did output 1080i, at least unofficially, but maybe that wasn't so. What I found might have confused the original model with the second generation.
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