Video claims to show graphics switching on a prototype iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new, unconfirmed video claims to show a prototype iPhone with a software-based developer setting that allows switching between graphics processing units.



AppleInsider cannot offer any verification of the authenticity of the video provided, but it claims to show a handset built for testing purposes that allows developers to choose between the SGX535 GPU found in the iPhone 4, and the faster SGX545, which has not yet been seen in any of Apple's mobile devices.



The PowerVR SGX535 GPU from Imagination Technologies currently handles graphics for the A4 processor that powers the iPhone 4. But the A5 processor found in the iPad 2 has a SGX543MP2 GPU, different from the "545" model shown in the video. The SGX543MP2 has two SGX543 cores.



Update: A second video provided shows the "About" section of the iPhone Settings application. While the original, unedited video was provided to AppleInsider, it has been cropped to mask anything that might uniquely identify the handset.



The SGX545 GPU was first unveiled in January of 2010, boasting full support for OpenGL 3.2 and OpenCL 1.0 with real-world performance of 40 million polygons per second at 200MHz. For comparison, the SGX535 can produce 28 million polygons per second, while the SGX543 pushes 35 million polygons per second.



But the SGX543MP2, with two SGX543 GPUs, is capable of nearly 70 million polygons per second, which would make it much more powerful than the single SGX545 claimed to be in the prototype.



While the video claims to show a prototype iPhone, the hardware displayed looks identical to the currently available iPhone 4. It's possible that the graphics switching functionality, shown accessed through the iOS Settings application via the Developer Settings section, was enabled through a hack, or has been faked by some other method, such as a jailbreak.











As for the GPU differing from the A5 currently found in the iPad 2, it would not be a new approach for Apple to modify and improve the processor in the iPhone. For example, the A4 found in the iPhone 4 has 512MB of RAM, which is twice that of the A4 found in the first-generation iPad released months before the iPhone 4 was unveiled.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    Not that much of a reason to fake this. I'm going to assume that it's likely real.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    anyone else notice that Facebook is also present in the settings?
  • Reply 3 of 30
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,116member
    Bummer if its not using the same MP2 graphics chip that's in the iPad 2.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tipoo View Post


    Bummer if its not using the same MP2 graphics chip that's in the iPad 2.



    Why? It appears to be faster than what the iPad 2 offers:



    "But the A5 processor found in the iPad 2 has a SGX543 GPU, different from the "545" model shown in the video.



    The SGX545 GPU was first unveiled in January of 2010, boasting full support for OpenGL 3.2 and OpenCL 1.0 with real-world performance of 40 million polygons per second at 200MHz. For comparison, the SGX535 can produce 28 million polygons per second, while the SGX543 pushes 35 million polygons per second."
  • Reply 5 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jkane08 View Post


    anyone else notice that Facebook is also present in the settings?



    FB integration in iOS..That's been seen on previous video leaks before..
  • Reply 6 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    As for the GPU differing from the A5 currently found in the iPad 2, it would not be a new approach for Apple to modify and improve the processor in the iPhone. For example, the A4 found in the iPhone 4 has 512MB of RAM, which is twice that of the A4 found in the first-generation iPad released months before the iPhone 4 was unveiled.



    This brings up an interesting question - which should have more processing power - the iPad or iPhone? I'd think the iPad should, for various reasons. The way Apple schedules releases right now, the iPad gets the new processor first but the iPhone gets a more advanced version of it later (at least based on a sample year of 1, possibly 2 by next week).
  • Reply 7 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    FB integration in iOS..That's been seen on previous video leaks before..



    Doubtful Zuckerberg has dropped the onerous demands he once posed. The growth of Facebook is such that he has no reasons to be anything less than unreasonable with any platform. After all, he wants FB to be the platform. The fact that we have seen leaks (if reliable) means nothing. Apple integrated Ping with FB only to have Zuckerberg pull the plug at the last minute.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tipoo View Post


    Bummer if its not using the same MP2 graphics chip that's in the iPad 2.



    The iPad needs more graphics processing power.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    The iPad needs more graphics processing power.



    More is to the point the iPad will have more...



    If cores continue the iPad will have 32. It will do a billion polys.



    The decision to invest in a particular pathway is surely now more about the platform, if it works for you and provides the solutions you need.



    In two years max you will have an iPad with more power, earlier if you want but maybe you hang on to tech a bit longer.



    Don't sweat on power
  • Reply 10 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jkane08 View Post


    anyone else notice that Facebook is also present in the settings?



    What do you mean? It's there now in the current iOS.
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Why? It appears to be faster than what the iPad 2 offers:



    "But the A5 processor found in the iPad 2 has a SGX543 GPU, different from the "545" model shown in the video.



    The SGX545 GPU was first unveiled in January of 2010, boasting full support for OpenGL 3.2 and OpenCL 1.0 with real-world performance of 40 million polygons per second at 200MHz. For comparison, the SGX535 can produce 28 million polygons per second, while the SGX543 pushes 35 million polygons per second."



    "But the SGX543MP2, with two SGX543 GPUs, is capable of nearly 70 million polygons per second, which would make it much more powerful than the single SGX545 claimed to be in the prototype."



    The iPad 2 has the dual-core SGX543MP2 which makes it the fastest of all of the GPUs mentioned.



    The SGX545 paints 43% fewer polys per second than what's in the iPad 2.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post


    More is to the point the iPad will have more...



    If cores continue the iPad will have 32. It will do a billion polys.



    The decision to invest in a particular pathway is surely now more about the platform, if it works for you and provides the solutions you need.



    In two years max you will have an iPad with more power, earlier if you want but maybe you hang on to tech a bit longer.



    Don't sweat on power



    Not sweating, I was explaining a point.



    As for 32 cores, please note that in desktop computing, the trend of offering processors with more and more cores has decelerated. The same may well happen with mobile devices. Also, please note that we don't need 32 cores to do a billion polygons.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post


    What do you mean? It's there now in the current iOS.



    Not in the settings PROPER when you don't have an app installed.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


    "But the SGX543MP2, with two SGX543 GPUs, is capable of nearly 70 million polygons per second, which would make it much more powerful than the single SGX545 claimed to be in the prototype."



    The iPad 2 has the dual-core SGX543MP2 which makes it the fastest of all of the GPUs mentioned.



    The SGX545 paints 43% fewer polys per second than what's in the iPad 2.



    Paper specs... Polygon throughput is a pretty useless metric as it doesn't say anything about real-world performance. Often polygon throughput is based on flat-shaded, single-pixel polygons and sometimes even degenerate polygons which aren't even rendered but get clipped in one of the first stages of the rendering pipeline. Besides that, polygon throughput is largely irrelevant above a certain point since almost any kind of complex 3D graphics will be limited by fill-rate.



    Fillrate numbers would be a lot more interesting. Obviously the iPad 2 will need a GPU with higher fillrates, not only because of the higher resolution, but also because the larger screen makes it worthwhile to implement more involved graphics effects that require higher fillrates. For example, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to add very complex multi-texturing effects to an iPhone game, since the added detail would get lost on the small screen.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Not in the settings PROPER when you don't have an app installed.



    How do you know the phone in the video doesn't have the Facebook app installed?
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    The iPad needs more graphics processing power.



    I think the iPhone 5 could get an "A5" with 512MB RAM but with this different GPU... Conceivably the iPhone 5 should have a faster GPU than iPhone 4 but need not be as powerful as iPad 2. I've played RageHD on iPhone 4 and it's still quite pretty (yes, it's on rails but the graphics were decent for a 4" screen FFS).



    Now the iPad 3... That should do PS3 quality graphics. Apple should shoot for the moon (or Mars) there. Go right up to the power of a PS3 in a tablet. Heck if that doesn't interest the game developers. Bump capacities to 128GB and you should start to see some decent titles. Exclusivity aside, you might even see "AAA - enthusiast gamer" titles from previous few years start to show up. Sure, you may or may not get COD:BlackOps but you could get Bioshock 1&2, for example. Unreal is dying to bring as full-spec an Unreal Engine 3 to the iPad as possible.



    Think about it. Great gaming on the go, great gaming at home, great gaming driving your 1080p big-screen HDTV. The only challenge is the control system.



    People love their PS3. But they can't pause their game and then hop on the train or plane and continue playing... They can't check their PS3 games, chat online or game online in full capability at the cafe.



    The perfect storm of casual and "hardcore" gaming and mobile broadband plus mobile lifestyles is brewing. Nintendo and Sony is trying it, but they and Microsoft can't get any traction beyond their core base of Wii, PS3 and Xbox360. Okay, Nintendo maybe with portable systems but they and Sony are getting poked more and more frequently by iOS gaming and the "erosion of the gaming market".



    Dead Space 2 was a great title and I think the install comes to about 8GB. An iPad3 with PS3-quality graphics with 128GB could handle Dead Space 2 easily. Remember disk access would be super fast because it's all flash memory... So it would actually be faster in some ways than consoles. Dead Space 2 physics and other CPU processing I think could be handled relatively easily by an A6 ARM-whatever. There are ways to cut corners, maybe simpler physics and not as much destructible material. But not like the PS3 and Xbox360 hardware is that fantastic CPU-wise anyway... It's just that developers have all these years in figuring out how to really get the very best out of it (and have the biggest budgets of any gaming endeavour in general)
  • Reply 17 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post


    How do you know the phone in the video doesn't have the Facebook app installed?



    Because when it IS, it's not listed up with the real settings, but down by the REST of the installed applications.



    It COULD have the app installed. That's meaningless. This video shows an OS-level integration thereof, not an app-level settings menu.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Because when it IS, it's not listed up with the real settings, but down by the REST of the installed applications.



    It COULD have the app installed. That's meaningless. This video shows an OS-level integration thereof, not an app-level settings menu.



    I see what you're saying now. I also see Facetime, Music and Video on there too. Isn't Music and Video part of the iPod Touch? On the iPhone it's just "iPod".
  • Reply 19 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by d-range View Post


    Paper specs... Polygon throughput is a pretty useless metric as it doesn't say anything about real-world performance. Often polygon throughput is based on flat-shaded, single-pixel polygons and sometimes even degenerate polygons which aren't even rendered but get clipped in one of the first stages of the rendering pipeline. Besides that, polygon throughput is largely irrelevant above a certain point since almost any kind of complex 3D graphics will be limited by fill-rate.



    Fillrate numbers would be a lot more interesting. Obviously the iPad 2 will need a GPU with higher fillrates, not only because of the higher resolution, but also because the larger screen makes it worthwhile to implement more involved graphics effects that require higher fillrates. For example, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to add very complex multi-texturing effects to an iPhone game, since the added detail would get lost on the small screen.



    Sure I know there are other graphics benchmarks other than polys per sec however the article above only mentions polys and I was just pointing out jragosta's incorrect statement that the iPad 2's GPU wasn't any better than the 545.



    In any case, real world performance of real apps on the actual devices (and their respective displays) is what it comes down to, whether it be GPU, CPU, memory speeds, etc.



    The graphics benchmarks might be interesting from an egghead perspective, but they don't mean much to Joe Smartphone Consumer who doesn't look at specs.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post


    I see what you're saying now. I also see Facetime, Music and Video on there too. Isn't Music and Video part of the iPod Touch? On the iPhone it's just "iPod".



    No, in iOS 5 they're split.
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