iPad mini 4 uses overclocked A8 processor faster than 2014 iPhones

Posted:
in iPad edited September 2015
Apple has engineered the iPad mini 4's version of the A8 processor to make it slightly faster than the original chip used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, a report said on Tuesday.




The Mini 4's processor runs at about 1.5 gigahertz, just over the 1.4 gigahertz possible with Apple's 2014 iPhones, ArsTechnica noted. Geekbench testing shows that while the tablet is only marginally faster than the iPhone 6, and much slower than the iPad Air 2, it's also roughly 20 percent faster than the Mini 2 and 3, which each use an A7.

The Mini 4 also benefits from having 2 gigabytes of RAM, double the amount in previous Minis and iPhones.

The Air 2 likewise has 2 gigabytes of RAM and a 1.5-gigahertz processor, but with an additional core, which makes it about 46 percent faster than the Mini 4.




Only the Air 2, Mini 4, and iPad Pro will be able to take full advantage of iOS 9's multitasking features via Split View. Because of hardware constraints, earlier iPads will only have access to Slide Over and/or Picture-in-Picture options.

The Mini 4 was announced just last Wednesday, and starts at $399.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    And yet a regression in memory performance over the iPhone 6?

    (The Air 2 is high because it has a double wide 128-bit bus)
  • Reply 2 of 36
    Higher clocked.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    And yet a regression in memory performance over the iPhone 6?

     

     

    Unclear that there is one. It's down by 5%. These tech sites are completely unscientific about their numbers, otherwise they'd run it multiple times and show error bars.

  • Reply 4 of 36
    Not enough A9s to go around. Or they're waiting for the Air to upgrade to the A9 before moving the mini over. I want to upgrade my mini but I think I may still hold off until the next update.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,828member
    Higher clocked.

    Yeah I don't like the terminology used in the article either. "Overclocked" sounds like some hackers approach to higher performance. Nobody really knows what the maximum clock rates are on Apples various A series chips is. Apples primary concerns are likely yields and thermals not clock rate.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Can't wait to see them clock the iPad Pro.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,828member
    Not enough A9s to go around.
    Could be, but it could also be lots of other things. For example it is bad form for a manufacture to become dependent upon one process, especially a bleeding edge process. Apple could be getting a discount on chips in production for more than a year.
    Or they're waiting for the Air to upgrade to the A9 before moving the mini over.
    Well Apples marketing team could have gone stupid again. The Air certainly could have used an update this year, the lack of an update has me holding off purchase of the AIR. It is possible that Apple just wasn't getting the warm fuzzy feelings from the A9 manufacture to update everything which goes back to having all your eggs in one process bucket.
    I want to upgrade my mini but I think I may still hold off until the next update.

    That is up to you. Note though that this is a rather nice upgrade if you are stuck on the Mini. The extra Ram would do wonders for most users.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    My wife and I both upgraded our iPads this past weekend. Going from Gen 4's to the Air 2. What a significant update!! We love them! Just the weight difference alone is worth the upgrade.

    I had a 1st Gen Air last year and hated it. The screen sounded too plasticky compared to the iPad 2 I upgraded from. I sold that thing right away and got a 4th Gen off Amazon. I would have went back to the 2 but I traded it in to get the Air.

    Needless to say, I test drove the Air 2 in the store before purchasing.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post





    Could be, but it could also be lots of other things. For example it is bad form for a manufacture to become dependent upon one process, especially a bleeding edge process. Apple could be getting a discount on chips in production for more than a year.

    Well Apples marketing team could have gone stupid again. The Air certainly could have used an update this year, the lack of an update has me holding off purchase of the AIR. It is possible that Apple just wasn't getting the warm fuzzy feelings from the A9 manufacture to update everything which goes back to having all your eggs in one process bucket.

    That is up to you. Note though that this is a rather nice upgrade if you are stuck on the Mini. The extra Ram would do wonders for most users.

     

    If yields on A9 are low, as rumored at least for Samsung ones, then you would want to use them in your highest margin product, which is not the Mini 4...., the Ipod Touch is almost a steal at its price!

  • Reply 10 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by alcstarheel View Post



    I want to upgrade my mini but I think I may still hold off until the next update.

    I'd wager the next mini upgrade will be in 2 years. Next year the Air will get upgraded but not the mini.

  • Reply 11 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

     

     

    Unclear that there is one. It's down by 5%. These tech sites are completely unscientific about their numbers, otherwise they'd run it multiple times and show error bars.


     

    Also, are they all running the same IOS, with same API, doubt it very much.

    Even in IOS 9, there is a difference in performance between 9 and 9.1 in the betas.

     

    Like you said, loose on scince and big on loud unsubstantiated declarations.

  • Reply 12 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post

     

    I'd wager the next mini upgrade will be in 2 years. Next year the Air will get upgraded but not the mini.




    Other posters have wondered if maybe a 2-year product upgrade cycle might begin with iPads since people apparently upgrade less anyway.  Currently on an original iPad, finally getting this new Mini for the wife because YouTube stopped working on it :\ (among other problems with a 5.5 y/o device)

  • Reply 13 of 36
    The Mini is useless for me because the Air 2 is so thin and light and iPhone Plus is large enough to watch a video properly.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post

     

    I'd wager the next mini upgrade will be in 2 years. Next year the Air will get upgraded but not the mini.


     

    Yes, bumping CPU/GPU every year in a device that's just used to consume media and play casual games gets a bit pointless.

     

    They'll bump next year it if there is a substantial new use case, like integrating 3d touch, but otherwise they'll pass.

    Seeing as putting 3d touch in the Iphone increased the weight by 10%, and probably would have boosted the Ipad by 15-20%, maybe they'll waiting till they can get the weight of 3D touch and haptic down before putting it in a new Ipad.

     

    Losing some portability to 3d touch would not be a good tradeof right now for the Ipad.

  • Reply 15 of 36
    There being no spec sheet for Apple's chips, how can you say overclocked? Faster, yes.
  • Reply 16 of 36

    Now we know what happens with those recycled phones apple gives crappy store credit for:)

  • Reply 17 of 36
    wizard69 wrote: »
    Yeah I don't like the terminology used in the article either. "Overclocked" sounds like some hackers approach to higher performance. Nobody really knows what the maximum clock rates are on Apples various A series chips is. Apples primary concerns are likely yields and thermals not clock rate.

    I noticed that other websites like Ars Technica simply mentioned the clock speed increase without characterizing it as overclocking. This isn't the first time AI used the term "overclocking" to describe a higher factory frequency from Apple.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,093moderator

    One wonders whether Apple is transitioning the iPad to an every other year update cycle, like the iPhone.  One year they'll add new features, then the next new internals.  Certainly the longer time between consumer upgrades would allow for such a change to the cycles.  They could also stagger the updates with the Pro getting new capabilities first, followed by the Air and Mini.  

     

    So there could be new capabilities one year in the Pro, with the Air and/or Mini just getting faster internals (like this year), and then the next year the Pro gets faster internals but no new capabilities, while the new capabilities introduced in the Pro the previous year are pushed down to the consumer models.   Rinse and repeat...

  • Reply 19 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by y2an View Post



    There being no spec sheet for Apple's chips, how can you say overclocked? Faster, yes.

    Agreed...I am not a chip expert but do we even know if Apple is full blast running at 1.5gz while you are just reading email? 

  • Reply 20 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

     

    Other posters have wondered if maybe a 2-year product upgrade cycle might begin with iPads since people apparently upgrade less anyway.  Currently on an original iPad, finally getting this new Mini for the wife because YouTube stopped working on it :\ (among other problems with a 5.5 y/o device)


    The market has matured so quickly, these devices last much longer without becoming obsolete, the big "wow" features have mostly been implemented already, the systems are so fast (especially since A7), yeah a 2-year upgrade cycle makes sense (for Apple). The exception might be the Pro, they may want to keep that cutting edge for the foreseeable future to keep attention focused on it, until they decide it's time to share some of the "pro features" with its siblings.

     

    You're going to love the new mini I bet, especially now that it's back to gen 1 dimensions (even better, it's thinner and lighter weight!), what a great device, you'll have years of fun with it.

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