Apple Inc A9 chip cores in iPhone 6s and 6s Plus deliver a processor punch to Samsung, Qualcomm

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2015
Preliminary testing of Apple's latest A-series mobile Application Processor shows that it brings a big jump in general CPU performance over last year's already speedy A8. It also advances Apple's lead in proprietary ARM core design performance over Samsung and Qualcomm.




Compared to last year's iPhone 6 Plus, the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus deliver Geekbench scores that are more than 50 percent faster at multicore operations and nearly 60 percent faster in single core tasks.

Single core benchmarks best reflect the performance users are likely to actually experience, because most apps can only effectively take advantage of a single core most of the time.

Games and other processor intensive tasks may be able use multiple cores at once, but its rare to find circumstances where the system and real apps fully utilize all available cores in the way artificial benchmarks (specifically designed to measure multicore performance) can.

Multicore performance on higher end Android devices is often far higher than their listed single core performance, in part because Samsung and Qualcomm have relied on adding multiple cores (four or even eight) to support the slower performance of smaller, individual cores.

Nvidia's 64-bit Tegra K1, used in HTC's Nexus 9 tablet, packs only two cores just like Apple's iPhone A-series Application Processors, giving it more similar performance characteristics. However, the chip is so large and runs so hot that it's only appropriate for use in larger devices, much like Intel's chips.A9 delivers single core performance that makes Apple's entry level iPhone 6s over 90 percent faster than Samsung's fastest Exynos 7 chip used in its premium-priced, limited availability Galaxy S6 Edge

Apple's A9 is only only faster than the K1, but efficient enough to power even the smaller of Apple's two new iPhone 6s models. At the same time, the A9 delivers single core performance that makes Apple's entry level iPhone 6s over 90 percent faster than Samsung's fastest Exynos 7 chip used in its premium-priced, limited availability Galaxy S6 Edge.

Apple's A9-powered iPhone 6s lineup is also over 133 faster in single core performance than Qualcomm's quad core Snapdragon 805 used in Motorola's Nexus 6, despite that phone being clocked faster and bundling in an additional GB of system RAM.

And with just two cores in its is A9 design, Apple can even edge past the combined processing power of Samsung's "eight cores" in benchmarks; the new A9's two cores are also significantly faster than all four cores in Qualcomm's 805, even when running synthetic, multi-core optimized benchmarks.

In July, we noted that GameBench reported--after extensive testing of last year's iPhone 6 against this year's flagships from Samsung, HTC and Motorola--that in games, Apple's iOS devices were not only performance competitive but simply faster and delivered better looking graphics, despite packing less RAM and fewer "cores."

In part, that's because "iPhone games use around a quarter of the RAM of the Android games we tested," as the site observed. Android has been shown to poorly utilize available resources for years now, erasing the purported advantage of higher clock speeds, more RAM and more processor cores touted by Android enthusiasts.





More relevant to iPhone users, the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus deliver a tangible performance increase that makes apps launch faster and load and render data faster, as shown in our hands on app launching clip.

Other performance enhancements on the new iPhone 6s line include faster new Touch ID, which now handles fingerprint login and Apple Pay almost instantaneously.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 93
    Well, since iOS 9 has basically brought back the words 'lag' and 'delay' into my 6 experience, I might "need" to upgrade to a 6S to "fix" these issues.

    In summary: iOS 9 on last year's 6 is not blazing fast. I have taught myself to take an extra split second with button presses; I am often waiting for the phone to catch up to me.
  • Reply 2 of 93

    So the iPhone 6 processor was slower than those Android phones in all categories except 1?

    I was under the impression that the A8 was faster :/

  • Reply 3 of 93
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post



    Well, since iOS 9 has basically brought back the words 'lag' and 'delay' into my 6 experience, I might "need" to upgrade to a 6S to "fix" these issues.



    In summary: iOS 9 on last year's 6 is not blazing fast. I have taught myself to take an extra split second with button presses; I am often waiting for the phone to catch up to me.

    Or you can wail till iOS 9.1 and see how well that fixes your issues.

  • Reply 4 of 93
    Only in single core... S6 beats it in the other.
  • Reply 5 of 93
    Well, since iOS 9 has basically brought back the words 'lag' and 'delay' into my 6 experience, I might "need" to upgrade to a 6S to "fix" these issues.

    In summary: iOS 9 on last year's 6 is not blazing fast. I have taught myself to take an extra split second with button presses; I am often waiting for the phone to catch up to me.

    Interesting. Ios9 on my iPhone 6 Plus is every bit as fast as ios8.

    Maybe you should backup your phone and do a factory reset.
  • Reply 6 of 93
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post



    Well, since iOS 9 has basically brought back the words 'lag' and 'delay' into my 6 experience, I might "need" to upgrade to a 6S to "fix" these issues.



    In summary: iOS 9 on last year's 6 is not blazing fast. I have taught myself to take an extra split second with button presses; I am often waiting for the phone to catch up to me.



    Nope. My ‘last year’s 6’ blazes right along. TouchID is also almost instantaneous now. Everything is faster.

     

    So that’s 2 to 1 against your experience now. Perhaps do some troubleshooting or something?

  • Reply 7 of 93
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,004member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Shows-What-Uno View Post



    Only in single core... S6 beats it in the other.



    Are you saying that the Galaxy S6 beats the A9 in other?   

     

    According to this data the A9 in the 6S plus also beats the Galaxy S6 edge in multicore and the 6S is basically (4404 vs 4403) the same as the S6 in multicore.  And the Galaxy is far outclassed in single core, which is the most important.

  • Reply 8 of 93
    My 6 Plus was VERY laggy in iOS 9. Terrible. I reset everything and configured as a new device, and everything is blazing fast again. Something did not go well with the update, but I started using iOS 9 at the third public beta. I assumed it was a beta bug, and the GM update fixed nothing. Resetting the phone made it so fast again, I considered cancelling my 6S preorder.
  • Reply 9 of 93

    DED correctly brings up the fact that architecture matters more than anything but ruins his point when he starts banging on about clockspeed.

  • Reply 10 of 93

    Wait, so silicon technologies leapfrog each other through time?

  • Reply 11 of 93
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,531member
    Well, since iOS 9 has basically brought back the words 'lag' and 'delay' into my 6 experience, I might "need" to upgrade to a 6S to "fix" these issues.

    In summary: iOS 9 on last year's 6 is not blazing fast. I have taught myself to take an extra split second with button presses; I am often waiting for the phone to catch up to me.
    Can only echo the other two. My iPhone 6 is just as fast on iOS 9 as it was on iOS 8.

    Annoying I know, but you really should try a full reset and restore.
  • Reply 12 of 93
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    Keep in mind that in actual use the iPhone will be even faster. Android is such a mess it takes a lot more power to push that laggy system.
  • Reply 13 of 93
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I wonder if Samsung is still rigging benchmarks by making their phones run faster (and burn more battery) during becnhmark tests than they can actually run for regular users.

    They got caught doing that once, and said it was an accident... and then did it again anyway!

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/1/4791354/samsung-rigging-benchmark-scores-galaxy-note-3

    P.S. iOS 9 runs great on my 6 Plus.
  • Reply 14 of 93
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,301member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post



    Well, since iOS 9 has basically brought back the words 'lag' and 'delay' into my 6 experience, I might "need" to upgrade to a 6S to "fix" these issues.



    In summary: iOS 9 on last year's 6 is not blazing fast. I have taught myself to take an extra split second with button presses; I am often waiting for the phone to catch up to me.

    That was how mine was until I did a reset. My 6 is now super fast with absolutely no lag. And Touch ID is faster too.

  • Reply 15 of 93
    I have to say that iOS 9 is running great on my iPhone 6 Plus. I do see lag opening the camera however and once or twice unlocking. I think these issues will be resolved in a month with iOS 9.1.

    Of course I question the real life validity of the Android benchmarks since they have been known to fudge the numbers by running the processors in atypical manners. Plus you still have to deal with Android so even if the chip is technically fast, it probably is using all that power to drag malware down the road.
  • Reply 16 of 93
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post



    I wonder if Samsung is still rigging benchmarks by making their phones run faster (and burn more battery) during becnhmark tests than they can actually run for regular users.



    They got caught doing that once, and said it was an accident... and then did it again anyway!



    http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/1/4791354/samsung-rigging-benchmark-scores-galaxy-note-3



    P.S. iOS 9 runs great on my 6 Plus.



    My favorite article on this topic was from AnandTech with the table titled "I Can't Believe I Have To Make This Table" listing the cheaters.

     

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7384/state-of-cheating-in-android-benchmarks

     

    What ever happened to Anand Lal Shimpi (who co-authored this article)? I haven't heard anything from him since Apple scooped him up.

  • Reply 17 of 93
    chadbag wrote: »

    Are you saying that the Galaxy S6 beats the A9 in other?   

    According to this data the A9 in the 6S plus also beats the Galaxy S6 edge in multicore and the 6S is basically (4404 vs 4403) the same as the S6 in multicore.  And the Galaxy is far outclassed in single core, which is the most important.

    This.

    I guess that guy didn't actually look at the graph or scores.

    If he did, he would see Apples A9 whooping the S6 CPU on both counts, though the multi core edge was slight whereas the single core edge was a lsnddlide.
  • Reply 18 of 93
    So the iPhone 6 processor was slower than those Android phones in all categories except 1?
    I was under the impression that the A8 was faster :/

    It was faster at launch. But subsequent processors from competitors have become faster. That is until Apple Slaps them down. Again. Like they just did. The closest comparison is the S6 since they launched so close together.
  • Reply 19 of 93
    Which company manufactured the A9?
  • Reply 20 of 93

    Great article as always. This is what I got on my new iPhone 6s plus. Feel free to use these results Daniel.

     

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