Apple's A11 Bionic matches single-core 13" MacBook Pro performance in alleged benchmark

Posted:
in iPhone
Reported benchmarks of Apple's latest A11 Bionic system-on-chip design, which will see release in the iPhone X and iPhone 8 series, show it outpacing not only current generation A10 and A10X chips, but matching the performance of some 13-inch MacBook Pro configurations, at least in terms of single-core processes.




Officially announced to the public on Tuesday, iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus units are apparently being tested in the wild, with users pinging Geekbench servers to evaluate the systems' performance metrics.

Identified as "10,2," "10,3" and "10,5," the iPhone models seen in Geekbench scores on Wednesday appear to run the same A11 Bionic SoC unveiled onstage at Apple's special event at Apple Park. The chip sports two Apple-designed high-performance cores, four high-efficiency cores and, for the first time, an Apple-designed GPU.

In a series of 12 Geekbench 4 tests, minus what appears to be an anomalous reading, the A11 achieved an average single-core score of 4169 and an average multi-core score of 9837.

By comparison, the A10 Fusion power the iPhone 7 Plus scores roughly 3514 in single-core mode and 5970 in multi-core processes. The latest 12.9-inch iPad with A10X Fusion processor, Apple's fastest currently available mobile chip, scores 3924 in single-core and 9371 in multi-core.

With a single-core high water mark of 4274, the A11 Bionic rates just above a mid-2017 13-inch MacBook Pro running a dual-core 3.1GHz Intel Core i5, and a shade below a late-2016 15-inch MacBook Pro powered by a quad-core 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 as noted in Geekbench's Mac Benchmarks. As expected, Intel's laptop-class silicon blows away A11 Bionic in multi-core performance, with Apple's mobile chip reaching a high score of 10438, just above a mid-2012 15-inch MacBook Pro.

In a statement to MacRumors, Geekbench's John Poole said he believes the A11 Bionic benchmarks are legitimate, saying the two high-performance cores are likely operating at 2.5GHz. The "25MHz" seen in Geekbench metrics related to A11 Bionic chips appears to be an anomaly, Poole said.

The latest Geekbench figures follow an early benchmark that popped up on the service yesterday. At the time, the Geekbench 4 database showed a single entry for what now appears to be an iPhone X.

Apple's latest A-series silicon is due to arrive in the hands of consumers next week when the first iPhone 8 series preorders ship out to customers on Sept. 22.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    Intel, your days are now being numbered.
    macxpressericthehalfbeelolliverrepressthiscalipakittwilliamlondonwatto_cobraAvieshek
  • Reply 2 of 45
    netrox said:
    Intel, your days are now being numbered.
    I think so yes for certain Macs. I could easily see something like the Mac mini, possibly the 12" MacBook using an Apple made CPU/GPU at some point fairly soon. We have to think Apple has been making macOS versions compatible with their A Series CPU/GPU's today and in the future. 
    edited September 2017 lolliverrepressthispakittwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 45
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,199member
    macxpress said:
    netrox said:
    Intel, your days are now being numbered.
    I think so yes for certain Macs. I could easily see something like the Mac mini, possibly the 12" MacBook using an Apple made CPU/GPU at some point fairly soon. We have to think Apple has been making macOS versions compatible with their A Series CPU/GPU's today and in the future. 
    I think bringing the Air product line back from near death makes marketing sense for an ARM-based Mac. They've already use Air for the iPads and MacBook Air and Mac Air or Mac mini Air sound reasonable to me.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 45
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,319member
    Soli said:
    macxpress said:
    netrox said:
    Intel, your days are now being numbered.
    I think so yes for certain Macs. I could easily see something like the Mac mini, possibly the 12" MacBook using an Apple made CPU/GPU at some point fairly soon. We have to think Apple has been making macOS versions compatible with their A Series CPU/GPU's today and in the future. 
    I think bringing the Air product line back from near death makes marketing sense for an ARM-based Mac. They've already use Air for the iPads and MacBook Air and Mac Air or Mac mini Air sound reasonable to me.
    While I would like to see it happen - as Apple could introduce a line of notebooks that take out the low end of the premium market (down to a starting price of $799 perhaps for a 12" model) - I don't think it will.  I think it is focused on making the iPad the computing device in that $600-$1100 range.
    lolliverrepressthiscaliradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 45
    macxpress said:
    netrox said:
    Intel, your days are now being numbered.
    I think so yes for certain Macs. I could easily see something like the Mac mini, possibly the 12" MacBook using an Apple made CPU/GPU at some point fairly soon. We have to think Apple has been making macOS versions compatible with their A Series CPU/GPU's today and in the future. 
    Ultimately, SoCs are the next step after CPUs. Eventually, SoCs will almost completely consume CPUs. We are already seeing this with AMD’s Llano and Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPUs, which integrate a memory controller, PCI Express, and a graphics processor onto the same chip. There will always be a market for general purpose CPUs, especially where power and footprint are less of an issue (such as supercomputers). Mobile and wearable devices are the future of computers, though, and so are SoCs.
    repressthisSpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 45
    Geekbench 4:

    iPad Pro 12.9 (A9X) - Source
    • Single-Core: 3206
    • Multi-Core:  5411

    MacBook (Core m3-6Y30) -  Source
    • Single-Core: 2768
    • Multi-Core: 5343
    ----------------------------------------------

    Anandtech iPad Pro review using Spec2006 - Source
    Ultimately I think it’s reasonable to say that Intel’s Core M processors hold a CPU performance edge over iPad Pro and the A9X SoC. Against Intel’s slowest chips A9X is competitive, but as it stands A9X can’t keep up with the faster chips. However by the same metric there’s no question that Apple is closing the gap; A9X can compete with both Broadwell and Skylake Core M processors, and that’s something Apple couldn’t claim even a generation ago. That it’s only against the likes of Core m3 means that Apple still has a way to go, particularly as A9X still loses by more than it wins, but it’s significant progress in a short period of time. And I’ll wager that it’s closer than Intel would like to be, especially if Apple puts A9X into a cheaper iPad Air in the future.
    So despite having a higher Geekbench score, the 6Y30 was determined to have greater performance. So I'm hesitant on Geekbench claims, but it still shows that Apple has been making considerable amounts of progress in trying to catch up to Intel's Y/U processors. Curious to see what the A11X looks like, mind you, Cannon Lake (10 nm) will be out by then, so we'll have to see if Intel can keep pushing forward. 
    edited September 2017 repressthis
  • Reply 7 of 45
    brucemc said:
    Soli said:
    macxpress said:
    netrox said:
    Intel, your days are now being numbered.
    I think so yes for certain Macs. I could easily see something like the Mac mini, possibly the 12" MacBook using an Apple made CPU/GPU at some point fairly soon. We have to think Apple has been making macOS versions compatible with their A Series CPU/GPU's today and in the future. 
    I think bringing the Air product line back from near death makes marketing sense for an ARM-based Mac. They've already use Air for the iPads and MacBook Air and Mac Air or Mac mini Air sound reasonable to me.
    While I would like to see it happen - as Apple could introduce a line of notebooks that take out the low end of the premium market (down to a starting price of $799 perhaps for a 12" model) - I don't think it will.  I think it is focused on making the iPad the computing device in that $600-$1100 range.
    Agreed. I've changed my thoughts WRT to ARM-based Macs.  I don't see Macs leaving the Intel platform anytime soon.
    repressthistmay
  • Reply 8 of 45
    And these chips have PCIe bus, seems like intel should be looking how to build an x86 co-processor to work with Apple to keep them relivant.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 45
    Intel should ask Apple tips on how to benefit in speed for their own chips :D
    I am wondering how is it possible that benchmarks are already there, considering the phone is officially not out in the open yet.
    Who is posting these benchmarks, Apple employees?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 45
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,180member
    pakitt said:
    Intel should ask Apple tips on how to benefit in speed for their own chips :D
    I am wondering how is it possible that benchmarks are already there, considering the phone is officially not out in the open yet.
    Who is posting these benchmarks, Apple employees?
    Good question. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 45
    Remember that a phone has a very low power usage, the SoC might be allowed 2 or 3W, maybe 5W turbo for small periods of time. In a laptop, even a thin one, Apple could allocate 15W to the SoC. That would mean that instead of 2.5GHz Apple can push the clocks (if the design allows it). If Apple are planning to use their cores in laptops, then their design should cater for higher speeds. Additionally, the chip would be able to maintain those speeds without throttling down. A11 also has a revamped uncore that should be able to keep the cores fed with data better. That was likely a reason the A9X benches mentioned previously were good at micro-benchmarks, but not so good when compared in real world use. The A11 core is powerful for its clock. Assuming that the A11 Geekbench results are correct, and are at 2.5GHz (i.e., the A11 doesn't have higher turbos for short periods), at 3GHz it could be getting over 5000 points in single-threaded Geekbench. At 3.5GHz nearly 6000. A quad-core (4+4) laptop variant (A11X I guess) could get multithreaded scores at 3GHz of 16000, at 3.5GHz 20000. Obviously real-world performance probably would not reflect this due to the nature of the benchmark, and scaling to new peaks is a massive difficulty compared to catching-up most of the way, but Intel should not be sitting comfortably. Because if Apple can beat Intel's performance, and for a lower price, it doesn't seem hard to realise that this would be a major advantage over PC OEMs stuck with Intel/AMD. Switching to their own SoCs is the sensible business decision, once software issues are dealt with. Ice Lake is probably Intel's last chance (I don't think Apple would be in a position to switch until 2019/2020 with an A12X or A13X (A14X?).
    edited September 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 45
    Ya know...
    It really doesn't matter how anybody spins this.   It is remarkable and it is a game changer.  The wall between laptops and mobile devices continues to crumble.

    By adding a keyboard, pointer and file system to the iPad Pro Apple has already challenged low and medium powered laptops.   All they really need now is:  
    1)  A mouse or touchpad replacing the pencil/pointer and let the pencil serve for drawing and markup.
    2)  Replace the lightening connector with Thunderbolt/USB-C.

    At that point, the MacBook and MacBook Airs would be obsolete and irrelevant.
  • Reply 13 of 45
    tipootipoo Posts: 790member
    Apple: Has massive single core lead years in a row
    Android: But teh multicore 
    Jon Srouji: lol 
    Android: ...Benchmarks don't matter now.


    Granted for the laptop comparisons, form factor and software is still a huge driver. If I could dock my iPhone 
    to an inexpensive clamshell dock, like the Atrix did way back, that would be something. My iPhone is already several times more powerful than my travel Acer CB14, I'd happily get rid of that and just take a laptop and cheap clamshell dock. 

    And god, I want to see A11X with more cores, higher wattage, and active cooling in a clamshell. The iPad Pro with A10X is very powerful, but the tablet form factor is still not as great for productivity as a clamshell. 

    edited September 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 45
    Ya know...
    It really doesn't matter how anybody spins this.   It is remarkable and it is a game changer.  The wall between laptops and mobile devices continues to crumble.

    By adding a keyboard, pointer and file system to the iPad Pro Apple has already challenged low and medium powered laptops.   All they really need now is:  
    1)  A mouse or touchpad replacing the pencil/pointer and let the pencil serve for drawing and markup.
    2)  Replace the lightening connector with Thunderbolt/USB-C.

    At that point, the MacBook and MacBook Airs would be obsolete and irrelevant.
    I think this is more likely what Apple might do, rather than port macOS to their A-series chips. A laptop that is very, very lightweight, very fast, runs a simple and elegant operating system which is already used by 100s of millions of people. Isn't that more likely? This way they can continue to sell Intel computers at a premium for people who require macOS (which isn't a growing segment of the population but rather a niche use case for power users, which Apple can exploit beautifully with machines and an OS for their needs).

    Regarding the pointer, all they need is a touchpad that mimics the shape of the screen, then wherever you place a finger, it appears as a "touch" by blurring a finger sized shape on the screen in the same location. No arrow or other pointer needed, the OS is already designed around a "touch" which can be mimicked with a touchpad. The pointer doesn't float, it only appears when you touch the touchpad, just like iOS and the way it receives input. No need to train people on the new OS, it's not new, it's simply the same with additional pointing help - we're already some way there with tvOS and it's input device and paradigms. Imagine a laptop like this, it'd sell way more than laptops with macOS on them.
  • Reply 15 of 45
    pakitt said:
    Intel should ask Apple tips on how to benefit in speed for their own chips :D
    I am wondering how is it possible that benchmarks are already there, considering the phone is officially not out in the open yet.
    Who is posting these benchmarks, Apple employees?
    Might be someone at one of Apple stores, while they are setting up demo models?
  • Reply 16 of 45
    ..and yet one still can't run Xcode on iOS or iPad apps on macOS. Hmmm....
  • Reply 17 of 45
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,166member
    There’s a lot more to making an ARM Mac than just slipping a new SoC in. While some keep dismissing it, the fact is that ARM doesn’t run x86 software. Yes, Apple likely has macOS running on ARM. It makes sense for them to keep playing with it. And if they wanted to, they could bring their mainstream apps over. But big software packages are something else. FCP, Logic Pro and software from Adobe, Microsoft and others are a good 100 million lines of code. You really can’t fix this with a compile, which some people naively think.

    so the question is what Apple would do here. Could they convince small developers to go with it? Probably. But large developers would really have to,have a very good reason to go through this again. And as it’s nkt likely that Apple could use this for anything other than a Macbook, AMD just maybe, but not likely, a Mini, there might not be enough a market for all of this software.

    so we would have to go back to the premise I first brought up a few years ago. That is that experts have found that about 80% of the slowdown when running emulation is due to a small number of chip instructions, somewhere around a dozen, or a bit more, depending on which chip families are being emulated by which other families. As Intel doesn’t have patents on individual instructions, Apple could take those few and incorporate them into their ARM chip. When xu6 software requires them, the chip would switch over to them for these calculations.

    if Apple could get an A12X perhaps 40% faster than this A11, then with those extra instructions, that could work out about as well as a mid range i5 low power mobile chip for much less money that Apple pays Intel.

    i could see that working.
  • Reply 18 of 45
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,166member

    Ya know...
    It really doesn't matter how anybody spins this.   It is remarkable and it is a game changer.  The wall between laptops and mobile devices continues to crumble.

    By adding a keyboard, pointer and file system to the iPad Pro Apple has already challenged low and medium powered laptops.   All they really need now is:  
    1)  A mouse or touchpad replacing the pencil/pointer and let the pencil serve for drawing and markup.
    2)  Replace the lightening connector with Thunderbolt/USB-C.

    At that point, the MacBook and MacBook Airs would be obsolete and irrelevant.
    Since Thunderbolt is part of the PCI bus spec, it’s not that easy to put it into an ARM based device. An iPad would have to be completely redesigned for that. Then Apple would need to buy the controller from Intel, which might not be a problem, but next year, Intel will be building the port into their chipsets, and once that happens, how much longer will the individual chips be available? In addition, Thunderbolt controllers use a lot of power, too much for a tablet that has a 4-5 watt SoC.
    edited September 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 45
    tipoo said:
    Apple: Has massive single core lead years in a row
    Android: But teh multicore 
    Jon Srouji: lol 
    Android: ...Benchmarks don't matter now.


    Granted for the laptop comparisons, form factor and software is still a huge driver. If I could dock my iPhone 
    to an inexpensive clamshell dock, like the Atrix did way back, that would be something. My iPhone is already several times more powerful than my travel Acer CB14, I'd happily get rid of that and just take a laptop and cheap clamshell dock. 

    And god, I want to see A11X with more cores, higher wattage, and active cooling in a clamshell. The iPad Pro with A10X is very powerful, but the tablet form factor is still not as great for productivity as a clamshell. 

    I think that mostly depends on what you're using it for...
    But, the iPad Pro is creeping up on that clamshell thingee step by step...  First the keyboard, then the file system, then the more powerful processor & GPU, now the mouse.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 45
    Ya know...
    It really doesn't matter how anybody spins this.   It is remarkable and it is a game changer.  The wall between laptops and mobile devices continues to crumble.

    By adding a keyboard, pointer and file system to the iPad Pro Apple has already challenged low and medium powered laptops.   All they really need now is:  
    1)  A mouse or touchpad replacing the pencil/pointer and let the pencil serve for drawing and markup.
    2)  Replace the lightening connector with Thunderbolt/USB-C.

    At that point, the MacBook and MacBook Airs would be obsolete and irrelevant.
    I think this is more likely what Apple might do, rather than port macOS to their A-series chips. A laptop that is very, very lightweight, very fast, runs a simple and elegant operating system which is already used by 100s of millions of people. Isn't that more likely? This way they can continue to sell Intel computers at a premium for people who require macOS (which isn't a growing segment of the population but rather a niche use case for power users, which Apple can exploit beautifully with machines and an OS for their needs).

    Regarding the pointer, all they need is a touchpad that mimics the shape of the screen, then wherever you place a finger, it appears as a "touch" by blurring a finger sized shape on the screen in the same location. No arrow or other pointer needed, the OS is already designed around a "touch" which can be mimicked with a touchpad. The pointer doesn't float, it only appears when you touch the touchpad, just like iOS and the way it receives input. No need to train people on the new OS, it's not new, it's simply the same with additional pointing help - we're already some way there with tvOS and it's input device and paradigms. Imagine a laptop like this, it'd sell way more than laptops with macOS on them.
    There's no need to or desire to "port macOS to their A-series chips".   First, MacOS was ALREADY ported to the A-Series chips.  That's where iOS came from.   But, more importantly, all Apple has to do in order to fulfill their promise of making the iPad Pro a laptop killer is add a mouse or touchpad.   Everything else is already there:   the keyboard, the file system, the pointer and an actually more powerful processor than that of the MacBook.  (And, at some point, improve connectivity & expandibility by switching from a lightening port to a thunderbolt.)
    watto_cobra
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