Apple’s initial vague presentation of the new A15 improvements could either have resulted in disappointment, or simply a more hidden shift towards power efficiency rather than pure performance. In our extensive testing, we’re elated to see that it was actually mostly an efficiency focus this year, with the new performance cores showcasing adequate performance improvements, while at the same time reducing power consumption, as well as significantly improving energy efficiency.
The efficiency cores of the A15 have also seen massive gains, this time around with Apple mostly investing them back into performance, with the new cores showcasing +23-28% absolute performance improvements, something that isn’t easily identified by popular benchmarking. This large performance increase further helps the SoC improve energy efficiency, and our initial battery life figures of the new 13 series showcase that the chip has a very large part into the vastly longer longevity of the new devices.
In the GPU side, Apple’s peak performance improvements are off the charts, with a combination of a new larger GPU, new architecture, and the larger system cache that helps both performance as well as efficiency.
There’s an enormous amount of detail in this article, so if you’re interested in the specifics of what Apple has done in this year’s chip architecture, dig in. The power Apple gets from its efficiency cores was the most mind-blowing thing for me. (I am also left wondering how Apple’s strategy is changing now that the Mac is part of the mix.)