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First Geekbench Results A15 Bionic: Bad News for Qualcomm and Samsung

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Renowned Twitterer Ice Universe has shared three benchmark results of the Apple A15 Bionic, the chip used in the recently unveiled iPhone 13 series.
Since the soc is combined with 6 gigabytes of ram in the benchmark, it concerns the Pro or Pro Max.
Apple claims performance that is 50 percent ahead of the competition, and these results back it up.

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In two runs, the A15 achieved single-core scores of 1,734 and 1,738 points, multi-core 4,818 and 4,799.
This is about 10 percent higher than the performance of the predecessor, the A14 Bionic.
The graphics performance is also surprisingly high, thanks to an extra GPU core with a score of 14,216, which is more than 50 percent faster than the average of the previous generation.
The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini do not have this fifth computing core.
The expected Exynos 2200 from Samsung with AMD's mrdna would be the fastest smartphone soc in terms of graphics, it is not clear how it compares to the A15.

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In terms of CPU performance, Qualcomm's SD 898 and Samsung's Exynos 2200 are well behind, with single-core scores of 720 and 1,073 points, respectively.
With all cores switched on, these reach 1,919 and 3,398, with the Snapdragon 898 throttling took place, which means that these results are probably not very representative.
Since both are engineering samples, these figures will still be improved, but the chance is small that Apple will be beaten this year.

 
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As Tom's Hardware mentions:


Geekbench is a heavily flawed benchmark so this really does need to be taken with a grain of salt. The Geekbench test suite for PCs doesn't run long enough for thermal throttling to kick it; this is a real world situation that Geekbench ignores. I've never run Geekbench on my iPhones but I wouldn't be surprised if the smartphone test suite has the same shortcoming of insufficient duration.

Also Geekbench is falling further behind in measuring the impact of machine learning (ML) cores. Over time we should expect more tasks -- many of them very common -- to be offloaded to the ML cores (image and video processing, realtime translation, character recognition, face recognition, etc.) when they are present.
 
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I think Apple phones hit a point a few years ago where increased SoC performance gives diminishing returns. Comparing my 8 Plus to my wife's 11, you can tell the difference side by side but it's very marginal. Looking at the LCD on the 11 vs the OLED on the 12, next to each other, you can only barely tell the difference and only if you are looking for it. My wife couldn't tell which was which.

My intention this year was to upgrade to an iPhone 11 when the price drops came. My reason was not performance nor 5G nor camera nor screen and so on and so forth - but primarily better battery life, faster charging, and the slightly reduced form factor vs the 8 plus (my battery is at 80% capacity, and couldn't match the 11 even when new).

So the price drop for the 11 came, reduced to $499 for the 64GB model, sporting an A13 SoC that will best any Qualcomm single core and tie it up with Qualcomm's newest SoCs on multi-core, which I would point out you'd be hard pressed to find in a sub $700 Android phone, albeit tied to 4G LTE and an LCD (a good LCD, but still LCD).

And so now... I guess I was not alone in my thinking. The iPhone 11 is sold out at Apple stores across Texas, takes 5-6 weeks to get delivered online from Apple, and is sold out on T-Mo online.

So now I'll be picking up an iPhone 13 Friday. This is the first time I've bought a brand new model iPhone since I think the 4S. I always buy a 1-2 year old model iPhone and keep it for 2-3 years. Like I said, I am apparently not alone in that, noting that it's the iPhone 11 that is sold out.

Apple's biggest competitor at this point is itself. I don't think the 13 is going to be a great seller. It isn't competitive enough with their older 11, especially given the $300 price delta.
 
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