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The 64-bit A7 chip used in the iPhone 5s is ‘only’ dual-core, rather than the quad-core most had assumed, according to chip review site AnandTech – and it has the same 1GB RAM as the iPhone 5. But no need to feel short-changed: the review concludes that dual-core is the optimum solution at present, and that real-life performance is better than anything else on the market.

All the benchmarks we’ve seen point to the iPhone 5s being the fastest phone out there by some considerable margin.

In a phone interview with CNET, Anand said:

 The tools that count cores query the [operating system] and the OS returns the number of logical CPUs and they only returned two. The quad-core card was kind of forced. It’s definitely not the only way to arrive at the ideal performance-power for a phone … 

With many benchmark tests generating results that are interesting technically but which don’t translate into real-life use, the review included a test designed to illustrate the kind of performance likely to be seen by users.

Our final browser test is arguably the most interesting. Rather than focusing on js code snippets, Browsermark 2.0 attempts to be a more holistic browser benchmark. The result is much less peaky performance and a better view at the sort of moderate gains you’d see in actual usage.

The speed advantage of the 5s over competitor phones is less dramatic, but the 5s still tops the league-table.

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While many had expected the 5s to ship with more RAM, with some pointing to 4GB as the amount needed to fully exploit the 64-bit processor, the review confirms that it has the same 1GB as the iPhone 5. But from all the benchmark results, 1GB would appear sufficient for now.

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Also interesting to note for the yearly “Samsung won’t make the next Apple A-series chip” doubters, Anand notes that it is likely that our Samsung would make the A7 chip call was right.

First off, based on conversations with as many people in the know as possible, as well as just making an educated guess, it’s probably pretty safe to say that the A7 SoC is built on Samsung’s 28nm HK+MG process. It’s too early for 20nm at reasonable yields, and Apple isn’t ready to move some (not all) of its operations to TSMC.

Chapter-and-verse over at AnandTech.