Apple today introduced iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, and while the company markets the devices as having the same processor, they have some slight differences in terms of performance. In fact, the GPU of the A15 chip found in the iPhone 13 Pro models is more powerful than in the regular iPhone 13 models.
The A15 Bionic chip powers the entire iPhone 13 line, ranging from the iPhone 13 mini to the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Apple says the new CPU has two high-performance cores and four cores for energy efficiency. While they are likely the same in both models, graphics performance is different between the regular and Pro models.
The GPU from the A15 Bionic chip in the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 features four cores, and Apple says it delivers 30% better graphics performance compared to the “competition.” As for the A15 Bionic chip in the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, the GPU has an extra core for a total of five cores that deliver up to 50% better performance compared to the competition.
As noted by my 9to5Mac colleague Jeff Benjamim, the more powerful GPU for the Pro models may be related to the addition of ProRes codec support. Apple said at the event that the A15 Bionic includes new video encoders and decoders capable of shooting and editing video in ProRes, which not only take up a lot of internal storage space (which resulted in the new 1TB model), but also require a lot from the GPU.
Here’s what Apple says about the A15 Bionic chip in the iPhone 13 Pro:
With 5-nanometer technology, A15 Bionic — the fastest chip in a smartphone — features a new 5-core GPU in the Pro lineup that brings the fastest graphics performance in any smartphone, up to 50 percent faster than the leading competition, ideal for video apps, high-performance gaming, and the slate of new camera features.
This could also be related to something known as “chip binning,” as previously explained by my other 9to5Mac colleague Ben Lovejoy:
No chip fabrication process is perfect, and as the process gets smaller, the challenges of producing a perfect chip increase. When you’re operating at nanometer levels of precision, even the cleanest of clean rooms will still contain some microscopic elements of contamination. So what companies often do is aim for a particular spec, then separate out those chips which fall short, and sell those as a lower-spec version. The chips are, in the parlance, placed in a different sorting bin.
Of course, we will have to wait until the first shipments of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro to find out the details about performance difference between both models. iPhone 13 will be available for pre-order this Friday with prices starting at $699 for iPhone 13 mini.
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