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How does Apple's new A12X processor compare to other 7nm mobile SoCs?

Apple's new iPad Pro uses the new A12X processor, with its octa-core CPU and an improved GPU. How does it compare to other 7nm mobile processors?

Published onJanuary 13, 2019

Apple recently announced two new iPad Pro models, one with an 11-inch display and the other with a 12.9-inch screen. The Cupertino company was keen to highlight the new features of the new iPad Pro models including the integration of Face ID, the switch to USB Type-C, and Gigabit-class LTE. However, the new iPads also caused a stir because of Apple’s claim that they are “faster than 92 percent of all portable PCs sold in the past 12 months, including Core i7 models sold by mainstream laptop manufacturers.” Apple is making such bold statements because of the new A12X processor used in the new iPads.

But before looking in a bit more detail at the A12X, it is worth noting that Apple said the new iPads are “faster than 92 percent of all portable PCs sold,” — not released, not available, not benchmarked, but sold. In other words, the average consumer doesn’t buy a high-end laptop, but rather mid-range or low-end laptop. Of all those laptops sold, by volume, the new iPads have higher performance than 92 percent of them.

Apple claims the new iPads are 'faster than 92% of all portable PCs sold in the past 12 months.'

Having said that, the Apple A12X Bionic is certainly an impressive processor. It is manufactured using a 7nm process node, like the A12, but it now has an octa-core CPU and a seven-core GPU. On the CPU side, it uses four performance cores (codenamed Vortex) and four efficiency cores (codenamed Tempest). Apple is claiming a 35 percent faster single-core performance compared to the Apple A10 found in the previous generation of iPad Pro.

So how does the A12X compare to the A12 from the iPhone Xs, and to the Kirin 980 found in the Mate 20 range. Both the A12 and the Kirin 980 are built using seven-nanometer technology and both are available in devices today.

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