Anandtech's deep dive into the iPhone XS silicon

by Volker Weber


That's just one graph taken out of a very detailed report. And a money quote:

Overall the new A12 Vortex cores and the architectural improvements on the SoC’s memory subsystem give Apple’s new piece of silicon a much higher performance advantage than Apple’s marketing materials promote. The contrast to the best Android SoCs have to offer is extremely stark – both in terms of performance as well as in power efficiency. Apple’s SoCs have better energy efficiency than all recent Android SoCs while having a nearly 2x performance advantage. I wouldn’t be surprised that if we were to normalise for energy used, Apple would have a 3x performance efficiency lead.

When I hear somebody go "Apple does not innovate, yada yada yada" I know I found an ignorant person. Dive into this report to see what is really going on. Apple's silicon is now on Intel Silver Lake desktop level. That's a PC with a powercord, not a battery.

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As I would call that excellent improvement and not innovation, count me to the ignorant part.

Nina Wittich, 2018-10-05

Vowe, I like your last point a lot:
"That's a PC with a powercord, not a battery."

Is there any good setup to use the Xs exactly like this? Files in the cloud, a transportable keyboard, HDMI adapter to connect to the Hotel Videoscreen (ofteen impossible, but sometimes it is) ... and then I have a powerful workstation?

That would bring me nearly there, but then a mouse is missing.

Thomas Nowak, 2018-10-05

Nina, since you were so fast reading this very long report, I concur.

Thomas, Samsung is happy to sell you something like this. I don't know anybody who used it though.

Volker Weber, 2018-10-05

Rumors say that Apple will maybe switch the Macs to ARM CPUs next year.
As one can see, performance will not be worse compared to Intel CPUs. And Apple will be able to scale the CPUs even further for Macs with power cord. And performance per Watt will still be way better.
2019 is going to be an interesting Apple year, if the rumors are right.

Manfred Wiktorin, 2018-10-05

Apple has made these shifts before, quite successfully actually.

Volker Weber, 2018-10-05

i see excellent improvements, excellent engineering, a A12 that is better than the A11 which was better than the A10, etc. but no real innovation. The basic move for that have been done more than 8 yrs ago, when Steve, understanding the importance of optimised cpu for mobile devices, launched the A4 Chip with the iPad. Know we are seeing the results of this strategy, nothing else. So i feel very confortable with Nina in the "ignorants corner" ;)

Sami Bahri, 2018-10-06

You will see the train when it passes you. Some can hear it before that happens.

Volker Weber, 2018-10-06

btw: Face ID was a huge improvement that i understand as a typical "Steve-like" innovation: "throw the fxcking touch-ID away and replace it with something better". So it's only a matter of definition ...

Sami Bahri, 2018-10-06

Please, dive into the analysis and understand what is happening here. This is way beyond "let's make a better ipod".

Volker Weber, 2018-10-06

i did, the A12 is awesome, it does exceptionally good what he has to do: increase performance, reduce power consumption, minimise space. Extraordinary engineering, it is way better that anything else and on a "micro-level", there are innovative ideas. But on a macro-level, it's only a chip, a very good one, as i expect from Apple. As a user, it doesn't make my life or work really better, only a slightly bit faster.

For me, this is innovation, as i also expect from Apple: a "moucil" ;)

As i said: it's only a matter of definition

Sami Bahri, 2018-10-06

Sami, a machine that goes from 600 GigaOPs to 5 TeraOPs, that is like a plane that goes from New York to Frankfurt in less than an hour instead of eight hours. Can you imagine the difference that would make?

Volker Weber, 2018-10-06

Volker, "Thomas, Samsung is happy to sell you something like this. I don't know anybody who used it though." - Actually, you do. Me 😋 But yes, mainly for 'because we can' reasons.

IMO, the incredible performance of the Apple SOCs (while using less power!) are not innovation by itself, but the groundwork laid to something we can not see yet, which will be called innovation.

With their SOCs playing in a different ballpark, Apple will be able to do great things on mobile devices. I am surprised, that they are so much better at it than Qualcomm or Samsung and pulling ahead even more every single year. Respect for that!

Hubert Stettner, 2018-10-06

That's interesting. You bring mouse, keyboard and USB-C/HDMI cable when travelling, connect the Samsung to the room TV and work with this setup, instead of carrying a laptop? That's impressive.

Volker Weber, 2018-10-06

I never said that. I set up a DEX environment at home 'because I can'. I am using it from time to time.

OT, feel free to truncate:
Travelling, you would need a small USB-C DEX compatible Hub, BT Mouse and KB, short HDMI cable. Power Supply you would carry anyway. The real problem would be the availability of a suitable display.

In former times (Microsoft Continuum) I used to spend whole home office workdays with the Continuum Setup - that worked brilliantly. It would be the same with Samsung DEX.

The problem of all these solutions is, that the problem they are solving, does not exist. As a Geek, I appreciate and test them nevertheless.

Hubert Stettner, 2018-10-06

That's a relief. Here I was thinking you really did that.

Volker Weber, 2018-10-06

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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