Apple’s A11 Bionic Processors on the New iPhones Should Worry Intel

Apple is so ahead of the competition

Apple A11 Bionic

Apple announced their new generation iPhones yesterday, the normal looking iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and the striking iPhone X. They have new hardware aboard and one of the changes we come to expect is the new processors that are shipped with the new iPhones.

The new iPhones will be shipping with the Apple A11 Bionic processor, which is the latest and greatest processor Apple has designed for their iOS devices. The A11’s CPU features a 6 core design, which includes 2 performance cores which are 25% faster and 4 efficiency cores that are 70% faster than the previous design. The GPU is also 30% faster than the A10 Fusion chip that powered the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

When it comes to performance, the A10 Fusion chip on the iPhone 7 was among the top performance when you consider Geekbench 4 CPU test. Geekbench 4 is a multiplatform test that allows us to compare CPU performance between mobile chips and PC chips. The A10 Fusion chip in particular, has a single core performance of around 3500 which was a record for smartphone processors and 5900 for the multicore performance.

Now with the A11 Bionic processors inside the new iPhones, Apple has taken that performance to a whole new level as shown by this screenshot.

The Apple A11 chip has astounding performance as shown from this screenshot. The single core performance is over 4000 and the multicore performance is almost 10,000, which is insane considering the fact that it is a chip designed for smartphones and not for laptops.

It is even more impressive if you consider the fact that Geekbench 4 performance is based on a baseline score of 4000 which was obtained from an Intel Core i7 6600 U, a processor we see on laptops. This performance is similar to a quad core Core i5 7300 HQ which should worry Intel since now we have a smartphone chip that is performing as well as a laptop CPU.

Apple currently is way ahead of the competition in the smartphone CPU performance and the current top dogs in the Android space (Snapdragon 835, Exynos 8895 and Kirin 960) still lag behind the new iPhones in both single core and multicore performance as shown from the Geekbench 4 tests.

Smartphone processor manufacturers like Samsung (Exynos), Huawei (Kirin) and Qualcomm (Snapdragon) have their work cut out to play catch up with Apple and Intel has to make sure their laptop chips continue breaking new performance grounds since now Apple is becoming a threat to them.

  • Daniells Craig

    This is interesting but can such a processor be used to power a laptop that let’s say runs on core i5?

    • Martin Gicheru

      Would have been useful if there was an equivalent of Samsung Dex or Windows Continuum where that computing power could be used.

    • Kiruti Itimu

      Technically yes, but it needs optimization. The Apple chips run on a different platform from what Intel chips run on (ARM vs x86) but I won’t be shocked if Apple decides to use their processors to power Macbooks in the future

    • Desmond Karani

      they cannot be used on laptops… first of all because of size… unless a stripped out version of a pc OS

  • Kay

    Honestly asides the series 3, THIS was the highlight of the event for me.

    ML/AI-first SoC? Gimme that!!

    And the in-house GPU? If all those things Phil spit on stage yesterday about it are even half true, Adreno should be ashamed.

  • LOL

    It’s time for dock solution!

  • Desmond Karani

    no matter how fast a smartphone cpu is, it can not be used to run a full laptop OS… arm processors on smartphones are built from ground up to be efficient and consume much less power and handle less heat, hence heavy applications on mac or windows cannot run on an arm processor without blowing it up. pc CPUs have a large die area designed to handle heat. the A11 is fast for a smartphone but it cannot be swapped into any laptop with full version of OS, even with drivers. the only way around this is redesigning PC OS to handle ARM processors carefully

    • RR1White

      That’s not really true. I run Ubuntu on an octa-core Exynos with no issues. Full GUI, full office suite, software dev suite, no problems. I have a fan on mine that runs a lot if I’m doing those things so it does need cooling to yield the highest performance. But if I clock it down to about 500 MHz, it’s still quite usable and the fan never runs. If I replaced the fan with a larger heatsink, it could probably get about 1.0-1.2 GHz without over heating.

      • Desmond Karani

        do your research well, A11 cannot replace even entry level intel atom… read about RISC and CISC cpu architectures too

        • RR1White

          You may want to do some more research. I suggest starting here:

          Also, the RISC vs CISC argument is pretty much dead. Since the R8000 and PowerPC, RISC has had better performance than it’s peers. Even Intel switched to RISC cores with a microcode translation layer to support their legacy instruction sets for compatibility. The lines between the two types of instruction sets have blurred since the 80’s to the point where it isn’t even used as a good comparison anymore.

          • Desmond Karani

            Dude, am not talking about scores, as I said earlier, no matter how well an arm architecture CPU perform on geekbench, it can never replace even an entry level Intel atom processor… You just arguing something you just don’t know… It’s like saying a smartphone camera can replace a DSLR… Size would never allow… That’s literally how pc and smartphones CPUs differ… Again, do your research well… Don’t just argue… Running Linux on Samsung CPUs doesn’t mean it performs better than PC chips…

          • RR1White

            I suspect it is you who is arguing something that you “just don’t know” since I have degrees in Computer Science and Nuclear Engineering, have been programming since 1979, and have designed and built prototype embedded computing systems. You spout a few buzz words hoping to impress, discount any evidence that doesn’t support your position and then offer no evidence of your own, not even anecdotal evidence. As to your suggestion that the Atom is in anyway superior to a high end ARM chip from ANYONE, I can easily refute that. I have ARM systems that handily outperform Atom based systems in everything from boot times, interface speeds and compile times to gaming and general usability. Does that mean that all ARMs are better than all Atoms? Of course not. But ARMs cannot be discounted out of hand and Atoms cannot be assumed to be better. And the new A11 is the cream of the crop pushing ARM performance to a new level.

          • Desmond Karani

            😂😂😂 okay professor, I give up… It’s about degrees that an individual has instead of arguing the facts… I can see you have your ARM “systems” which you have tested a full windows OS with and came up with a conclusion… Do you understand what die size means…? I don’t need to give evidence about anything… Anyways, with your research, you can ask Dell and hp to replace their entry level PC atom CPUs with Exynos and Apple’s A11

          • RR1White

            Once again, you simply dismiss facts, like education and experience, when they don’t support your argument. But, I see where you’ve gone wrong: you’ve concluded that ARM’s are inferior because “entry level PC’s” don’t have them. Ok, here’s where that line of reasoning doesn’t really work:
            – Entry level PC’s need to be able to run Windows and Windows apps. Why? Because that’s what most of the world uses. Therefore, you must use a chip with an x86 or x64 compatible instruction set. That rules out ARM.
            – Some people have suggested that Apple should use its own chips in their computers. They won’t. Why? Same reason: compatibility with the x86/x64 world. Apple already abandoned an arguably superior platform (PowerPC) in order to gain the ability to boot and run Windows applications making their computers a one size fits all solution that kept the platform alive. (The fact that IBM was not investing the resources required to improve the PowerPC performance at the rate Apple wanted contributed as well but that is a different issue.)
            – Finally, you seem to think that if the A11 has superior performance in any that everyone would then rush to replace everything with the A11 and since they don’t, the A11 must therefore not have superior performance. That just isn’t true. Choosing a microprocessor for a platform is a very complicated decision that includes CPU performance, thermal management, energy consumption, compatibility, size, interface, cores, threading, pipelining, cacheing, and many more factors. A chip that met Apple’s performance goals for the iPhone/iPad didn’t exist so they made it. They can afford to do that because they sell the iPhone in such large volumes and they charge a price that is much higher than a netbook or low end PC.

          • Desmond Karani

            😂😂😂 okay man, didn’t read all that but you win. I know nothing…go make some bombs or something

  • kfjm254

    This is quite impressive, but then again,bench marks run the CPUs at Max speed but in real life usage, heat and cooling makes leads to throttling. It would be interesting to see such a chip with active fan cooling like desktop CPUs and see how it performs

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  • jona beast

    It’s extremely infuriating that the ignorant Android sheep keep saying Apple doesn’t innovate. The A11 Bionic has double the single core performance of all the other high end chips save for Apple’s own A10 Fusion. The multicore performance is also ahead by a considerable amount. What more does Apple have to do for them to finally admit Apple does innovate?