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iPhone 7 Benchmarks: How much faster is Apple’s A10 Fusion chip?

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What do you think of the new iPhone 7?

The iPhone 7 is in the wild, and benchmark results are rolling in. So exactly how much better is Apple’s new A10 Fusion chip, and why?

At the September 7 keynote, Apple made much of its brand new A10 Fusion chip. It’s the processor that powers the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and is 120 times as fast as the original iPhone, apparently. That sounds seriously impressive, so you're probably wondering how Apple managed to stuff so much computing heft into its new smartphones. More importantly, do Apple's claims stand up against what the benchmarks are telling us?

Here's a quick guide to all things A10 Fusion.

Related: IPhone 7 problems

What is the A10 Fusion?

The A10 Fusion is a system-on-a-chip (SoC), which basically means that a bunch of important components are bundled onto a single chip. In the A10’s case, you get a CPU, a GPU, RAM, data caches, an image processor, an M10 motion coprocessor, and a controller.

The A10 is Apple’s first quad-core SoC, which offers a leap over the dual-core A9 chip that featured in last year’s iPhone 6S.

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What’s special about the A10 Fusion is that not all of the processor cores are the same. Two of them are high-performance cores, which handle demanding tasks like gaming. But the other two are low-power cores that tackle normal, everyday tasks, and are one-fifth as power-hungry as the high-performance cores. Apple built a brand new performance controller that decides which cores to use in a given situation.

If that tactic sounds familiar, you’re not going crazy. It’s very similar to the big.LITTLE technology designed by ARM, which appears in most Android flagship phones. That’s because Qualcomm’s hugely popular Snapdragon 820 chip is built on big.LITTLE architecture. Like Apple’s A10 Fusion, the Snapdragon 820 is a quad-core chip that gives menial jobs to low-power cores, and demanding tasks to high-power cores. Apple is really just playing catch-up here – but we’re glad all the same.

Related: iPhone 8

How much faster is it?

With all the aforementioned improvements, it’s no surprise that the A10 Fusion chip is faster. In fact, Apple says it’s 40% quicker than the A9 chip (iPhone 6S), twice as fast as the A8 chip (iPhone 6), and 120 times faster than the original iPhone.

But the new GPU also brings improvements. The A10’s graphical performance is 50% better than the A9 and three times as fast as the A8, according to Apple. That’s thanks to a new six-core GPU that uses two-thirds of the A9’s power, and just half of the A8’s power. Apple says the GPU is 240 times faster than the one in the original iPhone.

iphone 7

Of course, Apple’s own performance pledges are always going to be flattering, so how does the iPhone 7 perform in real-world benchmark tests?

iPhone 7 benchmarks

We haven’t been able to run our own benchmarks on the iPhone 7 just yet. But tests results are turning up from around the world, so we’ve already got a good idea of just how well the iPhone 7 performs.

On AnTuTu, the iPhone 7 scored a mega 178,397, which just about puts every other phone to shame. It’s far higher than the 133,781 scored by the iPhone 6S (33% improvement), and also trumps the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (134,599), the OnePlus 3 (140,388), and the HTC 10 (133,217).

On the new Geekbench 4.0 test, the iPhone 7 managed a single-core score of 3,425 and a multi-core score of 5,510. By comparison, the iPhone 6S scored 2,443 for single-core and 4,037 for multi-core. That means the iPhone 7 is 40% faster on the single-core test, and 36% faster on the multi-core test.

All in all, it’s clear that Apple has made significant performance and efficiency improvements with the iPhone 7. That should translate to a snappier user experience, better battery life, and hopefully improved gaming credentials.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S8

Watch: iPhone 7 vs Galaxy S7

What do you think of the iPhone 7? Let us know in the comments.

Nathan

September 17, 2016, 4:51 pm

Not a good enough comparison, should compare it to the top 5 phones on the market. For those who are looking to jump ship and get an iphone 7 its 100% obvious its going to be better than the 6s but how does it compare to the latest top 5 android phones that have recently been released? Guess i have to leave this website and find another to find out...

The video link is dead also.

meohmymy

September 25, 2016, 10:26 pm

They did compare it to the Samsung Galaxy 7S which at present is state of the art for Android phones. So apple is out ahead right now that only becomes a big deal when the next flagship android phones come out. When that happens and if apple is still ahead than yeah it is a big deal, but if the next generation android comes out and it does beat the iphone7 than this is just the normal course of events. The 830 chipset is expected to double performance for android phones.

Jack Zahran

September 28, 2016, 4:23 pm

The iPhone has a good two year lead over the competing products and now we are already reading about the A11 processor which is being fabricated on 10nm process, which for TSMC is a major leap from their "16nm" which 16nm process has a density closer to 20nm because its underling metal wiring is from their 20nm process. That doesn't include the ongoing integration of components onto the SoC by means of the newer packaging technology. One of the biggest savings came from integrating the memory interface chip right onto the SoC using TSMC's InFO packaging.

Mark G

October 13, 2016, 7:49 am

roflmao @ 2 year lead...... have you seen the benchmarks on the Exynos 8890.....smh...also apple a10 actually use it's performance core for both single core and multi core but Android use it's saving core for single core . that's why apple will always have a higher single core score, its purposely done this way. Exynos 8890 is the fastest currently on the market

Jack Zahran

October 19, 2016, 12:35 am

That's the problem with the 8890, it can't sustain higher performance. A benchmark on performance should automatically trigger the kernel software in the case of the Exynos 8890, to use the performance core. It doesn't and that's because the Exynos would overheat and drain the battery. Further, the A10 Fusion has a hardware switch to manage cache coherence and switching between the cores. This is vastly superior to in kernel software management and significantly increases throughput as well as lowering power and thus heat. It's a major advance.

Fitri Hakimi

October 21, 2016, 9:58 pm

But.when i tested on antutu,the score 168,707, why? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/...

Mark G

October 24, 2016, 6:54 am

Roflmao, false.......smh

Jack Zahran

October 25, 2016, 4:55 pm

The 8890 lost most of the benchmarks against the Qualcomm 820, which is trailing the Apple A9 much less the A10. Having 4 cores in the 8890 doesn't help when most processes are single threaded. A 4 Core processor would also be bandwidth bound on multithreaded processes, and with the thread management and cache coherence happening in Software while A10 uses a hardware switch to maintain cache coherence and thread scheduling. This is a generational and major performance advance for the Apple A10. In addition the Apple A10 has moved the logic portion of the RAM subsystem onto the SoC. Turning it into a bandwidth beast to feed the it's performance cores and it's efficiency cores.

Jack Zahran

October 26, 2016, 7:08 pm

When all four cores of the 8890 are active the clock speed scales back. It also cannot sustain high performance operation without scaling back further. When you have to go to four cores to slightly beat a two core processor on highly threaded short term tasks, you're admitting defeat.

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