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Apple A8

Apple A8

The Apple A8 is a high-end ARM SoC (System on a Chip) launched in September 2014 alongside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The two CPU cores are clocked at 1.4 GHz (compared to the 1.3 GHz Apple A7) and are based on Apple's 2nd generation 64-bit architecture, called "Cyclone 2". Furthermore, the A8 integrates a PowerVR Series 6 (Rogue) GX6450 GPU and a 2x 32-bit LPDDR3-1333 memory controller.

Architecture 

With Cyclone 2, Apple have managed to improve the already high performance per clock of the original Cyclone core (Apple A7) by another 10 to 15 percent. Neither Qualcomm's Krait nor ARM's Cortex-A57 can compete with the resulting IPC. The exact design changes have not been revealed, but we would expect enlarged caches and registers as well as an optimized branch prediction. As an ARMv8 architecture, Cyclone 2 is 64-bit capable.

Performance

Thanks to its impressive performance per clock, the Apple 1.4 GHz dual-core is a tough opponent for other high-end SoCs like the Nvidia Tegra K1 (4 cores @ 2.3 GHz) or Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 (4 cores @ 2.7 GHz). While the quad-core competitors win most multi-threaded benchmarks, the Apple A8 offers superior single-threaded performance, which is arguably more relevant for most everyday tasks like browsing. Overall, the A8 is one of the fastest smartphone SoCs as of late 2014.

Graphics

The SoC integrates a PowerVR Series 6 (Rogue) GX6450 GPU consisting of 4 clusters. Each cluster offers four FP16 and two FP32 ALUs, leading to a slightly higher shader performance than the former G6430. The core is predicted to be clocked relatively low at around 450 MHz (115 GFLOPS) to help reduce power consumption. According to our benchmarks, the GX6450 clearly outclasses the Adreno 330 in terms of 3D performance, but looses against Nvidia's more power hungry Tegra K1. Thus, the GX6450 is one of the fastest smartphone GPUs as of 2014 and can handle even the most demanding mobile games in high resolutions.

Power Consumption

In contrast to previous Apple SoCs, the A8 is manufactured by TSMC instead of Samsung. Using a brand-new 20 nm process, the SoC measures just 89 mm² and consists of about 2 billion transistors. Power consumption should be similar to or slightly below competing high-end SoCs by Qualcomm or Samsung.

SeriesApple
CodenameCyclone 2
Series: Cyclone 2
Apple A8X compare1500 MHz3 / 34 MB
» Apple A81400 MHz2 / 24 MB
Clock Rate1400 MHz
Level 1 Cache256 KB
Level 2 Cache1 MB
Level 3 Cache4 MB
Number of Cores / Threads2 / 2
Transistor Count2000 Million
Manufacturing Technology20 nm
Die Size89 mm2
FeaturesARMv8 Instruction Set, PowerVR GX6450 (4 Cluster Rogue), 2x 32 Bit LPDDR3-1333 Memory Controller
GPUPowerVR GX6450
64 Bit64 Bit support
Announcement Date09/09/2014

Benchmarks

3DMark - 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited Physics
min: 9137     avg: 9282     median: 9259 (11%)     max: 9473 Points
Geekbench 3 - Geekbench 3 32 Bit Multi-Core
min: 2864     avg: 2879     median: 2881.5 (5%)     max: 2889 points
Geekbench 3 - Geekbench 3 32 Bit Single-Core
min: 1609     avg: 1615     median: 1614.5 (33%)     max: 1620 points
Linpack Android / IOS - Linpack Multi Thread
min: 1439.05     avg: 1440     median: 1439.9 (49%)     max: 1440.81 MFLOPS
Linpack Android / IOS - Linpack Single Thread
min: 766.2     avg: 767     median: 767.2 (75%)     max: 768.27 MFLOPS
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Kraken 1.1 Total Score *
min: 4469.8     avg: 4524     median: 4514 (8%)     max: 4597.1 ms
Sunspider - Sunspider 1.0 Total Score *
min: 340     avg: 355     median: 347.2 (4%)     max: 385 ms
Sunspider - Sunspider 0.9.1 Total Score *
min: 211.3     avg: 287     median: 286.6 (3%)     max: 361.8 ms
Octane V2 - Octane V2 Total Score
min: 7225     avg: 7408     median: 7377 (12%)     max: 7653 Points
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1 - PerformanceTest Mobile CPU Tests
min: 43696     avg: 44118     median: 44118 (6%)     max: 44540 Points
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card
* Smaller numbers mean a higher performance

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Reviews for the Apple A8 processor

Apple iPad Mini 4 (Imagination PowerVR GX6450, 7.9")
» Apple iPad Mini 4 First Impressions - Review
» Apple iPad Mini 4 Tablet Review - Review
» Apple iPad Mini 4 - External Review

Apple iPhone 6 (Imagination PowerVR GX6450, 4.7")
» Apple iPhone 6 Smartphone Review - Review
» Apple iPhone 6 - External Review

Apple iPhone 6 Plus (Imagination PowerVR GX6450, 5.5")
» Apple iPhone 6 Plus Smartphone Review - Review
» Apple iPhone 6 Plus - External Review

» Mobile CPU Comparison
Comparison of all mobile CPU series

» Mobile Processors - Benchmarklist
Benchmarklist of all known CPUs that are used in laptops (desktop and laptop CPUs)

Other CPUs of the series

» HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G
   8x - 2.86 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 990
   8x - 2.86 GHz
» MediaTek Dimensity 1000+
   8x 2 GHz - 2.6 GHz
» MediaTek Dimensity 820
   8x 2 GHz - 2.6 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 820
   8x 1.84 GHz - 2.36 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 810
   8x 1.88 GHz - 2.27 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 980
   8x - 2.6 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 970
   8x 2.4 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 960
   8x 2.4 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 960s
   8x 2.1 GHz
» Apple A9X
   2x 2.26 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 955
   8x 2.5 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 950
   8x 2.3 GHz
» MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
   10x 2.6 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 710
   8x 2.2 GHz
» Apple A9
   2x 1.8 GHz
» Samsung Exynos 850
   8x - 2 GHz
» Apple A8X
   3x 1.5 GHz
» Apple A8
   2x 1.4 GHz
» UNISOC SC9863A
   8x 1.6 GHz
» VIA Nano QuadCore L4700
   4x 1.2 GHz - 1.46 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 925
   8x 1.8 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 920
   8x 1.7 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 935
   8x 2.2 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 659
   8x 2.36 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 658
   8x 2.35 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 655
   8x 2.1 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 650
   8x 2 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 930
   8x 2 GHz
» Apple A7
   2x 1.3 GHz
» MediaTek MT8168
   4x 2 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 620
   8x 1.2 GHz
» Rockchip RK3288
   4x 1.8 GHz
» MediaTek MT8163 V/A 1.5 GHz
   4x 1.5 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 910T
   4x 1.8 GHz
» MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz
   4x 1.3 GHz
» MediaTek MT8161
   4x 1.3 GHz
» Rockchip RK3188
   4x 1.8 GHz
» HiSilicon Kirin 910
   4x 1.6 GHz
» Intel Celeron 220
   1x 1.2 GHz
» AMD GX-210JA
   2x 1 GHz
» Marvell Armada PXA1908
   4x 1.2 GHz
» Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+
   4x - 1.7 GHz
» Apple A6x
   2x 1.4 GHz
» Apple A6
   2x 1 GHz
» Apple S5
   2x
» Marvell PXA1088
   4x 1.2 GHz
» Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100
   4x - 1.2 GHz
» Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100
   4x - 1.2 GHz
» Intel Celeron 2.8 GHz
   1x 2.8 GHz
» Texas Instruments OMAP 4470
   2x 1.5 GHz
» HiSilicon k3v2 Hi3620
   4x 1.2 GHz
» Rockchip RK3066 1.5 GHz
   2x 1.5 GHz
» Renesas MP5232
   2x 1.5 GHz
» Broadcom BCM21664T
   2x 1.2 GHz
» Marvell PXA986
   2x 1.2 GHz
» Amlogic AML8726-MX
   2x 1.5 GHz
» Texas Instruments OMAP 4460
   2x 1.2 GHz
» Rockchip RK3168
   2x 1.2 GHz
» Broadcom BCM28155
   2x 1.2 GHz
» Texas Instruments OMAP 4430
   2x 1 GHz
» Apple A5x
   2x 1 GHz
» Apple A5
   2x 1 GHz
» Samsung Exynos 9110
   2x 1.15 GHz
» ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500
   2x 1 GHz
» ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8420
   2x 1 GHz
» NXP i.MX 6SLL
   1x 1 GHz
» Rockchip RK2918 1.2 GHz
   1x 1.2 GHz
» AllWinner A10
   1x 1.2 GHz
» ARM Cortex A8 1.2 GHz
   1x 1.2 GHz
» Apple A4
   1x 1 GHz
» AllWinner A13
   1x 1 GHz
» WonderMedia PRIZM WM8950
   1x 1 GHz
» Texas Instruments OMAP 3630 1GHz
   1x 1 GHz
» Texas Instruments OMAP 3622
   1x 1 GHz
» Rockchip RK2918
   1x 1 GHz
» Telechips TCC8803 1GHz
   1x 1 GHz
» ZiiLABS ZMS-08
   1x 1 GHz
» ARM Cortex A8 1GHz
   1x 1 GHz
» Actions ACT-ATM7029
   4x 1 GHz
» Loongson 2F 900MHz
   1x 0.9 GHz
» CSR8670
   2x 0.08 GHz
» Huawei Kirin A1
   1x 0.2 GHz
» Cypress PSoC6 MCU
   2x 0.15 GHz
» DK3.5+ST
   2x
» unknown
   

Surrounding CPUs

+ Mediatek MT8173
   4x 2.4 GHz
+ Mediatek MT8173C
   4x 2.1 GHz
+ Mediatek MT6595 Turbo
   8x 2.5 GHz
+ Mediatek MT8768
   8x 1.5 GHz - 2 GHz
+ Samsung Exynos 5433 Octa
   8x 1.9 GHz
» Apple A8
   2x 1.4 GHz
- Mediatek Helio A25
   8x 1.8 GHz
- Nvidia Tegra K1
   4x 2.3 GHz
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
   8x 1.8 GHz
- Samsung Exynos 7904
   8x 1.8 GHz
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Benchmarks / Tech > Notebook Processors > Apple A8 SoC
Klaus Hinum (Update: 2014-10-13)