Underclocked: The A15 chip inside Apple's new iPad mini 6 is slower than in the iPhone 13
Fans of Apple's often neglected small tablet, the iPad mini, received good news when the Cupertino-based company more or less surprisingly announced a significantly upgraded iPad mini 6 at Tuesday's California Streaming event. In addition to the brand-new design with a USB-C port, the iPad mini 6 is also equipped with Apple's latest and greatest A15 chip, even though there appears to be a slight difference in performance in comparison to the iPhone 13.
According to MacRumors, the first benchmark entries into the Geekbench database show that the Apple A15 in the iPad mini 6 runs at a clock speed of 2.93GHz. This clock frequency is quite a bit lower than in the iPhone 13, where the A15 clocks in at 3.2GHz. Accordingly, the benchmark scores of the iPad mini 6 are two to eight percent lower than those of the iPhone 13. In the multi-core benchmark, the iPhone 13 Pro scores 4660 points on average, while the iPad mini 6 only scores 4540 points. In the single-core Geekbench test, the iPhone 13 scores 1730 and the iPad mini 6 scores 1595 points on average.
In conclusion, the lower clock frequency of the A15 inside the iPad mini 6 only causes small differences in performance that should not be noticeable during regular usage. However, it remains unclear why Apple decided to underclock the A15 CPU in the iPad mini 6. As we have already pointed out in a previous article, the iPad mini 6 (from US$499 on Amazon) is the cheapest way to get Apple's new A15 SoC. On the other hand, it is also reasonable to assume that the small tablet can achieve better battery life with the lower clock frequency, which could be more important than peak performance capabilities for users of the iPad mini.