Some of us find CPU performance interesting for itself

By: --- (, September 9, 2022 8:23 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Mark Roulo ( on September 9, 2022 7:41 am wrote:
> anonymou5 ( on September 8, 2022 8:08 pm wrote:
> > > So ~6% faster.
> > >
> > > We probably get a new micro-architecture with the A17?
> >
> > Who cares.
> >
> > It's a phone.
> Some of the posters or the Real World Tech forums find CPU performance interesting
> whether faster CPUs make our text editors run faster or not.
> You may not be one of these posters, but they do exist.

If you are interested in the technology, then saying "the A16 is the same speed as the A15", while technically true is very misleading.
It's the same speed (actually ~10% faster) at 20% less power...

So there are two takeaways from this:
The first is that Apple are optimizing the phones for energy rather than performance. This is probably a good idea given that most people care about the battery life of their phone more than the performance. This is a second year in a row that they have essentially optimized much more for energy than performance.

The second is, how do we interpret this in light of the mac?
Well, you can say that what has been the most impressive CPU-design machine in the world for the past 10 years or so has inexplicably fallen apart. (This claim, of course, has as a background assumption that optimizing for energy is something so trivial any monkey can do it; it's just some strange unimportant weirdness that no-one else has managed to do it as successfully as Apple, either ten years ago or in the past two years...)
OR you can think about the problem more carefully.
Apple currently design three cores
- Chinook (very small)
- E
- P
Why not add a fourth class to this, call it the U core or whatever? This allows devices on wall power to make more aggressive choices regarding performance, while retaining the energy/performance tradeoffs that are appropriate to phones, iPads, and lightweight laptops.

Obviously the CPU teams will share IP (as they do today). But going forward Apple has two directions of interest:
One is wearables [glasses], where energy will continue to dominate.
The other is extreme compute [desktop, but also AI and also cars], where performance will matter.
They can try to straddle both (like Intel did) and perhaps achieve what Intel did, being not especially satisfactory to either the high-end or the low-end. Or they can accept this reality and bifurcate the cores.

Like I have said before, I think it's significant that they did not update the mac mini with the M2 (even as they continue to sell an Intel mac mini, for gods sake). I expect the plan is to ship new cores in new desktop/high-end laptop SoCs "soon", but Apple aren't Intel, they don't telegraph the plans in advance. IF this plan has been delayed (eg N3 delay) we might see M2 Max's and Pro's; but my guess is (modulo branding, which is less interesting) the next round of Mac announcements (maybe October?) will be based on a new core.
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TopicPosted ByDate
No Perf/Clock gains on A16_2022/09/08 04:27 PM
  No Perf/Clock gains on A16Mark Roulo2022/09/08 06:24 PM
    OMG! THE SKY IS FALLING! THE END IS NEAR!anonymou52022/09/08 08:08 PM
      nonsense, get a newer phone, things are measurably faster (NT)anonymous22022/09/08 08:21 PM
        nonsense, get a newer phone, things are measurably fasterAnne O. Nymous2022/09/09 12:19 AM
          nonsense, get a newer phone, things are measurably fasternone2022/09/09 12:55 AM
      Some of us find CPU performance interesting for itselfMark Roulo2022/09/09 07:41 AM
        Some of us find CPU performance interesting for itself---2022/09/09 08:23 AM
          Some of us find CPU performance interesting for itselfMark Roulo2022/09/09 11:24 AM
      Why it's importantme2022/09/09 12:43 PM
        Why it's importantEric Fink2022/09/09 03:56 PM
          Why it's importantme2022/09/09 04:41 PM
            Why it's importantEric Fink2022/09/09 05:26 PM
              Why it's important---2022/09/11 12:51 PM
                Why it's importantRayla2022/09/11 04:34 PM
                  Why it's important---2022/09/11 09:07 PM
                    Why it's importantDoug S2022/09/15 08:46 PM
                      Why it's importantAnon2022/09/15 09:10 PM
                        Why it's importantanonymou52022/09/16 02:25 AM
                      Why it's important---2022/09/16 11:54 AM
                        Why it's importantDoug S2022/09/16 01:37 PM
                          Why it's importantanonymou52022/09/16 05:15 PM
                            Why it's importantDoug S2022/09/16 10:04 PM
                        Why it's importantanonymou52022/09/16 05:12 PM
      OMG! THE SKY IS FALLING! THE END IS NEAR!Dummond D. Slow2022/09/10 04:51 AM
  No Perf/Clock gains on A16anon22022/09/08 10:27 PM
    No Perf/Clock gains on A16dmcq2022/09/09 11:02 AM
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