Speed – can you tell the dif­fer­ence?

Mac Format - - FEATURE -

Ap­ple’s iPhones have al­ways been speedy thanks to the com­pany’s tight in­te­gra­tion of

hard­ware and soft­ware. Ri­val phone mak­ers may tout im­pres­sive-sound­ing in­ter­nal specs and enough RAM to fill a desk­top com­puter, but they con­sis­tently fail to keep up with iPhones in real-world tests.

It’s Ap­ple’s chip that con­trib­utes to this. The iPhone SE, 6s and 6s Plus come equipped with the A9 chip, while the 7 and 7 Plus sport the A10 Fu­sion chip. The iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X were up­graded to the brand-new A11 Bionic chip, so named for its im­pres­sive ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Chip off the old block

When it first in­tro­duced the A9 chip, Ap­ple claimed it was 70% faster than its A8 pre­de­ces­sor. Then came the A10 Fu­sion, which Ap­ple an­nounced was 40% speed­ier than the A9. Now, the A11 Bionic, says Ap­ple, is 70% faster than the A10 Fu­sion.

The A11 Bionic man­ages its power clev­erly, dis­tribut­ing power be­tween its two per­for­mance cores and four ef­fi­ciency cores de­pend­ing on what tasks you’re do­ing. That has an in­ter­est­ing side ef­fect: de­spite hav­ing a more pow­er­ful chip than the iPhone 7, the iPhone X’s bat­tery lasts two hours longer thanks to that ef­fi­cient use of power.

Do you need a more pow­er­ful chip? The iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X are all ca­pa­ble of do­ing more pow­er­ful things than the iPhone SE, for ex­am­ple, so the A11 Bionic needs to be faster. For what you’ll do with an SE, the A9 will be bril­liant. Want to do more with your smart­phone? The A11 Bionic will serve you well.

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