Apple A12 & A12X *** Now A12Z as well *** Now in a Mac mini

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Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,698
301
126
I was reading an article that Apple is so focused on having the simplest, uncluttered design, sometimes it ends up being confusing in certain segments. The Mac Pro had everything in the back, the power buttons, plugs, expansion ports. Because they wanted it clean. Despite it being "Mac Pro".

Their design paradigm works extremely well for consumers, because it can become an extension of their fashion.
Having all the ports in the back of an iMac is not confusing. It's just annoying. But it sure does look good.

The times overly simplified design gets confusing is like when Apple released an iPod with no buttons at all. It was a disaster.

 
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dark zero

Platinum Member
Jun 2, 2015
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Seems that Apple is FINALLY ready on CPU side. So.. they are reworking their UI and going some more Mac like with the touch of iOS.
 

name99

Member
Sep 11, 2010
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Having all the ports in the back of an iMac is not confusing. It's just annoying. But it sure does look good.

The times overly simplified design gets confusing is like when Apple released an iPod with no buttons at all. It was a disaster.

That, I think, is an unfair example. Apple was quite clear about how that product was to be used --- both in the name (iPod SHUFFLE) and in the advertising ("Life is Random").
It's also unfair to call it a disaster. There were a few quarters in which it represented 25% of iPod sales.

Apple has made some terrible products that were also (one way or another) confusing; like the hockey puck mouse. But the Shuffle is not, fairly, categorized among them --- don't complain that a motorbike is terrible at hauling boats!
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,698
301
126
That, I think, is an unfair example. Apple was quite clear about how that product was to be used --- both in the name (iPod SHUFFLE) and in the advertising ("Life is Random").
It's also unfair to call it a disaster. There were a few quarters in which it represented 25% of iPod sales.

Apple has made some terrible products that were also (one way or another) confusing; like the hockey puck mouse. But the Shuffle is not, fairly, categorized among them --- don't complain that a motorbike is terrible at hauling boats!
The previous (and subsequent) shuffles all had buttons.

They went from:



To this:



Back to this:



Considering the 2nd generation shuffle lasted about 3 years, the 3rd generation no-button shuffle lasted 1.5 years, and the 4th generation shuffle after it lasted 7 years, I'd say that's a pretty good indication the 3rd generation no-button shuffle was a disaster.
 

name99

Member
Sep 11, 2010
159
144
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The previous (and subsequent) shuffles all had buttons.

They went from:



To this:



Back to this:



Considering the 2nd generation shuffle lasted about 3 years, the 3rd generation no-button shuffle lasted 1.5 years, and the 4th generation shuffle after it lasted 7 years, I'd say that's a pretty good indication the 3rd generation no-button shuffle was a disaster.
Fair enough, I see your point. I thought your concern was the lack of screen of all the shuffles, rather than that particular model and its attempt to move the buttons to the headphone cord.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,698
301
126
Now in 2020, a new A12 variant is available. No real details though.


A12Z Bionic

With the A12Z Bionic chip, iPad Pro is so fast it outpaces most PC laptops available today. It makes everything you do fast and fluid, from your everyday tasks to graphics-intensive workflows. And the 8-core graphics processor means even more performance and realism for the apps and games where it matters most.
 

Roland00Address

Golden Member
Dec 17, 2008
1,912
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I need the caffeine to kick in to see how the A12Z is better than the A12X.

Can someone quickly summarize? I promise to do the reading later 🤣
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,698
301
126
I need the caffeine to kick in to see how the A12Z is better than the A12X.

Can someone quickly summarize? I promise to do the reading later 🤣
Nobody knows. Apple has released no specs (aside from 8-core GPU), and there are no benchmarks.

The new A12Z machines don't ship until next week.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,698
301
126
Why would they release an A12 variant?
Because they can, and because they needed to release a new iPad Pro?

I wonder if it’s just a maxed out A12X. Faster CPU clock speed and all 8 GPU cores enabled. (A12X has 7 active GPU cores.)

I expect to see A14X in 2021. No A13X.
 
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Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
28,054
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Because they can, and because they needed to release a new iPad Pro?

I wonder if it’s just a maxed out A12X. Faster CPU clock speed and all 8 GPU cores enabled. (A12X has 7 active GPU cores.)

I expect to see A14X in 2021. No A13X.
Why was this a new A12 variant instead of a new A13 variant? Should have been A13X.
 

Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
28,054
1,119
136
Now in 2020, a new A12 variant is available. No real details though.


A12Z Bionic

With the A12Z Bionic chip, iPad Pro is so fast it outpaces most PC laptops available today. It makes everything you do fast and fluid, from your everyday tasks to graphics-intensive workflows. And the 8-core graphics processor means even more performance and realism for the apps and games where it matters most.
Link does not work for me.
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
3,725
3,500
136
With the A12Z Bionic chip, iPad Pro is so fast it outpaces most PC laptops available today.
Gotta love marketing and respect the sacrifice Apple makes when they admit most of their laptops are slower than the iPad Pro.

Meanwhile in their laptop line...
The incredibly thin and light MacBook Air is now more powerful than ever. It features processors with up to twice the performance, faster graphics, and double the storage capacity.
Ranting aside, CPU naming at Apple is still a breath of fresh air. I wish we had more of that.
 

teejee

Senior member
Jul 4, 2013
293
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Why was this a new A12 variant instead of a new A13 variant? Should have been A13X.
It is basically zero development cost, just optimized production and binning. A A13x would mean a complete new silicon with new masks etc, that is a huge cost. So it makes perfect sense.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,698
301
126
Because they can, and because they needed to release a new iPad Pro?

I wonder if it’s just a maxed out A12X. Faster CPU clock speed and all 8 GPU cores enabled. (A12X has 7 active GPU cores.)

I expect to see A14X in 2021. No A13X.
If this is real, then it's rather disappointing, although not completely unexpected:




Back to the iPad Pro 11 (2020) on AnTuTu. The tested unit has 6GB of RAM, which is 2GB more than last year's models and is a big deal in and of itself. The new iPad is also running the as-of-yet unreleased iOS 13.4 and has 128GB of storage.

The recorded CPU score is more or less the same as that of an iPad Pro from last year, but the added GPU core has accounted for a 9% increase in the GPU score.


---

I had been hoping for a 10-15% clock speed boost for the CPU as well. Glad the 6 GB is confirmed though. That's the big thing I was hoping for, along with the 128 GB storage in the base model.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
15,742
4,706
136
It is basically zero development cost, just optimized production and binning. A A13x would mean a complete new silicon with new masks etc, that is a huge cost. So it makes perfect sense.
All it takes is some marketing magic, and a new product is born!
 

Roland00Address

Golden Member
Dec 17, 2008
1,912
60
91
Well if we get no CPU improvements (less than 10% between a12x and a12z), and only a ram improvement of 6gb in some ways the iPad Pro line is disappointing when you can get 3gb a10 ipad for $249 to $330 depending on sale prices. (7th Generation ipad has 3gb of ram, the 6th generation has 2gb of ram but the same cpu.)

Yes the iPad Pro is better, but the a10 is almost 1300 days old and the a12x is over 500 days old. I was hoping for something a little better given the time.

Of course all the new features besides the SOC are welcome, and I am ecstatic about mouse support. I just wish there was something more for devices that cost $800 before accessories. In some ways I should be happy that $250 to $330 devices are so good, but I just wish there was something more even if this wish of mine is pure folly.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,698
301
126
That Antutu score appears to be legit. I found some Geekbench 5 scores that show similar results.


Compute score is maybe 10-12% higher. Finally broke the 10000 barrier! :cool:

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 11.40.36 PM.png


CPU scores are exactly the same as the 2018 model.

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 11.40.50 PM.png
 
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Doug S

Member
Feb 8, 2020
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Well if we get no CPU improvements (less than 10% between a12x and a12z), and only a ram improvement of 6gb in some ways the iPad Pro line is disappointing when you can get 3gb a10 ipad for $249 to $330 depending on sale prices. (7th Generation ipad has 3gb of ram, the 6th generation has 2gb of ram but the same cpu.)
It is an improvement over the old iPad Pro, due to more DRAM, more flash, better camera and slightly faster graphics. They're just giving a mid life kicker to this generation iPad Pro to make it a better value - you not liking it compared to the regular iPad is irrelevant to Apple. You obviously aren't their target market for the "Pro" version. For buyers of the Pro these are welcome improvements, or they can wait another 9-12 months for a bigger bang.
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
8,660
1,584
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For some reason, he suggests that A14X is necessary for 5G.
Potentially something to do with the off chip connectivity? If A12X/Z doesn't have enough bandwidth to the modem, it would render 5G pointless.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,698
301
126
Potentially something to do with the off chip connectivity? If A12X/Z doesn't have enough bandwidth to the modem, it would render 5G pointless.
Yeah I wondering if it might be something like that, but then again, Apple hasn’t been stopped by stuff like that before. They perhaps could have implemented it without the capability of hitting the maximum throughput available but they could still take advantage of the other features. OTOH, due to Apple’s and Qualcomm’s IP dispute, they only reached an agreement on 2020 products back in 2019, and Qualcomm has already said it was quite the task to get 5G implemented for 2020 iPhones by fall, which would imply that 5G implementation in iPad Pros before spring would be an even harder target. So 5G iPad Pros in March 2020 were probably never really on the table anyway regardless of what SoC was used.
 

Doug S

Member
Feb 8, 2020
143
172
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Potentially something to do with the off chip connectivity? If A12X/Z doesn't have enough bandwidth to the modem, it would render 5G pointless.
Why would it be pointless? Let's say it was limited to 1 gigabit between the two. Sure, even LTE modems can go faster than that, and millimeter wave 5G even faster. So what, what's the use case for greater than a gigabit? Other than contrived scenarios like "I need to download this 100 gigabyte video file and I'm not willing to wait 15 minutes instead of 5" the difference between a gigabit and 5 gigabits (even if you could find a carrier delivering that where you will be sitting with an iPad) is pretty much irrelevant.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,698
301
126
Well if we get no CPU improvements (less than 10% between a12x and a12z), and only a ram improvement of 6gb in some ways the iPad Pro line is disappointing when you can get 3gb a10 ipad for $249 to $330 depending on sale prices. (7th Generation ipad has 3gb of ram, the 6th generation has 2gb of ram but the same cpu.)

Yes the iPad Pro is better, but the a10 is almost 1300 days old and the a12x is over 500 days old. I was hoping for something a little better given the time.
I bought a 7th Gen iPad with 3 GB RAM and 128 GB storage and 4G LTE in December for the wife. Truthfully I was a little apprehensive about A10. A10 works fine in my current iPhone 7 Plus (also 3 GB), but I was unsure about the iPad with its much larger screen and desktop class web browsing.

In reality though, that A10 iPad is just fine, and the Apple Smart Keyboard for it makes it a complete device. Side by side with my A10X iPad Pro, I can notice that the A10 is slightly slower, but overall it's quite decent. I wouldn't have bought it for myself, but it's more than sufficient for my wife, who was using an A8X iPad Air 2 before with no problems. With 3 GB RAM in the A10 iPad 7, I think that machine will last her a good 5 years. Using Geekbench as a gauge, for mainstream usage I think any iDevice with a multi-core score of 1000 or above and 2 GB RAM (iPad Air 2 or iPad 5th generation) is usable, and any iDevice with 1400 or above and 3 GB RAM (iPad 7) is actually quite decent. And any iDevice with a score of >2200 (iPad Pro 2nd generation) is downright fast. The 3rd/4th generation iPad Pros with A12X and A12Z with scores >4700 are blistering fast, but for browsing it's really only a small incremental improvement over the 2nd generation iPad Pros, since the latter already quite fast for this purpose.

Regarding pricing, one big reason for my getting the iPad 7 Cellular was because of cost. I managed to get with 128 GB for just CAD$500 brand new from my carrier, which currently is just US$350, no contract. And after using cellular on her iPad, I want to get cellular on my next iPad Pro. However, if I'm spending that much money on an iPad Pro, I'm thinking I want to get 5G. If I were going to get a WiFi-only iPad Pro, I'd be purchasing now (or at least once the new Magic Keyboard comes out), but since I'm considering a cellular model, I may wait. Decisions, decisions...
 

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