Why Intel should be scared of the iPad Pro’s A9X chip

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The iPad Pro isn't ready to compete with Intel Macs... yet.
The iPad Pro isn't ready to compete with Intel Macs... yet.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Although we’ve been skeptical of the idea of ARM-based Macs in the past, rumors have been heating up that Apple will switch to ARM processors for all Macs this year due to massive performance gains. But as great as Apple’s A-series chips are, are they really ready to power Macs?

The answer isn’t entirely clear-cut, but a new series of benchmarks suggest that Apple’s ARM chips are starting to compete with Intel’s Core M chips, which power the 12-inch Retina MacBook. If this pace keeps up, iPads might be faster than Macs in just a few generations.

Early tests show iPhone 6s is nearly two times faster than rest of the industry

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Keep your Amazon details safe with two-step verification.
Keep your Amazon details safe with two-step verification.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 6s is so fast, not only does it destroy the iPhone 6 in speed tests, it tops the iPad Air 2 and every Android device on the market, according to initial benchmark tests.

Apple’s engineers managed to make some huge GPU improvements on the iPhone 6s thanks to new technology that allows the the A9 chip to deliver higher performance and lower power consumption. According to early benchmarks by tech gurus at AnandTech, all the improvements add up to make the iPhone 6s nearly twice as fast as the rest of the industry.

In some benchmarks, the iPhone 6s nearly tops the Surface Pro 3:

Founder of AnandTech retires from tech writing to work for Apple

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If you love learning about the technical intricacies of your favorite gadgets, chances are you’ve heard of the website AnandTech.

The founder of the 17-year-old site, Anand Lal Shimpi, has been a highly regarded tech reviewer for years. Over the weekend, he announced his retirement from the world of journalism with no explanation.

Now it has been revealed why he quit: to work for Apple.

Retina iPad Mini Shows Fewer Colors Than iPad Air

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Anand's graph showing the various color gamuts of current tablets.
Anand's graph showing the various color gamuts of current tablets.

Friday afternoon I checked out the Retina iPad mini at a local Apple reseller (spoiler: it’s awesome), and I tried it right after I’d hefted the iPad Air. And I noticed something I hadn’t heard about in any reviews: The colors are way brighter and, well, more colored on the iPad Air. The wallpaper looks more saturated, and the blue/green icons really jumped out at me on the bigger display.

The mini, by contrast, looked just like the old mini, only with higher resolution. And it turns out that my eyes were right. Anand Lal Shampi of Anandtech did the tests and found that the color gamut of the Air is wider than that of the Retina mini.

Even With An A-X Chip, The iPad Air’s Graphics Are 40-70% Better Than iPad 4

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iPad-Air-Graphics-Score-AnandTech (1)

The iPad Air is the first 9.7-inch Retina iPad to ship without an A-X series chip. Put more simply, it’s the first such iPad to forego bolting more graphic cores onto the core chip to drive the massive 2048 x 1536 display.

But if you think that means the iPad Air will have weaker graphic performance than the fourth-gen iPad, you don’t know Apple very well. In fact, graphic performance is as much as 70% better than the last 9.7-inch iPad.