Here’s how much RAM the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are packing

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iPhone 12 Pro color options
It seems the iPhone 12 Pro gets a RAM increase from last year.
Photo: Apple

While it’s long been considered a fundamental spec for computers, Apple doesn’t publicize the amount of RAM its iPhones ship with. But newly published AnTuTu scores, referring to a popular Chinese benchmarking tool, appears to shed some light on this year’s iPhone 12 handsets.

They suggest that the iPhone 12 comes with 4GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 Pro model comes with 6GB of RAM. If accurate, that would be an increase for the Pro models from the 4GB used for both variants of iPhone 11 last year.

Apple doesn’t advertise RAM

Apple doesn’t typically publicize how much RAM its smartphones come with. That’s because it doesn’t consider it to be a particularly important benchmark. It encourages comparisons with Android devices that, while possibly outdoing Apple in RAM, don’t actually offer any faster performance. A Quora answer to this question suggests that:

“The short version is this: Android uses a form of tracing garbage collection to free up unused memory. This process brings everything else to a halt when it runs. This is why Android had a reputation for stuttering performance for a long time. This process is called by the system as often as needed. The less memory you have, the more often it goes into a garbage collection cycle. The best vendors can do to minimize this process is by shipping way more memory than you need.

Now, on the other hand, iOS uses a technique called automatic reference counting. The compiler actually inserts code to allocate and deallocate memory exactly when it is done with it.”

(Whether there is more nuance to be had here I’ll leave it to people with more technical knowledge to point out in the comments. I will update this post if there’s a more comprehensive answer.) The TL;DR, though: RAM doesn’t equate to automatically faster speeds any more than iPhone photography, in the computational photo era, simply depends on the megapixels of the cameras. It’s an imprecise metric, and just adds complexity that Apple doesn’t want to bludgeon customers with.

RAM and beyond: The benchmarks of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro

As per the website MySmartPrice, the AnTuTu scores recorded are as follows:

“Starting with the iPhone 12, the device being tested has 4GB of RAM and 256GB internal storage and is running on iOS 14.1. The iPhone 12 has managed to score 564899 on the AnTuTu test, 167894 on the CPU test, 201085 on the GPU test, 105677 on the MEM test, and 90243 on the UX test.

The iPhone 12 Pro, on the other hand, has 6GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage and has scored 572133 on the AnTuTu test, 167437 on the CPU test, 196812 on the GPU test, 114462 on the MEM test, and 93422 on the UX test.”