No, Apple is not throttling its A-series chips for easy upgrades later

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2020 iPad Pro builds on the 2018 model.
The 2020 iPad Pro offers an additional GPU core, but its chip hasn't changed.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A new investigation into Apple’s improved A12Z Bionic chip inside the 2020 iPad Pro reveals that it features exactly the same GPU found in the A12X Bionic for 2018 iPad Pro units. The one big difference is that an additional eighth core is now enabled, making it slightly faster.

Many fans are now criticizing Apple for what seems, at first glance, as intentional throttling. It is assumed Cupertino is disabling features in its newest chips, only to enable them later and market them as improved — even though they’re essentially the same on the inside.

Could it be that this is a scheme to make quick and easy cash? Actually, no. This is standard practice across the semiconductor industry. Others like Intel and Nvidia use exactly the same approach — and there’s a very good reason for it.

Here’s the real reason why an A12Z is just an A12X with unlocked potential.

2020 MacBook Air review roundup: Magic Keyboard makes all the difference

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2020-MacBook-Air
Still the kind of ultraportables.
Photo: Apple

The first reviews of Apple’s new and improved MacBook Air are out just days after its official unveiling. It will come as no surprise to fans of the machine that each one has great things to say about Apple’s most popular notebook.

New configurations, increased storage, a reduced price, and — most importantly — and brand-new Magic Keyboard make this a stellar MacBook Air upgrade. Still not sure? Here’s what the critics have to say…

AMD’s next-gen Navi 2X graphics could bring beautiful ray tracing to Mac

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AMD-Navi-X2
Nvidia's big advantage will soon disappear.
Photo: AMD

AMD’s next-generation graphics cards could bring ray tracing capabilities to Mac.

The company’s new Navi 2X architecture, coming later this year, will be the first to catch up with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX cards in the ray tracing department. It also promises 3D audio, faster load times, and “a new generation of games.”

Apple’s first Mac with a custom chip expected in early 2021

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MacBook Pro review
It's about time!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s first Mac with a custom processor is expected to make its debut in the first half of 2021, according to one reliable analyst.

Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities reports it will be a 5-nanometer chipset — like the upcoming A14 SoC that will power the next iPhone and iPad Pro. Apple is said to be increasing its orders after the coronavirus outbreak.

Leak reveals new 13-inch MacBook Pro could pack Intel Ice Lake chips

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13-inch MacBook Pro from 2019
It's about time!
Photo: Apple

Leaked benchmarks believed to be from the next-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro reveal the machine could be powered by Intel’s latest Ice Lake processors.

The chips, which haven’t been used in a Mac before, will provide Apple’s newest notebook with a sizable boost in speed and graphics performance. They won’t be the only reason to buy a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, though.

Apple wants to ditch Qualcomm’s 5G antenna on 2020 iPhones

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Qualcomm headquarters
Sounds like Qualcomm and Apple still have a love-hate relationship.
Photo: Qualcomm

Qualcomm’s 5G antenna design isn’t up to par with Apple’s design standards, reveals a new report that claims Apple is building its own antenna for this year’s 5G iPhones.

Fast Company claims Apple has decided to do the design work itself on the 5G antenna but it will still use Qualcomm’s 5G modem chip. If true, Apple would be adding an extra level of difficulty for churning out a reliable 5G iPhone during one of its most anticipated upgrade cycles in years.

Today in Apple history: Intel and Microsoft face lawsuit for stealing Apple code

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Apple vs. Microsoft was one of the big tech battles of the 1990s.
Apple vs. Microsoft was one of the biggest tech battles of the 1990s.
Photo: Brian Turner/Flickr CC/Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

February 14: Today in Apple history: Intel and Microsoft face lawsuit for stealing Apple code February 14, 1995: Apple Computer extends a lawsuit against developer San Francisco Canyon Company to also include Microsoft and Intel. The lawsuit concerns code allegedly stolen from Apple and used to improve Microsoft’s Video for Windows technology.

The lawsuit comes to a head with Apple threatening a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Microsoft. Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates threatens to cancel Office for Mac.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces the MacBook Pro

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The original MacBook Pro brought innovative features (and stirred up a bit of controversy).
The original MacBook Pro brought innovative features (and stirred up a bit of controversy).
Photo: Apple

January 10: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces the MacBook Pro January 10, 2006: Steve Jobs unveils the original 15-inch MacBook Pro, Apple’s thinnest, fastest and lightest laptop yet.

Building on the previous PowerBook G4 laptop, the new laptop adds dual-core Intel processors for the first time. The MacBook Pro immediately makes waves in the tech community. And did we mention its awesome MagSafe connector?