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Tentative iPhone 5 benchmarks crown it fastest smartphone

updated 06:20 pm EDT, Mon September 17, 2012

Dual core A6 beats quad-core Galaxy S III, Nexus 7 tablet in tests

While not confirmed as being legitimate, an iPhone 5 with the proper specification credentials has been benchmarked on the indie site Geekbench. The results show it to be the fastest smartphone on the market, with Apple's dual-core A6 (running at roughly 1GHz) beating both the Asus Nexus 7 and Samsung's Galaxy S III overall with a final score of 1,601, the highest total seen in the smartphone wars thus far. If genuine, the rating more than doubles both the iPhone 4S' score of 631 and even the 2012 iPad's 794.

It is possible that the ranking is not genuine, but the specifications on the submission match what little is currently known about the phone and processor. It is described as being the iPhone5,2 running iOS 6.0 using a dual core ARMv7 custom chip, with each core set at 1.07GHz. The specs show L1 instruction and data cache at 32KB but L2 cache at 1MB, with 1GB of operating RAM.

Presuming similar scores later confirm the ranking, it represents a true breakthrough for Apple's engineering team, and supports Anandtech's claim that the chip is a new custom design based on ARMv7 firmware but not running on a Cortex A15 chip as originally thought. That the dual-core chip outperforms Samsung's quad-core Exynos 4412 (which has all four cores running at 1.4GHz as well as having twice as much RAM in the Galaxy S III) shows off the efficiency of the (presumed) 32-nanometer process. The chip also appears to outperform the 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 used in Asus' Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet, with the tablet achieving a close score of 1,588 and the Samsung Galaxy S III at 1,560.

Interestingly, the clock rating of the A6's two cores at 1GHz is not a huge change from the iPhone 4S' A5 chip at 800MHz, meaning that the increased efficiency may be coming from better executions of instructions per clock cycle and the use of faster RAM, notes CNet. Floating point processor performance and memory performance both score significantly higher than memory bandwidth and processor integer performance in Geekbench's breakdown of the score.

The crown of fastest mobile device won't last long, of course -- every chip manufacturer is racing to produce ever more efficient and quicker processors for mobile devices as the public shifts the majority of its computing to mobile devices, and Samsung may launch the Galaxy S 4 as early as March, just eight months after it launched the S III. But the iPhone 5's A6 not only represents a new cutting edge, it sends a signal that Apple intends to do more and more of its chip work in-house, and that this could represent a real competitive advantage for the company going forward. [Charts via Geekbench]

by MacNN Staff



  1. gwhenning

    Registered User

    Joined: 06-14-06

    The Galaxy S III is listed as having a score of 1723 here:

    OR 1677 here:

  1. Zanziboy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-27-08

    Be careful with Geekbench, these benchmarks are easily faked. First, CNET went to press with the article with a supporting link at Geekbench showing the S3 at 1588, (Original CNET Aritcle) and suddenly the S3 benchmarks were changed upward!!!! :lol:

    Later in the day, after the news hit the web, the S3 suddenly went from 1588 (CNET) to 1608, then 1628 (MacRumors), then 1723 (when you posted), and as I type it's now it is 1736 but still climbing!!!

    I'm afraid Samsung's shady PR people are at work posting fake Geekbench entries as most S3 benchmarks were posted on the 17th of September. If the production iPhone 5 benchmarks prove faster on Friday, you can bet Geekbench will show last April's S3's as still faster!!! :lol:

    Update 18-Sept-2012 @ 1123PDT: - Samsung Galaxy S III average even faster! So mysterious! Now the running average is 1776!! Still climbing!

    Average Galaxy S III speed before iPhone 5 benchmark leak (16-Sept-2012): 1605
    Average Galaxy S III speed of posts after iPhone 5 benchmark leak (16-Sept-2012): 1802 (and climbing!)

  1. Zanziboy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-27-08

    If Geekbench is to be believed, the old S3 increases in performance by nearly 9% per day and will have a Geekbench score of over 97,785,200,000,000,000 next year when the iPhone 6 arrives.


    I tought I was paranoid, but Samsung puts out bogus information by using fake bloggers (See this month's UK's Daily Mail article):

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