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A6 in iPhone 5 breaks smartphone record in Javascript tests

updated 02:55 am EDT, Thu September 20, 2012

Other iOS products see modest improvement under iOS 6

Enthusiast site Anandtech has taken Apple's new iPhone 5 through its paces and found a dramatic jump in JavaScript performance that is certain to be helping the latest version of Mobile Safari test "twice as fast" as the previous model. Other iOS device owners report that some of the improvement comes from iOS 6, though not to the levels seen with the A6 dual-core processor. The iPhone 5 broke the record handily for smartphones using the SunSpider JavaScript benchmarking tool, bringing in a score below 1,000 for the first time.

The iPhone in fact surpassed the mark easily, completing the suite of tests in just 914.7 milliseconds, far ahead of the second-place finisher, Lava's XOLO X900 (which had a score of 1,279.4. Third place was captured by what many see as the iPhone's chief rival, the Samsung Galaxy S III (international version), which scored 1,442.9 (the US version scored much lower at at around 1,800 (averaged between the AT&T and T-Mobile versions).

Somewhat surprisingly, the iPhone 5's A6 outperformed the XOLO's "Medfield" single-core Atom Z2460 processor, which runs at 1.6GHz. The iPhone 4S and other smartphones that run on chips based on ARM's Cortex A9 SoC had routinely done very poorly compared to the Atom, with Intel suggesting that memory subsystem issues were the culprit (the iPhone 4S scores 2,250 on the SunSpider test for comparative purposes).

Apple's A6 is the company's first truly custom-designed chip, though it does use some elements of ARM's Cortex A15 but builds from there. Clearly, memory bandwidth and cache was an area of customization for the A6, reports Anandtech. The use of the SunSpider software is necessitated by its compatibility with iOS and other platforms; the well-regarded SPECint does not yet have an iOS version.

The A6 has also been seen to perform remarkably well in Geekbench tests, with authentic results above 1,600, beating even the quad-core Samsung Galaxy S III (though numerous faked scores have been submitted to contest the result following publicity of the iPhone 5's superior score). Reviews have singled out the improvement in speed on both CPU and graphics tasks on the chip, which Apple says is twice as fast as the one in the iPhone 4S. Apple has not yet released its own testing of processor scores compared to any rival phones. [via Anandtech]

by MacNN Staff



  1. focusgh

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-20-12

    Why doesn't this article link to the Anandtech article, or at least even the website? All links are back to Electronista pages. Oversight, or sketchy?

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    You are correct, there's a missing link there. I will get them to fix it. Thanks for pointing this out.

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