Apple Inc. A9 Performance Tests Finally Leak

In column published just a few days ago, I suggested that Apple's next-generation iPhone processor -- dubbed the A9 -- might be set to deliver "seriously crazy levels of performance." Well, as it turns out, some initial performance tests of the A9 have finally leaked to the web.

Solid jumps in both CPU and graphics performanceAccording to this leak (found on Weibo, via WCCFTech), the A9 delivers a healthy boost in CPU performance over the A8 chip found inside of the iPhone 6. In the popular Geekbench 3 CPU performance test, the A9 reportedly scores 2090 points in the single-core test and 3569 in the multi-core test, representing 28.7% and 22.7% improvements from the A8, respectively.

In the GFXBench Manhattan and T-Rex sub-tests, the A9 delivers 30.3 and 66 frames per second, respectively. These represent improvements of 66.5% and 33.3% over what the A8 chip was able to deliver in the iPhone 6/6 Plus in those respective tests.

These results seem to be consistent with graphics IP vendor Imagination Technologies' claimed improvements of its Series 7XT graphics processors over the Series 6XT used in the A8 chip.

What about the A9X?The leak also included Geekbench 3 results for the upcoming A9X chip, which is the higher-performance, iPad-bound version of the A9. In terms of single-core performance, the A9X delivers about the same performance that the A9 does, turning in a score of 2109. The multi-core score is substantially higher, though, at 5101.

These results, if legitimate, tend to suggest that in terms of CPU performance, the A9X is essentially an A9 with a third CPU core included, mirroring the company's strategy with the A8/A8X last year.

How do these results stack up?In terms of single-threaded CPU performance, the A9 looks like it will be the mobile processor to beat this year, taking the crown from its own A8 processor last year. Given how critical single-threaded performance is to a snappy user experience, this bodes well for this year's iPhone 6s.

In terms of graphics capability -- which is critical to applications such as 3D gaming -- the A9 also looks as though it packs quite a punch. In the table below, I've included GFXBench Manhattan and T-Rex scores for the A8 chip, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810, and Samsung's Exynos 7420 in order to get a sense of how the A9 stacks up:

Data sources: AnandTech, Weibo.

With the A9, it appears that Apple will leapfrog the other flagship mobile processors on the market, offering both a substantial improvement over its prior-generation A8 chips as well as pulling ahead of current high-end Android chip offerings.

The iPhone 6s/6s Plus should be compelling to power usersThe kind of performance that Apple seems to be set to deliver with the iPhone 6s/6s Plus looks quite nice. Although both the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus will benefit from this increased computing and graphics horsepower, I suspect that the gains will "feel" more impressive on the upcoming iPhone 6s Plus, which will very likely include a much higher-resolution display than the iPhone 6s will.

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Ashraf Eassa owns shares of Qualcomm. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple and Qualcomm. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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