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Quad-Core Quandary: Why Apple’s New A7 Chip Is ‘Only’ Dual-Core

Quad-Core Quandary: Why Apple’s New A7 Chip Is ‘Only’ Dual-Core

Far too many  sites have written articles explaining that Apple’s custom A7 chip, used in the iPhone 5S, is only a dual-core chip, and not a quad-core chip as some had hoped (as if that were important). Fortunately, most of the articles I have read have done the matter justice, explaining that the number of cores is less important than their performance (including the original article at AnandTech that revealed the actual number of cores).


Invariable, each of these posts is plagued by sad reader comments from basement-dwelling buffoons who have taken just enough time out of their busy porn-watching and chatroom-trolling schedules to complain about this. “Apple is falling behind,” they say. “Android devices have had quad-core chips for AGES”, they say.

To all the Fandroid trolls who have, or invariably will, post this nonsense, I have only a few short things to say. Do you want to know why Apple’s A7 chip is NOT quad-core? Because it doesn’t need to be. It’s that simple.

The A7 is the fastest mobile chip ever benchmarked EVER, beating the ever-loving snot out of even the most power-draining and “advanced” quad-core chips being used in Android devices. Simply put, it’s the most powerful, efficient, and highest performing chip even put in a smartphone. And it can accomplish more with two processor cores that the competition can with twice as many.

AnandTech founder Anand Shimpi explains the matter quite well in a brief interview with CNET:

The tools that count cores query the [operating system] and the OS returns the number of logical CPUs and they only returned two […] The quad-core card was kind of forced. It’s definitely not the only way to arrive at the ideal performance-power for a phone. […] The dual-core A7 is now the fastest [system-on-a-chip] we’ve tested under SunSpider, even outpacing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 and ARM’s Cortex A15.

Raw specs don’t matter. They never have. Guess what DOES matter? Performance, hardware-software integration, and the user experience – and that’s where Apple’s A7 has hit the ball waaaay out of the park. So stick THAT in your pipes and smoke it.

Check out our iPhone 5S and 5C launch page for our full assortment of tips, guides, apps, resources, and other coverage!

  1. Bandage XDA says:

    Ugh. Why did I ever bookmark this blog? Glenn (I’m sorry…J.Glenn?), why do you feel it is necessary to assume all “fandroids” are basement dwelling idiots? Deflection is a tool often used by those that can’t honestly achieve results that set them apart from their peers.

    Your author bio doesn’t help set you apart from these “porn-watchers and chatroom-trollers”. You may think that it does. However, others may notice the lack of a “partner” or marriage, an admitted love of junk / unhealthy foods, and most likely “work” out of the same basement you’ve thrown those fandroids into. 3rd gen iPad? Seriously? If you are going to continue to bash your open minded tech enthusiast readers with your anti-everything-else drivel, at least have the courtesy to own their most current product.

    That’s what loyal enthusiasts do. And they don’t need to make themselves look like fools in the process. Luck to you Judd, Justin, Johnny…whatever the clever J stands for.

    1. I never said all “fandroids” are basement-dwelling idiots – just the ones that would make such silly comments. If that’s the message you got, that’s on you.

      And admittedly, my bio needs updating. Which I have just done.

      1. Bandage XDA says:

        I will agree with your rebuttal, you did say those with the “technologically advanced” arguments are the ones defined as above. Further, I will also agree that cores mean very little at this stage of our device progress.

        I guess what I’m bothered about most is the decline I’ve seen from this blog lately. MacTrast defines itself as a news site for everything Apple. I also see “and opinions” mentioned almost as an afterthought. You guys seem to be in reverse these days. Lots of opinion, and most of that just bashing the competition.

        I’ve enjoyed the site, as I’m an enthusiast of mobile tech across the board. Android, IOS, and Windows…I use them all and they each have their strengths as well as weakness.

        Here’s a thought…why not bring an Android enthusiast on board to write about Apple products. Perhaps one of your writers picks up an Android device and digs into it beyond “I hate Android because I love Apple”.

        I’d read that in a heartbeat.

        1. That’s something I’ve thought about more than a few times. Stay tuned.

  2. Joshua Lim says:

    Now, How will android resolve to this issue? Even if samsung has announce the 64 bit processors. As long as it is a jellybean. It cannot surpass the iphones 64 bit computation. So now the question for the androids are:
    Why do you need to go octa, if it functions as a quad core processor?
    1gb vs 2gb or more? How come you need more ram if 1gb is enough?
    Chip manufacturers like intel, rockchip, qualcomm, exynos, tegra, mediatek, etc. Are about to release a hexa processing computation which is said to run much faster. So why the sudden release if there’s not even a 64 bit android OS?
    I’ve been handling different versions of android from 2.3.6 to 4.2. So How come it has the same UI? Only the menu has change?
    All sensors use a single processor to run. So how come there was no sub-core to handle these processors so it would save more battery life?
    And finally. Why did these quad cores and even octa cores has lost to a dual core?

  3. androidfan88 says:

    Because it doesn’t need to be. It’s that simple?? is this how u fool Apple customers ? dudes , if u wanna buy a fast car u go with a V8+ engine . V6 IS NEVER EQUAL TO THE SPEED AND PERFORMANCE OF V12..wake up scientist !

  4. crzykiller says:

    J. Glenn, Please get your facts straight. The apple A7 scores 56 FPS in GLbenchmark when the Snapdragon 800 score 68… 12 FPS more is substantial… Also this is sunspider. It doesn’t test CPU or GPU in any way… Also, phones with the snapdragon 800 have better battery life than the iPhone 5S so again you are wrong. AND ALSO the snapdragon’s CPU is also better than the A7. so where does the A7 win? Well it a 64 bit CPU but that doesn’t really serve a purpose since we haven’t gone past 4Gb or RAM.

    1. pravin says:

      Hey Bro, U are looking offscreen FPS go and see on screen FPS and T-Rex Onscreen is the most stressfull and real game based benchmark. Qualcomm also has good CPUs but they are not as optimized as A7

      1. bob says:

        The reason the iphone 5s scores better with on screen graphics is because the retina display isn’t even full hd. Any top of the line android phone could run the retina display at a much higher fps than the 5s.

        1. Marvel says:

          Users don’t care how fast a device performs at the same level of resolution – they care about real-world performance!

          And alas, The android phones have hi-res displays that lack enough horsepower to drive it!

  5. gueststar says:

    I found this trash article by searching why is apples dual cores so fast… lol all i found was trash posted by a fanboy.. can’t take anything serious posted by fanboys of any product..

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