Apple iPad Pro’s A12X chip has no real rivals; it delivers performance unseen on Android tablets

“Apple spent a lot of time talking about the speed and performance of the new A12X Bionic chip when it introduced the 2018 iPad Pro models earlier this week. That’s par for the course for any iOS device launch,” Chris Smith writes for BGR. “Each new iPhone or iPad generation features new silicon made by Apple, and the iPad Pros come with an even better version of the A12 Bionic that powers the iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and iPhone XS Max. It turns out that, indeed, the A12X chip has no real rivals, as it’s capable of delivering performance unseen on Android tablets, and most Windows 10 machines.”

“The A12X Bionic is a 7nm chip like the A12, but it’s even bigger than its iPhone counterpart, featuring 10 billion transistors. Because the iPad offers even more space than the iPhone, the A12X chip is bigger, hence the ‘X’ in the name. It’s an 8-core CPU featuring four performance and four high-efficiency cores,” Smith writes. “Single-core performance is up 35%, while multi-core speed has gone up by 90%. The chip also packs a 7-core GPU that delivers twice the performance of the previous iPad.”

“iPad Pro is faster than 92% of all portable PCs sold in the last 12 months,” Smith writes. “There’s no question about it; the iPad Pro packs a chip ready to deliver the kind of performance competitors can only dream of. It’s the kind of chip that may power a MacBook in the not too distant future. It’s the kind of chip that fuels Qualcomm and Intel’s worse nightmares.”

See all of the benchmarks in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple embarrasses Qualcomm and Intel.

Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple A-series Macs coming in 2020 or 2021, Apple Car in 2023-2025 – October 17, 2018
MacBooks powered by Apple A-series chips are finally going to happen soon – September 18, 2018
Apple A-series-powered Mac idea boosted as ARM claims its chips can out-perform Intel – August 16, 2018
Did Apple just show its hand on future low-end, A-series-powered MacBooks? – July 13, 2018
How Apple might approach an ARM-based Mac – May 30, 2018
Pegatron said to assemble Apple’s upcoming ‘ARM-based MacBook’ codenamed ‘Star’ – May 29, 2018
Intel 10nm Cannon Lake delays push MacBook Pro with potential 32GB RAM into 2019 – April 27, 2018
Why the next Mac processor transition won’t be like the last two – April 4, 2018
Apple’s ‘Kalamata’ project will move Macs from Intel to Apple A-series processors – April 2, 2018
Apple plans on dumping Intel for its own chips in Macs as early as 2020 – April 2, 2018
Apple is working to unite iOS and macOS; will they standardize their chip platform next? – December 21, 2017
Why Apple would want to unify iOS and Mac apps in 2018 – December 20, 2017
Apple to provide tool for developers build cross-platform apps that run on iOS and macOS in 2018 – December 20, 2017
The once and future OS for Apple – December 8, 2017
Apple ships more microprocessors than Intel – October 2, 2017
Apple embarrasses Intel – June 14, 2017
Apple developing new chip for Macintosh in test of Intel independence – February 1, 2017
Apple’s A10 Fusion chip ‘blows away the competition,’ could easily power MacBook Air – Linley Group – October 21, 2016


  1. I still remember when Apple made the curious purchase of PA Semiconductor. What in the world were they thinking, designing their own guts and going against the established names? For years, not a whisper. Now the fruits of that foresight are clear as day. Good moves, Apple!

  2. So let’s see here. It’s the A12-“ex” but the iPhone-10s? Shouldn’t be the A12-10 (since “X” stands for “ten”)??

    Sometimes X is “ex” and sometimes X is “ten”. Thanks, Apple, for being so “consistent”! (NOT!)

    1. No. The Mac is a different beast, and should be. Macs use Thunderbolt that is a Intel product. It looks like USB-C, and can dumb down to USB, however it can do a lot more. There are many places to look up the differences. It would not be easy to convert the software over, especially with third parties. They had issues with the OS9 to OSX, then with 32bit to 64bit, then with PPC to X86. They would not be able to have duel boot so you can run other OS. There are customers with those needs. Although a small number compared to iOS, it is still an important part of Apple’s base. Especially those who write a code for iOS. There is security issues too. I am always surprised at a lot of professional writers who keep putting the Apple will ditch Intel for Macs. When you step back and look at it from a big picture there are some good reasons Apple has not already done this.

      1. I agree with you regarding the higher end Macs, but for an entry level Mac an A12X or better it could be great. For years I heard that huge numbers of windows PCs were just used to run Office. IT guys would set them up that way so that nothing else could be installed. If Apple made an entry level MacBook Air, for example, it could use this chip and ship with iWork and iMovie installed along with the standard Messages, Mail and Safari and Books. Lots of people who bought this might not install anything else. It would be a useful device for writing documents, communicating and reading.

        Because of the intermediate code that Apple uses it might not be hard to buy apps through the App Store for this kind of computer. These users would have no interest in writing code or dual booting or other professional applications.

  3. It’s a shame Apple can’t take advantage of all that power. All I keep hearing is how expensive the products are that use that chip. There must be an awful lot of people who think that type of power is supposed to come cheap. Look how much NVidia charges for its RTX cards and yet people are certainly buying them and Wall Street is putting a much higher premium on NVidia than they are Apple.

    It’s too bad Apple doesn’t create some knockout AR app that could take advantage of the A12X and do things no other tablet could handle. I don’t think most consumers actually comprehend how powerful Apple’s iPad Pro is. That iPad Pro is so fluid and seems to multi-task without any stutters, whatsoever. Yet, all those reviewers keep whining about how expensive it is. If it were some sports car with superior speed and handling, I don’t think there would be so much complaining about the price. If people think the iPad Pro is too expensive, then they should just buy some Android tablet at a much lower price.

    If Apple really has a processor that is unique in terms of speed and performance, then it should be considered something that’s premium in price. I sure with the enterprise would have more interest in iPads but maybe they simply don’t need that sort of performance in a tablet. Maybe they would rather have some rugged device instead. I guess Apple will continue to be dissed when it comes to new products, especially if they cost more than other companies’ products.

  4. I thought that the “X” in the A-series SoC nomenclature referred to the extra GPU cores on the die.

    This sentence in the article truly makes no sense at all:

    “Because the iPad offers even more space than the iPhone, the A12X chip is bigger, hence the ‘X’ in the name.”

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