Apple’s A17 Pro Within 10% of Intel’s i9-13900K, AMD’s 7950X in Single-Core Performance

Apple’s A17 Pro Within 10% of Intel’s i9-13900K, AMD’s 7950X in Single-Core Performance

Apple’s latest A17 Pro system-on-chip for smartphones made on TSMC’s N3 production node delivers single-thread performance which challenges that of AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X and Intel’s Core i9-13900K processors in Geekbench 6. There is a catch though: Apple’s A17 Pro operates at 3.75 GHz, according to the benchmark, whereas its mighty competitors work at about 5.80 GHz and 6.0 GHz, respectively.

Apple’s A17 Pro SoC maintained the company’s renowned six-core configuration and packs two high-performance cores functioning at up to 3.77 GHz and four energy-efficient cores operating at a lower frequency. When compared to the A16 Bionic (made on TSMC’s N4), the A17 Pro boosts the maximum clock-speed of performance cores by 8.95% (from 3.46 GHz), which is in line with what TSMC’s N3 (3nm-class) process technology offers compared to its 5nm-class counterparts (+10% ~ +15% compared to N5, about 10% compared to N4).

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Row 0 – Cell 0 A17 Pro A16 Bionic Core i9-13900K AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
General specifications 2P+4E, up to 3.77 GHz 2P+4E, up to 3.46 GHz 8P+16E/32T, 3.0 GHz – 5.80 GHz 16P/32T, up to 5.70 GHz 5P+3E, up to 3.19 GHz
Single-Core 2914 2641 3223 3172 2050
Multi-Core 7199 6989 22744 22240 5405

As far as single-core performance of Apple’s A17 Pro in Geekbench 6 is concerned, it is 10% faster than its predecessor, the A16 Bionic, which leads to a question regarding whether Apple introduced any microarchitectural CPU improvements with its latest SoC. Scoring 2,900 points in single-thread Geekbench 6 workload is good enough to challenge many desktop-class processors, but trails the fastest models by ~10%. So, one could say that Apple’s high-performance cores could challenge Raptor Cove and Zen 4 cores when working at around 3.77 GHz. Of course, Apple’s custom core is traditionally faster than those developed by Arm itself.

When it comes to multi-core performance, Apple’s A17 Pro can only score about 7,200 points, which is only 3% higher than A16 Bionic.  Six cores cannot beat processors that have significantly more cores, yet A17 Pro remains the fastest smartphone SoC around, at least when compared to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

When Apple formally introduced its A17 Pro system-on-chip (SoC) earlier this week, it said that its high-performance cores deliver a 10% increase in single-thread workloads compared to its predecessor. Apparently, this was an accurate estimate and the new processor delivers single-thread performance that is comparable to that of desktop AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X and Intel’s Core i9-13900K processors while working at a considerably lower frequency. Meanwhile, it looks like Apple has made little to no architectural changes to its A17 Pro CPU cores and only boosted clocks.


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