Apple has been designing its processors from the start. The biggest competitor for Apple when it comes to designing processors is Snapdragon. Both of these companies roll out their flagship processor each year, which is used in respective phones, either iPhone or an Android phone.
The majority of the android phones roll out with the processor from Snapdragon, while all of the iPhones house Apple’s processors.
Apple not only uses its processors in iPhones but also iPad, and even in iPods. Apple uses Intel processors in its laptops and desktops, which is surprising. Apple does not design laptop or desktop-grade processors.
Intel is another big player in the processor designing game. Intel has been designing and manufacturing processors for a very long time. The first processors were the Pentium and then came the core series. As of now, the latest processor from Intel is the 10th generation Intel core processors.
Today we are going to compare two processors that are designed and built for different purposes. One of them is designed especially for mobile devices such as mobile phones or tablets. The other processor is specially designed either for a laptop or a desktop.
We will compare the Apple A10 and the Intel’s i5 processor, namely, the i5 8250u. Let’s start by describing each processor and then shift towards their differences.
The full name is the Apple A10 Fusion chip, which is a 64-bit system-on-chip processor. The Apple A10 is ARM-based, and TSMC manufactures it. Apple-designed, this processor for the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 plus. These iPhones, along with the processor, were launched on September 7, 2016.
This same A10 processor was later used in the sixth-generation iPad, seventh-generation iPad, and in the seventh generation iPod touch. The A10 fusion was apples first processor to house a quadcore processor. The quadcore processor had two high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores. This processor was marginally better than its predecessor. Apple stated that the A10 had 405 better CPU performance and 50% greater graphics performance compared to the Apple A9.
There are many variants of the Intel i5 processors with different generations. We will be discussing the latest generation of i5 processor designed for laptops. We will be talking about the eighth-generation mobile version of the i5 processor. There are again many variants in the 8th generation of the i5 processor, but we have chosen the i5 8250u to compare with the Apple A10.
The Core i5 8250u is a 64-bit quadcore processor introduced by Intel in 2017. The x86 mobile processor is based on the Kaby Lake microarchitecture. The processor is designed based on the 14nm+ process.
This processor from Intel was primarily designed for mobile versions of devices such as laptops. The i5 8250u operates at a base clock of 1.6 GHz and can have a boost clock of 3.4 GHz. The Intel i5 8250u works at a TDP of 15 W.
Apple A10 vs. Intel i5:
The Intel i5 processor comes from the Kaby lake family while the Apple processor comes from the Ax family. The Intel i5 was released in the third quarter of 2017, and the Apple A10 was released in the third quarter of 2016.
The Apple A10 is built on the 16nm FinFET process, while the Intel i5 is built on the 14nm+ process. The Apple A10 has a total of 3.3 billion transistors. The processors have four cores, meaning they are quadcore processors, but the i5 has four additional threads. Apple A10 has four threads, while the Intel i5 has eight threads.
The Apple A10 has a base clock of 1.3 GHz, and a boost clock of 2.3 GHz. On the other hand, the Intel i5 has a base clock of 1.6 GHz, and a boost clock of 3.4 GHz. The Intel i5 has a cache memory of 6 MB, and the Apple A10 has 4 MB of cache memory.
The maximum memory that Intel i5 can support is 32 GB, and maximum memory supported by Apple A10 is only 3 GB. As the Intel i5 is targeted towards laptops, that’s why it needs more memory. The Apple A10 is targeted towards iPhones, so 3 GB of memory is sufficient.
Let’s talk about the graphics. The Intel i5 comes with Intel UHD graphics 620 with 24 GPU execution units. The UHD Graphics 620 can support up to 3 displays at a time. It has 192 GPU shading units with a GPU clock rate of 1,150 MHz. Finally, the GPU FP32 floating point is 441.6 Gigaflops.
The Apple A10 houses the Imagination PowerVR GT7600 Plus graphics processor with 6 GPU execution units. It has 192 GPU shading units similar to Intel i5, and a GPU clock rate of only 900 MHz. Finally, the GPU FP32 floating point is 364.8 Gigaflops.
Intel i5 supports the OpenGL version of 4.4 while Apple A10 supports version 3.3. The Apple A10 uses Big. Little technology, while Intel i5 does not support this technology. Both of them have two memory channels each.
Apple A10 has integrated LTE while the Intel i5 does not. Both of them have dynamic frequency scaling and NX BIT. Both processors support hardware-assisted virtualization and AES.
Apple A10 has a trust zone, while Intel i5 does not. The Intel i5 uses hyperthreading technology while the Apple A10 does not.
Intel i5 scored 13,834 on the multi-core Geek bench 4 test, while the A10 scored 5,692. On the single-core Geek bench 4 test, the Intel i5 scored 4,221, and Apple A10 scored 3,358.
Both of the processors are equally great when used in their respective devices. But when comparing with each other, the Intel Core i5 is the clear and evident winner.