AnandTech review confirms iPhone 11's A13 is 20% faster than A12

iPhone disassembled
iPhone disassembled (Image credit: Tech Insights)

What you need to know

  • An AnandTech review of the new iPhone 11 range confirms that Apple's A13 chip does offer a 20% performance increase over the A12.
  • Sustained performance scores actually 50-60% higher than last year.
  • Review says the A13 is twice as good as the next non-Apple competitor, and is on par with the best desktop CPUs on the market.

An AnandTech review of the iPhone 11 has revealed that Apple's new A13 chip is an absolute monster when it comes to performance. Their in depth benchmarking shows that Apple's new chip does indeed offer a 20% performance increase over the A12, and that in some sustained scores this is actually as high as 50-60%.

As reported by 9to5Mac, AnandTech notes:

Apple's sustained performance score improvements are a lot more significant and reach 50% to 60% when compared to last year's iPhones. As things would seem, Apple's claims to have improved thermal dissipation for the SoC have worked out extremely well.

In fact, the A13 is so fast, it performs twice as well as the next best non-Apple chip:

Overall, in terms of performance, the A13 and the Lightning cores are extremely fast. In the mobile space, there's really no competition as the A13 posts almost double the performance of the next best non-Apple SoC. The difference is a little bit less in the floating-point suite, but again we're not expecting any proper competition for at least another 2-3 years, and Apple isn't standing still either.Last year I've noted that the A12 was margins off the best desktop CPU cores. This year, the A13 has essentially matched best that AMD and Intel have to offer – in SPECint2006 at least. In SPECfp2006 the A13 is still roughly 15% behind.

To learn that the beating heart of the iPhone is 11 is on par with Intel and AMD's desktop offerings is pretty spectacular. However, the increased power draw of Apple's new chip were enough to draw the attention of the review:

In terms of power and efficiency, the A13 seemingly wasn't a very successful iteration for Apple, at least when it comes to the efficiency at the chip's peak performance state. The higher power draw should mean that the SoC and phone will be more prone to throttling and sensitive to temperatures.... One possible explanation for the quite shocking power figures is that for the A13, Apple is riding the far end of the frequency/voltage curve at the peak frequencies of the new Lightning cores.

The review notes that Apple claims the A13 is 20% faster and uses 30% less power. AnandTech suggests this is perhaps unclear, because the A13 is really either 20% faster or 30% more efficient, not both at the same time. Essentially, what Apple means is that whilst operating at the peak performance point of the A12, it will be using 30% less power. As the review notes, when it's going full tilt, the A13's power draw is actually quite a bit higher than the A12. It does however also clarifiy that the increased power draw won't cause any issues because Apple's thermal management is "top notch."

Still not sure whether you'd like to buy the iPhone 11? You can check out our reviews of the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 11 Pro now!

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9