The Apple Watch Series 5 appears to be using same CPU as the Series 4

Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • The Apple Watch Series 5 appears be using the same CPU and GPU as the Series 4.
  • This was confirmed through Xcode by developer Steve Troughton-Smith.
  • The only internal upgrades Apple made to the Series 5 is adding a new gyroscope and including 32GB of storage.

When Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 5, many wondered if the processor was upgraded as it spent no time talking about it. Now we know why. It appears Apple is still using the same CPU and GPU from the Series 4 model.

Developer Steve Troughton-Smith revealed he discovered this through Xcode.

Now, the S-series aren't systems-on-a-chip (SoC) like the A-series found in iPhones and iPads. They're complete systems-in-package (SIP), which means there are other things that can change besides the processors.

In this case, the S5 is an S4 with an integrated magnetometer, otherwise known as a digital compass. It's what lets Maps show you which way you're going and do a bunch of other stuff we've taken for granted on phones for a decade already.

Troughton-Smith does point out that this means Series 4 owners don't have to worry about lagging behind the new model. You know, other than the compass, 32GB of storage, the new finishes, and the always-on display. App launching and running performance, though, should be the same between both genertaions.

The lack of major processing power update for the Apple Watch Series 5 is a bit disappointing, but seeing as it replaced the Series 4 instead of being sold alongside it, it makes the purchase predicament clear for potential customers. The Series 5 is the Apple Watch you should buy right now.

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Danny Zepeda