The iPhone 15 Pro's A17 Pro chip blows the A16 Bionic away in this GPU benchmark

(Image credit: Apple)

Expectations were already high for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max's new A17 Pro chip after their September 15 unveiling, and it turns out that those expectations are entirely justified.

That's the situation after a new GPU benchmark put the A17 Pro through its pases, showing that it is definitely more capable than the A16 Bionic that powered last year's iPhone 14 Pro and will be sold in this year's iPhone 15 models.

The benchmark in question is GFXBench, and the results make for some interesting reading.

All the frames

The benchmark results were first spotted by MySmartPrice and show exactly what the best iPhones are capable of.

The A17 Pro has a six-core GPU whereas the A16 Bionic has a five-core GPU, something that was always going to make a difference. The new chip also comes with 8GB of RAM whereas the older silicon has just 6GB. All of that translates to some impressive scores.

As an example, the Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen test saw the A17 Pro perform around 19% faster than the A16 Bionic. Things got even better with the Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen test which saw the A17 Pro best the A16 Bionic by around 45% — the two models tested here were the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro.

Overall, Apple's claim of up to 20% better performance seems to be right on the money, as is normally the case with these things. That's good news for those waiting to receive their new handsets this week — they go on sale on September 22 and should start to arrive on the doorsteps of early preorderers on that date. The same goes for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus of course, but those models both use the older A16 Bionic chip.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.