New Retina MacBook Pro Processor Bumps Offer Minor 3-5% Performance Improvements

Following last week's introduction of new processors for the Retina MacBook Pro lineup, Primate Labs has analyzed benchmarks coming in from the new machines through the company's popular Geekbench 2 software. 

Unsurprisingly, the benchmarks reveal a roughly 3-5% increase in Geekbench scores for each of the processor bumps. For the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro lineup, Apple bumped each of the three available processors by 100 MHz, accounting for the minor benchmark improvements. 


One thing to note is that the new mid-range Retina MacBook Pro has the same speed processor as the old high-end Retina MacBook Pro. However, the new mid-range model is slightly slower than the old high-end model. While this seems surprising at first, the difference is easily explained by comparing the two processors: the old high-end processor has more cache than the new mid-range processor.

For the 13-inch lineup, the 100 MHz speed bumps were limited to machines based on the high-end stock configuration starting at 256 GB of storage, with those machines also seeing a 3-5% improvement in Geekbench scores. 

Aside from the processor improvements for the Retina MacBook Pro lineup, Apple also reduced pricing on the 13-inch models by $200-$300, increased RAM on the high-end 15-inch stock configuration, and reduced pricing on storage options.

[Source: MacRumors]


NVIDIA (NVDA) on Tuesday announced its first Tegra processor with an integrated LTE chip. The 2.3GHz quad-core Tegra 4i, which brings the company in closer competition withQualcomm (QCOM) and its line of Snapdragon CPUs, is equipped with 60 custom GPU cores, a fifth processing core for battery conservation and an integrated NVIDIA i500 LTE modem. It also includes NVIDIA’s Chimera camera technology that is capable of capturing HDR panorama shots without requiring a single-direction sweep. The company calls its the new processor the most efficient, highest performance CPU core on the market, noting that it will provide “amazing computing power, world-class phone capabilities, and exceptionally long battery life.”

[Source: BGR]

Picture of Alleged iPhone 5S Motherboard Leaks, Shows Off A7 Processor

A photo of what is allegedly the iPhone 5S’ motherboard has been let loose, showing off what appears to be an A7 processor. According to iOSDoc, who acquired the photo from a trusted source, the alleged motherboard is quite similar to that of the iPhone 5, indicating an incremental upgrade is inbound, similar to iPhone 4/4S territory.

Further speculation explores what we’ve already heard and, in the Apple world, these expectations aren’t outside the realm of possibility. Apple’s upcoming device will reportedly come with a quad-core chip clocked at 1.2GHz, along with Jony Ive’s repainted iOS 7 and a “highly improved Siri.”

Additionally, the next iPhone will come with PowerVR quad-core SGX554MP4 GPU that’s featured in the iPad 4, meaning folks will see an improved gaming experience. Other supposed enhancements include 2GB of RAM and, the holy grail of iOS user’s dreams: widgets in iOS 7.

None of this is substantiated and sounds more like hope than actual fact. Still, plenty of what’s being suggested sound like logical upgrades, though the rumors about what we’ll see in iOS 7 are certainly interesting, especially with Scott Forstall out of the picture.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

CES 2013: Samsung’s New Exynos 5 Octa Processor Has Eight Cores

Samsung has a new Exynos 5 Octa Processor, and it’s absolutely wild. The company announced its new technology on Wednesday, saying that the Octa takes advantage of two sets of four core processor, all in your tiny little smartphone. It’s probably a safe bet this will power the company’s highly anticipated Galaxy S IV.

The company said its new chip uses ARM’s big.LITTLE processor tech—ARM Cortex-A15 for performance, and Cortex-A7 for common tasks. That should lead to better battery life, and an enormously smooth experience when playing games or simply browsing the Web. The future of mobile devices is looking brighter by the day. Samsung is already one of the leading companies in the world, and that’s likely to continue as we get settled in 2013.

Samsung says that being able to switch between performance and energy efficiency makes for a 70 percent increase in battery life. In addition, users should expect twice the 3D performance of something like the Exynos 4 Quad, which should do a lot to whet the palette of Android-gaming fanatics.

We can’t wait to hold a device using Samsung’s new Exynos 5 Octa. Hopefully we’ll start to see more information hit the Web in the coming weeks and months.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Intel CEO Paul Otellini to step down in May, leaves a legacy of x86 dominance

Intel has just announced that CEO Paul Otellini will be stepping down in May of 2013. The long time executive will be retiring from the company and industry that he has dedicated the last 40 years of his life to, leaving behind a legacy that has seen Intel's dominance in the x86 field grow to almost unapproachable levels. As the fifth chief executive in the company's history he's overseen not only the processor reboot that followed the inefficient Pentium 4, but also played a roll in Apple's famous transition from PowerPC to Intel. Otellini and the board of directors will work together over the next six months to ensure a seamless transition of power, however a successor has yet to be chosen.

[Source: Engadget]

Samsung reportedly raising iPhone and iPad processor prices by a fifth

Samsung has made no secret of the fact that it provides a number of the key components inside Apple's flagship iPhone and iPad devices, even while actively competing against them with its own Galaxy line of Android competitors. A major change in that relationship has now been reported out of Korea, however, where the Chosun Ilbo says Samsung has increased the price of manufacturing Apple's application processor by nearly 20 percent. The Korean daily notes that this is the first time Samsung has sought to increase pricing on the processors that go inside Apple's mobile devices, and that Apple, faced with a lack of alternatives, has accepted Samsung's demands.

Although custom-designed by Apple itself, the A-series of mobile processors are built by Samsung — an uncomfortable relationship of closeness between two increasingly bitter rivals. While Apple has sought to diversify away from Samsung in recent times, byprocuring its RAM and flash storage from other suppliers, it appears nobody else is able to match the production volume that Samsung can offer. Unfortunately, the Chosunreport fails to identify the reasons for Samsung's raised pricing, though it may have something to do with a significant recent investment the company made in retooling its plant in Austin, Texas, the very same that builds Apple's processors.

[Source: The Verge]

Apple may ditch Intel chips in Macs, says Bloomberg

According to Bloomberg Apple is considering a move away from Intel chips for its cherished Mac line. The move would be the third major CPU shift for the brand which has previously relied on Motorola 68000 and Power PC chips. The move away from Intel could also mean a move away from x86 as Apple has been heavily invested in its own ARM-based chip designs in recent years. Bloomberg's sources suggest that Cupertino is actively working on a version of its tweaked ARM architecture that would run inside Mac PC, in particular its laptop products could stand to benefit from its battery sipping design.

The change will not happen immediately. In fact, the sources said such a move was years away, potentially not happening till 2017. But, as the gulf between "mobile" and "desktop" products begins to shrink and the boundaries blend, it would only seem to make sense that Apple would look to leverage its high-profile purchase of P.A. Semi to good use and inch ever closer to being a completely self-reliant corporate entity. We don't think it's any secret that Apple would, if it could, design and manufacture every component itself.

[Source: Engadget]

AMD unveils Opteron 6300, hopes to put servers in a Piledriver

AMD's advantage these days most often rests in datacenters that thrive on the chip designer's love of many-core processors, so it was almost surprising that the company brought its Piledriver architecture to the mainstream before turning to the server room. It's closing that gap now that the Opteron 6300 is here. The sequel to the 6200 fits into the same sockets and consumes the same energy as its ancestor, but speeds ahead through Piledriver's newer layout and instructions -- if you believe AMD, as much as 24 percent faster in one performance test, 40 percent in performance per watt and (naturally) a better deal for the money than Intel's Xeon. Whether that's true or just marketing bluster, there's a wide spread of chips that range from a quad-core, 3.5GHz example to a 16-core, 2.8GHz beast for massively parallel tasks. Cray, Dell, HP and others plan to boost their servers before long, although the surest proof of the 6300's success from our perspective may be that everything in the bacrkoom runs just as smoothly as it did yesterday.

[Source: Engadget - Click here to read more]

Quad-core chips rumored for 2014 Apple mobile products

If a research note from Citigroup analyst J.T. Hsu is any indication, Apple is working with Taiwan-based chip manufacturer TSMC on quad-core chipsthat could be worked into future products such as the iPad and MacBooks in 2014.

According to a report on China Economic News Service (CENS), Hsu noted that Apple began verifying TSMC's 20-nanometer process this past August and may begin some limited-risk production in November. Full production of the more efficient, yet powerful chips would be expected in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Hsu notes that Apple began development of quad-core processors in 2010 after acquiring fabless chip company Intrincity. Apple would move manufacturing of the chip to Taiwanese supply chains consisting of TSMC, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. and Kinsus Interconnect Technology Corporation.

This move all boils down to costs; Hsu thinks the Taiwanese manufacturers could produce the chips for about 10 percent less than Apple's main chip supplier at the present time -- Samsung. Quoting the CENS post, "Hsu ascribed Samsung's higher cost in the production of Apple processors mostly to the company's inefficiency."

[Source: TUAW]