Apple A9 vs Apple A6X

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CPU comparison with benchmarks


Apple A9 CPU1 vs CPU2 Apple A6X
Apple A9 Apple A6X

CPU comparison

Apple A9 or Apple A6X - which processor is faster? In this comparison we look at the differences and analyze which of these two CPUs is better. We compare the technical data and benchmark results.

The Apple A9 has 2 cores with 2 threads and clocks with a maximum frequency of 1.85 GHz. Up to 2 GB of memory is supported in 1 memory channels. The Apple A9 was released in Q3/2015.

The Apple A6X has 2 cores with 2 threads and clocks with a maximum frequency of 1.40 GHz. The CPU supports up to 1 GB of memory in 4 memory channels. The Apple A6X was released in Q3/2012.
Apple A series Family Apple A series
Apple A9/A9X CPU group Apple A6/A6X
9 Generation 6
A9 Architecture A6
Mobile Segment Mobile
Apple A8 Predecessor Apple A5X
Apple A10 Fusion Successor Apple A8X

CPU Cores and Base Frequency

The Apple A9 has 2 CPU cores and can calculate 2 threads in parallel. The clock frequency of the Apple A9 is 1.85 GHz while the Apple A6X has 2 CPU cores and 2 threads can calculate simultaneously. The clock frequency of the Apple A6X is at --.

Apple A9 Characteristic Apple A6X
2 Cores 2
2 Threads 2
normal Core architecture normal
No Hyperthreading No
No Overclocking ? No
1.85 GHz Frequency 1.40 GHz
-- Turbo Frequency (1 Core) --
-- Turbo Frequency (All Cores) --

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Processors with the support of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can process many calculations, especially audio, image and video processing, much faster than classic processors. Algorithms for ML improve their performance the more data they have collected via software. ML tasks can be processed up to 10,000 times faster than with a classic processor.

Apple A9 Characteristic Apple A6X
-- AI hardware --
-- AI specifications --

Internal Graphics

The Apple A9 or Apple A6X has integrated graphics, called iGPU for short. The iGPU uses the system's main memory as graphics memory and sits on the processor's die.

Apple A9 GPU PowerVR SGX554MP4 (4 Cores)
0.65 GHz GPU frequency 0.30 GHz
-- GPU (Turbo) --
6 GPU Generation --
16 nm Technology 32 nm
1 Max. displays 1
24 Compute units 16
192 Shader 128
4 GB Max. GPU Memory --
-- DirectX Version 10

Hardware codec support

A photo or video codec that is accelerated in hardware can greatly accelerate the working speed of a processor and extend the battery life of notebooks or smartphones when playing videos.

Apple A9 GPU PowerVR SGX554MP4 (4 Cores)
No Codec h265 / HEVC (8 bit) No
No Codec h265 / HEVC (10 bit) No
Decode Codec h264 No
No Codec VP9 No
Decode Codec VP8 No
No Codec AV1 No
Decode Codec AVC No
Decode Codec VC-1 No
Decode / Encode Codec JPEG No

Memory & PCIe

The Apple A9 can use up to 2 GB of memory in 1 memory channels. The maximum memory bandwidth is 25.6 GB/s. The Apple A6X supports up to 1 GB of memory in 4 memory channels and achieves a memory bandwidth of up to 17.1 GB/s.

Apple A9 Characteristic Apple A6X
LPDDR4-3200 Memory LPDDR2-1066
2 GB Max. Memory 1 GB
1 (Single Channel) Memory channels 4 (Quad Channel)
25.6 GB/s Max. Bandwidth 17.1 GB/s
No ECC No
3.00 MB L2 Cache 1.00 MB
4.00 MB L3 Cache --
-- PCIe version --
-- PCIe lanes --
-- PCIe Bandwidth --

Thermal Management

The thermal design power (TDP for short) of the Apple A9 is 5 W, while the Apple A6X has a TDP of --. The TDP specifies the necessary cooling solution that is required to cool the processor sufficiently.

Apple A9 Characteristic Apple A6X
5 W TDP (PL1 / PBP) --
-- TDP (PL2) --
-- TDP up --
-- TDP down --
-- Tjunction max. --

Technical details

The Apple A9 is manufactured in 16 nm and has 7.00 MB cache. The Apple A6X is manufactured in 32 nm and has a 1.00 MB cache.

Apple A9 Characteristic Apple A6X
16 nm Technology 32 nm
Chiplet Chip design Chiplet
Armv8-A (64 bit) Instruction set (ISA) Armv7-A (32 bit)
-- ISA extensions --
-- Socket --
None Virtualization None
No AES-NI No
iOS Operating systems iOS
Q3/2015 Release date Q3/2012
-- Release price --
show more data show more data


iGPU - FP32 Performance (Single-precision GFLOPS)

The theoretical computing performance of the internal graphics unit of the processor with simple accuracy (32 bit) in GFLOPS. GFLOPS indicates how many billion floating point operations the iGPU can perform per second.

Apple A9 Apple A9
Apple A9 @ 0.65 GHz
250 (100%)
Apple A6X Apple A6X
PowerVR SGX554MP4 (4 Cores) @ 0.30 GHz
77 (31%)



Geekbench 5, 64bit (Single-Core)

Geekbench 5 is a cross plattform benchmark that heavily uses the systems memory. A fast memory will push the result a lot. The single-core test only uses one CPU core, the amount of cores or hyperthreading ability doesn't count.

Apple A9 Apple A9
2C 2T @ 1.85 GHz
558 (100%)
Apple A6X Apple A6X
2C 2T @ 1.40 GHz
0 (0%)



Geekbench 5, 64bit (Multi-Core)

Geekbench 5 is a cross plattform benchmark that heavily uses the systems memory. A fast memory will push the result a lot. The multi-core test involves all CPU cores and taks a big advantage of hyperthreading.

Apple A9 Apple A9
2C 2T @ 1.85 GHz
1024 (100%)
Apple A6X Apple A6X
2C 2T @ 1.40 GHz
0 (0%)



Geekbench 6 (Single-Core)

Geekbench 6 is a benchmark for modern computers, notebooks and smartphones. What is new is an optimized utilization of newer CPU architectures, e.g. based on the big.LITTLE concept and combining CPU cores of different sizes. The single-core benchmark only evaluates the performance of the fastest CPU core, the number of CPU cores in a processor is irrelevant here.

Apple A9 Apple A9
2C 2T @ 1.85 GHz
632 (100%)
Apple A6X Apple A6X
2C 2T @ 1.40 GHz
0 (0%)



Geekbench 6 (Multi-Core)

Geekbench 6 is a benchmark for modern computers, notebooks and smartphones. What is new is an optimized utilization of newer CPU architectures, e.g. based on the big.LITTLE concept and combining CPU cores of different sizes. The multi-core benchmark evaluates the performance of all of the processor's CPU cores. Virtual thread improvements such as AMD SMT or Intel's Hyper-Threading have a positive impact on the benchmark result.

Apple A9 Apple A9
2C 2T @ 1.85 GHz
921 (100%)
Apple A6X Apple A6X
2C 2T @ 1.40 GHz
0 (0%)



AnTuTu 8 Benchmark

The AnTuTu 8 Benchmark measures the performance of a SoC. AnTuTu benchmarks the CPU, GPU, Memory as well as the UX (User Experience) by simulating browser and app usage. AnTuTu can benchmark any ARM CPU that runs under Android or iOS. Devices may not be directly compareable if the benchmark has been performed under different operating systems.

In the AnTuTu 8 benchmark, the single-core performance of a processor is only slightly weighted. The evaluation consists of the multi-core performance of the processor, the speed of the RAM and the performance of the internal graphics.

Apple A9 Apple A9
2C 2T @ 1.85 GHz
172160 (100%)
Apple A6X Apple A6X
2C 2T @ 1.40 GHz
0 (0%)



Estimated results for PassMark CPU Mark

Some of the CPUs listed below have been benchmarked by CPU-monkey. However the majority of CPUs have not been tested and the results have been estimated by a CPU-monkey’s secret proprietary formula. As such they do not accurately reflect the actual Passmark CPU mark values and are not endorsed by PassMark Software Pty Ltd.

Apple A9 Apple A9
2C 2T @ 1.85 GHz
2053 (100%)
Apple A6X Apple A6X
2C 2T @ 1.40 GHz
0 (0%)



Devices using this processor

Apple A9 Apple A6X
Apple iPhone 6s
Apple iPhone SE (1. Gen)
Apple iPad (4. Gen)

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