Apple's iPhone 13 Pro A15 Bionic Crushes Its Predecessor In Early Benchmarks

Apple iPhone 13 Pro
Apple this week unveiled its iPhone 13 lineup (among other products) powered by its new A15 Bionic processor, and will open up preorders tomorrow. Then it will be another week before the latest iPhone handsets ship out. While we wait for official benchmarks to arrive, a handful of leaked benchmarks suggest the A15 Bionic is a worthy upgrade to the A14 Bionic.

The A15 Bionic is built on TSMC's advanced 5-nanometer node. It features a six-core design consisting of two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores that Apple says is up to 50 percent faster than the "leading competition)," as well as a new five-core GPU in the Pro line that Apple claims "brings the fastest graphics performance in any smartphone."

Apple A15 Bionic

The SoC also boasts 15 billion transistors, a faster 16-core neural engine capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second for faster machine learning computations, twice the system cache, and various other bits. But is it the real deal?

There would be little reason to think the A15 Bionic wouldn't be a powerhouse. Apple's high-end iPhone devices have traditionally performed well, even when they don't boast the best spec sheet on the planet. And it looks like that will be the case again.

iPhone 13 Pro Geekbench
Source: Geekbench

Over on Geekbench, an iPhone 13 Pro (identified as "iPhone 14,5") posted a Metal score of 14,216. This is a measurement of graphics performance, and that's a very good score. There's also a benchmark entry for a regular iPhone 13, which scored 10,608—it's lower because the standard iPhone 13 touts a four-core GPU rather than a five-core GPU like the Pro model.

Geekbench maintains a handy list of average benchmark scores for various devices, and looking at the iPhone 12 Pro with its A14 Bionic, the average to date works out to 9,123. That works out to a massive 55.8 percent jump in performance for the iPhone 13 Pro and its A15 Bionic. Even the regular iPhone 13 is faster, by around 16 percent.

Good stuff for sure. Moving on, here's a look at the CPU performance...

iPhone 13 Pro Geekbench
Source: Geekbench

There are a bunch of iPhone 13 Pro benchmark runs. So far the best multi-core score we have seen is 4,818. The iPhone 12 Pro Max averages 3,938, so we're looking at greater than 22 percent improvement in multi-threaded performance, according to the leaked benchmark runs.

On the single-core side, the best score for the iPhone 13 Pro is 1,738, which is around 10.3 percent higher than the average single-core score for the iPhone 12 Pro (1,575).

Yes, I'm comparing best scores of the iPhone 13 Pro the average scores or the previous generation, but that feels fair given the relatively small number of benchmark runs we have for Apple's latest handset. We'll have to wait a little bit longer for a more accurate picture of the performance gap, but in the early going, the A15 Bionic is looking like a formidable chip.