Apple made some impressive performance claims during the unveiling of the iPhone 6s earlier this month, and now that the phones have made their way into users’ hands, we can see just how powerful they are compared to their predecessors. There will be lots of benchmarks in the coming days comparing the iPhone 6s line to earlier iPhones and Apple’s competitors, but we wanted to start off with an initial look at what’s changed, performance-wise, between Apple’s 2014 and 2015 flagship devices.
These brief benchmarks are focused on the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6s Plus, both running iOS 9.0.1, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system as of the date of this article. Let’s start with the popular cross-platform benchmark, Geekbench.
What a difference a year makes. The iPhone 6s Plus, sporting the new A9 CPU and 2GB of RAM, scores 56.3 percent higher than the iPhone 6 Plus in single-core tasks, and 51.9 percent higher in multi-core tasks. Indeed, even though Geekbench scores between completely different platforms aren’t perfectly comparable, the iPhone 6s Plus scores reach those produced by entry-level Macs.
Next we’ll look at GFXBench, specifically the OpenGL 3.1 test:
All GFXBench tests were run in “offscreen” mode, which attempts to maximize the performance of the iPhone’s hardware without any possible bottlenecks at the display resolution. The Manhattan, T-Rex, and ALU tests are reported as total frames rendered during the test period, while the Texturing test is reported as megatexels (MTexels) per second.
The iPhone 6s Plus continues to live up to Apple’s claims, offering performance improvements over the iPhone 6 Plus of between 74.2 and 94.8 percent.
Finally, we’ll look at another cross-platform benchmark, 3DMark:
The 3DMark results demonstrate that while the A9 chip improves both graphics and processing capabilities, the graphics boost appears to be greater, with the iPhone 6s Plus scoring 70.7 percent higher in that category, compared to 42.8 percent higher in the CPU-bound physics test.
Overall, Apple was not exaggerating when it comes to the performance improvements of this new A9 platform in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Even though they look nearly identical on the outside, the iPhone 6s line is a beast where it counts, and our early benchmarks show one of the biggest jumps in performance between model years since the iPhone’s introduction. Stay tuned as we continue to test the potential of this new device, and look forward to seeing what the upcoming iPad Pro brings to the table.
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