A week ago, Apple’s latest Apple TV 4K went on sale with the new A15 Bionic chip. Foreign tech media FlatpanelsHD has done an in-depth review on it and compared it with the Sony PlayStation 4/5 game consoles.
Apple TV 4K Performance Test
The A15 chip used in the Apple TV 4K this year has 4 GPU cores, while the chip used in the iPhone 13 Pro series has 5 GPU cores. In terms of CPU cores, the Apple TV uses 4 CPU cores while the iPhone has 5 CPU cores.
Tests by FlatpanelsHD show that this year’s Apple TV 4K is “about 40 percent faster” than the previous generation Apple TV with the A12 chip. Apple claims it should be 50% faster, but differences in testing methodology may account for this difference.
Another change this year is that the new Apple TV 4K has no internal fans, resulting in a smaller and lighter design. How does it affect performance, cooling and throttling? The new Apple TV 4K is actually lower than previous models.
In CPU benchmarks, the A15 is about 40 percent faster than the A12 in previous Apple TVs — less than Apple’s claimed 50 percent improvement. The reason for this is twofold: on the one hand it may have used a different testing method, and on the other hand we were surprised to see that the A15 throttled less than the A12 because the A15 was not actively cooled.
A 20-minute CPU stress test limited the A12 to 65 percent, while the A15 limited it to just 84 percent, meaning the new Apple TV 4K can maintain most of its CPU performance during hours of heavy gaming.
Performance comparison with PS5 and Xbox One
The A15 Bionic CPU is significantly faster than previous generation consoles like Xbox One and PlayStation 5. A15’s CPU performance core is much faster than PS5’s CPU core (single-core performance), but PS5 leads the main performance in multi-core because it has 8 cores.
As for the GPU, the Apple TV 4K (2022) specs have 1 TFlops of graphics performance, but it’s a bit vague since there’s no GPU information or benchmark app for tvOS. It still can’t match previous generation consoles like the Xbox One in terms of TFlops performance, and it has half the RAM (4GB vs. 8GB).
Image via FlatpanelsHD
In contrast, the Apple TV 4K (2022) has faster RAM and is equipped with a very fast NVMe SSD, unlike the old-fashioned hard drives in previous generation consoles. In theory, Xbox One and PS4 games can be played on Apple TV without sacrificing too much quality or frame rate.
Apple has been trying to turn the Apple TV into a gaming device for years, with little success. These performance tests emphasize that the problem is not performance, but a lack of broad support from developers and game studios. These tests show little change in that department, but performance in available games remains impressive.
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