Home Science & Technology Apple A16 Bionic vs Apple M1: What’s the difference?

Apple A16 Bionic vs Apple M1: What’s the difference?

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One of the most important announcements at Apple’s Far Out event was the latter A16 Bionic chipwhich will be presented in iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Announcing the latest iPhone lineup, including iPhone 14iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max, came with news of Apple’s latest Silicon chipset.

The A16 Bionic is now a flagship mobile chipset that is taking it to the next level A15 Bionic since last year. It’s worth noting that the new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus will still include the A15, suggesting the phone’s speed and performance will be similar to iPhone 13.

But how is the A16 assessed against M1, the first Apple Silicon chip to be used in a Mac? Read on to learn about the main differences between the chips.

M1 is made for Mac, A16 is made for phones.

The first thing you need to know about these two chips is that they were designed for very different devices, with the A16 exclusively featured in the new iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. While Apple hasn’t confirmed whether we’ll see the A16 in the iPad, it’s clear that this chip is designed for smaller hardware.

The M1, meanwhile, was first introduced at 13-inch MacBook Pro and has since appeared on other devices, including MacBook Air and iMac.

It should be noted that the M1 chip was also used internally iPad Pro and iPad Air 5 tablet, giving the M1 a bit more wiggle room in terms of use cases than the A16. This suggests that Apple is happy to use the M1 to boost the performance of other devices, although we doubt we’ll see the A16 in anything bigger than the iPhone range.

A dark-themed brochure with several images showing off the features of Apple's M1 processor

M1 and A16 use different architectures

It is difficult to compare the A16 and the M1 chip as they use different architectures and have different considerations. Both chips are based on handhowever, they both use different architectures and have different numbers of GPU and CPU cores, meaning that performance for each will vary dramatically.

The M1 chip also uses a 5nm node, while the A16 runs on a 4nm node. They both have the same number of transistors at 16 billion, but since the M1 is significantly ahead of the A16 in terms of core count, we expect it to be faster overall.

The M1 handles graphics better

While we won’t delve into how exactly the number of cores affects performance, the M1 chip has 8 GPU cores, while the A16 only has five. While Macs aren’t known for their gaming prowess, it’s safe to say that the M1 will be able to handle more graphics-intensive tasks like video and photo editing with greater ease than the A16 chip.

However, as the A16’s lifespan continues, we may see the chip used inside the iPad, and the number of cores will also change, although it will certainly pale in comparison to the A15 for now.

A16 Bionic chip

The A16 prioritizes battery life

The A16 Bionic chip has retained the same number of cores as its predecessor, with 6 processor cores consisting of 2 high-performance cores and 4 energy-efficient cores. Meanwhile, the M1 consists of 8 CPU cores, with 4 high-performance cores and 4 energy-efficient cores.

This shows that Apple is prioritizing the A16’s battery life as it has more power efficient cores. It’s also shown in some features, such as the A16’s ability to drop to just 1Hz when idle, and it’s generally more important to keep your smartphone running throughout the day than your Mac.

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