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What's the benefit of the A7 chip being 64-bit?

09-11-2013, 07:34 AM
#1
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1,564
What's the benefit of the A7 chip being 64-bit?

Can someone explain to a layperson such as myself what's the benefit of creating a 64 bit A7 processor? I know the main benefit in the x86 world is the ability to address up to 256 TB of RAM versus 4 GB of RAM for x86 processors. I don't think we're expecting to see 4GB + of ram on IOS devices anytime soon. Is this marketing hype (aka Atari Jaguar & Nintendo 64) or real innovation?
09-11-2013, 07:46 AM
#2
Real innovation. It brings mobile device CPUs to parity with current Macs/PCs. See Wikipidea for more technical info. Once apps begin to be updated to take advantage of the increase bit depth (and apparently the transition is easy) you should see major leaps in performance.

BTW the "64" in Nintendo 64 referred to bit depth in graphics -- a completely different thing.

09-11-2013, 11:13 AM
#3
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 1,005
As a developer I have no idea how to take advantage of this I'm guessing it's some pretty low level stuff.
09-11-2013, 01:03 PM
#4
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1,564
There is a pretty geeky discussion going on over at Anandtech about this topic. I think the answer is it really depends what exactly Apple added to the A7 processor. BGR also had an article saying basically that Apple is planning for the future when IOS devices will have more than 4GB of ram.
09-11-2013, 01:24 PM
#5
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 193
As long as there are lots of iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4th users out there, we, developers, can't easily push the graphics to a higher level unfortunately. Some developers take the risk and don't support those devices but having lots of 1 star, because there we cannot say "I don't support iPhone 4" in iTunes Connect.

Long story short, 64-bit does not mean anything to me.
09-11-2013, 04:56 PM
#6
Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Principality of Zeon
Posts: 61
64-bit CPU doesn't bring anything "useful" for 99% apps and for 100% games Not until we get more RAM top utilize the obvious advantages.

But A7 is not all about being 64-bit - it is about being much powerful beast than (already really good) CPU in iPhone 5. And that is nice

As for me, I am really looking to see what will be the performance of new GPU as games tend to push more pixels than computational tasks
09-11-2013, 06:08 PM
#7
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 9,494
Is the consensus that the faster processor is a shiny coat of pain but ultimately meaningless without higher RAM and due to market/user demands still requiring limitations sufficient for 4G compatibility? That seems deceptive of Apple...
09-11-2013, 06:36 PM
#8
Joined: May 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 6,755
Quote:
Originally Posted by undeadcow View Post
Is the consensus that the faster processor is a shiny coat of pain but ultimately meaningless without higher RAM and due to market/user demands still requiring limitations sufficient for 4G compatibility? That seems deceptive of Apple...
You mean like the "powerhouse" A5X?

Yes. The age of 64-bit phones is eventually coming, and Apple's just getting a head start converting software beforehand. It just has to do with how the system manages RAM when it's over 4gb. In fact, depending on the internals, 64-bit might actually negatively affect the chip's performance in some ways.

Last edited by JBRUU; 09-12-2013 at 01:35 AM.
09-11-2013, 08:32 PM
#9
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 2,257
Also means you can emulate high intensity 3D games/emulators without lag.
09-12-2013, 01:38 AM
#10
Joined: May 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 6,755
64 Bit Has Little Value at Present

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gov View Post
Also means you can emulate high intensity 3D games/emulators without lag.
No.

Last edited by JBRUU; 09-12-2013 at 01:13 PM.