Many of the reviews of the new iPad Pros have made mention of the Geekbench scores of the new A12X processor (see Gruber and Panzarino, for example). The stats are pretty impressive. Most of these reviews are comparing the A12X to last year’s iPad, this year’s iPhone and to Apple’s current laptops. Take this chart from Gruber’s piece, for instance:
Single Multi Core Core 2018 iPad Pro 5,007 18,051 2017 iPad pro 3,894 9,242 iPhone XS 4,851 10,534 15" MacBook Pro 5,653 21,737 (2.9 Ghz i9)
That i9 is the fastest processor you can get in a MacBook right now. So the A12X seems to be able to cover pretty much all of Apple’s laptop line. In the past few years we’ve gone from the iPad being able to match the MacBook Adorable, to matching Apple’s mainstream consumer laptops, to matching their Pro machines.
This is the comparison that I think it really interesting, though:
Single Multi Core Core 2018 iPad Pro 5,007 18,051 8 core iMac Pro 5,020 30,664 10 core iMac Pro 5,139 35,439 12 core iMac Pro 5,141 40,501 18 core iMac Pro 5,288 46,919
One of the objections to the idea of Apple transitioning the Mac lineup to ARM has been that while the A-series processors could work for the laptop line, but what about the Mac Pro/iMac Pro? While there’s still a gap between the multicore performance of the A12X and the Xeons in the iMac Pros, the A12X is already about halfway there!
What’s more, if you look at the performance history of the 12.9" iPads:
Single Multi Number Core Core of Cores 2015 iPad Pro 3,144 5,367 2 2017 iPad Pro 3,974 9,562 3+3 2018 iPad Pro 5,007 18,051 4+4
They’ve roughly doubled the performance in each generation. I think a Mac Pro/iMac Pro class processor is well within reach.