iPhone 4S Could be Clocked at 800MHz – Still Performs Extremely Well

Some tests have revealed that the iPhone 4S A5 processor could be clocked at about 800MHz. In a time when we are starting to see smartphones with 1.5GHz CPUs you might be thinking Apple has made a mistake here. However, based on other performance tests it seems that the low clock speed has made the OS extremely optimised and therefore, can keep things running at a high speed. The benefits of a lower clock speed means that the battery is able to keep the device running for longer.

Some results posted on AnandTech reveal that performance of the iPhone 4S matches or beats other devices such as the Galaxy S II.

Although we don’t know exactly what the A5 is clocked at on the iPhone 4S, the tests have compared speed to the iPad 2 which uses the same processor and comparing results has provided an estimate at 800MHz. Due to the iPad having larger capacity batteries it makes sense that Apple [AAPL] clocks the iPhone 4S at a lower speed to preserve battery life.

A lower clock not only means higher yields from the factory, but likely a lower operating voltage as well. Dropping a CPU’s core voltage, yields a greater-than-linear decrease in power consumption, making the marginal loss in clock speed a good choice. At a lower operating frequency than its Android competitors, Apple does have to exploit its strengths in software to avoid any tangible performance penalties. Apple has traditionally done this very well in the past, so I don’t expect the loss of frequency to be a huge deal to the few who do cross-shop iOS and Android.

Take a look at the full set of graphs over on AnandTech to see how the iPhone 4S compares to other similar devices. We expect when the Galaxy S III launches that this will again set another benchmark for devices. We’ll continue to see the cycle over and over again though.

We’ll be getting our hands on an iPhone 4S this coming Friday and will begin testing and comparing to see what its like compared to the iPhone 4. Stay tuned.

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