The latest Apple TV 4K has been available to consumers for about a week now, and we continue to learn more about the changes and improvements Apple has made with this year’s review. The new Apple TV 4K is powered by the A15 Bionic chip and new extensive testing of Flat screensHD offers an interesting look at how this compares to gaming consoles like the Playstation 4 and Playstation 5.
Apple TV 4K benchmarks
The A15 chip used by this year’s Apple TV 4K has a 4-core GPU, rather than the 5-core GPU version that was used in the iPhone 13 Pro. It also has a 4-core processor rather than a 5-core processor, again showing that it’s essentially a ‘bundled’ version of the A15 Bionic chip used in other devices.
In terms of performance compared to the previous generation Apple TV with an A12 chip inside, testing by Flat screensHD show that this year’s Apple TV 4K is “about 40% faster”. Apple advertises that it should be 50% faster, but that difference could simply come down to differences in testing methodology.
Another change this year is that the latest Apple TV 4K doesn’t have a fan inside, leading to a smaller, lighter design. How does this affect performance, cooling, and throttling? The new Apple TV 4K actually strangles less than the previous model:
In our CPU benchmark tests, the A15 was around 40% faster than the A12 in the previous Apple TV – short of the 50% improvement claimed by Apple which may use a different testing methodology. On the other hand, we were surprised to see A15 accelerate less than A12 given that it doesn’t have active cooling. A 20-minute CPU stress test limited A12 to 65% while A15 was limited to just 84%, meaning the new Apple TV 4K can maintain most of its CPU performance under prolonged heavy loads in the games.
In terms of comparisons to gaming consoles like the PS5 and Xbox One:
A15 Bionic’s processor is much, much faster than previous generation gaming consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 5. The A15’s CPU performance core is also significantly faster than the CPU core of the PS5 (single-core performance), but the PS5 advances in multi-core performance because it has 8 cores compared to 5 cores in the Apple TV version of A15.
As for the GPU, Apple TV 4K (2022) on paper exceeds 1 TFlops of graphics performance, but how much is unclear as there is no GPU information or benchmark applications available for tvOS. In terms of TFlops performance, it still can’t match the latest generation game consoles like Xbox One and it only has half the amount of RAM (4GB vs. 8GB).
On the other hand, the Apple TV 4K (2022) has much faster RAM and is equipped with a very fast NVMe SSD unlike the old-school hard drive of the last generation consoles. We’re starting to get to a point where Xbox One and PS4 games should, in theory, be playable on Apple TV without too many compromises.
For years, Apple tried to turn the Apple TV into a gaming device, but without much success. These tests highlight that the problem is not performance but rather the lack of broader support from developers and game studios. These tests show that not much has changed in this department, but the performance of the available games continues to impress.
Full review of Flat screensHD provides insight into the performance of games such as Beyond a steel sky, Wild Hearts of Sayonara, The pathless, and much more. Check it here.
Will the Apple TV 4K ever become a top gaming device? Let us know what you think in the comments.
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