The recent release of the new Apple TV 4K set-top boxes brought the device, among other things, an updated processor. This is a simplified version of the Apple A15 Bionic from the iPhone 13. The difference is only the number of processor cores.
In a separate review, FlatpanelsHD conducted a good comparison of Apple TV 4K with game consoles (after all, the television set-top box from Apple is also capable of running games).
For starters, the A15 Bionic has one less CPU core (five instead of six) and 4-core graphics (like the iPhone 13). Compared to the A12 Bionic, the new version of the console showed a 40% increase in performance (when Apple says 50%, but this is just a difference in testing methods). At the same time, there is no active cooling.
On the other hand, we were surprised to see the A15’s throttle is lower than the A12’s since it doesn’t have active cooling. A 20-minute CPU stress test shrank the A12 to 65% while the A15 dropped to just 84%, which means the new Apple TV 4K can retain most of the CPU’s performance during heavy gaming loads for extended periods.
But the comparison with PlayStation 5 and Xbox One is more interesting:
The CPU in the A15 Bionic is much faster than previous generation game consoles such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 5. The CPU performance core in the A15 is also much faster than the PS5 CPU core (Single Core Performance) but the PS5 is way ahead in Multi-Performance Basic because it has 8 cores versus 5 cores in the Apple TV version of the A15.
In terms of GPU, Apple TV 4K (2022) on paper exceeds 1 TFlops of graphics performance, but it’s somewhat unclear since there’s no GPU info or benchmark apps available for tvOS. In terms of TFlops performance, it still can’t match last-gen gaming hardware like the Xbox One and 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 compared to the old hard drive in last generation consoles. We’re starting to get to the point where Xbox One and PS4 games should be playable on Apple TV without too many compromises.
Without notable success, Apple has been trying to make the Apple TV a gaming device for many years. And the tests show that it is not a question of performance, but a lack of steps from the developers. And although reviews confirm that almost nothing has changed in this direction, the performance of the updated set-top box is still impressive.