Report: A15 Bionic on New Apple TV 4K Has Only Five CPU Cores

BY Dave Johnson

Published 14 Nov 2022

A15 Bionic

A new report suggests that the third-generation Apple TV 4K has a modified version of the A15 Bionic with one CPU core disabled. 

On September 14, 2021, Apple announced the A15 Bionic — a 64-bit ARM-based system on chip (SoC) that uses a 5-nanometer process technology. While it may have launched with the iPhone 13 lineup, you’ll find the chip on several Apple devices today. 

These include the 6th generation iPad mini, 3rd generation iPhone SE, iPhone 14, and iPhone 14 Plus. 

Last month, Apple released the new Apple TV 4K powered by an A15 Bionic chip. However, a recent review by the FlatpanelsHD team suggests that the chip in the streaming device may be different. 

According to the review, there are two versions of the A15 Bionic. The first version on the iPhone 13 and 14 models has six CPU cores and five GPU cores. 

However, the Apple TV is reportedly equipped with a binned version with only five CPU cores and four GPU cores. Moreover, the absence of active cooling suggests that the streaming device won’t push higher clocking speeds. 

Despite these limitations, reviewers found that the new Apple TV 4K performed excellently compared to its predecessor. 

Using Apple TV 4K with A15 Bionic For Casual Gaming

The FlatpanelsHD team noted that the A15 Bionic chip’s performance on the new Apple TV 4K makes it ideal for gaming 

In a benchmark test, the reviewers found that the CPU was roughly 40 percent faster than the A12 in the previous Apple TV. Moreover, the new Apple TV 4K doesn’t throttle nearly as much as its predecessor despite lacking active cooling. 

“We are starting to get to a point where Xbox One and PS4 games should, in theory, be playable on Apple TV without too many compromises,” says the reviewers. 

Unfortunately, very few Apple TV games can take full advantage of the A15 Bionic’s impressive graphical performance. As a result, the streaming device won’t replace your PlayStation 4 or Xbox One anytime soon. 

However, the 3rd-generation Apple TV 4K is still a capable streaming device for casual gaming alone or with your family.