Apple’s A6 processor, found in the new iPhone 5, is clocked higher than initially believed, according to benchmarking firm Primate Labs and its Geekbench app. Geekbench, after being updated to version 2.3.6 Wednesday to allow for “improved iPhone 5 hardware detection,” now shows that the A6 is clocked at about 1.3 GHz, up from the roughly 1 GHz that was reported under the previous test.
The A6’s Geekbench score remains unchanged, and still represents a performance increase of over twice that of any previous iOS device, but the faster CPU clock helps answer questions about why the iPhone 5 is so relatively speedy.
“Earlier versions of Geekbench had trouble determining the A6’s frequency, which lead to people claiming the A6’s frequency as 1.0GHz as it was the most common value Geekbench reported,” Primate Labs’ John Poole told Engadget.
The A6 also does not appear to be overclocking itself to reach 1.3 GHz: "I don’t believe the A6 has any form of processor boost. In our testing, we found the 1.3 GHz was constant regardless of whether one core or both cores were busy,” Mr. Poole explained.
The iPhone 5’s Geekbench result (TMO’s test iPhone 5 scored 1639) rivals that of some quad-core Android-based phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S3, which Primate Labs reports as scoring 1628 (although some user scores report results over 1800).
It should be noted, however, that Geekbench only measures CPU and memory performance, and does not test GPU or storage speed, two factors that are crucial to an overall evaluation of a device’s performance.