Apple’s presentation of the iPhone 5 didn’t include too many details regarding the iPhone 5’s A6 chip so we started learning about the SoC from elsewhere. We found out that it is a custom built processor with three GPU cores and so far everybody thought it was running at 1GHz.
Those who’ve been using PCs for quite some time (and AMD-powered computers at that) probably remember AMD’s Cool’n’Quiet technology introduced with Athlon processors. AMD overclocked and underclocked the CPU according to the system load needs. Apple appears to do the same thing with its A6 chip, depending on which report you’re reading.
When GeekBench was updated recently people stopped seeing the 1GHz clocking besides the A6 chip’s name. The new version of the benchmark application offers better support for the iPhone 5’s hardware in terms of detection. It appears that the SoC can run as fast as 1.29Ghz under load but it can also reportedly run as slow as 550MHz if needed. This, of course, if true, should help with heavy applications and take care of the battery when idling or doing light stuff.
However the benchmark app-maker said: “I don’t believe the A6 has any form of processor boost. In our testing, we found the 1.3GHz was constant regardless of whether one core or both cores were busy”