A12Z Chip in iPad Pro Confirmed to Be Same As A12X, But With Extra GPU Core Enabled

The 2020 iPad Pro models are equipped with an A12Z processor that is the same as the A12X processor in the 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ models but with an extra GPU core enabled, TechInsights confirmed today.

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Speculation that Apple was using the same chip began shortly after the new iPad Pros launched and benchmarks found little in the way of performance improvements.


Apple didn't highlight changes to CPU performance, but there is one difference - the A12Z features an 8-core GPU, while the A12X has a 7-core GPU.

Information provided in March by TechInsights suggested that the A12X was simply an 8-core GPU chip with one GPU core disabled, indicating the A12Z is a re-binned A12X with that latent GPU core enabled.

At the time, TechInsights said that it planned to conduct a floorplan analysis to determine whether there are any differences between the A12X and the A12Z, which has now been completed, and the GPU chips are the same. A full report on TechInsights findings will be available on its website to those with a subscription.

It is not unusual for chip manufacturers to disable one core of a processor when a chip isn't meeting yield levels, and that's perhaps what happened with the A12X. The manufacturing of the chip has now improved enough that yields have gotten better and all 8 cores are functional, resulting in the A12Z chip.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tag: A12Z
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Top Rated Comments

calzon65 Avatar
54 months ago
So based on this information, if you have the 2018 iPad pro, this upgrade is pretty unimpressive.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joeblow7777 Avatar
54 months ago

So basically if you have the 2018 iPad pro, this upgrade is pretty unimpressive.
As I always say, a single generation upgrade is almost never worth it. The 2020 ipad pro is not for people who already have a 2018.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neuropsychguy Avatar
54 months ago

So.. the thing that I bought last year has a GPU core purposefully disabled? Isnt that kind of like the battery thing they were sued for?
No, this is nothing like that. A lot of processors have disabled cores or features due to binning.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adib Avatar
54 months ago

As an 2018 iPad Pro user, I would like to activate the 8th core, please.
Would you like the 8th core to be activated but only works half of the time and crashing your app when the core locks up or return unexpected results?

These are quite common in chip production – extra "stuff" are produced because the costs are marginal to make those, then tested, and if some parts are defective then just disable them and label the item as a "lower-grade" product. Like how Intel 486SX ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_80486') chips are really 486DX with the numeric co-processor disabled, because it failed testing.

Food production also works similarly. Farmers would harvest the fruits and vegetables then grade them accordingly. The finest one goes to restaurants, second grade goes to supermarkets, the broken ones becomes pickle or kimchi, and the almost-spoiled ones are materials for sauces and pastes.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Icaras Avatar
54 months ago
As an 2018 iPad Pro user, I would like to activate the 8th core, please.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
EugW Avatar
54 months ago
This does seem like an unexpected interim release. I wonder if the new contract with Qualcomm prevented Apple from releasing a 5G version with the current chipset.


So basically if you have the 2018 iPad pro, this upgrade is pretty unimpressive.
50% more RAM, double the base storage, new camera, WiFi 6, etc.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)