Apple’s new 2020 iPad pro is starting to arrive in the hands of those who bought it last week and that indicates that we’re starting to learn a lot more and a lot more about it.

One of the interesting points from the announcement was the inclusion of a new Apple A12Z processor. We didn’t know much about it, but now we’re starting to learn a whole lot more.

According to a report by NotebookCheck, the A12Z and A12X processors are physically identical, although the older chip has one of the eight GPUs disabled. The new A12Z has all eight graphics cored enabled. The A12X? just the seven.

That ultimately indicates that the two chips are the same if you boil it down far enough and it certainly describes why they both do so similarly when benchmark results are compared.

There can be several speculative reasons as to why Apple chose to do this. It is not uncommon to see chip makers disabling physical cores and enabling them in higher SKUs. For instance, the NVIDIA Titan RTX has all 4,608 CUDA cores enabled while the RTX 2080 Ti uses only 4,352 cores despite both using the TU102 GPU.

The other likely explanation is that Apple’s decision to disable one GPU core in the A12X could have been deliberate. enabling the latent core in an interim freshen like the A12Z would save them from having to develop an A13X and instead, directly focus on the (5 nm?) A14X that is slated to debut with the 5G ‌iPad Pro‌ later this year.

While lots of will see this as a “gotcha” moment for Apple, none of this is really new. It’s similar to the processor binning that CPU makers have been doing for years. In fact, binning is what’s allowed overclocking to be a thing – chips capable of running at one speed are sold as chips that are rated for a slower one.

The 2020 iPad pro clearly isn’t one that people with functioning 2018 models must upgrade to regardless of this news. Unless that fancy LiDAR Scanner is something you’re particularly ecstatic about.

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