Apple TV 4K vs PS5: How does performance compare?

The latest Apple TV 4K has been available to consumers for about a week, and we continue to learn more about the changes and improvements that Apple has made with this year’s revision. The new Apple TV 4K is powered by the A15 Bionic chip, and new in-depth tests of Flat panels HD offers an interesting look at how this compares to game consoles like the Playstation 4 and Playstation 5.

Apple TV 4K performance testing

The A15 chip used by this year’s Apple TV 4K has a 4-core GPU, rather than the 5-core GPU version used in the iPhone 13 Pro. It also has a 4-core CPU instead of a 5-core CPU, again showing that it is essentially a “binned” version of the A15 Bionic chip used in other devices.

In terms of performance compared to the previous generation Apple TV with an A12 chip inside, the tests carried out by Flat panels HD show that this year’s Apple TV 4K is “about 40% faster.” Apple advertises that it should be 50% faster, but this difference could simply come down to differences in testing methodology.

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Another change this year is that the latest Apple TV 4K does not have a fan inside, leading to a smaller and lighter design. How does this affect performance, cooling and throttling? The new Apple TV 4K actually carries less like the previous model:

In our CPU benchmark testing, A15 was about 40% faster than A12 in the previous Apple TV – short of Apple’s claimed 50% improvement that can use other testing methodology. On the other hand, we were surprised that the A15 throttled less than the A12 considering it has no active cooling. A 20-minute CPU stress test throttled A12 to 65%, while A15 throttled to just 84%, meaning the new Apple TV 4K can maintain most of its CPU performance during prolonged heavy loads and games.

In terms of comparisons with gaming consoles such as the PS5 and Xbox One:

The CPU in A15 Bionic is much, much faster than previous generation game consoles like Xbox One and PlayStation 5. The CPU performance core of A15 is also significantly faster than PS5’s CPU core (single-core performance) but PS5 pulls ahead and Multi-core performance because it has 8 cores as opposed to 5 cores in the Apple TV version of A15.

As for the GPU, Apple TV 4K (2022) on paper exceeds 1 TFlops of graphic performance but by how much is a bit unclear as there is no GPU information or benchmark apps available for tvOS. In terms of TFlops performance, it still can’t match last gen game consoles like Xbox One and it only has half the RAM (4GB vs. 8GB).

On the other hand Apple TV 4K (2022) has much faster RAM and is equipped with a very fast NVMe SSD as opposed to the old school hard drive in the last gen consoles. We’re starting to get to a point where Xbox One and PS4 games should, in theory, play on Apple TV without too many compromises.

For years, Apple has been trying to turn the Apple TV into a gaming device, but without much success. These tests highlight that the issue is not performance, but rather the lack of wider support from developers and game studios. These tests show that little has changed in that department, but the performance of games available continues to impress.

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The complete review of Flat panels HD offers a look at performance for games like Beyond a steel sky, Sayonara Wild Hearts, The Pathless, and many more. Check it out here.

Will the Apple TV 4K ever become a leading gaming device? Let us know what you think in the comments.


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