Eyebrows were raised when Apple announced the 2020 iPad Pro would ship with the new Apple A12Z processor inside of it. That comes after the previous model used the Apple A12X. So what’s the difference?

After some digging by various people it was decided that the A12Z was simply the A12X with an extra GPU core enabled; and now we know that’s actually the case.

TechInsights has been able to confirm that the two chips are essentially identical, but with one fewer GPU core enabled in the older processor. Quite why Apple decided to go with an older chip rather than something based on the A13 is a real question here, but people will no doubt fixate on the decision to ship the A12X with a GPU core disabled.

In reality, that is something that chipmakers have been doing for years depending on the yield they experience when creating silicon wafers.

It’s a complicated process that can be read about in the TechInsights report – but the important part is that this is no “gotcha” moment for Apple. Chip “binning” has been around for years and has probably been happening in Apple’s Intel-powered machines, too.

The really interesting part here is whether there’s another iPad Pro in the works for a launch later this year, as has been rumored. With an A13X or newer processor at its heart and rumored mini-LED screen, that could definitely be a tablet to watch out for.

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