Is That a Tower in Your Pocket?

September 28th, 2013 •

Since I’ve been using iOS almost exclusively in my music making for the last few years (mostly with custom apps I’ve built using iRTcmix), it’s been exciting to witness the progress in the computing power of these devices. I’ve idly speculated about their power relative to their Mac predecessors, but I haven’t seen any direct comparisons. The current devices, while still limited compared to MacBooks, have started to feel a lot less computationally cramped. Considering I replaced my 2008 MacBook relatively recently, this comparison from John Gruber was encouraging:

The iPhone 5S and 5C:

To put that in context, the iPhone 5S beats my 2008 15-inch MacBook Pro by a small measure in the Sunspider benchmark (with the MacBook Pro running the latest Safari 6.1 beta). The iPhone 5S is, in some measures, computationally superior to the top-of-the-line MacBook Pro from just five years ago. In your fucking pocket.

And it looks like Gruber just about called it 5 years ago.

BlackBerry vs. iPhone:

If a 2007 iPhone is loosely equivalent in terms of computing power to a 2000 PowerBook or 1999 Power Mac, that puts the spread at around seven or eight years. Extrapolate forward, and it’s therefore not at all unreasonable to think that a 2014 iPhone will pack the computing power of today’s MacBook Pro.