Apple TV 4K (2022) review in summary

You've been able to use the new one for a little over a week Apple TV 4K with A15 Bionic Chip and up to 128 GB of hard drive space buy. With WLAN 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and HDMI 2.1 The device equipped is the third generation of the 4K set-top box from Apple and has a significant increase in performance compared to its predecessors. Although no fan was installed in this model, according to a recent test, it shouldn't be necessary. The performance throttling of the processor under load turns out to be much lower than in the predecessor; and this one had a fan. In the following you will get more information from the said Apple TV 4K (2022) test report.

The 4rd generation Apple TV 3K has been available for purchase since November 4, 2022. But how does it fare in the test? In this article I have summarized an Apple TV 4K 2022 experience report for you. Image source: Apple.com
The 4rd generation Apple TV 3K has been available for purchase since November 4, 2022. But how does it fare in the test? In this article I have summarized an Apple TV 4K 2022 experience report for you. Image source: Apple.com

Apple TV 4K review by FlatPanelsHD

More and more specs of the new 4rd generation Apple TV 3K will be released over time. While Apple has been providing more and more detailed data sheets over the years, not all specs are always made known when new devices are released. With the data now available and with a hands-on on the new Apple TV 4K, extensive test reports can be written. And that's exactly it at this point with the contribution "Review: Apple TV 4K (2022)" by FlatPanelsHD.

The technical data of the device is discussed right at the beginning: A15 Bionic Chip with 4 GB of RAM and up to 128 GB of SSD storage. Furthermore, it is explained that the chip is not identical in construction to those from the iPhone 13 (Pro). Because instead of 6 CPU cores and 5 GPU cores, only 5 or 4 cores are used for the main processor and the graphics processor. According to the manufacturer Apple, the new generation of the set-top box should still be up to 50% faster than its predecessor from 2021 with the A12 Bionic chip.

With the new Apple TV 4K 2022, among other things, Fitness+ can be used with the live display of measured data. The data is transmitted from the Apple Watch. Image source: Apple.com
With the new Apple TV 4K 2022, among other things, Fitness+ can be used with the live display of measured data. The data is transmitted from the Apple Watch. Image source: Apple.com

In the Apple TV 4K test by FlatPanelsHD, a performance increase of almost 40% was measured. This difference can result from different approaches to testing. Accordingly, the field report not only deals with streaming films, series, documentaries and videos, but also with playing video games. A comparison is made with last-gen and current game consoles (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5). What also speaks for this is the smaller throttling of the CPU under load. Despite the fan, the predecessor was throttled to 65%, the current model to 84%.

Could the Apple TV 4K become an equal gaming console?

The Apple TV 4K can already compete with the Nintendo Switch. After all, more extensive 3D titles from the App Store or from Apple Arcade also run on the device. In some areas, however, the comparison with the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4 should also be good, mainly due to the NVMe SSD storage. In the single-core test, the CPU is also much faster than the CPU in the PlayStation 5. However, it looks different in the multi-core comparison, the PS5 has 8 cores instead of just 4 cores.

In terms of graphics performance, the Apple TV 4K is said to achieve more than 1 teraflop on paper. The predecessor managed 0,7 TFlops, the Xbox One comes to 1,3 and the PS4 to 1,8 TFlops. Here the streaming device from Apple is still chasing the last-gen consoles. Still a good value when you see that the Nintendo Switch only achieves 0,38 TFlops in its dock. With later generations of the Apple TV 4K, perhaps with an M chip and more than 128 GB of memory, serious competition with common games consoles could then be established.

Apple Arcade offers various games for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. Sometimes simpler app ports, sometimes demanding 3D titles. The current set-top box is already good for gaming. Image source: Apple.com
Apple Arcade offers various games for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. Sometimes simpler app ports, sometimes demanding 3D titles. The current set-top box is already good for gaming. Image source: Apple.com

In summary, the test and field report linked above (freely translated) states:

Still, it's an A15, not an M1 or M2. The graphics performance of the M1 starts at 2,6 TFlops and reaches a maximum of 1 TFlops for the M21 Ultra. M2 starts at 3,6 TFlops. As you can see, even if Apple doesn't want to develop a dedicated TV SoC, there is a clear roadmap to make the Apple TV much stronger in terms of graphics performance. [One M-Chip] would of course make it more expensive, but a $200 Apple TV "console" that doubles as a HDMI 2.1 video box for 4K with 120Hz would probably appeal to many users.

Current comparison with games like "Beyond a Steel Sky" and more

The considerations shown in the quote show where Apple probably wants to go with the Apple TV in the future. But a look at the current model is still worthwhile in comparison with current games and consoles. For example, the game "Beyond a Steel Sky" from the Apple Arcade library was played for the test report. This was not playable on the Apple TV HD and also had problems on the Apple TV 4K from 2021. The Apple TV 4K from 2022 runs better and the loading times are faster, but the frame rate is not yet as stable as hoped.

Furthermore, "NBA", "The Pathless" and "Sayonara Wild Hearts" were played. What I find interesting is that these games require up to 5 W of power on the PlayStation 150. On the Apple TV 4K 2022, these games only need up to 6 W. The graphics and frame rate on the PlayStation 5 are much better here and there. But in some places it is exactly the same game. Currently, users of the new Apple device already have a good games console on their TV, even if it cannot keep up with the PlayStation and Xbox in all respects.

It is a simple looking device with power, ethernet and HDMI connection. But there's a lot of power under the hood. With an M1 or M2 chip and more SSD storage, it could become a serious gaming console. Image source: Apple.com
It is a simple looking device with power, ethernet and HDMI connection. But there's a lot of power under the hood. With an M1 or M2 chip and more SSD storage, it could become a serious gaming console. Image source: Apple.com

So if Apple can build stronger ARM chips (i.e. an Apple Silicon from the M1 or M2 series) and more SSD storage in future streaming boxes - as well as get developers to release their games for tvOS - then it could serious competition to Sony and Microsoft. The selection of games has to be right; and since Apple will not deviate from its proprietary approach as well as from tvOS, developers and studios must of course consider whether the additional effort for the game port is worthwhile. Funny thing about it: Games on the Apple TV can be played with the controllers from Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.

More information from the Apple TV 4K review 

In the Apple TV 4K test and experience report by FlatPanelsHD you will find further explanations, the technical comparison of the box with the previous models and information on using the device as a smart home hub. If this interests you, click here. Otherwise you will also find a few posts about the 4rd generation Apple TV 3K here at Sir Apfelot. About this one: In comparison – Apple TV 4K from 2022 and Apple TV 4K from 2021.

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