Some curious code strings discovered earlier today practically confirm that Apple’s upcoming set-top box refresh, dubbed “Apple TV 4K”, could run the same chip as the latest iPad Pros and feature fifty percent more RAM, turning it into a powerful gaming console in its own right.

Developer Steve Troughton-Smith (of course) has unearthed some interesting details regarding Apple TV 4K from an iOS 11 GM release that an anonymous source leaked on Friday.

According to his findings, the device will be powered by a hexa-core A10X Fusion system-on-a-chip with three gigabytes of RAM. That’s a major step up in specs from the dual-core Apple A8 chip and 2GB RAM in the current fourth-generation Apple TV, originally released in 2015.

Troughton-Smith speculates that the A10X Fusion chip, coupled with the additional RAM, will permit the forthcoming set-top box to play 4K video at 60 frames per second. This makes sense as iPhone X is expected to record 4K video at 60 frames per second.

Beyond 4K video streaming, the significantly boosted compute and graphics performance should be felt elsewhere and result in a lot snappier performance across the board, from navigating the entirety of the tvOS user interface to using apps and—yes—playing games.

Gaming may be the primary reason for including such a beastly chip as Games is the leading App Store category revenue-wise. Going from 1080p to 4K (four times the pixels) does require a major CPU/GPU upgrade and it’s encouraging that Apple is doing just that.

So there you have it, the next Apple TV should be powerful enough to run immersive 3D games rivaling modern console titles. On a related note, developer Guilherme Rambo shared some 4K Top Shelf assets for Apple’s stock tvOS apps, like App Store, Photos, Search and TV.

But, will the new box sport the same CPU configuration as in the new iPad Pros, with three high-performance “Hurricane” cores and an additional three low-performance “Zephyr” cores?

That’s a yes, according to Steven.

OK, but why does it need the low-power cores if it’s plugged in all the time?

“It’s 3+3, like on iPad,” he clarified in a separate tweet. “Three accessible to apps, three for background tasks.”

What the code strings have not revealed is the type of GPU cores that will drive the next Apple TV’s 4K graphics. By comparison, the A10X Fusion chip in the new iPad Pros integrates a twelve-core GPU (versus a six-core GPU in the A10 chip in your iPhone 7) providing a forty percent GPU boost versus its predecessor, the A9X.

The iPad Pro’s twelve-core GPU uses the same Apple-customized Imagination PowerVR Series7XT GPU cores as in the iPhone 7’s A10 system-on-a-chip powering, as per AnandTech.

I’m so going to buy me a new Apple TV as soon as it arrives.

Apple TV is where I get my Netflix, iTunes and HBO NOW entertainment from but I’m not going to lie, I use it predominantly to play games.

Are you looking forward to the next Apple TV and, importantly, are you excited about its prospect of becoming a powerful game console in its own right as much as I am?

Chime in with your thoughts in the comments below.

  • afteroffice

    Definitely gonna get this, when its out in Indonesia.. How long would that be 🙂 Always a fan of Apple TV, use it mainly to mirror my devices to my TV.. Now that it does 4K, it would b perfect with my TV.. can’t wait!

    • Rizaldy Chaniago

      masih lama cuy.. mending lu mangkal di australia/singapur sono misalnya…

  • Chris Ryan

    sounds nice…just curious, what games do you play on your current 4th gen atv Christian?

  • Wolff

    Just want auto refresh rate switching, and 24p support.