A5X chip in Apple's new iPad doubles RAM to 1GB - report

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


Though the new A5X chip in Apple's third-generation iPad features the same dual-core CPU found in its predecessor, the system-on-a-chip is still believed to double the onboard RAM to 1 gigabyte.



Apple has never announced the amount of RAM built into any iPad or iPhone, preferring to focus less on technical specifications and more on the abilities of a device, and this week's new iPad unveiling was no different. But a source who spoke with The Verge said the new A5X processor found in the latest iPad will, in fact, feature a gigabyte of RAM.



That's twice that of the iPad 2 released last year, powered by the custom-built A5 processor. It's also double that of the iPhone 4S released late last year, which also featires the A5.



RAM limitations in previous chips were said to be driven by battery life concerns. Last October, Microsoft explained that RAM is constantly consuming power, so the more memory that is included with a system, the less battery life it gets.



Though the new iPad is expected to feature double the RAM, the performance improvement will have no effect on battery life. Apple announced on Wednesday that the new iPad will continue to offer 10 hours of operation when using Wi-Fi and 9 hours on 4G LTE networks.











Reports first surfaced ahead of Apple's iPad unveiling that Apple would increase the RAM in its custom processor. The information was derived from alleged iPad debug photos that leaked last month.



The new A5X processor features a dual-core CPU, the same as the A5. But its performance has been boosted by a new quad-core graphics processor that Apple says is twice as fast as the Nvidia Tegra 3 while offering four times the performance.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,447member
    Hopefully this will cut down on page refreshing in Safari.
  • cmvsmcmvsm Posts: 204member
    This is good stuff. I'll take an updated GPU and RAM over a processor upgrade any day of the week.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,650member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The new A5X processor features a dual-core CPU, the same as the A5. But its performance has been boosted by a new quad-core graphics processor that Apple says is twice as fast as the Nvidia Tegra 3 while offering four times the performance.



    The last sentence seems a bit odd, how can it be twice as fast with 4 times the performance? It's also interesting to note that it's listed at 2x the iPad 2 so they are in fact running 4x the pixels with just 2x the speed, which will result in the same effect we saw on the 3GS -> 4 transition, which is that graphics running at native resolution will run more slowly on the new one than the old one. It's only when the next one comes out (the equivalent of the iPhone 4S) that you see the performance go up.



    1GB RAM is nice though, especially considering it's shared by the GPU.
  • adybadyb Posts: 157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Though the new A5X chip in Apple's third-generation iPad features the same dual-core CPU found in its predecessor, the system-on-a-chip is still believed to double the onboard RAM to 1 gigabyte.



    Is it just me or does this paragraph seem to imply that the A5X is effectively the same as the A5 apart from more onboard RAM. Is there some distinction between the CPU and the system-on-a-chip side of things that I am missing?
  • jbellancajbellanca Posts: 14member
    I'm speculating, but "twice as fast as the Tegra 3" may refer to clock speed whereas "four times the performance" is obviously based on benchmarking and pushing pixels vs. clock speed. I was wondering at how simply adding two cores to double the performance from the A5 would be enough to cover 4x the pixels, but perhaps they made some other performance boosts as well, or (I'd guess) maybe the A5 graphic cores ware never even near full perfornace used at 1024x768.
  • jbellancajbellanca Posts: 14member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdyB View Post


    Is it just me or does this paragraph seem to imply that the A5X is effectively the same as the A5 apart from more onboard RAM. Is there some distinction between the CPU and the system-on-a-chip side of things that I am missing?



    From what I've read so far, and we probably won't know for sure until someone breaks it down and x-rays the chip, but I heard it's an A5 with 1GB RAM and two extra identical graphics cores (no idea on any changes to clock speeds). Of course at this point, that's just rumor, so take it for what it's worth.
  • theoldcoottheoldcoot Posts: 14member
    Hope fully it does have more RAM but I'll wait and see with a teardown. No use speculating unless your trying to make money on the speculation.
  • drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The last sentence seems a bit odd, how can it be twice as fast with 4 times the performance? ...



    It is odd; no wonder that nVidia wants to see the benchmarks:



    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/nvidia...s-rivers;item5
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 7,902member
    The iPad2 which had 512 mb of RAM killed and destroyed all Android tablets with 1 GB of RAM.



    So an iPad3 with 1 GB is probably equivalent to having 2 GB's on an Android tablet. iOS is a much more professionally coded OS and it is far more lean than Android, which is a sloppy and poorly written OS, made by amateurs for amateurs.



    Apple really knows how to get max performance out of it's hardware, due to it's OS, which is lightyears ahead of the competition. iOS is of course built on OSX. What is Android built on again, some crappy Java?



    Why do you think that some Android tablets are going quad core CPU now? They have to, in order to compensate for crappy performance. Maybe Android will be as smooth as iOS when they release a 16 core CPU tablet in 2019.
  • chris vchris v Posts: 457member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Hopefully this will cut down on page refreshing in Safari.



    God, I hope so. That's the most frustrating thing about the iPad. Quite a few times, I'll enter some text, say in a window at a site like this, switch to another tab to grab a link, & when I switch back, the page refreshes & my text is gone. If I want to write anything at all involved on a message board, I do it in notes, then copy and paste the thing. It's a pain.



    Also, I hope iOS 5.1 does something about Safari's bad crashiness. It's nice that it auto-recovers the links that were open when it crashed, but I have to re-launch it 4 or 5 times a day, it seems like.
  • john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,617member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    But a source who spoke with The Verge said the new A5X processor found in the latest iPad will, in fact, feature a gigabyte of RAM.



    So the "source" is someone who talked to someone at the old This Is My Next?



    Why not just interview Daniel and save time?
  • euphoniouseuphonious Posts: 303member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    iOS is a much more professionally coded OS and it is far more lean than Android, which is a sloppy and poorly written OS, made by amateurs for amateurs.



    Mm - Google. Definitely amateurs \
  • jnjnjnjnjnjn Posts: 588member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The new A5X processor features a dual-core CPU, the same as the A5. But its performance has been boosted by a new quad-core graphics processor that Apple says is twice as fast as the Nvidia Tegra 3 while offering four times the performance.



    Not so. The Apple A5 processor is twice as fast as the Nvidia Tegra 3 and the Apples A5X processor is four times as fast.

    So the A5X is twice as fast as the A5 and with 4 times the pixels the new iPad is twice as slow as the iPad2.

    Apple 'should' have used the 8 core version of the PowerVR 543 to equal the speed of the ipad2, but I think that most game developers can live with the current horsepower because in absolute numbers its quite impressive (29 GFLOPS).



    J.



    (The info came from Apples keynote from a spreadsheet about the A5X processor shown by Philip Schiller.)
  • john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,617member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post


    Mm - Google. Definitely amateurs \



    Yeah, I don't know about "amateurs", but design and performance aren't exactly hallmarks of the Google experience.
  • maciekskontaktmaciekskontakt Posts: 233member
    "Microsoft explained that RAM is constantly consuming power"





    LOL Hardware experts.
  • melgrossmelgross Posts: 28,597member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The last sentence seems a bit odd, how can it be twice as fast with 4 times the performance? It's also interesting to note that it's listed at 2x the iPad 2 so they are in fact running 4x the pixels with just 2x the speed, which will result in the same effect we saw on the 3GS -> 4 transition, which is that graphics running at native resolution will run more slowly on the new one than the old one. It's only when the next one comes out (the equivalent of the iPhone 4S) that you see the performance go up.



    1GB RAM is nice though, especially considering it's shared by the GPU.



    The old GPu had two cores. The new one has four cores. So if it runs twice as fast, it's four times as powerful.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 7,902member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post


    Mm - Google. Definitely amateurs \



    What do they know about making an OS?



    They're an advertising company.



    If I have a pain in my tooth, I'm not going to make an appointment with my barber.
  • auxioauxio Posts: 1,641member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The last sentence seems a bit odd, how can it be twice as fast with 4 times the performance?



    Perhaps the clock speed is 2x, but the data throughput (I/O) is 4x? Just a guess...
  • melgrossmelgross Posts: 28,597member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maciekskontakt View Post


    "Microsoft explained that RAM is constantly consuming power"





    LOL Hardware experts.



    They are correct though. Anyone says that doubling RAM doesn't add to power draw doesn't know what they're talking about.
  • neo42neo42 Posts: 287member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    The iPad2 which had 512 mb of RAM killed and destroyed all Android tablets with 1 GB of RAM.



    So an iPad3 with 1 GB is probably equivalent to having 2 GB's on an Android tablet. iOS is a much more professionally coded OS and it is far more lean than Android, which is a sloppy and poorly written OS, made by amateurs for amateurs.



    Apple really knows how to get max performance out of it's hardware, due to it's OS, which is lightyears ahead of the competition. iOS is of course built on OSX. What is Android built on again, some crappy Java?



    Why do you think that some Android tablets are going quad core CPU now? They have to, in order to compensate for crappy performance. Maybe Android will be as smooth as iOS when they release a 16 core CPU tablet in 2019.





    You are so insightful! Android is definitely written by the same amateur company that pioneered modern internet search engine technology. Also, clearly iOS is built on OSX, not Darwin/*nix. Same goes for Android, the kernel is definitely running natively in Java and not on a *nix platform.



    No one knows for sure what makes Android eat so much more memory than iOS. Maybe it's the superior multitasking capabilities, or maybe it is the dynamic and extended implementation of UI graphics unlike the rigid UI and multiprocessing framework found in iOS.



    One thing we all know for sure is that Android sucks!!!
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