or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Benchmarks rate Apple's iPad 2x as fast at apps as iPhone 3GS
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Benchmarks rate Apple's iPad 2x as fast at apps as iPhone 3GS

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Despite apparently using the same single core, Cortex A8 generation of its ARM processor core, the same Power VR SGX 535 graphics core, and the same amount of system RAM, the iPad is around twice as fast as the iPhone 3GS in running native Cocoa Touch apps.

The benchmarks, published by Twitterific developer Craig Hockenberry, compared the performance of iPad running iPhone OS 3.2 against a stock iPhone 3GS running version 3.0.

Overall, the tests assigned iPad a performance edge of between 1.5 and 3.9 times better results. "On average," Hockenberry wrote, "the iPad is about twice as fast as the iPhone 3GS when executing native (Cocoa Touch) applications. Great news for developers, because it gives us much more flexibility when creating our apps."

JavaScript performance was up as well, although with slightly less of a jump, ranging from 1.2 to 2.4 times the improvement.

Compared to the original iPhone running 2.0 software, iPad's increase in performance ranged from 12 to 8,750 times as fast in the same battery of tests.

What makes it faster?

Users observing the remarkably faster performance of iPad's user interface originally guessed that the new device was packing a much faster generation of ARM technology, or perhaps multiple cores, or perhaps much more system RAM. But recent revelations by iFixit and others have indicated that none of those specifications have changed over last year's iPhone 3GS.

What has appeared to change, according to David Carey, vice president of technical intelligence at UBM TechInsights, is that "the DRAMs used in the iPad read and write data in 64-bit chunks."

The Wall Street Journal report citing Carey said this was "one potential reason why reviewers have called the iPad surprisingly fast."

"That helps it move a lot of data a lot faster," Carey told the Journal. "You are getting two to three times as many bits as would be characteristic in such products."

Additionally, while Apple's A4 SoC used by iPad is understood to incorporate on the Cortex A8 generation of ARM cores, its likely that Apple has introduced its own optimizations to accelerate how apps run, leveraging its expertise as the iPhone OS' software development creator.
post #2 of 36
Pretty easy to guess why.

The performance was turned down to increase the battery charge in the iPhone.

The iPad has a larger battery, thus the performance is better.



BTW: The Woz has found a answer to the iPhone's short battery charge.

He carries two of them.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: iPad's may display "Not charging" when connected to USB ports. The port doesn't have enough power to charge while using the device, just in sleep, then slowly. Use the power charger provided to charge the iPad instead.
post #3 of 36
. . . around the competition. No one else has hardware AND software coordinated under the same roof, nor does anyone else have the inspired leadership to keep a well coordinated team on the "straight and narrow path" for the DECADES that Apple has spent developing their overall operation.

Apple hasn't abandoned computers. It's transformed itself into the company it needed to be in order to adapt and survive.

I'm sure Steve is very proud of his team. I know I am!

Daniel Swanson

Reply

Daniel Swanson

Reply
post #4 of 36
The changes from the original iPhone's performance to the iPad is pretty remarkable for 2.5 years.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The changes from the original iPhone's performance to the iPad is pretty remarkable for 2.5 years.

Yes, and I don't expect much of a slowdown in the next 2.5 years especially given that the dual core A9s should be out in force later this year. Shame that the iPad wasn't 1st out of the gate on the A9s.

The 2nd gen iPad can probably boast another 2x to 3x speed boost.
post #6 of 36
clearly, apple is doomed.

i think the ipad is surprisingly excellent. it does exactly what it advertises, and faster than you thought it would. A+.
:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reply
:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reply
post #7 of 36
It's the bigger battery.
Bigger battery = more power = faster performance.
Giant fang-toothed bunny told me so.
post #8 of 36
They are doomed I tell, ya.

Nothing works with anything else.

Simple bugs bring everything down.

Tab A doesn't recognize Slot B!

Can you believe it?

They are doomed!!!
post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeman60 View Post

They are doomed I tell, ya.

Nothing works with anything else.

Simple bugs bring everything down.

Tab A doesn't recognize Slot B!

Can you believe it?

They are doomed!!!

Bet nice to SlotOn!
:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reply
:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reply
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

Pretty easy to guess why.

The performance was turned down to increase the battery charge in the iPhone.


The iPad has a larger battery, thus the performance is better.



BTW: The Woz has found a answer to the iPhone's short battery charge.

He carries two of them.



-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Note: iPad's may display "Not charging" when connected to USB ports.

The port doesn't have enough power to charge while using the device, just in sleep, then slowly.

Use the power charger provided to charge the iPad instead.


If you can give the iPhone a strong 3G or edge signal (all bars), you will have many times better battery life. You can use a repeater if necessary. If you had 2-3 bars, adding a repeater will significantly improve the battery life. I did that for the last couple years. More recently AT&T improved their towers. Now I get 5 bars without the repeater.
post #11 of 36
I'm having a hard time understanding why a 2x performance increase is that surprising.

The iPhone 3GS allegedly has a 833MHz Cortex-A8-based processor underclocked to 600MHz. Apple has publicly quoted a 1GHz clock speed for the iPad's A4 processor. Assuming that the article is correct in noting increased memory throughput, the average 2x improvement over a number of tests seems quite plausible.
post #12 of 36
There is no doubt that 64 bit memory accesses would help performance but so would a lot of other things. Plus I'm not convinced it would double performance even if that was the only thing done.

I'd prefer to wait for more extensive benchmarks especially things like OpenGL. Here is one consideration, much of the performance could be coming from a faster GPU. Think about it the GPU is really wired deeply into iPhones OS. Plus in the iPhone the GPU core runs relatively slow, so they could simply double the speed of the GPU core.

As far as raw processor performance that could be something as simple as a larger cache attached to the CPU memory. A few other improvements might even have been implemented. The whole chip though does sound rather average at the moment, this has me wondering just how much imput PA Semi had in the design.

Dave
post #13 of 36
It seems Jon was right about the cpu after all.

Apple's just done an amazing job, esp. considering how many pixels are being moved around.
post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

If you can give the iPhone a strong 3G or edge signal (all bars), you will have many times better battery life. You can use a repeater if necessary. If you had 2-3 bars, adding a repeater will significantly improve the battery life. I did that for the last couple years. More recently AT&T improved their towers. Now I get 5 bars without the repeater.


Is that right? Explains a lot, thanks.
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There is no doubt that 64 bit memory accesses would help performance but so would a lot of other things. Plus I'm not convinced it would double performance even if that was the only thing done.

I'd prefer to wait for more extensive benchmarks especially things like OpenGL. Here is one consideration, much of the performance could be coming from a faster GPU. Think about it the GPU is really wired deeply into iPhones OS. Plus in the iPhone the GPU core runs relatively slow, so they could simply double the speed of the GPU core.

As far as raw processor performance that could be something as simple as a larger cache attached to the CPU memory. A few other improvements might even have been implemented. The whole chip though does sound rather average at the moment, this has me wondering just how much imput PA Semi had in the design.

Dave

We don't have OpenCL tests yet, but we do have Javascript;

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3633/a...han-snapdragon

So far, everything seems to be faster.
post #16 of 36
Impressive speeds marks indeed. The tear-down on iFixit showed an elegant system not just on the outside but also on the inside. Compare that to the tear-down of the JooJoo and you should no doubt understand Apple's lead in engineering and design. The JooJoo's innards look pretty dated by comparison. Apparently the JooJoo's innards aren't the only thinks that suck as the Engadget reviewer complained of major bugs in the system.

There's no competing with the iPad with the current crop of slate computers.
post #17 of 36
Well I think a 2x speed increase bodes well for the next generation of iPxx devices. What are we ever going to do with all of this horsepower. Not drive Flash, that is for sure.

By the time the Courier comes out, Apple will be able to hinge two iPads together and thrash it from a hardware POV.

I have been in tech since 1979, and these are the most interesting times of all. Looking forward to the next 3-5 years, as I believe Apple probably have a product roadmap planned already 3 years ahead.
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

BTW: The Woz has found a answer to the iPhone's short battery charge.

He carries two of them.

It's also a great solution for those looking to multitask on the iPhone.
post #19 of 36
It sounds like the iPad is a terrific combination of software and hardware, and will likely only improve as time goes on.

Just as the the iPhones 3Gs was better than the original iPhone, and subsequent iPod Touches improved on memory and performance in the higher end models, so will the "iPad Family" be positioned for the same kind of speed, performance and RAM upgrades. Time will tell.
post #20 of 36
I only hope when iPhone 4G comes out it will be as exciting. (multitasking is a MUST)
post #21 of 36
Just please, Devs, don't do what you've done with the iPhone so far. The iPad runs insanely fast right now, but give Devs an idea of how much power they have to work with, and you quickly get apps that push the boundaries of the hardware and ultimately slow everything down. This has already occurred with each iPhone release since the App Store opened. A year ago my 3GS ran games really fast. Then the apps "designed" to take advantage of the OpenCL, mostly run good, but use way too much memory at one time.

Truth be told, not all developers are created equal, and not every app is well done. I love playing Angry Birds, but the guys behind the app really don't understand the hardware they've built it for..its uses over 70 mb of RAM, which is grotesque on these devices, and is immediately obvious why. Gameplay is choppy and aggravating, both on the iPhone and on the iPad. The recent iphone update improved matters, but the launch of Angry Birds leaves a lot to be desired. I cant blame them since they created it without testing on a physical iPad (allegedly), but it's the same game with different PNGs. Shouldn't have been that hard to figure out...
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Just please, Devs, don't do what you've done with the iPhone so far. The iPad runs insanely fast right now, but give Devs an idea of how much power they have to work with, and you quickly get apps that push the boundaries of the hardware and ultimately slow everything down. This has already occurred with each iPhone release since the App Store opened. A year ago my 3GS ran games really fast. Then the apps "designed" to take advantage of the OpenCL, mostly run good, but use way too much memory at one time.

Truth be told, not all developers are created equal, and not every app is well done. I love playing Angry Birds, but the guys behind the app really don't understand the hardware they've built it for..its uses over 70 mb of RAM, which is grotesque on these devices, and is immediately obvious why. Gameplay is choppy and aggravating, both on the iPhone and on the iPad. The recent iphone update improved matters, but the launch of Angry Birds leaves a lot to be desired. I cant blame them since they created it without testing on a physical iPad (allegedly), but it's the same game with different PNGs. Shouldn't have been that hard to figure out...

Uhh, gameplay is choppy on an iPad, a device they didn't own for testing before submitting the application? Umm, duh. If you didn't understand that, then all the other stuff you said is crap. And it IS hard to figure out, by the way. It's not just the same game with different PNGs. Just shows you've never developed an iPhone app before.

And what apps take advantage of OpenCL? There are no OpenCL iPhone/iPad libraries.
post #23 of 36
As an iPhone 3GS owner, but not iPad (we don't even have a price announced yet on this side of the pond), am I being too hopeful? The performance figures do look good for the iPad, such that I wonder if it's all down to hardware. The iPad has clearly sparked a lot of work to the OS, it could be that there are some performance tweaks in there too.

It seems likely that Apple will maintain as much commonality as possible with iPhone so there may soon be an iPhone OS update and it might bring some speed boost. Are there any Snow Leopard or Safari speed-ups that don't yet figure on the iPhone... I hope.

OS X and iOS user

Reply

OS X and iOS user

Reply
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamw View Post

It sounds like the iPad is a terrific combination of software and hardware, and will likely only improve as time goes on.

Just as the the iPhones 3Gs was better than the original iPhone, and subsequent iPod Touches improved on memory and performance in the higher end models, so will the "iPad Family" be positioned for the same kind of speed, performance and RAM upgrades. Time will tell.

Given that just about every computing device made to date include the Macintosh, iBook, iMac, generic PCs, iPods, mainframes etc. etc. has followed that performance path, that is a bit like saying that the sun will probably rise tomorrow.

As I remember reading many years ago about model 'X' of any computer (and their tongue was clearly in their cheek, but ..) "If it works, it's obsolete".
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

It's also a great solution for those looking to multitask on the iPhone.

that made me laugh, thanks RichL
post #26 of 36
So wait, it's a 64-bit ARM processor? I thought ARM was normally a 32-bit processor architecture?
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

I'm having a hard time understanding why a 2x performance increase is that surprising.

The iPhone 3GS allegedly has a 833MHz Cortex-A8-based processor underclocked to 600MHz. Apple has publicly quoted a 1GHz clock speed for the iPad's A4 processor. Assuming that the article is correct in noting increased memory throughput, the average 2x improvement over a number of tests seems quite plausible.

I know, it seems odd the article didn't mention the huge difference in clock speed. That alone accounts for the speed difference. The RAM just adds some extra performance to push it about 2x faster. Nothing really surprising.
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

I'm having a hard time understanding why a 2x performance increase is that surprising.

The iPhone 3GS allegedly has a 833MHz Cortex-A8-based processor underclocked to 600MHz. Apple has publicly quoted a 1GHz clock speed for the iPad's A4 processor. Assuming that the article is correct in noting increased memory throughput, the average 2x improvement over a number of tests seems quite plausible.

Same thought for me. If you clock the processor from 600MHz to 1GHz of course it is going to be nearly 2x faster. Duh

In a related topic, the Nokia N900 uses exactly the same Cortex-A8 processor at 600Mhz and people have already figured out how to overclock that to 1GHz.
post #29 of 36
The other shoe hasn't dropped yet. It's performance per watt that is the indicator of Apple doing something interesting with the A4. It increased the clock rate by 67%, and likely got another 10 to 20% from 64 bit data paths. And is likely fabbed on a 45 nm process. If it offers better perf/watt than Snapdragon (it should as it already performs better per clock and is supposedly fabbed on a more advanced process), but the real comparison is when Samsung (or someone) ships the Samsung 1 GHz Cortex-A8 based SoC.

If it's perf/watt is better than that, then Apple's design work with the A4 is a winner.

Also still waiting on graphics performance too.
post #30 of 36
Wow the A4 is a real screamer! Plus a year of advances seam to have paid off also. So how is benchmarks against an almost year old device news?

Mac Pro Dual 2.8 Quad (2nd gen), 14G Ram, Two DVD-RW Drives, OS X 10.9
Mac Book Pro Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz, SuperDrive, ATI X1600, 2GB RAM, OS X 10.7
1TB Time Capsule

Reply

Mac Pro Dual 2.8 Quad (2nd gen), 14G Ram, Two DVD-RW Drives, OS X 10.9
Mac Book Pro Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz, SuperDrive, ATI X1600, 2GB RAM, OS X 10.7
1TB Time Capsule

Reply
post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

So wait, it's a 64-bit ARM processor? I thought ARM was normally a 32-bit processor architecture?

You're confusing the memory data path (rumored to be 64bit) with CPU instruction size (still 32 bit).

And while on the subject, 64 bit insructions in devices that haven't even gotten over 512MB of system RAM is wholly unnecessary. 64 bit increases the number of transistors for a CPU in a pretty negative way for mobile/imbedded devices. What is non-trivial or even beneficial on a desktop or notebook is a very big deal on a phone or something like an iPad.

Bigger isn't always better!
post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There is no doubt that 64 bit memory accesses would help performance but so would a lot of other things. Plus I'm not convinced it would double performance even if that was the only thing done.

I'd prefer to wait for more extensive benchmarks especially things like OpenGL. Here is one consideration, much of the performance could be coming from a faster GPU. Think about it the GPU is really wired deeply into iPhones OS. Plus in the iPhone the GPU core runs relatively slow, so they could simply double the speed of the GPU core.

As far as raw processor performance that could be something as simple as a larger cache attached to the CPU memory. A few other improvements might even have been implemented. The whole chip though does sound rather average at the moment, this has me wondering just how much imput PA Semi had in the design.

Dave

As you said it's probably a combination. Just going from 600MHz to 1GHz already accounts for 66% of the theoretical performance increase. The rest could be split across doubled memory bandwidth, maybe doubled L2 cache, and OS optimizations. The iPhone 3GS was running iPhone OS 3.0 not the latest 3.1.3 and the iPad's 3.2 could have more optimizations. Improvements to memory bandwidth would probably actually benefit the GPU more than the CPU.

Although the A4 doesn't really bring anything spectacularly new to the table, it does make sense for PA Semi's first design with Apple. They are using proven technology that they are familiar with in the Cortex A8 and SGX535 and may even be able to get some help from Samsung on the side through their existing iPhone 3GS and 3rd gen iPod Touch SoC contract. They still get some experience re-laying out transistors and finding critical paths as they optimize the design for the 65nm to 45nm die shrink. It should set the stage for something more aggressive in their next design. In them meantime, Apple's probably binning slower A4s for the next iPhone, probably at 800MHz although they may stick to a 32-bit memory bus for power reasons.

Personally, I'm interested in seeing Apple's design rhythm. Apple originally used the same ARM11 SoC for 2 generations and 2 years. Now they are using the same basic Cortex A8 design for 2 generations and 2 years but with what looks like a die shrink in the middle. Is Apple going to try to carry over the same SoC for 2 years like with the ARM11, do Tick-Tock new design and shrink like Intel or try to get ahead of the industry by making a new design every year? They all have their problems, the ARM11 approach being technologically lagging in hardware although Apple could presumably make up for it in software, the Tick-Tock approach being risky since it's dependent on someone else's process Fab schedule which given the TSMC 40nm GPU problems and increasing difficulty of smaller processes should give Apple pause, while a new design every year regardless of process mitigates process risk but has significant development cost.
post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Impressive speeds marks indeed. The tear-down on iFixit showed an elegant system not just on the outside but also on the inside. Compare that to the tear-down of the JooJoo and you should no doubt understand Apple's lead in engineering and design. The JooJoo's innards look pretty dated by comparison. Apparently the JooJoo's innards aren't the only thinks that suck as the Engadget reviewer complained of major bugs in the system.

There's no competing with the iPad with the current crop of slate computers.

OMFG That has no refinement to it at all. You almost think it has to have some juju in it to even work. You can sure that it wouldn't pass the "green" test.

The video of it show a very frustrating system to navigate. I wish them well in this market as they beat Notion Ink, beat HP Slate and all the others at CES. Also it's not using Windows which I'd say has always been the primary downfall of previous tablets.
http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/03/j...r-good-measur/ But why the hell did they launch the same time as the iPad? It's almost like they wanted to fail.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Despite apparently using the same single core, Cortex A8 generation of its ARM processor core, the same Power VR SGX 535 graphics core, and the same amount of system RAM, the iPad is around twice as fast as the iPhone 3GS in running native Cocoa Touch apps.

How is that anyway "apparent", AI?

No, no, that's just a perfect illustration why you've lost all serious readers and why you have to advertise yourself on TUAW to keep trolls at least...

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

How is that anyway "apparent", AI?

I that a serious remark? If so, why?

Quote:
No, no, that's just a perfect illustration why you've lost all serious readers and why you have to advertise yourself on TUAW to keep trolls at least...

Are you including yourself there?
post #36 of 36
My iPad is easily 4x faster than my 3G iPhone, if not more. Additionally, my 3G iPhone hangs up for 5-10 seconds on a daily basis, presumably clearing memory or something when new apps are launched; the iPad never misses a beat. The ability to scroll smoothly even when a image-heavy webpage is loading even makes it feel faster than my MacBook Pro at times.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Current Mac Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Benchmarks rate Apple's iPad 2x as fast at apps as iPhone 3GS