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

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 35
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 906member
    . . . 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!
  • Reply 3 of 35
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    The changes from the original iPhone's performance to the iPad is pretty remarkable for 2.5 years.
  • Reply 4 of 35
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 35
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    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+.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member
    It's the bigger battery.

    Bigger battery = more power = faster performance.

    Giant fang-toothed bunny told me so.
  • Reply 7 of 35
    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!!!
  • Reply 8 of 35
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    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!
  • Reply 9 of 35
    esummersesummers Posts: 953member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    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
  • Reply 12 of 35
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,121member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 35
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,121member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 35
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 35
    petermacpetermac Posts: 115member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 35
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 35
    adamwadamw Posts: 114guest
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    I only hope when iPhone 4G comes out it will be as exciting. (multitasking is a MUST)
  • Reply 20 of 35
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    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...
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