Thermal test of iPad's A5X chip shows operating temperature of 97 degrees F

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


As numerous reports claim Apple's new iPad is warmer than the previous generation, a new analysis has found the A5X chip in the new device runs as much as 16 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the A5 chip in the iPad 2.



According to a series of tests conducted by Repair Labs, the A5X chip registered temperatures up to 36 degrees celsius (96.8 degrees Fahrenheit), compared to A5 readings of 27 degrees C (80.6 degrees F). The experiment involved opening up the tablets in order to directly measure the temperatures of the chips.



Technicians measured multiple components inside the new iPad in order to verify that the A5X was the part putting out the most heat. The report speculated that a difference in materials between the A5 and the A5X may be a contributing factor, as the A5 is believed to be ceramic, while the A5X is "obviously metallic."



An external test involved having the two iPads to play movies on Netflix. The third-generation iPad started at 27 degrees C (80.6 degrees F) and warmed up to 32-33 degrees C (89.6-91.4 degrees F), while the iPad 2 started at 24 degrees C (75.2 degrees F) and only climbed to 25-26 degrees C (77-78.8 degrees F).



Repair Labs said it was was unable to reproduce the 116 degree F temperatures that Consumer Reports noted earlier on Tuesday, though it did note that holding the new iPad 3 "could be noticeably warmer after only a few minutes use," especially if held where the A5X is located.







Writing for Consumer Reports, Donna L. Tapellini said that the new iPad felt "very warm" when at its hottest, but not "especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period." The story was quickly picked up by other outlets, some of which dubiously claimed that Apple's new tablet could cause burns.



Consumer Reports is no stranger to controversy with Apple's devices. The consumer advocacy group retracted its recommendation of the iPhone 4 in 2010 because it was able to reproduce a signal-loss problem in the device. With the release of the iPhone 4S last year, the group announced that Apple had resolved the issue."



Separate tests conducted by Tested found a maximum temperature of 82 degrees F on the third-generation iPad when playing "Infinity Blade II," the same app used by Consumer Reports in its tests.





Source: Tested







Display expert Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate " target="_blank">attributes the new iPad's extra warmth to the fact that the device has approximately twice as many LEDs as its predecessor. "The LEDs give off 2.5 times as much heat as the iPad 2 and so will the battery and power electronics on the new iPad compared to the iPad 2," he said.



An infrared test conducted earlier this week by a Dutch site found the new iPad to have reached 92.5 degrees F during a GLBenchmark test, almost 10 degrees hotter than the 83 degrees F measured on the iPad 2 during the same test.



For its part, Apple issued a statement on Tuesday that the new iPad operates "well within [its] thermal specifications" and urged customers with concerns to contact its support service.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 106
    alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    It's official, the new iPad is hot!
  • Reply 2 of 106
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    You're scalding it wrong.
  • Reply 3 of 106
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,010member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    You're scalding it wrong.



    Don't get so burned-up over it.
  • Reply 4 of 106
    bagmanbagman Posts: 349member
    Apple's in "Hot Watergate", and therefore doomed!
  • Reply 5 of 106
    umrk_labumrk_lab Posts: 550member
    You use whatever unit you like. But please, considering the worldwide audience you have, change such titles into "Thermal test of iPad's A5X chip shows operating temperature of 97 degrees F" (that would prevent me from having a heart attack)
  • Reply 6 of 106
    hakimehakime Posts: 42member
    "The report speculated that a difference in materials between the A5 and the A5X may be a contributing factor to the heating issue, as the A5 is believed to be ceramic, while the A5X is "obviously metallic.""



    Non-sense. This is non sense. What issues are they talking about? Look at the size of the A5X and compare it to the A5. A5X is way bigger and for god sake has two times the number of GPU cores. Why a hell are they coming up with this non-sense theories, the A5X is hotter because it is a bigger chip with more resources which by definition generates more heat. A chip operating at 36ºC is totally normal and concluding that it has heating issues just because it is hotter than the A5 is crazy non-sense.



    If we assume that their numbers are correct, in percentage difference, the A5X at ~309 K (36 ºC) is merely ~3% hotter than the A5 at 300 K (27 ºC), for god sake 3%. This is small, damn small. At 3% difference what issues are they talking about. What overheating are they talking about?



    Those people are not understanding what they are measuring.... They don't understand what they are talking about.
  • Reply 7 of 106
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hakime View Post


    A chip operating at 36ºC is totally normal and concluding that it has heating issue just because it is hotter than the A5 is crazy non-sense.



    The optimist in me says: Perhaps they didn't mean issue but meant variance.
  • Reply 8 of 106
    rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    An external test involved having the two iPads to play movies on Netflix. The third-generation iPad started at 27 degrees C (80.6 degrees F) and warmed up to 32-33 degrees C (89.6-91.4 degrees F), while the iPad 2 started at 24 degrees C (75.2 degrees F) and only climbed to 25-26 degrees C (77-78.8 degrees F).




    Must have been one hell of a porn session.
  • Reply 9 of 106
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,010member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post


    Must have been one hell of a porn session.



    C'mon, this is a totally serious situation that must be handled with maturity and professionalism! Netflix has Porn???? </s>
  • Reply 10 of 106
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Place next to a bread pan with bread dough and it should help the bread rise. Nice.
  • Reply 11 of 106
    red oakred oak Posts: 606member
    I went to an Apple store to see this for myself. I picked up the first display unit, felt the back left bottom in portrait mode, and immediately found the 'warm' spot. It was very noticeable



    I'm disappointed, especially given the other trade-offs in weight and thickness (albeit, very small). Now, add 'heat' to the list. I can't understand why they used 45 nm for the A5X



    Hopefully Apple team was all over this before launch and felt the compromises were absolutely necessary to get the Retina display out the door.



    They had a year to get it right. If it was a matter of another 3-4 months to shrink key components, I would have held off the launch
  • Reply 12 of 106
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,466member
    My laptop gets that hot or hotter so I have no problem with it.
  • Reply 13 of 106
    hakimehakime Posts: 42member
    "Separate tests conducted by Tested found a maximum temperature of 82 degrees F on the third-generation iPad when playing "Infinity Blade II," the same app used by Consumer Reports in its tests."



    Which makes wonder how those people measures thing? I am telling you, we are just thrown to our faces numbers taken from thin air. The same thing happened with the antenna thing for the iPhone 4.



    But ok, now again let's look at the differences. Take the numbers from CR, with the iPad unplugged (the numbers for the iPad plugged to an energy source make even less sense), that is 113 ºF for the new iPad and 100 ºC for the iPad 2 (which by the way looks suspiciously too high for an iPad 2, they have probably a flaw in their measurements which tend to overestimate the values). That means ~318 K and ~311 K respectively. The difference between the two devices is ~2%. Just think about it, 2% difference, it's nothing. In order to compare the two devices, CR is by purpose using relative temperature differences which are by definition meaningless. They do that for one clear purpose, they want to make the story more sensational.



    If you take the data from Tested, the difference between the devices is even smaller at ~1%.



    So what a hell is this all about?
  • Reply 14 of 106
    I'd say it's "warm" but definitely not enough to be uncomfortable to hold. My Thinkpad for instance creates a swamp in my pants (you can't un-know that). Are there any reports of the new iPad shutting itself down or are people just worried because it's warmer?



    I read somewhere online that the temperature seemed to go down after a few days of use for some users, I'm not sure how accurate that is though. That could explain why the other test from 'Tested' had different results. People just have a need to complain about SOMETHING so it might as well be this.
  • Reply 15 of 106
    hakimehakime Posts: 42member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post


    I went to an Apple store to see this for myself. I picked up the first display unit, felt the back left bottom in portrait mode, and immediately found the 'warm' spot. It was very noticeable



    I'm disappointed, especially given the other trade-offs in weight and thickness (albeit, very small). Now, add 'heat' to the list. I can't understand why they used 45 nm for the A5X




    So you think Apple can just say, Hey! let's build them in 32 nm or what? They used 45 nm because they probably are getting the most biggest number of working chips out of the wafers at this manufacturing size. Apple's partners which manufacture its chips don't have a solid 32 nm production yet. It does not make sense for Apple to wait months before the 32 nm manufacturing process is working right given that the tradeoff in terms of heat to stay at 45 nm for the A5X chip is quite small, few percent. The fact that you feel that the new iPad is warmer is because there are several reasons adding up, bigger battery, more pixels, etc.. But again the final difference in heat production is quite small.



    And when it comes to judge anything by just going to the Apple store, allow me to have doubts on the validity of the method.....
  • Reply 16 of 106
    adamcadamc Posts: 547member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alienzed View Post


    It's official, the new iPad is hot!



    When they said after using it for a few minutes it becomes noticeably hot is pure bull.



    I have one and I scarcely notice whatever you called it.



    Face it if these clowns at CS think that by revving it to the max and it doesn't churn out heat then they have something else for brain. Yes by revving the engine of a car to hit 100mph and it still stay cool is the dream of many makers.



    Time for CS and those whatever you called them to stop the BS.
  • Reply 17 of 106
    rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    C'mon, this is a totally serious situation that must be handled with maturity and professionalism! Netflix has Porn???? </s>



    I might be wrong about Netflix (never cared to watch), but taking the fact, that CPU/GPU with more horse power is getting hotter serious, will be a difficult task for me. But I will try.

  • Reply 18 of 106
    rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Hmm... double post? Should have slept a bit longer.
  • Reply 19 of 106
    garamondgaramond Posts: 107member
    Lol. Even when they're turned off, iPad 2 and 3 are hotter than iPad 1.
  • Reply 20 of 106
    red oakred oak Posts: 606member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hakime View Post


    So you think Apple can just say, Hey! let's build them in 32 nm or what? They used 45 nm because they probably are getting the most biggest working chips out of the wafers at this manufacturing size. Apple's partners which manufacture its chips don't have a solid 32 nm production yet.



    And when it comes to judge anything by just going to the Apple store, allow me to have doubts on the validity of the method.....



    I did not say that. Of course they are using 45 nm for a reason. But the reality is that Apple is on the trailing edge of the manufacturing curve. And that has consequences, manifeasted in the additional heat. The new chip is massive



    That is my point



    I hate that Apple is so dependent on Samsung for key components. They have to more aggressively source other vendors
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