Benchmarks for Apple's iPad Air show 90% performance boost, tweaked A7 clock speed

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Ahead of Friday's iPad Air release, performance analytics firm Primate Labs is starting to see data trickle in from its Geekbench Browser, with the tablet's A7 system on a chip showing huge performance gains over last year's iPad.

Geekbench
Source: Primate Labs


Primate Labs founder John Poole compiled the results from iPads Airs running the Geekbench 3 benchmark, and compared them to all iOS 7-compatible tablets, which includes the iPad 2, third- and fourth-generation iPad and iPad mini.

As seen above, Apple's newest iPad trounces its predecessors by a hefty margin, beating last year's fourth-generation iPad by some 87 percent in the multi-core benchmark. This is near Apple's claim that its A7 SoC offers up to twice the performance compared to last year's A6X.

Poole notes that the iPad Air is running an A7 clocked at 1.4GHz, or 100MHz faster than the same processor found in the iPhone 5s. This could be due to the iPad's larger battery capacity or larger chassis, which would provide for better thermal flexibility, or a combination of the two, he said.

While the full-size iPad has a tweaked clock speed, Poole does not expect the same for the iPad mini, which will also feature the A7 chip. Instead, he believes the machine will be in line with the iPhone 5s.

Since the third-generation iPad debuted with a Retina display in 2012, Apple has used a higher-spec processor for its tablet lineup, differentiating the custom chip by adding an "X" to its name. The most recent version, the A6X, featured an integrated quad-core GPU and higher clock speed than the iPhone's A6 version. In addition, the A6X also featured a larger SDRAM pipeline.

Finally, when compared to Apple's entry-level iPad 2, the iPad Air is over five times as fast, while costing only $100 more.

Apple's iPad Air will go on sale this Friday, with Apple Stores opening at 8 a.m. local time for the launch.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    "Finally, when compared to Apple's iPad Air, the entry-level iPad 2 is over five times as slow, while costing only $100 less." - there, fixed it for you ;)
  • Reply 2 of 46
    hattighattig Posts: 830member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marsattack View Post



    "Finally, when compared to Apple's iPad Air, the entry-level iPad 2 is over five times as slow, while costing only $100 less." - there, fixed it for you image

     

    wtf does "five times as slow" mean.

     

    ITYM "the iPad 2 is under one fifth of the speed".

     

    ION the iPad Air is looking like the large tablet to get this year, and the iPad Mini is definitely the small tablet to get if it will be nearly the same speed.

  • Reply 3 of 46
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Finally, when compared to Apple's entry-level iPad 2, the iPad Air is over five times as fast, while costing only $100 more.

    It's five times faster than iPad 2 in a multi-core test. But the shocking point is it's 5 times as fast in the same test with iPad 3. I can see iPad 3 owners being surprised by this.
  • Reply 4 of 46
    I am curious to see how the iPad mini retina will perform.
    Hopefully it will be about the same as the iPad Air.
  • Reply 5 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider 

    Finally, when compared to Apple's entry-level iPad 2, the iPad Air is over five times as fast, while costing only $100 more.




    It's five times faster than iPad 2 in a multi-core test. But the shocking point is it's 5 times as fast in the same test with iPad 3. I can see iPad 3 owners being surprised by this.

    Yes, if they are stupid and ignorant folks.

    The iPad 3 used the same a5, just a better GPU.

     

    Heck, Apple is using and abusing the a5 so much, always trying new approaches, making it smaller, more efficient, that I think that something watch-like will use it, someday.

  • Reply 6 of 46
    Any benchmarking info with the Sammicat, Amazon brick, Micosoft' me 2 or Googlepad?
  • Reply 7 of 46

    Does multi-core matter to me ? I'll guess the most cpu intensive activity our G2 iPad is asked to perform is simple photo editing. That has never been so slow to cause complaint, and likewise for internet browsing, video streaming, iOS interaction, and all the apps we use. 

     

    I suppose I am asking who will notice and appreciate this speed bump. I would probably be happier with a *slower* cpu and more battery time. Now that I run 12 hours on a charge, I want 24 ;) 

  • Reply 8 of 46
    I think i
    ireland wrote: »
    It's five times faster than iPad 2 in a multi-core test. But the shocking point is it's 5 times as fast in the same test with iPad 3. I can see iPad 3 owners being surprised by this.
    I think I'll be happier coming from iPad 3 which was given to my parents just few says ago.
    I might buy iPad air instead of mini as it is much lighter than the iPad 3 now.
  • Reply 9 of 46
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    ireland wrote: »
    It's five times faster than iPad 2 in a multi-core test. But the shocking point is it's 5 times as fast in the same test with iPad 3. I can see iPad 3 owners being surprised by this.
    I know I'm excited to get rid of my 3rd gen. I think the biggest reason we got the 4th gen so soon after the 3rd gen was the A5X wasn't that great.
  • Reply 10 of 46
    I do feel like a fool for having bought the iPad 3.

    It does seem like Apple is cutting corners in some areas, when the introduce some new exciting feature. Look at the retina MacBook Pro, the first one was a little underpowered in the GPU department compared to the current revs.

    When Apple comes out with their first 4K laptop, I guess I'll wait until the second revision.
    ireland wrote: »
    It's five times faster than iPad 2 in a multi-core test. But the shocking point is it's 5 times as fast in the same test with iPad 3. I can see iPad 3 owners being surprised by this.
  • Reply 11 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    So I guess we can expect the iPadMini Retina to be slightly slower than the Air because of clock speed?


    The whole article I'm just thinking how massive a jump it will be for the iPad mini even if it isn't clocked as high. Totally different experience going from the iPad 2 to the iPad 3 where the Retina display caused it to be larger, heavier, and basically the same speed even though it came a year later. The iPad looks to be very slightly bulkier but a huge jump in display AND speed.



    Must have been the plan back when the iPad mini was designed.



    So, those of us in the know and not buying in bulk for institutions know to stay far away from the non-retina iPad mini and iPad 2 as you save so little money for such huge compromises. (Though the price difference in the iPad mini is a larger percentage so maybe not quite as dramatic.)

  • Reply 12 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    I know I'm excited to get rid of my 3rd gen. I think the biggest reason we got the 4th gen so soon after the 3rd gen was the A5X wasn't that great.



    Nah I would imagine that the 4th gen's release was timed to come out with the lightning connection

  • Reply 13 of 46
    This benchmark is very close to some of the current Macs using the same test.
    Is an ARM transition eminent? Remember how much of a surprise the Intel transition was? It doesn't make sense to tell people about it until the very last moment.
    Now would be a good time since windows is weaker than ever with win 8.
    Price is really what is holding the Mac back from the masses. I don't think PC compatibility is as big a boon as it once was.
    Maybe win RT compatibility? ;-D
  • Reply 14 of 46
    How warm does it get?
  • Reply 15 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TailsToo View Post



    I do feel like a fool for having bought the iPad 3.



    It does seem like Apple is cutting corners in some areas, when the introduce some new exciting feature. Look at the retina MacBook Pro, the first one was a little underpowered in the GPU department compared to the current revs.



    When Apple comes out with their first 4K laptop, I guess I'll wait until the second revision.

    'cutting corners'  is  a harsh term for 'making hard design decisions to stay inside the performance envelope'  And anything Apple makes with a battery is gonna always be short on raw performance to make sure it hits the battery life window, which is the primary dimension of the portable envelope (battery life x weight x performance).  

     

    I think you'll be underwhelmed by a 4K laptop no matter the rev, unless you strap it to a 4K 30+" monitor.

     

    I think Apple's 'half rev' of the iPad4 fooled a lot of iPad buyers.   I'm still running on a 2 (for another week or so), and it's doing me fine.

    My big decision is a 15"MBPrd or an iPadAir, which may not be a decision at all (although I want to retire my iPad2 to just be a Home Automation/Theatre control panel... such decisions I have).

  • Reply 16 of 46
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member
    I'm coming from an iPad 3, planned on the iPad mini w/ retina but now leaning toward the Air. I can't wait. 5x the speed of my iPad 3 sounds great - iOS 7 has not treated my iPad 3 very well!
  • Reply 17 of 46

    Why is iPad2 and iPad3 the same speed?

    Are all the resources of the A5X processor going to the display and don't show up in the test?

  • Reply 18 of 46
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    dombi wrote: »
    I am curious to see how the iPad mini retina will perform.
    Hopefully it will be about the same as the iPad Air.

    My guess is that the iPad Mini's clock rate will be decreased in order to maintain that 10 hour battery life using that smaller battery with the same amount of pixels to push. The near 50% smaller backlight helps considerably with the power drain but I don't know if it's enough on it's own.
  • Reply 19 of 46

    The Ipad3 and Ipad2 had basically the same processor, The Ipad 3 had a better GPU which was almost completely spent keeping up with the new Retina display.

     

    In my opinion, the Ipad3 was not a balanced device. The Ipad 4 pretty much fixed all the failings of the Ipad3 and was a great product. The 'Air' sounds fantastic.

     

    I am hoping to see apps coming out that really use that power.

  • Reply 20 of 46
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

     

    I think Apple's 'half rev' of the iPad4 fooled a lot of iPad buyers.   I'm still running on a 2 (for another week or so), and it's doing me fine.[/quote]





    I always get a little annoyed when people call the iPad 4 a minor improvement- which seems to be the common consensus.  The iPad to iPad 2 was significant.  The iPad 3 to iPad 4 was much more significant than the iPad 2 to iPad 3.  The 2 to 3 doubled ram, and added Retina.  That's it.  The "X" was only added to power the retina display, and we saw no performance increase in the iPad itself.  The iPad 4, on the other hand, got a CPU and graphics that doubled and tripled that of the iPad 3- all while increasing the front camera,  and running more efficiently (almost 20% more)- resulting in a significantly reduced heat-load.  The iPad 4 was a significantly larger leap forward vs the 3 than the 3 was to the 2.

     

    Biggest model changes:

    iPad 4 -> iPad Air

    iPad -> iPad 2

    iPad 3 -> iPad 4

    iPad 2 -> iPad 3

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