Benchmarks: Apple iPad 4’s A6X beats all comers in GPU performance

“As always, our good friends over at Kishonti managed to have the first GPU performance results for the new 4th generation iPad,” Anand Lal Shimpi reports for AnandTech. “Although the new iPad retains its 2048 x 1536 ‘Retina’ display, Apple claims a 2x improvement in GPU performance through the A6X SoC. The previous generation chip, the A5X, had two ARM Cortex A9 cores running at 1GHz paired with four PowerVR SGX 543 cores running at 250MHz. The entire SoC integrated 4 x 32-bit LPDDR2 memory controllers, giving the A5X the widest memory interface on a shipping mobile SoC in the market at the time of launch.”

“A quick look at the GLBenchmark results for the new iPad 4 tells us all we need to know. The A6X moves to a newer GPU core: the PowerVR SGX 554,” Lal Shimpi reports. “Normalize to the same resolution and we see that the new PowerVR graphics setup is 57% faster than even ARM’s Mali-T604 in the Nexus 10. Once again we’re seeing just about 2x the performance of the previous generation iPad.”

Lal Shimpi reports, “Ultimately it looks like the A6X is the SoC that the iPad needed to really deliver good gaming performance at its native resolution. I would not be surprised to see more game developers default to 2048 x 1536 on the new iPad rather than picking a lower resolution and enabling anti-aliasing. The bar has been set for this generation…”

Read more, and see the benchmarks, in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “User” for the heads up.]


  1. Damn! Sounds sweet. But I think my iPad 3 (“new iPad”) will be okay for a while. Hope somebody buys a bunch. The stock price sure needs some help. Although they can’t satisfy demand for the iPhone five now so maybe everybody needs to go over to China and help out there. Hey that’s a good idea. Calling all fanboys, calling all fanboys! Get your asses over to China, they need you on the production lines. Just kidding, just kidding. Don’t get so mad you piss your pants. Fanboys, aren’t they fun?

      1. Edit Sales, even record sales like Apple is enjoying have ZERO positive effect on their stock price.

        Cause remember, the Analcysts always know best! And so called tech ‘journalists’ too, unless they dare to publish a bad Android review, then the tardfandroidtrolls get all their individual and collective panties into a bunch.

        Look what happened, Apple missed the Analcyst numbers be what, less than a percent, and stock is down 18%? Sure, makes sense.

        And lets not forget how ‘disappointed’ the Analcysts are with the low sales and pre-orders of the iPad mini and 4th Gen iPad.

        1. Don’t forget Wall Street’s disappointment with iPhone 5 sales because that’s what triggered this whole Apple share price implosion slightly over a month ago. Apple is quickly becoming like a collapsing super-giant seeking its Schwarzschild Radius.

  2. So iPad 4 twice to thrice faster than any other tablet, even including ones that do not even ship — like Google Nexus 10.

    No tablet applications there for Android, but even if those were, those would be more than twice lagging comparing to iPad 4.

  3. Just bought the wide a 32GB black iPad mini (black 32 or 64 were all they had left in OKC). Very sweet!

    There was a Surface kiosk on the way to the food court. I played around a few seconds with it apart from Win8, it felt pretty nice. It doesn’t immediately feel like cheap junk. But I felt ripped off when the kickstand didn’t sound like a luxury car door. It might stand a chance with the Windows sufferers, but ask which decide will woo more converts to an OS/ecosystem, and the iPad wins hands down. Only, it doesn’t give the instant impression of cheap junk that the android tablets have. But I only picked it up, closed the kickstand, hunted and pecked 10 characters, swiped a few tiles, and viewed a dozen stock photos.

    1. Some ignorant tech bloggers and journalists were disappointed that iPad mini includes “old” hardware, but the fact is that graphically is much faster than almost any competition, even the newest one.

      Look at diagrams in the link of this article and you see iPhone 4S results there, among others. Give it a 20% boost thanks to higher clock frequency, and you will get iPad 2 results, which are not present formally. This way you will also have iPad mini results.

      1. Those who are focused on specs are rarely real users. They buy numbers rather than user experience. Just because one number is higher than the competition’s number does not mean that the product is a better buy. It really is a combination of hardware and software.

        Software determines how well the hardware is utilized and the OS is a critical factor. Also, the developer kit and the developers themselves determine how well the hardware will be taken advantage of. iOS has the arguably best and easiest developer kit and iOS 6 is used on most of the iOS devices in the wild. The Android SDK can’t compare because there are so few devices using the latest release of the OS and there are so many targets to write for that Android can’t possibly compete for speed for the average user.

        1. Studies have shown that even new car buyers seldom base their choices on specs. It’s invariably intangibles that sell any product. And all-around excellence is a powerful intangible, far exceeding the effects of branding, fashion, and hype.

        2. Funny how specs often determine user experience. Specs do help to quantify much of what is nebulously described as “user experience”. That is, lousy specs tend to produce lousy experiences.

  4. What’s driving the need for faster and faster processors on tablets? Games? Do the other types of apps that run on tablets really require such heavy lifting? It appears the hardware is running well ahead of software. I understand there’s going to be an escalation of processing hardware for bragging rights of iOS vs Android, but is there really a need for it as far as users are concerned. I can understand why Microsoft might need to have faster processor since they’re going with full-on multi-tasking with Windows 8 but Apple only uses limited multi-tasking.

    I wonder how Android vendors can keep tablet prices low if they’re going to constantly juice up their processing power every few months. Mostly, they’re continually punching up their processor clock speeds to keep pace with Apple and there might be some risk using that approach.

  5. I don’t see any other tablet vendor designing their own CPU/Graphics chips. Apple’s huge technical expertise and lead is letting them do things no other maker can do.

    I see gaming and CPU intensive 3D applications for both medical & engineering work as being practical on the iPad.

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