Apple’s 64-bit A8X-powered iPad Air 2 trounces Google’s Nexus 9 with Nvidia Denver Tegra K1

“Apple’s new A8X Application Processor not only trounces other Android tablets in CPU tasks, but is also advancing iPad Air 2 to the front of the line in graphics operations as well, even before considering the ten-fold boost potential of iOS 8’s Metal API,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider.

“Kishonti Informatics’ GFXBench OpenGL ES 2.0 and 3.0 benchmarks for top performing tablets give iPad Air 2 a comfortable lead over the Google-branded, HTC-built Nexus 9, powered by the ‘Denver’ Tegra K1 Application Processor, despite Nvidia’s core competency in developing GPUs,” Dilger reports. “GFXBench renders video-game style graphics to demonstrate the core capabilities of the GPU.”

“Compared to Nexus 9, iPad Air 2 scored 13 percent higher in Open GL 3.0 and 28.9 percent faster using Open GL 2.0, despite the Nexus 9’s Tegra K1 being clocked 60 percent faster,” Dilger reports. “In CPU operations, iPad Air 2 performed GeekBench multiple-core tests 39 percent faster. Both Application Processors are designed with 64-bit CPU cores using the ARMv8 instruction set, although the A8X uses three CPU cores to the K1’s two… Apple’s latest A8X Application Processor further enhances the graphics power for iPad Air 2, beating not only Nvidia’s Kepler mobile GPU but even more soundly trouncing a series of top-scoring Android tablets powered by Intel Atom (with the ‘Bay Trail Intel HD’ GPU), Qualcomm Snapdragon (with an Adreno GPU), or even Samsung’s yet to be released new Exynos Application Processor (which uses an ARM Mali GPU).”

Much more in the full article here.


  1. Well, duh.

    Android tablets and phones seem superficially to have many benefits and pros.

    From the numerous form factors and sizes, to cost and customizability, there seems to be some good there. And I’ve tried many Android devices for extended periods of time. And every time I’ve gone back to the iOS device. Because the devil is in the details, and in almost every case some detail in Android has gone horribly wrong.

    Apple sweats the details.

    1. Apple writes the OS, designs the SoC and designs the hardware. Done right, that can lead to an extremely efficient design. Not to say there isn’t any room for improvement, but getting this sort of efficiency from an off-the-shelf operating system, an off-the-shelf SoC and hardware designed to work with generic components is nigh impossible.

  2. iPad Air 2 is a truly great bit of kit and a huge upgrade over my old iPad Gen 4. Newspapers and magazines are rendered near instantly, it’s lighter, thinner and smaller so it’s easier to carry around with me. For anyone used to Touch ID on their phone, the Touch ID now on iPad Air 2 is seamless. The roomier storage is great for movies, magazines and music when travelling too. A very well worthwhile upgrade and I pulled good money with my old iPad when I sold it so not much pain in the wallet either.

  3. I can assure you those benchmarks will be immediately downplayed and scrutinized as being unimportant in the total scheme of things. There will be talk about how the future Tegra K2 will double present Tegra K1 benchmarks, leaving Apple’s A8X in the dust.

    I’ve seen this happen time and time again. Those claims about how Apple doesn’t innovate and their products are nothing special compared to Android devices, benchmarks be damned. I doubt Wall Street even takes into consideration how Apple is able to design industry standard mobile processors for their products. I would think it’s rather uncommon for a consumer tech company to do something like that.

    I would think that if Apple wanted to get serious with a really powerful home gaming console they could do so in an instant. Although I’m still rather surprised why AppleTV is such a weakling of a product when Apple has gobs of powerful A-series processors sitting around to use. Hardware-wise, Amazon’s Fire TV puts AppleTV to shame and that leaves me wondering what Apple is thinking or planning.

  4. I noticed that the 64bit Nexus only had 2 gig. Remember last year when you had to have 4 gigs of RAM for 64bit to do anything. I guess now you don’t. I just got mine today, in fact this my post on it. It is amazing. Video editing will be great. I am going to get a game that uses Metal just to try it out.

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