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Nvidia, Asus Question Apple's iPad and Tegra 3 Comparison

By - Source: Pocket-lint | B 81 comments

Apple threw up a comparison chart during the iPad keynote, and didn't bother to provide hard facts.

During the launch of the new iPad, Apple's Phil Schiller, senior VP of worldwide marketing, displayed a graph that made the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 look like a pokey old man next to the Apple A5 chip and a towering A5X chip. In graphics performance alone, the A5X is reportedly 4x times faster than Tegra 3 -- even the A5 is twice as fast, according to Apple.

Of course, Schiller didn't provide any hard facts like benchmarks and footnotes -- he merely spouted a generalized "we're better" presentation and a pretty graph (lol at shadows). Naturally most of us -- including Nvidia -- questions those claims. As ZDNet muses, "any [benchmark] chart has more footnotes than a commercial for antidepressants."

Ken Brown, a spokesman for Nvidia, said the company was actually flattered to be called out by Apple. But as most have already agreed, the claims are "sketchy" without additional hard evidence.

"We don’t have the benchmark information," said Brown. "We have to understand what the application was that was used. Was it one or a variety of applications? What drivers were used? There are so many issues to get into with benchmark."

"At some point it will become more clear what the performance really is," he added, indicating that Nvidia plans to get its hands on an iPad 3 when it becomes available on March 16 to perform its own benchmarks. "For now, Apple has a really generic statement."

Nvidia will undoubtedly provide a different, more detailed set of results. Even more, there's speculation that Apple was trying to divert attention away from the fact that its A5X chip is only dual-core, whereas the Tegra 3 is "4-Plus-1." So like Nvidia, we want to see how Apple came up with the 4x performance claim.

"It's nice to hear Apple compare themselves to Tegra 3," Nvidia told Tom's in a statement. "It truly underscores the importance of graphics, which is what we've been saying all along."

In the meantime, Asus has come out to bat for the Tegra 3, jumping on Twitter and stating, "New Apple #ipadhd to have a quad-core GPU. Darn! The ASUS Transformer's GPU is only 12-cores..."

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Top Comments
  • 29 Hide
    icepick314 , March 8, 2012 5:32 PM
    I'm more interested in how a tablet has more processing and graphics power than Xbox 360 or Playstation 3...
  • 25 Hide
    Branden , March 8, 2012 5:22 PM
    QUOTE: "Apple threw up a comparison chart during the iPad keynote, and didn't bother to provide hard facts."

    "threw up" is right.
  • 22 Hide
    neieus , March 8, 2012 5:43 PM
    Should this really be that much of a surprise? Apple has been known to provide misleading information often enough just look at all the Mac doesn't get virus's or more stable than Windows commercials ... Mac's most certainly do get virus's and its stability compared to Windows is debatable but if you consider that the average consumer doesn't know how to think for themselves it makes sense. There are people that will buy an item based on name brand alone or because it's popular at the time regardless of the price.
Other Comments
  • 25 Hide
    Branden , March 8, 2012 5:22 PM
    QUOTE: "Apple threw up a comparison chart during the iPad keynote, and didn't bother to provide hard facts."

    "threw up" is right.
  • 18 Hide
    azathoth , March 8, 2012 5:23 PM
    christoiOf course, their claims of running Samaritas with a single kepler GPU is also questionable...


    They didn't say it was going to be running at 30fps :) 
    ----
    I expect these claims from Apple to be outright false advertisement.
  • 14 Hide
    willard , March 8, 2012 5:26 PM
    azathothThey didn't say it was going to be running at 30fps ----I expect these claims from Apple to be outright false advertisement.

    I'd be surprised if Apple were so dumb as to blatantly use false advertising. I'm guessing they used cherry picked test conditions to show the A5X as favorably as possible, and Tegra 3 as unfavorably as possible.
  • 2 Hide
    jefforange89 , March 8, 2012 5:31 PM
    According to these benchmarks (http://www.anandtech.com/show/5163/asus-eee-pad-transformer-prime-nvidia-tegra-3-review/3), the A5 is 1.1-2x as fast as Tegra 3… so if the A5X is twice as powerful as the A5, then it would appear Apple's claims are accurate.
  • 21 Hide
    zzz_b , March 8, 2012 5:32 PM
    Everybody talks about the resolution and graphics.
    I do not want to take anything away from Apple, the display must be very nice. The question is how will it be used? The HD movies are 1920x1080. Games are not there yet either.
    Nobody is saying one word about USB, microSD, HDMI,... connectivity. I think these are very important too.
  • 29 Hide
    icepick314 , March 8, 2012 5:32 PM
    I'm more interested in how a tablet has more processing and graphics power than Xbox 360 or Playstation 3...
  • 5 Hide
    clivene09 , March 8, 2012 5:34 PM
    Heh
  • 14 Hide
    clivene09 , March 8, 2012 5:36 PM
    icepick314I'm more interested in how a tablet has more processing and graphics power than Xbox 360 or Playstation 3...


    I read something about this too, and I think it stems from a max res of 1920X1080 on the game systems which is lower than the new Ipads display, and the fact that, I guess, the new Ipad has more RAM. Of course, its really an apples and oranges comparison.
  • 6 Hide
    maxinexus , March 8, 2012 5:41 PM
    hate everything that starts with i....so much restriction and control... "i" stands for apple not the individual Simply said: my way or the highway I chose highway.
  • 18 Hide
    FlayerSlayer , March 8, 2012 5:42 PM
    I would almost guarantee that they're comparing the chips in single-thread applications, specifically finding some app that works better on A5X's architecture. There's no way that Apple's dual-core has 400% the raw processing power of Nvidia's four+one core chip.
  • 22 Hide
    neieus , March 8, 2012 5:43 PM
    Should this really be that much of a surprise? Apple has been known to provide misleading information often enough just look at all the Mac doesn't get virus's or more stable than Windows commercials ... Mac's most certainly do get virus's and its stability compared to Windows is debatable but if you consider that the average consumer doesn't know how to think for themselves it makes sense. There are people that will buy an item based on name brand alone or because it's popular at the time regardless of the price.
  • 12 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , March 8, 2012 5:45 PM
    Yep, I brought this up in the ipad announcement article... I'm guessing that 2x/4x figure was a bit of a stretch at best, and downright misleading at worst. But I agree, I don't think it was an outright fabrication. Apple can probably pull out some cherry-picked benchmark from somewhere to back up their claims. But it would be far from representative of average real world performance.
  • 10 Hide
    wiyosaya , March 8, 2012 5:51 PM
    neieusShould this really be that much of a surprise? Apple has been known to provide misleading information often enough just look at all the Mac doesn't get virus's or more stable than Windows commercials ... Mac's most certainly do get virus's and its stability compared to Windows is debatable but if you consider that the average consumer doesn't know how to think for themselves it makes sense. There are people that will buy an item based on name brand alone or because it's popular at the time regardless of the price.

    Agreed. Marketing is how Bose and Dyson survive. As I see it, "marketing" makes this world a buyer beware world whether we like it or not.
  • 14 Hide
    wiyosaya , March 8, 2012 5:53 PM
    Quote:
    As ZDNet muses, "any [benchmark] chart has more footnotes than a commercial for antidepressants."
    ROTFL. One of the best quotes that I have ever heard when describing marketing blather.
  • 10 Hide
    Bloob , March 8, 2012 6:04 PM
    So, your Angry Birds will now run at 2000 fps, and you web pages will load 0.0001 seconds faster( sorry, but your connection latency is still the limiting factor ), congratulations. Of course, this is great news for the 100 people that use a tablet for something else than the 2 above-mentioned past-times.
  • 11 Hide
    illfindu , March 8, 2012 6:07 PM
    This is one of the few tech articles around that points out that a quad Graphic A5X is not a quad core CPU its a A5X with all be it probably much more graphic power. Am I say that it wont increase speed no but iv read at least 8 articles that say the "new ipad" is faster with LTE and a new quad core processor which is super misleading.
  • 6 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , March 8, 2012 6:13 PM
    you can't benchmark a CHART.
  • 12 Hide
    chuckydb , March 8, 2012 6:14 PM
    Apple= Champions at marketing scams!!!
  • -5 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , March 8, 2012 6:25 PM
    Yes, but can it play Crysis?
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