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Apple's iPad Gets a CPU Performance Review

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 71 comments

iPad gets benchmarked.

By now, all major tier one publications have published their reviews of the iPad. All reviews seem to be generally positive, but so far none have put the iPad under any serious benchmarks and stress tests.

Our good friend Anand had his iPad delivered on Saturday, and has already run the unit through various tests. Although he's still working on an exhaustive review, the iPad, when compared to the iPhone 3GS and Google Nexus One seem to perform quite well.

The iPhone 3GS uses the ARM Cortex A8 CPU while Google's Nexus One uses Qualcomm's very speedy Snapdragon QSD8250 CPU. Both phones are fast by today's standards, but Apple's A4 CPU seems to stack up well against what's available.

"So how does Apple's A4 stack up against today's favorite smartphone brainchild? Extremely well. The A4 is particularly exciting because it combines Snapdragon-like CPU performance with a PowerVR SGX GPU. A much better option than the aging ATI core used in Qualcomm's QSD8x50 series," says Anand.

Check out his initial impressions at AnandTech.

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    Userremoved , April 4, 2010 12:37 PM
    Really this thing is as big as a netbook so why they put a smartphone chip?
  • 21 Hide
    Tindytim , April 4, 2010 11:17 AM
    This brings up the big question for me:

    Why haven't we seen any Tegra phones yet? It's more powerful than both of these platforms.
  • 15 Hide
    Anonymous , April 4, 2010 1:43 PM
    LOL, netbooks using Intel Atom CPUs lowered the bar for CPU performance to 1998-ish standards, and now Apple's iPad lowers pseudo-general purpose computing even further, so we compare it to cellphones so that we can claim it's fast?

    Sorry, but I can't do any worthwhile computing with less than a modern ~2ghz+ dualcore and graphics better than an Intel IGP. I don't need that much power in my cellphone, but the iPad is not a cellphone.
Other Comments
    Display all 71 comments.
  • -6 Hide
    Maziar , April 4, 2010 11:14 AM
    Seems to perform very well compared to 1Ghz Snapdragon,hope to see this kind of CPUs in mobile phones in future
  • 21 Hide
    Tindytim , April 4, 2010 11:17 AM
    This brings up the big question for me:

    Why haven't we seen any Tegra phones yet? It's more powerful than both of these platforms.
  • 22 Hide
    Userremoved , April 4, 2010 12:37 PM
    Really this thing is as big as a netbook so why they put a smartphone chip?
  • 1 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , April 4, 2010 12:59 PM
    Would definitely like to see a detailed benchmarks.
  • 14 Hide
    j51 , April 4, 2010 1:34 PM
    Here are some detail of the A4 Soc from iFixit:

    "•The A4 is a Package-on-Package (PoP), with at least three layers of circuitry layered on top of each other. A4 is packaged just like the iPhone processors, microprocessor in one package and two memory modules in the other package. They're all sandwiched together in a very nice and thin PoP.

    •The iPad RAM is INSIDE the A4 processor package. Confirming this took quite a bit of sleuthing: we had to partner with Chipworks to X-ray the processor. The X-ray revealed two layers of RAM. In addition to the ARM processor, the A4 package contains two stacked Samsung dies."

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/03/hey-look-at-that-ifixits-ripping-an-ipad-to-shreds/
  • 2 Hide
    j51 , April 4, 2010 1:38 PM
    JohnnyLuckyWould definitely like to see a detailed benchmarks.


    You can find the detail of performance tests used in the AnandTech's review.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3633/apples-a4-soc-faster-than-snapdragon
  • 9 Hide
    spoofedpacket , April 4, 2010 1:39 PM
    UserremovedReally this thing is as big as a netbook so why they put a smartphone chip?


    Battery life. It is a reading device, not really an all around multimedia device.
  • 15 Hide
    Anonymous , April 4, 2010 1:43 PM
    LOL, netbooks using Intel Atom CPUs lowered the bar for CPU performance to 1998-ish standards, and now Apple's iPad lowers pseudo-general purpose computing even further, so we compare it to cellphones so that we can claim it's fast?

    Sorry, but I can't do any worthwhile computing with less than a modern ~2ghz+ dualcore and graphics better than an Intel IGP. I don't need that much power in my cellphone, but the iPad is not a cellphone.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , April 4, 2010 1:55 PM
    I find it amazing that people are comparing this product to netbooks, phones and computers. First you can't have an iPad without a computer. Second, netbooks are cheap (and you get what you pay for), netbooks have the highest dissatisfaction marks in portable machines, primarily because they are under powered, slow and run a full blown OS which is optimized for the hardware.. Apple has wisely, utilized an existing infrastructure and OS to make their iPads work. Finally a company created an OS to work specifically on the device, they ran on iPhones for years, then tweaked it for the iPad. I hate to say it, but it is smart. As I predicted people who consume media will love this device, 90 percent of us consume content.
    The device isn't perfect, but Apple delivers an product that will bring back many industries (Comic Books for example). So call it a giant iPod or iPhone, Apple just sold 700k of them in day! I will pick up a 3G for travel, surfing and book reading. As long as you have a purpose for it, you won't be disappointed. People who expect to use them as a computer replacement will be disappointed (you need a computer and itunes to make it work). Thus it should be compared to netbook or anything else, it is it's own thing.
  • 10 Hide
    serkol , April 4, 2010 2:16 PM
    Quote:
    As long as you have a purpose for it, you won't be disappointed


    Well said!

    Complains like "I can't do any worthwhile computing with less than a modern ~2ghz+ dualcore" are out of the context. Nobody in his mind expects running 3DMax on an iPad :-)

    What iPad does it does vast or very fast.
  • 7 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , April 4, 2010 2:18 PM
    UserremovedReally this thing is as big as a netbook so why they put a smartphone chip?

    Battery life. Good performace.
  • -6 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , April 4, 2010 2:20 PM
    __-_-_-__the cheapest netbook is way better and cheap then this crap
    C'mon man, really. It's not even on the same page. It's "a big iPod touch" as everyone is calling it. It's NOT a TABLET PC! Or a Netbook! Go getcherself a netbook son! I truly don't understand the reasoning for blasting a device that doesn't claim to be anything you mention.
  • -8 Hide
    Impulse Fire911 , April 4, 2010 2:58 PM
    pshh this cant even load a screenshot of crysis, enough with the ipad. I swer ive never seen so many people get interested in netbooks until apple came out with their cheap interpretation of it. Even tv shows are showing it, like the late night show and many others. People say macs arent a big market but apple makes its money of ipods and all their other stuff and pretty much 99% of teens nowadays have macs. Or if youre not a complete idiot you build a pc.
  • 4 Hide
    killerclick , April 4, 2010 3:04 PM
    I'm waiting for a real computer in this form. I don't want to go to 'app stores' and to be limited to Apple approved software with MY hardware.
  • 4 Hide
    djtronika , April 4, 2010 3:06 PM
    God I wish Google made this first in another dimension. Wish I could of seen all of these trolls loving it instead of bashing it simply for its maker. Poor souls.
  • 10 Hide
    rambo117 , April 4, 2010 3:27 PM
    ggfgfgbut can it play crysis?

    More like, but can it run... Windows?
  • -4 Hide
    j51 , April 4, 2010 3:48 PM
    rambo117More like, but can it run... Windows?


    hmm... sort of... but not nativelly... ;) 

    "In our instantiation of space-time, the iPad is simply running a VNC client called Desktop Connect, and connecting to my Macbook,"

    http://gizmodo.com/5508794/video-windows-7-on-the-ipad



  • 6 Hide
    hebe , April 4, 2010 5:32 PM
    Perhaps I'm asking the obvious here, but why is an iPad being compared to a phone? I guess I could put an iPad in my pocket if I had cargo pants in XXXL, but otherwise... Phones are phones... iPads are tablets running the iPhone OS.

    In short, "One of these is not like the other..."
  • 6 Hide
    tuannguyen , April 4, 2010 6:44 PM
    tipmen5 articles of the ipad in a roll.....

    Go read something else. No one forced you to click on an iPad article.
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