Apple's iPad Gets a CPU Performance Review

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.

  • Maziar
    Seems to perform very well compared to 1Ghz Snapdragon,hope to see this kind of CPUs in mobile phones in future
  • Tindytim
    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.
  • Userremoved
    Really this thing is as big as a netbook so why they put a smartphone chip?
  • JohnnyLucky
    Would definitely like to see a detailed benchmarks.
  • j51
    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."
  • j51
    JohnnyLuckyWould definitely like to see a detailed benchmarks.
    You can find the detail of performance tests used in the AnandTech's review.
  • spoofedpacket
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • serkol
    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.