Skip to main content

Apple iPad Mini Review: Our New Favorite Size, But...That Price?

Apple's A5 SoC: Familiar CPU And Graphics Performance

The A5 SoC inside Apple's iPad mini isn’t new to us. We discussed it in quite a bit of depth last year in Apple's iPad 2 Review: Tom's Goes Down The Tablet Rabbit Hole. In short, though, this is still a 1 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9-based chip complemented by a dual-core PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU. Memory capacity is no different; the CPU and GPU share 512 MB of LPDDR2-800.

Almost two years have passed since Apple started using the A5, though. It was originally manufactured at 45 nm, but emerged as a 32 nm SoC earlier this year. You can call it a second-generation A5, but nothing changes performance-wise. As you can see in the benchmarks below, pre-2012 iPad 2 performs comparably to the iPad mini. Even graphics performance looks the same, since both tablets employ the same 1024x768 resolution.

45 nm A5 vs 32 nm A5 (Source: Chipworks)

In addition to the revised iPad 2 and iPad Mini, Apple's die-shrunk A5 is also found in the fifth-gen iPod Touch and third-gen Apple TV.