Apple’s claim that the new iPad’s A5X processor is 4 times better in graphics performance shook things up a bit. NVIDIA soon responded that they would like to see more data proving said claim. The Tegra 3 manufacturer decided to simply buy an iPad and run its own tests. The guys from LaptopMag have decided to run their own tests, as well, from a subjective standpoint.
It’s a bit hard to put these tablets against each other. There aren’t many multi-platform benchmark tests, they use different software and their applications are optimized diffferently. But the site did what was possible, using GLBenchmark 2.1 (graphics), Geekbench (processing power), Peacekeeper and Sunspider (browser).
To be specific, the devices used were the new iPad and the ASUS Transformer Prime. On the GLBenchmark test, the iPad had a clear advantage. Apple’s tablet processed 6718 frames at 60 fps under the Egypt Standard test. This is reasonably high compared to the Prime’s 5,939 frames at 53 fps.
The GLBenchmark Geometric and Fill tests are what really show the advantage, though. In the Geometric test, the A5X chip was able to process 7,530,524 frames at 57 fps, compared to Tegra 3′s 3,523,926 at only 27 fps. As for the Fill test, the chart below will give you an idea of the iPad’s advantage.
The Tegra 3 processor managed to perform better in raw processing power, though. On the Geekbench benchmark, the new iPad got an overall score of 692, while the Transformer Prime got 1571. Tegra 3 dominated on the test’s integer floating point and memory subtests. But Apple did manage to be a bit better in the stream subtest with a 324 score (against Tegra’s 266).
For the browser benchmarks, two tests were run – Peacekeeper and Sunspider. The former is a general test and was pretty much a match (386×387). But the new iPad beat the Transformer Prime by finishing the Sunspider rendering test in just 1810 milliseconds while the Transformer Prime did the same in 2216 milliseconds.
But, what exactly do all these numbers mean to the general consumer? Not much. And we know that benchmarks aren’t exactly a great representation of better performance. What matters is how everything looks and feels once using the device for real tasks.
The Laptopmag guys know this as well, so they have done a hands on test with a couple games. Albeit, this test is also a bit hard to consider, as the team uses two Tegra 3-optimized games. These games take full advantage of NVIDIA‘s quad core CPU and 12-core GPU. On the other hand, the games are only optimized for the iPad 2, currently.
It is not exactly a fair match, at least until the developers catch up. After using Riptide GP and Shadowgun, both devices display their pluses and cons. The Transformer Prime showed better 3D effects, smoke effects, water graphics and shading. But the new iPad’s retina display really made a difference in colors, definition and text.
As already mentioned, the tests are not exactly fair in every sense. This is about the closest we can get to a real answer, though. And Apple’s claim that the A5X chip is 4 times better is not exactly a correct statement. It would be great to see the developers rolling out new iPad versions of these games with the same effects. Until then, the real answer will continue to be unclear.
Check out the video to see the game comparisons and hit the comments section to let us know what you think. How do you guys think we could reach a fair understanding of the processors’ performances?