We know that the A6X processor in the 4th iPad received a spec bump from the A5X chip in the 3rd gen iPad. In their marketing material, Apple claims that the difference between the models is 2X in power–both in terms of speed and graphics performance–but what does that mean? The folks at AnandTech put the iPad 4 through benchmarks to find out just how powerful the quad-core PowerVR SGX 554MP4 graphics chip at the heart of the A6X really is. The results show that the iPad 4 is the most graphically powerful ARM tablet on the market–the runners up largely being the iPhone 5 and the iPad 3.
PowerVR’s SGX 554MP4 graphics chip in the iPad 4 topped the charts at every benchmark Anandtech threw at the devices, including GLBenchmark 2.5′s Filltest, Triangle Texture, and Egypt HD. The iPhone 5 was only displaced by the Google Nexus 10 and the LG Optimus G during the Egypt HD (Offscreen 1080p) test, and by the iPad 3 during the Triangle Texture test. Most shocking of all, the iPad 3 was within the top 3 far more often than it wasn’t, even with competition from Google’s latest tablet.
It’s surprising that Samsung and Nvidia (Nvidia of all companies!) are still struggling to put out a GPU that can compete with PowerVR’s last-generation chips, to say nothing of the quad-core graphics hardware at the core of the A6X processor. We’ll see if Nvidia’s superhero teamup of upcoming GPUs, including chips code-named Wayne, Grey, Logan, and Stark, can defeat PowerVR’s current offerings in 2013.
The takeaway message: if have an iPad 3, it’s still one of the most graphically powerful tablets around, but the iPad 4 currently has the undisputed beast of GPUs on an ARM tablet.
Were you surprised by AnandTech’s findings? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.