Even With An A-X Chip, The iPad Air’s Graphics Are 40-70% Better Than iPad 4

iPad-Air-Graphics-Score-AnandTech (1)

The iPad Air is the first 9.7-inch Retina iPad to ship without an A-X series chip. Put more simply, it’s the first such iPad to forego bolting more graphic cores onto the core chip to drive the massive 2048 x 1536 display.

But if you think that means the iPad Air will have weaker graphic performance than the fourth-gen iPad, you don’t know Apple very well. In fact, graphic performance is as much as 70% better than the last 9.7-inch iPad.

Running the new iPad Air through it’s paces, Anand over at Anandtech found that the tablet had 40-70% better graphics performance than the fourth-gen iPad.

Like the iPhone 5S, the iPad Air uses an A7 chip that boasts a PowerVR G6430 GPU running at 450 MHz. That’s fast, but how fast? In T-Rex HD game simulation benchmarks, the iPad Air performed up to 75% better than the fourth-gen iPad, as well as up to 36% better in the 3DMark Ice Storm benchmark. In fact, the graphics of the iPad Air beat the iPad 4 by as much as 60% in 3DMArk’s GPU-specific benchmark suite.

All is not rosy, though. Although the iPad Air outperformed the iPad 4 in most of Anand’s tests, there did seem to be a decline in triangle rate performance. Not sure what that means? It doesn’t seem to matter: Anand couldn’t find any real-world impact from the change.

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  • realdannys

    MY TRIANGLES WONT BE AS GOOD!!!

  • dcj001

    “Even With An A-X Chip”

    “The iPad Air is the first 9.7-inch Retina iPad to ship without an A-X series chip.”

    Make up your mind, John. Does the iPad Air have an A-X chip or not?

  • Adrayven

    “Even With An A-X Chip”

    “The iPad Air is the first 9.7-inch Retina iPad to ship without an A-X series chip.”

    Make up your mind, John. Does the iPad Air have an A-X chip or not?

    He’s referring to the 4th gen with a X chip can’t beat the A7 that doesn’t have one.

  • Market_Mayhem

    He means “Even WITHOUT an A-X chip… ” I was surprised that Apple didn’t bother to use an A7X processor in the iPad Air this time around, but I guess the standard A7 is powerful enough. That’s really saying something and its good that Apple can use the same chip for two completely different products which could save them some money. Too bad the iPod Touch doesn’t have an A7 but Apple is always cutting corners on the iPod Touch so it doesn’t offer nearly as much in the way of features as an iPhone offers.

  • Gadget

    Although the triangle performance is lower, the rounded rectangle performance is off the charts!

  • dcj001
    “Even With An A-X Chip”

    “The iPad Air is the first 9.7-inch Retina iPad to ship without an A-X series chip.”

    Make up your mind, John. Does the iPad Air have an A-X chip or not?

    He’s referring to the 4th gen with a X chip can’t beat the A7 that doesn’t have one.

    The sentence refers to the iPad Air:

    “Even With An A-X Chip, The iPad Air’s Graphics…”

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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