2018 iPad Pro runs faster than some MacBook Pros

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One of these computers is faster than the other. Which it is will surprise you.
One of these computers is faster than the other. Which it is will surprise you.
Photo: Apple

Benchmark scores for the 2018 iPad Pro announced this week show that this tablet is faster than the 13-inch MacBook Pro released this summer.

Unfortunately, these same benchmark tests don’t clear up the some other mysteries about the new iPads.

The 2018 iPad Pro won’t reach most people until next Wednesday, but there are clearly a few units out in the field. Scores for both versions of this new tablet have started appearing on the website for Primate Labs’ Geekbench 4, a well-respected benchmarking app.

These indicate that the Apple A12X processor in the latest iPad Pro models outperforms the 13-inch MacBook Pro, no matter which processor the notebook uses.

The 12.9-inch of the iOS tablet scores as high as 18,326 in the Geekbench 4 multi-core test, and 5040 on the single-core test. The 11-inch version scores as high as 17,928 for multi-core and 4987 single-core.

For comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Core i7 processor pulled in a 17,601 multi-core score. The version of this laptop with a Core i5 processor scored 16,464 on the same test.

In summary:

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro: 18,326
  • 11-inch iPad Pro: 17,928
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro Core i7 processor: 17,601
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro Core i5 processor: 16,464

A 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a Smart Keyboard Folio starts at $1198. A 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1299.

To be fair, the 15-inch version of the 2018 MacBook Pro significantly beats the new iPad Pro. The Core i9 version of the laptop has a multi-core score of 22,552, for example. But the starting price for the 15-inch model is $2399.

Still, the latest iOS tablet is better than its 2017 predecessor in myriad ways.

2018 iPad Pro RAM and Processor speed?

Apple doesn’t announce how much RAM it puts in its iOS devices, but this specification is revealed by Geekbench 4. Nevertheless, there isn’t a clear-cut answer for the 2018 iPad Pro yet.

The single 11-inch unit tested so far has 4GB of RAM, and multiple 12.9-inch ones have 6GB. But that’s just a handful of devices and might not be the whole story.

There’s an unconfirmed report that every 2018 iPad Pro with 1TB of storage gets 6GB of RAM, while all the rest have 4GB. Unfortunately, the Geekbench 4 data can’t confirm this because storage capacity isn’t a stat it lists.

The issue is more clear cut on Apple A12X Bionic processor speed. This is another number Apple doesn’t announce and Geekbench 4 doesn’t clear up the mystery. Every test gives the speed as 0 MHz. That’s something that sometimes happens with this software.

Thnaks to DANBO of  Mac Treasure Tracing Club for the tip!