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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

SHOOTOUT: 2012 'Retina' iPad
versus other iPads

Originally posted Saturday, March 17th, 2012, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
Appended with more graphics tests on March 20, 2012


To test the power of the quad-core graphics processor (GPU) in the 2012 iPad, we used the GLBenchmark 2.1 Egypt test in the Offscreen mode. Offscreen? Yes, to make it a fair fight since the different models of iPad have different resolutions. The offscreen mode creates a "phantom" screen that's 1280x720 with no-vsync for all devices in the test. (
Higher number is faster.)

Due to reader requests, I've added the "Onscreen" High Quality Egypt Temple walk-through that uses native resolution each device and also uses 4x full screen anti-aliasing. (Higher number is faster.) IMPORTANT CAVEATS: This test is Vertical Sync (VSYNC) limited so none of the devices will exceed 60 FPS even if capable of higher frame rates. Also keep in mind that the native resolution of the devices varies from 940x640 (iPhone 4S) to 1024x768 (iPad 1, iPad 2) to 2048x1536 (new iPad). In other words, it's not a "fair fight."

Another graphics processor benchmark is OpenGL Viewer. There are four different animations that run to give you frame rates. We ran the "Cubes" animation with Transparency, Multisampling, MipMap, Anisotropic filtering enabled. (Higher number is faster.) NOTE AGAIN that this test is VSYNC limited to 60 fps and that the devices had different screen resolutions.

Next we tested the power of the main processor (CPU) using Geekbench 2. The overall score is a combination of integer performance, floating point performance, memory performance, and memory bandwidth performance. (Higher number is faster.)

Scratching our head that the iPad 2 was just as fast as the Retina iPad, we also tried Sunspider Javascript benchmark. (Smaller number is faster.)

ANALYSIS
Assuming the GLBenchmark 2 OffScreen graphics test is an indicator, the graphics speed of the 2012 'Retina' iPad has nearly doubled compared to the 2011 iPad 2 thanks to the quad-core graphics processor. It's a good thing because the number of screen pixels on the new iPad screen has quadrupled compared to previous models. Though the OnScreen tests limit the devices to 60 FPS, at least we know the 2012 'Retina' iPad is not slowed below 60 FPS by the quadrupled pixel display.

Based on our results for the CPU tests, the 2012 iPad appears to have a dual-core processor running at or near the same frequency as the 2011 iPad 2. That would infer that if your purchase of an iPad is price sensitive and you don't need the Retina graphics and other features it offers, the 2011 iPad 2 (on sale for $399) will be adequate for you and yours.

It should be obvious by now that we included the iPhone 4S test results for some smart phone perspective

COMING NEXT
We are gathering some download/upload speed data in various locations around our city for the 2012 iPad 4G LTE (both Verizon and AT&T) compared to the 2012 iPad 2 3G CDMA (Verizon) and HSPA+ (AT&T). Stay tuned.

Thoughts? Contact , mad scientist.
Also, you can follow him on
Twitter @barefeats

WHERE TO BUY NEW APPLE PRODUCTS like the iPad
USA readers can help us earn a commission by using this Apple Store USA link or by clicking on any Apple display ad. For UK readers, visit Apple Store UK.

WHERE TO BUY REFURBISHED iPADs
Apple Store USA has refurbished iPads with 12 month warranty.

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copyright 2012 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster