iPad 2 Benchmarked
Performance benchmarks run on the iPad 2 underscore what new tablet owners have seen for themselves: Apple wasn't exaggerating when they claimed that the second-generation tablet device is twice as fast is its predecessor. Tests done using common performance tools have shown improvement across the board, with floating point operations many times faster than the original iPad. While we won't know for sure until someone takes a saw to the chip, the results indicate that the A5 is packing dual Cortex-A9s.
Apple never reveals what's inside its devices, and doesn't publish many specs on performance. This is purely a marketing gambit: Apple's competitors - as well as repair shops and technically adept users - promptly tear apart every device as soon as it's released. With the custom Apple system-on-a-chip (SoC) introduced with the iPhone 4, teardowns have gotten more complex. However, using performance testing software, it's possible to identify what's on the hood with a fair degree of certainty.
Engadget used Geekbench to benchmark the review iPad 2
. The floating point unit on the iPad 2 has 400% better performance than the original iPad, and integer calculations are closer to twice as fast. Memory bandwidth is also much improved, and the increased power shows up in both single- and multi-threaded tasks. Based on the results, Shimpi along with other observers is concluding that the heart of the A5 is a pair of Cortex-A9 cores and a dual-core PowerVR SGX545MP2 graphics coprocessor.
What this means in the real world is that the iPad 2 gives much faster, smoother performance than the original, and that there's that much more horsepower to do things - like advanced graphics manipulation and video - that haven't even been tried on the iPad yet. It's worth remembering that the Geekbench score is referenced against a Power Mac G5 @ 1.6GHz, which gets 1000 on their combined test. The iPad 2's score of 721 puts it on a par with desktop computers like a 2005 PowerMac G4. Pretty impressive for a $500 device without a keyboard.