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  • iPad 2x Faster Than 3GS: Beats Nexus Too?


    "Fast" appears to be the most common adjective applied to the iPad since its release. Pretty much everyone agrees the new device is quick, but we're beginning to get a picture of how quick: two benchmarks run in recent days show the iPad is twice as fast as an iPhone 3GS, and appears to be quicker for some tasks than the Snapdragon processor in the Nexus One phone. Though the A4 system-on-a-chip (SoC) appears to have the same Cortex-A8 CPU as the iPhone 3GS, one observer theorizes that the speed bump is due to the fact that the iPad can read and write memory chunks two or three times bigger than other devices.

    Craig Hockenberry, the developer of the Twitteriffic app, Craig Hockenberry, did a series of tests clocking the speed of the original iPhone, running iPhone OS 2.0, back in August of 2007. Back then, the lack of an iPhone SDK meant that the device crawled, taking almost a hundred times longer to do many tasks in comparison to desktop computers. Hockenberry compared the performance of a new iPad and an unjailbroken iPhone 3GS and found that the tablet was between 1.5 and 3.9 times faster than the phone. "On average," Hockenberry wrote, "the iPad is about twice as fast as the iPhone 3GS when executing native (Cocoa Touch) applications," and from 1.2 to 2.4 times faster running Javascript. The iPad was between 12 and 8,750 times faster than the original iPhone running the 2.0 OS.

    Meanwhile, Anand Lal Shimpi at AnandTech ran some benchmarks comparing the iPad with the Nexus One phone. Both the A4 SoC in the iPad and the Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU in the Nexus are clocked at 1GHz. Since the two phones run different OSes, head-to-head comparisons were impossible, so Anand did some browser and Javascript tests to compare the CPUs and software stacks of the two devices. He found web pages loaded 10% faster on average and network-independent Javascript benchmarks gave the iPad a 37.6% advantage over the Nexus One.

    Any analysis of what might account for the difference between the two devices is going to be hampered by Apple's secrecy about the architecture of the iPad. Anand thought it likely that Apple had better interprocess communication due to improved design of Apple's custom SoC possibly including a faster memory bus. The A4's RAM is inside the chip itself, so iFixit had the reverse-engineering consultants at Chipworks go ahead and X-ray it to discover two stacked Samsung DRAM chips. David Carey, vice president of technical intelligence at UBM TechInsights, told the Wall Street Journal that these DRAMs read and write data in 64-bit chunks. "That helps it move a lot of data a lot faster," Carey said. "You are getting two to three times as many bits as would be characteristic in such products."

    image via AnandTech
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPad 2x Faster Than 3GS: Beats Nexus Too? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 47 Comments
    1. cpkirkley's Avatar
      cpkirkley -
      @ nitsua, that video made me nearly crap my pants when I first saw it... Awesome.

      While I understand Poseidons point about clock for clock speed, I don't want to diminish that, but the fact still remains that instead of comparing this device to the market that its supposed to be infringing on, they instead chose to compare it to cell phones. That said, this article does nothing to dissuade me from keeping my netbook and/or waiting until the Courier comes out.

      The car anology doesnt quite apply here, because the they are not the same processors. this is like a 2JZ in a Supra (Nexus) going against a RX-8 Rotary (3GS) thats been tweaked and stuffed into a Honda Pilot (iPad).

      As someone else pointed out, I would like to see the A8 benched against an Atom Z620, or the Intel SU7350. Those are the ipad's real "competitors", based on size and general purpose. It may edge out an atom but all of you know it would get the holy sh*t kicked out of it going against the SU class. Lets be totally honest here, for 800 bucks you can buy an iPad, or an Alienware M11x. Yeah, thought so.

      Or if I wanted to be a real douche about it, I'd ask for a flash video playback benchmark...
    1. camperchuck's Avatar
      camperchuck -
      cpkirkley, im sure this story is pretty much to elude on how the 4th gen iphone will perform with the new proc vs the nexus one. thats all.

      as for the cars, it would be the 2jz vs 20b, idk about the suv it would go in becuase mazda didnt really have a big suv back then. maybe the mpv?
    1. cpkirkley's Avatar
      cpkirkley -
      Quote Originally Posted by camperchuck View Post
      cpkirkley, im sure this story is pretty much to elude on how the 4th gen iphone will perform with the new proc vs the nexus one. thats all.

      as for the cars, it would be the 2jz vs 20b, idk about the suv it would go in becuase mazda didnt really have a big suv back then. maybe the mpv?
      Lawlz at the thought of an MPV on the starting line against a Mark IV and an Rx8!!!

      I was trying to think of a truck that Mazda had, was gonna use the tribute but its just a rebadged Explorer, lol.

      I dont even think you realized it, but you pointed out a great point with that post, iPad is the apple equivalent of a crossover - its not a coupe or sedan (Macbook), nor is it a full fledged suv or pickup truck (iMac and Mac Pro). Its a niche market vehicle for which there is no viable comparison (yet).

      The other thing to keep in mind, is that I would imagine the the refresh of the snapdragon processors around the same time as the iPhone 4's release date - so the better bench mark would be the 4G's A8 against the whatever the newest iteration of snapdragon is. That is until someone actually releases a phone based on nVidia's Tegra chipset, which will pwn all your base.
    1. DaMan05's Avatar
      DaMan05 -
      Quote Originally Posted by rpetrich View Post
      Actually, Gb stands for gigabits, not gigabytes. The iPad has 2 gigabits of RAM (256 megabytes)
      Oh I didn't notice the small b, probably because I was thinking that 2GB RAM is possible and reasonable on a device like this.

      Guess not. Everyone is saying native multitasking is coming in 4.0, but I don't think its viable with only 256MB ram in the 3GS and iPad. Perhaps they'll only allow 2 apps at a time.

      And I know you can run much more than 2 apps with backgrounder smoothly, but im pretty sure Apple has a different definition of smooth.
    1. camperchuck's Avatar
      camperchuck -
      theres gotta be a vid out there of an mpv sleeper.

      didnt realize it, but thats pretty much what everyones been sayin, its the xuv of the apple world.

      i love nvidia, that would be sweet if apple would use it in the future for the iphone.


      Quote Originally Posted by cpkirkley View Post
      Lawlz at the thought of an MPV on the starting line against a Mark IV and an Rx8!!!

      I was trying to think of a truck that Mazda had, was gonna use the tribute but its just a rebadged Explorer, lol.

      I dont even think you realized it, but you pointed out a great point with that post, iPad is the apple equivalent of a crossover - its not a coupe or sedan (Macbook), nor is it a full fledged suv or pickup truck (iMac and Mac Pro). Its a niche market vehicle for which there is no viable comparison (yet).

      The other thing to keep in mind, is that I would imagine the the refresh of the snapdragon processors around the same time as the iPhone 4's release date - so the better bench mark would be the 4G's A8 against the whatever the newest iteration of snapdragon is. That is until someone actually releases a phone based on nVidia's Tegra chipset, which will pwn all your base.
    1. cpkirkley's Avatar
      cpkirkley -

      This is what we're comparing the iPad to!
    1. jadenyuki678's Avatar
      jadenyuki678 -
      all the more reason to buy one