Processor Performance Compared: iPad Vs iPhone 3GS Vs Nexus One

A4 Processor chip performance

The iPad is finally out and it is time to revisit some of the speculations that we had reported prior to the launch. 

One of the most debated topics was the performance levels of the A4 Soc that powers the iPad. This was significant not just because the chip has been designed in-house by Apple, but also because there are indications that A4's SoC may also power the iPhone in the future

So what can we make of the A4 processor now that the iPad has reached its users? Folks at AnandTech have carried out an in-depth study comparing iPad's A4 processor against iPhone 3GS' Cortex A8 and Nexus One's Qualcomm QSD8250 chip.

The study looked into two crucial aspects – processor performance while loading several popular websites on these devices and the performance of real world JavaScript on the iPad, iPhone 3GS and Nexus One using the official WebKit SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark test. The results are quite a revelation. While the study indicates a 10% faster webpage loading time on the iPad compared to the Nexus One, the A4 shows a 37.6% better performance over Nexus One's Qualcomm SoC in the JavaScript Benchmark test. The iPhone 3GS was outperformed by the other two devices in both the tests, which is understandable considering that the handset launched much earlier and so uses a marginally outdated technology.

A4 Processor chip performance

A4 Processor chip performance

While the conclusions from the study point to a much improved processor performance on the iPad, it however needs to be noted that the next generation Qualcomm chip for devices like the Nexus One is due to be released later this year and is expected to run at 1.3 GHz. For a perspective, the A4 processor operates at 1.0GHz. As the study notes, the next-gen Snapdragon chips "could be enough to either equal or outperform Apple's A4 based on what we've seen here today". 

With Android smartphones like HTC EVO 4G expected to be launched in the summer with the 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, we think the combination of iPhone OS 4.0 and Apple A4 in the next generation iPhone might be able to stave off competition from Android phones for most of 2010. However, Android phones with the next generation Qualcomm chip towards the end of the year will probably start giving some serious competition to even the next generation iPhone.

If you have already got your iPad, we would like to hear your views on A4's performance. How would you rate it against your iPhone? Do you think it is good enough for foruth generation iPhone? Let us know your take on this in the comments.

[via AnandTech]