iPad 4’s A6X Chip Uses A Quad-Core PowerVR SGX 554MP4 GPU

Analysis published on AnandTech reveals that the new A6X chip has graphics powered by PowerVR SGX 554MP4 GPU. Bottom line—yes the iPad 3 4 is faster than the iPad 4 3 (ugh death by typo monster). I’ve only just started playing with my 4th generation iPad (like finally got all the apps loaded from my restore), but I have noticed that it does seem faster.

How much faster? Maybe 15-100% if the software is optimized for it:

A full suite of graphics benchmarks reveals improvements of 15-100% compared to the third-generation iPad, with frame rates in the Egypt HD benchmark jumping from 25 frames per second (fps) on the third-generation iPad to nearly 52 fps on the fourth-generation iPad.
Via: Apple’s New A6X iPad Chip Adopts PowerVR SGX 554MP4 Graphics – Mac Rumors

For me, this makes the iPad 4 more than just an incremental upgrade, I think it’s more like a step up/refresh of the platform:

Ultimately it looks like the A6X is the SoC that the iPad needed to really deliver good gaming performance at its native resolution. I would not be surprised to see more game developers default to 2048 x 1536 on the new iPad rather than picking a lower resolution and enabling anti-aliasing. The bar has been set for this generation and we’ve seen what ARM’s latest GPU can do, now the question is whether or not NVIDIA will finally be able to challenge Imagination Technologies when it releases Wayne/Tegra 4 next year.
Via: AnandTech – iPad 4 GPU Performance Analyzed: PowerVR SGX 554MP4 Under the Hood

While certainly not using the same chip, the iPad mini also feels peppier in my hands. Maybe because I haven’t loaded it full of stuff yet, or maybe something about the smaller screen size (I know the resolution is the same as the iPad 2) that lets it work faster, regardless the iPad 4 has some serious horsepower under the hood. And we haven’t even seen apps that can take full advantage of it. I think it’s going to be a very fun next few months in the tablet gaming and graphics worlds.

Update: For a post I’m working on right now I fired up iPhoto for iOS on my new iPad and it was noticeably faster. Like “this is how iPhoto on the iPad should be like…” faster.

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Categories: iPad 4, iPad News, New iPad