iPad 3 Vs. iPad 2 Vs. ASUS Transformer Prime Vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: CPU And Graphics Performance Compared

During the iPad media event, senior VP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller claimed that the Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics, which powers the new iPad offers 4 times the graphics performance of NVIDIA’s 12-graphic-core Tegra 3 – the benchmark processor for Android-based tablets.

The initial benchmark tests carried out by an Australian Tech blogger revealed that Apple’s A5X chip indeed offers close to 4 times the graphics performance of NVIDIA’s Tegra 3.

IGN has carried out some more benchmark tests – GeekBench for raw CPU power and GLBenchmark 2.1 Egypt & GLBenchmark 2.1 Pro for graphics and compared the performance of iPad 3, iPad 2, ASUS Transformer Prime and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Here are some of the highlights from the benchmark tests:

  • When it comes to CPU power, the Tegra 3 actually outperforms the iPad 3 and iPad 2. In fact, as IGN points out, iPad 3’s GeekBench score was a few points below iPad 2’s GeekBench score. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 also performed better than iPad 3 and iPad 2.
  • The iPad 2 outperformed both the iPad 3 and Transformer Prime in the GLBenchmark 2.1 Egypt test, while the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1’s score was well below the others.
  • The iPad 2 also performed better in the GLBenchmark 2.1 Pro test than iPad 3, Transformer Prime and  Galaxy Tab 10.1. This was followed by iPad 3 and Transformer Prime. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 performed quite poorly in GLBenchmark 2.1 Pro test as well.
  • The true processing power of iPad 3’s A5X chip was observed in the GLBenchmark 2.1 Egypt off-screen test, which run at a fixed resolution of 720p, putting the processor at the same level playing field. The A5X was able to generate 15,412 frames at a rate of 138 FPS, while the iPad 2 rendered 10,143 frames at 90 FPS. Comparatively, the Transformer Prime pushed about 7,837 frames at 69 FPS and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 delivered 2,821 frames at 82 FPS.
  • Similar results were observed in the GLBenchmark 2.1 Pro test. The new iPad was able to generate 12003 frames at 240FPS, the iPad 2 7339 frames at 147 FPS, the Transformer Prime 2794 frames at 56 FPS, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 2169 frames at 43 FPS.

IGN goes on to conclude:

CPU performance

The overall impact of the Tegra 3’s gains over the A5X in terms of user experience, however, isn’t as cut-and-dry. Software plays as critical of a role in performance as processing power, and without running the same OS, it’s impossible to see how the two truly match up in terms of app load speeds, multitasking and other CPU-heavy tasks. What’s more, Apple seemed to recognize that the A5X couldn’t go toe-to-toe with the Tegra 3’s CPU performance, and instead singled out the gains it makes in terms of graphics.

Graphics performance

Our independent testing indicates that the NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 offers increased CPU performance, while falling short of the A5X in terms of graphics, though not quite matching the Apple’s 4x claim. Of course, the only way to get true apples-to-apples results would be to test the chips on identical hardware on the same OS, but even our more imprecise methods showed impressive gains.