John Poole of Primate Labs reports that the Geekbench 3 benchmarks suggest that the Retina iPad mini is powered by a 1.3GHz A7 chip like the iPhone 5s, which is 100Mhz slower than iPad Air’s 1.4GHz A7 chip, just as we had reported yesterday.
Poole isn’t sure why the Retina iPad mini comes with a slower A7 chip, but he speculates that it could be due to iPad mini’s smaller battery.
The Geekbench 3 benchmarks also reveal that the Retina iPad mini is more than 5 times faster than the original iPad, which doesn’t come as a surprise as it was powered by the A5 chip which made its debuts in 2011 with the launch of the iPad 2.
Single-Core Performance (higher scores are better, where double the score means double the performance)
Multi-Core Performance (higher scores are better, where double the score means double the performance)
Interestingly, Poole also reports that the benchmarks also reveal that the Retina iPad mini is slower than the iPad Air by 7%, which confirms that the slower clock speed does have an impact on the Retina iPad mini’s performance.
However, the new iPad mini is 7% slower than the Air in both single-core and multi-core tests. While the difference is significant, I don’t think it’s significant enough to warrant purchasing an Air instead of a mini for performance alone. Also, since I expect developers to still support the iPad 2 and the iPad mini for some time I don’t expect much software will take advantage of the A7 processor to the point where that 7% difference will matter.
I would agree, based on my initial impression, it is impossible to figure out the difference in performance between the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini, so the reason for buy one of the new iPads are still, pricing and size of the screen.[Via Primate Labs blog]