Futuremark Tosses Wet Blanket Over New iPad's Browsing Performance

Futuremark Tosses Wet Blanket Over New iPad's Browsing Performance

Apple's mighty proud of its new A5X processor that powers its third generation iPad device, and with a four-core graphics engine capable of driving a 2048x1536 display, who can blame them? At the same time, you can't help but be a little disappointed that the CPU portion is still a dual-core 1GHz part, the same as found in the iPad 2, which would explain why browsing performance is unchanged.

We noticed this in our review, which will go live later today, and was also picked up by Futuremark, which today released the first benchmark results for the new iPad using Peacekeeper, the company's free to use browser speed test. The results?
  • Acer Iconia @500 (Windows 8 Consumer Preview): 405
  • Apple's New iPad (iOS 5.1): 384
  • Apple iPad 2 (iOS 5.1): 383
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: 356
  • Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime (Android 4.0.3): 344
  • Apple iPad 1st gen (iOS 5.1): 234

"While web pages may look sharper on the new iPad’s improved display, the benchmark results show that the browsing performance of the new iPad is the same as the iPad 2, suggesting that the computational processing power in both devices is near identical," Futuremark said.

Futuremark actually noted a slightly higher score than we did with the new iPad (see pic above), but the point remains. We think it's a bummer Apple didn't beef up the CPU to a quad-core part, at least from a power user's perspective. In practice, the browsing experience is quite good, pinch-to-zoom performance is stellar, and webpages won't look any better on other mobile devices thanks the Retina display.

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The new iPAD chip is a bit on the hefty side compared to competitors like the Tegra 3. Nearly twice the die size. I suspect they settled for driving the new screen well and keeping everything else about the same. A beefier CPU side for the SoC will wait for 4th gen.

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It's such a shame that Apple didn't include a newer chip in the "new" iPad. To think they could include a quad core chip or more likely a more powerful dual core CPU chip. Eh, as long as it performs well for most people; they won't complain. I doubt that they're holding it for the next iPad but it is likely...

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