4th Gen iPad Benchmarked, 1.4GHz A6 Looking Strong

The 4th generation iPad wont be available for a few more days, but in the meantime, benchmarks are starting to pop up on the Web. Fair warning: If you recently purchased a 3rd generation iPad, you may want to stop reading, or at least brace yourself for some bad news. Ready for it? As it turns out, the upgraded A6 chip Apple plopped into its newest iPad looks to be significantly faster than the A5X chip used in the 3rd generation model.

In terms of clockspeed, both the A5X and A6 are comparable. The A5X is a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 chip clocked at 1GHz with a quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU packaged in. Not as much is officially known about the A6 part, other than Apple's claim that it doubles up CPU and GPU performance. Unofficially, it's believed the A6 is based on ARM's Cortex A15 architecture, and is clocked at 1.4GHz.

Source: Primate Labs

That assumption might explain a Geekbench Browser benchmark result that appeared online over the weekend. According to the benchmark result, the A6 is a dual-core part clocked at 1.4GHz (listed at 1.39GHz), just 400MHz faster than the A5X. However, the clockspeed advantage and architectural changes led to the iPad 4 posting a Geekbench score of 1,757. Here's a look at how that compares with other iOS devices:
  • iPad 4: 1,757
  • iPhone 5: 1,572
  • iPad 3: 834
  • iPad 2: 786
  • iPhone 4S: 655
  • iPad 1: 454

iPad 4

The only iOS device that comes close is the iPhone 5, which also features an A6 chip, albeit one that's clocked slightly slower at 1.3GHz. Compared to the iPad 3, the iPad 4 is more than twice as fast, just as Apple claims.