Nvidia on Apple's iPad A5X graphics claims: Show us the benchmarks

Nvidia on Apple's iPad A5X graphics claims: Show us the benchmarks

Summary: Apple's A5X allegedly has 4X the performance of Nvidia's Tegra 3 chip, but without benchmarks and footnotes the claims ring hollow.


Apple took direct aim at Nvidia's Tegra 3---a processor for a new batch of superphones---as it launched its latest iPad. The problem: Apple showed a chart with 4X the performance of Tegra 3, but provided no benchmarks or footnotes.

Anyone used to the Intel-AMD benchmark wars knows that any chart has more footnotes than a commercial for antidepressants. That's why Apple's chart looked off. Nvidia was digesting Apple's iPad claims just like everyone else via live blogs (CNET, GDGT, Engadget, Techmeme).

Nice chart, but some benchmarks and footnotes would be nice. Credit: GDGT

Nice chart, but some benchmarks and footnotes would be nice. Credit: GDGT

Ken Brown, a spokesman for Nvidia, said that it was "certainly flattering" to be called out by Apple, but the performance claims are sketchy without more data. "We don't have the benchmark information," said Brown. "We have to understand what the application was that was used. Was it one or a variety of applications? What drivers were used? There are so many issues to get into with benchmark."

Will Apple provide those benchmarks? Doubtful. However, Nvidia plans to get a new iPad when they go on sale March 16 and do some comparisons tablet to tablet. "At some point it will become more clear what the performance really is," said Brown. "For now, Apple has a really generic statement."

Topics: CXO, Apple, Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets, IT Employment

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  • This seems to be norm these days

    Not just for Apple, but a lot of new releases. Talk up the new release, throw out a claim that you may have definitive evidence to support, but don't provide the data of that evidence. Let the 3rd parties handle the benchmarking comparisons and respond.
    • What's the point...

      Of the company making the claim in providing benchmarks. I understand the meaning of "benchmarks" but all the other camps and their fans will pick it apart saying they cherry picked to boost their numbers anyway. Might as well let the 3rd parties hash it out. I mean, once Nvidia gets their hands on one and runs their own tests, is anybody going to believe THEIR results either (unless they wanted to in the first place)?
      • uhhh yea

        Nvidia would post their info considering its what they have clearly asked of Apple in this article, maybe you can't read I don't now, but please pay attention. Considering they release drivers for other high intensity graphic programs, not to mention they improve on a monthly basis of up to 14% performance whenever they release new drivers, I wouldn't be surprised if this is classic inflated statistics to sell sell sell
      • nVidia credibility is earned

        The reason nVidia has credibility is that they publish their results so that those results CAN BE DUPLICATED. Enthusiasts have taken nVidia's products and the same benchmarks and seen for themselves. nVidia has earned trust, Apple demands faith.
    • To be honest.

      I wish Apple would publish their benchmarks. I will call anyone else out for the same thing, so Apple is no different in my eyes,
      Jumpin Jack Flash
    • Apple has NOT claimed that the A5x is 4 times faster...

      "This seems to be norm these days"

      What is really the norm is flame bait lying headlines. The photo at the top clearly says "GRAPHICS" performance. But the summary at the top just says Apple claims the A5x is 4x faster. Apple has NOT claimed that.
      ZDNet knows that the graphics WILL prove to be 4x. The A5 already benchmarks 2x against the Tegra3.
      • Not only that

        It is also very probable that Apple has huge hardware and software labs, buys the latest components from EVERYONE and does their own tests to decide which to use in their products. Most of the information from these labs never ever leaves Apple.

        So if Apple is going to claim anything like this, there is no doubt they have actually measured the performance of this Tegra 3 chip vs. their own A5X. They may have even built few iPads with Tegra 3 chips to be sure.

        Quad core or not, the Tegra 3 chip may just not be up to the task. That it powers other lower performance tablets does not change anything. Remember the Intel Atom? And all the pathetic netbooks that were "about as fast as your other laptop, and with dual core at that!"?
  • apple is well known for fudging the numbers

    when it comes to benchmarks. The cult does not care about technical merits anyway and just blindly hand over the $$$!
    The Linux Geek
    • it's all about the results

      Nobody actually cares about any benchmarks, except the engineers who need to design the product.

      All everyone else cares is whether the thing does it job and if it does it's job well.
      • It will be how the new iPad performs in the end

        My iPad 2 works very well in all areas and I would expect the new iPad to do the same, but that much faster. All these benchmarks mean nothing to me, it's how we'll the product works in the real world that counts.
  • Finally

    Larry Dignan thank you for posting whats been on the smart, logical, and rational tech savvys brain ever since we saw that graph. I see bars yet I see no real statistics, not even a footnote. Sorry Apple but until you shape up I will not Buck up anything for that Ipad
  • Proof of technical claims? Since when did that matter?

    Let's face it. It's a new Apple product. They will sell more in the next few months than they will be able to manufacture. With each release only providing what should have been part of the previous model. It is the Apple reality and most of us are falling for it. How many companies could market a 500+ usd tablet(ipad 2) with a camera that was no better than what could be found on a $50 fake iPhone in China, and have virtually no complaints?
    Now they have the new IPad. ;). They could re-release the iPad 2 in September and we will all be lined up at the stores. Maybe Apple is the forbidden fruit and we have all taken a bite. ;)
    • You need to rephrase that...

      from "we" to "you".
      business owner
    • You are absolutely right!

      Oh man, you hit the nail! :)

      In fact, nobody cares if the next iPad will have the internals of the oldest iPad or will just be an stone brick. As long as it does what was promised.
      • I agree

        And it will do all that is promised.
    • Does it really matter how good the camera is?

      I'm not concerned about how good the camera is in any iPad or tablet. I prefer to use my digital SLR with interchangeable lenses and then transfer them to the iPad if and when I need them. Or I will use the iPhone 4s with the better camera and Photo Stream it across. I have never used the camera on my iPad, it's just too large to use comfortably.
  • Edit

  • Just Apple...

    I can put any number to any benchmark and claim it is true, but till 3rd party tests, I could sell a whole good bunch of devices...
  • Apple always makes grand claims

    Good for nVidia for calling them out. They are the future of this industry.

    • So what?

      Of course, nVidia are worried that if the new iPad is a success, they will lose a lot of sales of their chips (they don't sell tablets, remember!)

      But, they will lose sales of their chips no matter what, because the iPad 3 will be huge success -- even if it's CPU is slower than that of the iPad2 (which is apparently not true).

      Come on, Apple is no different than any other, except in one thing: they never ever release half-baked products and are very careful of their public statements. So chances are Apple are right on this one (and they might be even modest)