Apple rumor mill: The iPad 2 getting a dual-core GPU, Retina Display

Apple rumor mill: The iPad 2 getting a dual-core GPU, Retina Display

Summary: How do you sustain the lust factor for the iPad as more and more tablets enter the market? The anticipated iPad 2 will probably deal with some of the first version's shortcomings, such as built-in cameras (one for snapping photos, the other for video chatting), but that will meet expectations, not inspire desire.

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How do you sustain the lust factor for the iPad as more and more tablets enter the market? The anticipated iPad 2 will probably deal with some of the first version's shortcomings, such as built-in cameras (one for snapping photos, the other for video chatting), but that will meet expectations, not inspire desire. Instead, tech and Apple sites are a-flutter with rumors that the new iPad will feature supercharged graphics and enhanced resolution.

Ironically, it appears that the new iPad will be competing on good old-fashioned tech specs, with a new A5 chip that will include dual-core graphics via the SGX543MP2 core. It's supposedly twice as fast as the SGX535 that's in the current iPad, and can support four times the pixel count. That means a "Retina Display" iPad could be in the works, with a resolution of 2,048x1,536, or twice that of the first-generation iPad. Recent graphics found in the latest version of iBooks are saved at much higher resolution than in previous versions, which appears to be another clue that a Retina Display is on the way.

That's all well and good, but how could that resolution be used on the iPad? As CrunchGear points out, you couldn't watch a video at 2,048x1,536 without letter-boxing it (or blowing the image up) since 1080p HD is 1,920x1,080. Could Apple create acceptable (or much more than acceptable) video quality with that constraint? One area where that resolution would come in handy is gaming, as PC gamers play at 2,560x1,600 on their systems if they have the monitor and graphics card to support it. Maybe that's the reason Crytek, the developer behind hit game Crysis, is looking for a developer with iPad and iPhone experience.

"But can it play Crysis?" is a standard joke about any new device's capabilities, whether it's a laptop or a digital scale. In this case, whether the iPad 2 can officially play Crysis -- and play it well -- may be central to Apple keeping momentum flowing towards its tablet and away from the growing competition.

Topics: iPad, Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Processors, Tablets

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24 comments
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  • At that resolution (which is hardly 'retina'), the screens are expensive

    After all, the reason netbooks and pads are cheap is because low res screens are much cheaper.
    Patanjali
    • For Apple, screens are cheap because it finances development and production

      @Patanjali: ... and because it usually lands huge pre-pays to the likes of "LG display" to secure tens of millions of panels produced exclusively for itself.

      These 3.5" 960*640 screens, as well as 9.7" 2048*1536 screens without Apple would not exist in development and production -- these done for Apple by Apple's order and with Apple's huge prepays money.

      Other companies are not going to get these screens soon.
      DDERSSS
    • By the way, "iPad Retina" **can** play "Crisis" -- on 1024 * 768 resolution

      This means that this game will not use that quadruple resolution mode, but will use these billions of polygons per second to build these palm leafs and everything it needs on standard screen resolution.

      It is quite realistic version of what could happen, since we have "Infinity Blade" for iPad in 1024 * 768 and <b>quadrupling graphics speed, not resolution</b>, would allow much more detail that is needed for "Crisis" (or whatever title "CryTek" is going to produce).

      And iPad Retina certainly allows that mode.
      DDERSSS
    • RE: Apple rumor mill: The iPad2 getting a dual-core GPU, Retina Display

      @Patanjali ... why 'hardly retina'? double pixels would yield 260 px/in which your eye will not be able to discern at iPad viewing distances. Same logic as w the iPhone 4
      dr3d
  • RE: Apple rumor mill: The iPad2 getting a dual-core GPU, Retina Display

    ean Portnoy you need to go back to school for math you will find out the 2,048?1,536 is four times the number of pixels of 1024 x 768 just do the multiplication then divide
    3145728 / 786432 = 4 is that so hard
    jjmacks
    • RE: Apple rumor mill: The iPad2 getting a dual-core GPU, Retina Display

      @jjmacks
      Author is right, quadrupling the pixel count doubles the resolution.
      DeusXMachina
      • RE: Apple rumor mill: The iPad2 getting a dual-core GPU, Retina Display

        @DeusXMachina

        jjmacks is right, and you're an idiot. "Pixel count" IS the number of pixels, which IS resolution.
        tkejlboom
    • You need to re-enter school.

      @jjmacks

      Resolution is not the same as pixel count as any high school physics student can attest to.

      Resolution is based measured on a linear basis such as:
      PPI (Pixels Per Inch)
      DPI (Dots Pe Inch)
      LPI (Lines Per Inch)
      LPPI (Line Pairs Per Inch).

      You are talking about pixel density and that is measured (typically) by unit area. So, double the resolution and increase the pixel density by 4x. Author is 100% right and you are 100% wrong.

      Boy, don't you feel sheepish right now?
      Bruizer
  • Aint' happening

    Otherwise, you can kiss battery life goodbye.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Apple rumor mill: The iPad2 getting a dual-core GPU, Retina Display

      @Cylon Centurion 0005

      Not necessarily. The fact is that every year power costs go down substantially for these things and processing ability goes up.
      I can see them being able to do this without much, if any, hit to battery life.
      Lerianis10
  • RE: Apple rumor mill: The iPad2 getting a dual-core GPU, Retina Display

    "In this case, whether the iPad 2 can officially play Crysis ? and play it well ? may be central to Apple keeping momentum flowing towards its tablet and away from the growing competition."

    Did you actually read the Gizmodo / TechCrunch article you linked to?

    They're cheating. They're actually using one of those crappy streaming video services.
    CobraA1
    • RE: Apple rumor mill: The iPad2 getting a dual-core GPU, Retina Display

      @CobraA1
      Did you? And did you bother to try to understand the point? It has nothing to do with where the calculations are physically taking place, it has to do with the available screen resolution to display the thus derived pixels. What difference does where the calculations take place make to this?
      DeusXMachina
  • ipad2

    - retina display
    - facetime
    - dual core cpu and dual core graphics
    - longer battery life
    - thinner and lighter
    - new four and five finger multitouch gestures
    - surprise no 1
    - surprise no 2
    . 16gb ipad1 wifi model will stay around for $399

    copycats, back to the drawing board!
    banned from zdnet
  • Wish that there was more civility

    I like to read about what is happening with Apple but do you all realize that with you haughty responses and sarcasm it is not very usable? Seems like there are the Apple lovers and Apple haters. What I would love to see is truth and reality supported by facts and not sarcasm.
    icboulder
    • RE: Apple rumor mill: The iPad2 getting a dual-core GPU, Retina Display

      @icboulder
      Well, SCREW YOU, icboulder!!!

      No, just kidding, but I do think you are tilting at windmills. In the old days I would go onto supposedly scientific newsgroups and the posts there were 1000x worse that what you see on these blogs. I never could understand what's wrong with people, but finally just gave up on newsgroups. (Are they still around?)
      nfordtchrpub
  • RE: Apple rumor mill: The iPad2 getting a dual-core GPU, Retina Display

    "Recent graphics found in the latest version of iBooks are saved at much higher resolution than in previous versions"

    Wait, there's a new iBook?!? Damn, mine was only VGA.
    DeusXMachina
  • Would rather see 1920x1080 widescreen

    They can label it "Retina" or "Eyeball" or whatever they want. I just want full HD resolution in the proper wide screen layout. I'm buying a tablet device this year. If they put proper cameras on the iPad with a full HD wide screen display for the screen, they will jump back to the top of my purchase list for this year. Otherwise, I may end up with the Motorola Xoom.
    BillDem
    • No, 4:3 ratio is much better

      @BillDem - Even for desktop monitors, a true 16:9 ratio screen is not ideal. It is only ideal for home theaters, not a device on which you will also be doing normal computer work or web surfing.<br><br>The iPad screen ratio of 4:3 is really ideal for tablet use, after having used both resolution ratios on different devices. That's because portrait mode is greatly helped by the extra width on a 4:3 ratio screen. And it's much more comfortable viewing web pages in portrait mode, since having extra length on a page view is much better than gaining width at the expense of length (by holding the tablet in landscape).<br><br>EDIT: Not saying that 4:3 ratio is best for a desktop, because it's not. 16:10 is ideal for desktop use.<br><br>EDIT 2: I believe Android tablet makers are using widescreen panels (with resolutions such as 1024x600) because they are cheaper to find/produce right now, because they are basically netbook panels. As mentioned in the article, Apple designs and produces their own panels in great quantities in partnership with the manufacturers, so it's able to bring down costs on its ideal resolution panels, without having to use panels that are part of the "mass production" runs already out there.
      Speednet
  • RE: Apple rumor mill: The iPad2 getting a dual-core GPU, Retina Display

    Could someone net this out? My daughter wants an iPad...since David said to wait (no comment), what will be better about it in non-engineering terms, for a school teacher. The screen looks pretty good to me the one time I saw it. At the apple store, it was just set up as a demo, and the screens moved to fast for me to make any assessment of what it might be like. (I really wasn't able to parse the writer's paragraphs to see what he actually thought. Thanks.
    jgs25
  • Battery, heat issues

    Battery life and heat dissipation seem like they would be the biggest issues with such powerful tech in such a compact form. Power management could probably help the first; not sure how you deal with the latter and not have the device heat up on you.

    Still, three megapixels (which is more than 1080p's 1.9 Mpixels) is a lot of resolution to push. Modern desktop PCs have trouble doing it at game-playable frame rates. iOS might be able to run it's interface at that resolution with more powerful hardware, but I'm hard pressed to think that we'll be gaming on the go at higher resolutions than on our desktops and consoles.
    the.ksmm