iPad Air beats the iPad 4 by 80 percent in benchmark tests

iPad Air beats the iPad 4 by 80 percent in benchmark tests

Summary: Early benchmark results for Apple's new iPad Air suggest that it is 80 percent faster than the iPad 4, and a whopping seven times faster than the iPad 2.

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, iOS, iPad

While there's a huge gulf between benchmarks and real-world usage, synthetic tests do give us a good metric by which to compare different hardware platforms, and results for the new iPad Air suggest that Apple's flagship tablet is significantly faster than previous models.

Thanks to the new 64-bit A7 processor running at 1.4GHz (100MHz faster than it runs on the iPhone 5s), the new iPad Air is achieving benchmark scores that are 80 percent better than the iPad 4 could hit on the Geekbench platform.

iPad Air benchmark
(Source: Geekbench)
iPad Air bechmark
(Source: Geekbench)

During the unveiling of the iPad, Apple claimed that both the CPU and GPU in the iPad Air was twice as fast as that found in the iPad 4.

While the performance improvements compared to the iPad 4 are impressive, it's when you compare the iPad Air to the iPad 2 – which is still sold by Apple, and costs $100 less than the entry-level 16GB iPad Air – that see just how much progress Apple has made. The iPad Air is a whopping seven times faster than the iPad 2. This means that the question that people buying an iPad 2 have to ask themselves is this; is the $100 saving worth the performance hit?

Bear in mind that these are synthetic benchmark scores and are only loosely tied in with real-world performance. Despite an iPad 4 being almost three times faster than the iPad 4 in the Geekbench test, when they're in my hand I have a hard time seeing the difference unless I'm pushing the system with a high-end game (or running a benchmark). 

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iOS, iPad

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  • Bad math

    1465/261 = 5.61
    2643/494 = 5.35

    Those are 5.5 times AS FAST and 4.5 times FASTER.
    • Rounding errors

      5.6 and 5.4 times faster. Why the incorrect rounding?
  • Not sure how many retail consumers are buying iPad 2.

    Conventional wisdom is that Apple is keeping around the iPad 2 mostly for K-12 bulk sales, business owners who want to run Square or other POS systems that don't benefit from Retina, and the psychological value of advertising a $399 full-size iPad. It's GOT to have huge margins, and it's not like Apple doesn't have sales data to validate what they're doing.
  • 1-lb rock solid == quality

    @Owl'net: "Thinner" and "Lighter" and "Faster" and "More solid" all add up to an improved user experience. It's not a "marketing gimmick". It's called "quality". It doesn't show up in spec sheets (oh, wait, it does.) There is a significant market for buyers of "quality". And Apple continues to show the way. No one is duplicating the Apple "formula" (as if it could be reduced to such) of "total end-to-end quality user experience". When and if they do, it will be a horse race.
    • Relative to nothing

      I cant remember anyone complaining the previous iPad was too thick or slow, in fact all the Apple articles praised it for being thin and fast. Be careful saying it is rock solid, if physics apply then the unit is probably more fragile then the previous model. Drop test results anyone?
      Sean Foley
  • Last Paragraph

    Adrian check your last paragraph?
    " Despite an iPad 4 being almost three times faster than the iPad 4"
    Should read Ipad Air I think?

    I still use the Ipad 1 and an Asus tf300t. I like the freedom the Asus has of memory upgrades, flash etc. however I find myself using the Ipad more simply because of the better experience with the Apps available and the less glitchy OS.

    Guess I would like the Ipad Air a lot I suspect.
  • Not faster for "typical" tasks

    The benefit of the speed increase is of no significance to the average user. The typical uses are Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, email, and some browsing. I suppose that games benefit from this, but the area which is promising is music ... things like the DigiTech iPB-10, which uses an iPad to generate guitar effects, the Alesis DM Dock, which uses an iPad to drive the sounds of its DM electric drums, and things like Garage Band (not a fan) as a DAW (digital audio workstation). Things like convolution reverb plug-ins for DAWs can be processor-intensive, but then storage is limited, so if you wanted something like Toontrack's Superior Drummer, you immediately lose GBs of storage with the stock Avatar drum kit.
  • One iPad 4 3 times faster than another iPad 4??

    Despite an iPad 4 being almost three times faster than the iPad 4 in the Geekbench test. How come a iPad 4 is 3 times faster than another iPad 4?
  • iPad 2

    Beautiful. I sure wish I had one. They come in handy. And I wish the innovators at Apple would work on the iPod video classic. After all people still use it too. Like maybe a bigger hard drive.
  • Real life experience confirms this!

    Hi, I have bought the iPad air air 120 GB version noncellular with Wi-Fi.
    I was just saying to my wife, how different it feels, firstly, it is much much faster.
    Secondly, it is much much lighter and makes the iPad for with which I was altering press, feel clunky heavy and slow.
    It makes me wonder how I thought it was light and easy to carry before. This iPad air with the case I have got, which is ultra slim, and stands up perfectly, works like a dream.
    As to the screen it is a much clearer experience, and more colourful, with much more depth. The contrast is perfect.
    Switching between apps and even multitasking with heavy apps such as iMovie iPhoto and garage band is no problem. As to the Wi-Fi experience, and airplay, it is twice as fast for sure as the iPad 4. The videos app displays all of my iTunes purchases in the cloud and allows to stream. This, does not necessarily occur with the iPad four (Mid 2013), in all cases.
    • Spelling correction

      I made a slight spelling mistake because I used Siri this is the correction.
      "makes the iPad for which I was altering press" should have been; " makes the iPad fourth-generation which I was using" feel clunky heavy and slow