Apple made some big noise about the performance of the new iPad Pro at this year’s November special event held in Brooklyn. One of the outlandish-sounding claims was that the new iPads were twice as fast as last year’s models. The reason this seemed like marketing speak is because models from 2017 already outpaced many PC notebooks and a few Macs for good measure.
AppleInsider took Apple’s claims to task by doing a variety of benchmarks intended to reveal the actual performance in both synthetic and real-world tests. Bottom-line, Apple was not exaggerating at all with regard to performance claims. They started by testing the CPU claim.
“Starting with Geekbench 4’s CPU benchmark, the 11-inch iPad Pro achieved a single-core score of 5,028, compared to 3,976 on the 10.5-inch model. In multi-core, the 11-inch Pro scored 18,181 compared to 9,555 on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, matching Apple’s claimed improvement of 90 percent.”
Bear in mind that Apple designs the chips in-house. This is not Intel or a third-party ARM maker. Apple is in a position of obliterating Moore’s Law. While Intel has mostly given up on it. This type of year-over-year CPU performance increase is unheard of in the industry.
Note that as far as the raw numbers are concerned, iPad Pro closed in at close to the performance of the 2017 5K iMac, which posted a score of 19.327. The 11-inch iPad Pro costs $799. The 5K iMac starts at $1,000 more. But to get the option that defeats the iPad, you have to pay even more.
In another comparison, the Geekbench 4 score for the iPad Pro at 42,270 was only a little behind the 15-inch MacBook Pro starting at $2,399. But to reveal the true speed doubling Apple promised, AppleInsider had to switch to Antutu.
“The new iPad Pro established a new record for the benchmark, which was previously set by the iPhone XS Max when it scored 363,000 points in our testing, so Apple is currently way ahead of the market in terms of phone and tablet processor performance.
Not satisfied, they did a video encoding test. It involved a one-minute piece shot in 4K. It took the iPad Pro from 2017 6:10. The new iPad Pro did in 2:56.
It is clear that Apple is at the top of their game and the top of the field when it comes to mobile processors. The knock on the iPad Pro remains the same: It is an embarrassing amount of power that the average person will never be able to use due to compromised professional workflows and apps designed to take advantage of that power. Reviewers are united on this opinion.
Early rumors about iOS 12 included a number of iPad-specific features they had to leave out this year. Presumably, these will pair nicely with the hardware improvements and be announced at next year’s WWDC.