Many things surprised us about last night’s Apple event, not least the ultra-denotive and dividing name of the new iPad (see what we did there?).
Though you’re never going to be 100 per cent sure what Apple is going to come out with at an event. That said, we weren’t quite prepared for the zinger which was Apple’s boast of the A5X-equipped new iPad having four times the gaming power of Nvidia’s Tegra 3.
That’s a heck of a claim, seeing as the dual-core A5X has a quad-core GPU and the quad-plus-another-one Tegra 3 has a 12-core GPU.
It’s not all about numbers though and we were impressed by Apple’s Infinity Blade Dungeons and Skygamblers demos. Can you however stream Skyrim on a Transfomer Prime like a boss?
We reached out to Nvidia to get their take on things and we received the following statement:
"it's nice to hear Apple compare themselves to Tegra 3. It truly underscores the importance of graphics, which is what we've been saying all along."
Time (and benchmarking) will tell which actually offers the best performance; we’ve a feeling that there’s a certain type of tablet buyer for whom this won’t matter.
Nvidia however looks to be buying a new iPad of its own. Speaking to ZDNet, Nvidia’s Ken Brown said “We have to understand what application was used [to obtain Apple’s figures]. Was it one or a variety of applications? What drivers were used? There are so many issues to get into with benchmark... At some point it will become more clear what the performance really is,” said Brown. “For now, Apple has a really generic statement.”
There are indeed many issues to get into with benchmarking. Not least because different benchmarking tests (SunSpider, Antutu, Vellamo, Quadrant) prioritise different things and do things differently.