Apple’s A5X Processor vs Nvidia’s Tegra 3 – Was Apple Right?

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18 Mar, 2012 2:58 am

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During the new iPad launch Apple made a claim that their new A5X processor was 4X faster than Nvidia’s newly released Tegra 3 processor. It didn’t take long before the benchmarks came out and Avram over at LaptopMag always reliably puts his gadgets through the paces. Four test were run that give us a really good idea about where the iPad’s A5X processor stacks up against Nvidia’s Tegra 3, GLBenchmark 2.1, Geekbench & web browsing test Peacekeeper & Sunspider.

GLBenchmark 2.1, measures graphics performance and it’s one of the few benchmarks that has versions for both Android and iOS, the new iPad pretty much blew its competition right out of the water.

However, in the subjective gaming performance test the Tegra 3 edition seemed to have more to offer:

However, when we looked past the beautiful screen, we noticed that the version of the game playing on the Transformer Prime had some additional visual effects that were not present on the new iPad. In Riptide, we noticed more reflections in the water and a splashing effect that made it look like water was hitting the screen when our ski landed from a jump. On the iPad, we just saw a little foam appear on landing, not splashes.

It’s likely a matter of the games not being optimized for Apple’s new A5X processor, so in the mean time we’re going to have to wait for everyone to catch up to Apple’s advanced system.

The most interesting benchmark in our opinion is Geekbench since it is a cross-platform benchmark that measures raw processing power rather than graphics. So when measuring sheer CPU power the quad-core Tegra 3 came out way ahead of Apple as it achieved an overall score of 1,571 to the A5X’s 692. On the integer (1391 to 614), floating point (2408 to 825) and memory subtests (1076 to 784) , the Tegra 3 dominated, but the A5X bested it by a small margin of 324 to 266 on the stream subtest.

When looking at the native browsers on both tablets, Safari on the iPad & Android Browser in Peacekeeper, a general-purpose browser benchmark, the two tablets got nearly identical scores of 386 for the iPad and 387 for the Prime. However, the iPad completed the Sunspider JavaScript rendering test in just 1810 milliseconds to the Prime’s 2216 ms.

So it looks like if we simply look at the GLBenchmark than Apple wasn’t totally full of it…but the thing is that Geekbench is a very important test and since it looks at raw CPU power and it is the clear winner things are as cut and dry as Apple would like.

Laptop also posted a side by side video of Riptide GP being played on the A5X vs the Tegra 3, you’ll see what they’re talking about that once you look past the gorgeous display there is actually more detail appearing with the Tegra 3 processor.

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Via LaptopMag


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