On Thursday, prior to the launch of the iPad 2, we posted a look at some early numbers from a suite of benchmarks run on a pre-launch iPad 2 media unit. These included a custom benchmark written by Guy English to gauge the graphics performance of an iOS device, which showed Apple's new tablet to boast a dramatically improved fill-rate as compared to the original iPad.

For example, on my original iPad, with 200 on-screen sprites, the framerate dropped to 45 fps. On the iPad 2, with 400 on-screen sprites, the framerate remained at 65 fps. On the iPad 1, Guy’s demo app dropped below 60 fps with about 100 animated sprites; on the iPad 2, it didn’t drop below 60 fps until there were over 750 animated sprites.

Since then, we've seen the iPad 2 land in stores and additional performance reports start to surface, now that folks can get their hands on one. One such report was posted by AnandTech who has put the iPad 2's graphics processor through its paces using GLBenchmark 2.0, an application written to gauge OpenGL ES 2.0 performance. They are also indicating that Apple's new A5 system-on-a-chip contains a dual-core configuration of Imagination Technologies' graphics processor, the PowerVR SGX543MP2, which comes as no surprise.

Architecturally the 543MP2 has more than twice the compute horsepower of the SGX 535 used in Apple's A4. Each shader pipeline can execute twice the number of instructions per clock as the SGX 535, and then there are four times as many pipes in an SGX 543MP2 as there are in a 535.

The full report of the benchmark results can be seen over at AnandTech, but I've compiled the key numbers for quick review, below.

Apple iPad 2 Apple iPad Motorola Xoom
Geometry: Textured triangles per second (millions) 29 8.69 15.1
Geometry: Fragment lit triangles per second (millions) 19.7 4.08 8.51
Fill Rate: Texture fetch texels per second (millions) 890.1 179.1 130
GLBench 2.0 Egypt frames per second 44 8.1 11.8
GLBench 2.0 Egypt FSAA frames per second 44.8 6.4 --

As you can see by the results, the iPad 2 markedly outperforms both the original iPad as well as Motorola's new Android-based Xoom tablet with its Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset. GLBenchmark shows it moving nearly 5x the number of triangles per second as the iPad and fetching textures nearly 7x faster than the Xoom. Truly impressive results.

Coinciding with the launch of the iPad 2, we've seen a number of developers release updates to their titles that take advantage of the new device's muscle. (And, most every existing title is benefitting from the extra horsepower as well, we're seeing.) But, really, it's going to take some time before we see the power of the iPad 2's A5 truly exploited, as developers have a chance to really test the limits of the new hardware and craft titles that are dramatically more complex than anything we've yet seen in the App Store.

And, of course, we'll keep you posted.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Hopper/1238691947 Paul Hopper

    Wow. Have to admit ive been looking at it as a midcycle refresh and telling myself that im content with my ipad 1 but the base model ipad 2 hotspotted to my iphone 4 is looking damn tempting :)

  • Yo bro!

    LOL gtfo Xoom

    • Neptune692

      When it comes to the GPU the iPad 2 is clearly the winner. :)

    • Anonymous

      To be honest with the prices where they are now no one will be buying a Xoom.

  • Jaison13

    yet the xoom is $200 more than the comparable ipad. i wish the cameras were better in the new ipad. i have one and they really are crap. my iphone 4 takes great photos and video. ipad 2, not so much!!

    • nizy

      I really don't get the complaints about the camera. Its hardly as if you're going to carry around a 10 inch device to use as a camera. Even if it had an amazing 10mp sensor in there, it still wouldn't be used as a camera as its just too big for that purpose.

      • Jaison13

        if you want to make quick and easy use of the new imovie app the pad should have a camera that is actually capable of doing that. so now if i want to do some movies i have to carry a separate camera, the camera connection kit and my ipad. the ipad is so light now that taking videos with it would be so easy. so i'd like a decent camera in it. the ipad weighs quite a bit less than my camera. can you transfer video from an iphone to an ipad without wifi? if you're out in the world working?

    • Anonymous

      Agree, the cameras do blow, but they get the job done for Facetime or YouTube/Email type videos. I'll just take photos with my Iphone 4 and use the iPad 2 as my storage and editing (new iMovie is awesome) device. Now back to the amazing Dead Space - while it's still daylight. :-)

    • Anonymous

      So just use your iPhone to take pictures?

  • http://twitter.com/Scores87 Ed

    Well the XOOM has a higher resolution (ipad 2 still wins but for 5-10 frames)

    • Jaison13

      it's not really that much of a higher resolution when you consider it has a slightly larger screen. 10.1 screen 1280x800 vs 9.7 1080x768 so the difference in res is more due to the larger screen not pixels per square inch. it's almost no difference.

  • Rgaestel

    buy a good camera then, ipad 2 is not a camera.

  • http://twitter.com/NOVAinc Lucas

    For the people pointing out the resolution difference, it really doesn't say much... but I'm sure you know this already... anyways, read on:

    I've taken the most favorable benchmark for the xoom (the first one) and made the math:

    1024*768@29fps = 22806528 pixels/second
    1280*800@15.1fps = 15462400 pixels/second

    So, it's still a much much lower score... and this is optimistic since I'm taking the best benchmark for the xoom... and I'm also not counting that multitasking bar of honeycomb that is always there taking space on the screen, but all of the other benchmarks just worsen it.

    Also, take as example how AA on the iPad results much better than no AA on the xoom at all, even when the iPad must render a bigger picture of the scene to fit it on the display later.

  • Quark

    Is this GPU OpenCL ES capable? Are they using OpenCL to get this nice performance gain?

  • Sinnical

    So tempted to pick one up. Will the iPad 2's performance improvement help with video playback via VLC Player?

    • Jaison13

      i have the vlc player and the avi movies look perfect on my ipad 2.

  • http://twitter.com/NOVAinc Lucas

    It is, they are

  • Borgqueenx

    Epic games, exploit this ipad, and upgrade epic citadel please!

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/TapIt-Customs/128134993868038 GHRocker08

      Epic Citadel was just a proof-of-concept tech demo with no gameplay. It was made to show off what the iPhone was really capable of, and it evolved into Infinity Blade, which has been upgraded for iPad 2 specs.

      • http://twitter.com/NOVAinc Lucas

        well that upgrade doesn't really count, they just bettered the textures, the poly count is still the same.

      • baki1973

        This upgrade is already great : anti-aliasing, high textures, bump-mapping.

      • Lucas

        They can do something better yet ;)

  • pinchez

    I'll get one as soon as it supports blue tooth PS3 joypad like my MacBook, Don't get me wrong it's a great device but something this powerful needs proper controller.

    • Jaison13

      even if it did, every app would also pretty much have to support it too. would they not?

      • pinchez

        It could be optional, You could still have touch controls but if you have a Blue Tooth pad you could select to use it. It would be perfect and all that's needed is a driver :)

  • Jas

    If only Apple had added full USB socket and driver support....

  • Zaraf

    How do these benchmark results compare to a gaming computer? I'm just interested in knowing how close these handheld devices are getting to the full blown machines.

    • Nigra

      Well it's actually very far... The best graphics cards out there are the size of the iPad alone, some computers have two of them :P

      This is about half a PS3.... newer graphics card can be several times faster than a PS3

      • Luiz

        No way.. it is about 1/10 of PS3 in better cases and GPU alone, but is very good for a mobile device like this. 2.5 W against almost 200 W of a PS3 power consumption.

      • Nigra

        If you're talking about the pad, then it's not really the case.

        PowerVR 530 (the whole integration on A4) were already able to better a PS2, which was 1/7 the PS3. this new iPad has a faster A5 dual core processor with dual core PowerVR 540, not only a single 540 can double a 530 but if used in a multicore configuration you get also an extra performance boost. It has been said by many developers that they will top the PS3/360 whiting the next two years

    • Jas

      Different planet. Gaming PC will be an order of magnitude faster that it's no pooint comparing.

  • WhyKlef

    Officially what I needed to have me buy the iPad 2... It's been days that I've been going on and off about my decision but benchmarks was exactly what I needed to decide between Tegra 2 chipset and the new iPad 2. Apple, here I come!

  • Rob

    When nice score with FSAA, 0,8 faster then without. And glbenchmark was not recompiled for multicore.

  • Aeroflux

    I suppose the real question is: What will developers call their apps? S(upa)HD? HD+? HD3000? I'm glad universal apps are starting to take over the dredge of apps sold in separate versions, but soon there will need to be a new specifications system for the app store just to see if your hardware is compatible.

    • Nigra

      Universal or not, not every app is compatible with older devices. This is specified under the game price on the AppStore and if your device isn't supported it won't let you buy it anyway