We haven't been covering the tsunami of rumors surrounding the impending launch of the iPad 3 as our sister-site MacRumors completely has that on lockdown. Regardless of what of these rumors you personally believe are true, we'll all find out what's coming on March 7th. The press conference is being held at the normal 10:00 AM Pacific time at the Yerba Buena Center for Arts. Curiously enough, this is practically across the street from GDC, which we'll be in town for anyway! Convenient!

Word on the street is that the iPad 3 is going to have a Retina Display sporting a 2048x1536 resolution. That's higher than what we consider HD in 1080p, and really, a resolution that's challenging for a desktop GPU's to push in 3D games, much less mobile GPU's. The iPad 3 is going to need to sport some serious horsepower under the hood, and finding out what kind of mobile processor technology Apple is implementing to drive this screen is what I'm most looking forward to next week.

  • http://twitter.com/Platronic John Francis

    I'm not convinced it will be able to handle games all that much. IF, and this is a big if, they change price point significantly to 700+ they can effectively start merging their MB technologies and offer a tablet pc.

    As it stands there's really no precedence ANYWHERE for games do handle that kind of rez and in the short run 2D games that have lots of text will be the only design that really benefits.

    Heck, I was just researching batch rendering on Unity to get performance up so unless there's a crazy powerful unannounced GPU in the thing I just don't see the new resolution affecting games much.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dnikolaides Dan Nikolaides

      Just because the screen resolution is x, you don't have to render to x resolution.

      • http://twitter.com/deceptivetruth Dominic Richardson

        Don't blaspheme like that of course it means that. No one likes stretched pixels!

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      You can buy an off the shelf ARM processor license right now and fabricate a mobile GPU that's capable of rendering games in 1080p. No one has gone higher than that because there just wasn't reason to, but saying there's no precedence anywhere isn't really accurate.

      • http://twitter.com/Platronic John Francis

        1080p is still an unused or underused resolution in both PC and Console. It's super rare in consoles despite the ubiquitous of 1080p TVs now. On top that I'm talking about this "1536p" everyone else is talking about. That's over 1,000,000 additional pixels to fill and render. It's almost like having to power an entire external VGA monitor in addition to an HD screen.

        I'm not saying it won't be used but I AM saying, just like with what happened in the "HD" era of console games, the headache of supporting that resolution vs. keeping framerate high and running a bunch of effects ended up not being worth the trouble for most devs.

      • Ramiro Mohaded

         Yeah, fabricate a mobile GPU able to render at that resolution, but at what framerate? And at what cost? You have to consider those things. If it were that easy, we would already have seen those kind of devices on the market. As it stands, it's not cheap enough to really consider. Besides, adding that new resolution may come as a pain to developers. In the end, they'll make it work, just to claim that they fully utilize the resolution of the iPad 3, but that will come at the cost of reduced polygonal models and lower resolution textures, as well as poorer shading and filtering. I believe that games running at that resolution will be a beautiful lie.

      • http://twitter.com/BulkSlash BulkSlash

        Yeah, given that the current dual-core SGX543MP2 can push Real Racing 2 at 1080p, I'm certain an MP4 (quad-core) variant could run the game at nearly double that resolution, and the 2048x1536 of the iPad 3 isn't anywhere near 2160p. Of course Apple might be adding more than just a quad-core video chip!

      • http://www.facebook.com/Nilka83 Njáll Ekstrøm

        I think you might have misunderstood the way doubling pixels work. Its not that strange and most people do it, but 2160p as you mention is not double of 1080p its actually 4 times as many pixels.
        2160x3840 = 8294400
        1080x1920 = 2073600

        the iPad situation is a bit different though as the form factor is 4:3 instead of 16:9 but the resolution is really big if the iPad get the 2048x1536.
        2048x1536 = 3145728 
        which is 50% more than full-HD

        It should be possible to make this work ok with the quad core chip, still a lot depends on the actual gpu. 
        And while this new iPad 3 might very well run games like real racing at the max resolution it might not drive the graphics any further than the resolution.  To be honest for gaming on such a small screen I think the 1024x768 is quite decent, what I really want is better graphics effects such as lighting, shadows, fluid and smoke dynamics. And with the obscene resolution the iPad 3 is getting I don´t think we will get improvements in this area until the release of iPad 4.

        When all that is said and done I really look forward to the high resolution as I am mostly using it for reading books on molecular biology and advanced cell biology. 
        I also use it a bit for watching TV-series so that will be nice as well.

  • himanshu modi

    I sure hope they announce iPod touch 5 on March 7th.

  • http://RolePlayFTW.com Huy Ngo

    My girlfriend stole my iPad 2 and I don't like anyone else touching my toys except for me... so it is now her iPad 2. 

    Whatever gets released I'll be getting, however I have my hopes for a 7 incher but I know that's very unlikely. =(

    • http://twitter.com/Micahsa Micah Peterson

      Must... not... take... the bait...

      • http://RolePlayFTW.com Huy Ngo

        Dirty minds!!!! ;)

      • himanshu modi

        l... o... l

  • chris forrester

    Considering how 3d graphics work w/ shaders and all, the fill rate is going to be insane. I really hope they put 2gb of memory minimum in this beast, since textures are going to be increased to a much higher level than before. Also.. 8192x8192 texture support would be cherry :)

  • GDSage

    The question now is, will Apple use a quad-core version of the A5 to power this huge resolution bump or will they skip ahead and use the next-gen variants of ARM and PowerVR, the A15 CPU and Rogue GPU?

    For those not in the know, the Rogue GPU basically has the performance of around the 360 GPU but with a more modern API (comparative to DX10 and above rather than the 360's DX9).

    In other words, a might powerful GPU and it's ready to ship in devices this year. Would be amazing if Apple did skip ahead to this.

    • http://twitter.com/Platronic John Francis

      That would be amazing but I think it would put the iPad outside of a reasonable MSRP considering the always necessary Apple mark up. If they have super iPad that would cause device fragmentation (that Apple is pretty awesome at avoiding). Honestly, I think you just made a case for the iPad 4. Give them the screen this round and the guts for iPad 4 :)

    • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Inaba-kun

      The A15 and Rogue are not ready for production yet. They're about a year away.

      Realistically the best the iPad 3 can hope for is an overclocked quad core version of the iPad 2 GPU.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mmatzat Michael Matzat

    I am happy with my iPad 2 for now... i´ll give it a week on the shelf's or so to see how battery life and such works out. After that i will decide if i upgrade or wait a year.

  • JCat_NY

    Is Apple going to accept on-line pre-orders like they did with the original iPad, or the ridiculous way they did with iPad 2? If it's the latter, then I wish those luck waiting on lines because it's going to be the black market fiasco all over again.  They'll buy up the inventory, you get sent home. After a month, it will feel like you''re in the sequel to Ground Hog's day.

  • Rob Geeson

    So it's too early for A15 architecture and Rogue - therefore we're looking at either a quad core A9 arrangement (1 - 1.2 Ghz) or a dual core A9 1.5 Ghz job.

    That's the CPU done.

    But what about the GPU? With four times the pixel count even an sgx543mp4 (a la PS Vita) might not provide ample grunt to push enough triangles, textures and polish around right? I notice that there are two other members of the 5XT family that were announced in 2010 though haven't yet seen the light of day :

    The sgx544 and the sgx554 - both available with up to 16 'cores'. These two architectures sit between the IPad 2's 543 and the Rogue series 6 architectures. My money's on Apple using one of these puppies in a four 'core' variant.

    I just hope that Real Racing 3 is released on day dot to really show off what our new sexy bits of kit can do!

  • patric34

    My real worries are about the mess the AppStore will become. 

    I mean HD is now used for Retina Desplay or iPad 2 and Universal is for all version.  How will you know if an App Support the 2048x1536?  Will actual iPad apps be full screen compatible or in 1X and 2X mode like iPhone apps running on the iPad?

    • http://www.facebook.com/dean.keith Dean Keith

      The whole reason to go 2X (4x pixel count) is so there is no issue between 1024 vs. 2048 support within apps. There will not be any "1x vs. 2x" mode like when you run iPhone/iPod apps on an iPad. It will be just like movingbetween non-Retina and Retina apps on a phone.

      However, it would be nice if the app store imposed a naming standard. We have the "+" for universal, but they need to define what HD really means, especially on a Universal app. They will probably just call it Retina, but that would get ambiguous on a Universal app since that could mean its only Retina on iPhone/iPod and not iPad3.

      So maybe they should go with something like "Retina Plus" or "Retina HD". Better yet, come up with some designation icon for Retina support. You get the icon if it’s iPhone/iPod only and supports Retina, or if it’s iPad/Universal and supports 2048.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=681810358 Victor Emmanuel

    To be Honest , we ALL WANT HIGHER RES display on iPad 3 , and Hope that it will not lag, but the Truth is , how much will it cost . 
    also let's not forgot about the Battery Life 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=681810358 Victor Emmanuel

    I forgot to add this . 
    I am carrying a 10000 mah battery pack with me for them iDevices . 
    we may not be able to get a less then 10a battery pack if it's that high res 

    but of couse , no one can guest what apple can do . they may have already solved the battery issue . 

    this is just my main concern , Battery > high res display 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1062528697 David Vega

    Lots of doubting i sense in you my apple friends, dont worry!! Apple will save us, and innovate ( i hope) once again! :) Until iphone 5, were good :)