If you want massively in-depth reviews of hardware, with detail a few steps beyond the "OK, this is almost too much information," AnandTech has been the place to go since they launched 16 years ago. Their iPad Air review continues this tradition, and while the review is basically in line with the vibe of all the other reviews on the internet ("The iPad Air is great!") what is of particular interest to us is the amount of effort Anand went into with testing the GPU of the iPad Air.


AnandTech notes that the A7 in the iPad Air is clocked higher in the iPhone 5s, with many of the benchmarks show the iPad Air taking a small lead over the iPhone 5s and a 40% to 70% improvement over the iPad 4. Interestingly, when it comes to rendering triangles on screen, the iPad 4 actually pulls ahead. Anand suspects this is because of differences in how the A7 and A6X handle their rendering pipelines. That might seem bad, but the author mentions that they "haven't seen any real world cases where it matters yet."

[via AnandTech]

  • SherlockEB

    It has lower triangle output. Im not and expert so anyone with any idea what would it mean for gaming performance ?

    • PresidentZer0

      Could mean that the a7 chip is not as powerfully on the iPad air as it's on the iPhone 5s cause of the higher resolution.... Even if has nothing to so with this, it still is a fact.

      • SherlockEB

        I was comparing it to iPad 4

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      It means that while games with squares are faster on Air, the triangle games are faster on iPad 4.
      C'mon, it means that it's a software glitch on the testing!!!
      You really need an expert to explain that?

      • GamesbyJerry

        I believe it's due to the cores being streamlined to shaders instead of generic ones.

        Games are more about shaders and materials than triangle counts these days, so I'd say it won't have too much an impact visually to most games and likely why they tweaked the design, as it'll be a nice save on power.

      • BulkSlash

        Yes exactly. The benchmark is an artificial test of how many polygons the hardware can create at once, which isn't a very good test as it doesn't take lighting, texturing, shading, etc into account.

        On paper, the Playstation 2 can actually generate more triangles than the PS3, but in the real world that rarely matters as the PS2 can't actually texture and shade anywhere near that many polygons.

        Likewise, with the iPad 4, it might be able to fill the screen with more untextured triangles than the Air but in real game situations where there's texturing, lighting, shading, etc going on the Air will be much faster.

      • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

        And the Androids can do *A LOT* of triangles!!

  • Papa Deuce

    All I want for Christmas is an iPad Air, an iPad air....an iPad Air....

    • wingz

      Hmmmm srry kiddo i gotcha a ipad 4...... ;(

      • zergslayer69

        *posts on Facebook about worst parents ever for likes and complains about how life sucks and all that jazz*

  • PlannedObsolescence

    still not convincing me i must have this Nov 1 already owning a 4th Gen iPad. and i want to feel compulsive! ironically i got my 4th Gen with the idea of games in mind but then everything started moving to freemium/IAP model so no longer equate iPad with gaming as that industry is already being destroyed with the freemium model. i NEVER install freemium games. but was glad i got 4th gen as i use music apps alot and it def runs those better than the iPad 2 i had.

    • Lazer Kat

      Luckily our music apps haven't went freemium.
      If you look at the top music charts the average music creation app is $5-$10 with no IaPs and no ads.
      We simply won't accept that BS.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Actually, there are a bunch of great free games out there.
      But you'll never know, b/c you have a bias.
      And guess what? It's not 'destroying' the industry, the industry is conforming to the market. Wow, yes, that's free market in operation.
      Maybe you think $60 games on proprietary hardware by giant corporations is better than free games with IAP which can be made by smaller teams who can do more with less profits?
      Your planned obsolescence may have already arrived!

  • lordyokomoto

    If ya got an ipad4 I would probably give this new one a miss........may other iPad then now would be a good time to upgrade ... I got an iPad 2 and still very reluctant to let it go....Grown very attached to it (much to the missus annoyance lol teach her for buying it for me ;)) ) but I will defo be getting this new one
    Roll on Xmas day

  • ImJPaul

    I'm super pumped for iPad minis in 128 GB. THIS IS GONNA BE GREEEAAAAT

  • araczynski

    Looking forward to the probable A7X in March much more.

    • solipsism

      Not going to happen. There is no longer a reason for Apple to keep the X-series of their A-chips for the additional GPU performance and wider bus.

      Now if Apple released a larger iPad with a lot more pixels it could happen, but that isn't likely to happen in March.

  • jonnyboi51

    My iPhone 5s got a score of 1412 and 2561.