Final Words

If Apple's A5 is any indication, Samsung's 32nm HK+MG process is extremely capable. Assuming Apple didn't change any fundamentals of its microarchitecture, the iPad 2,4's gains in battery life can be attributed directly to the process. The gains themselves are significant. We measured a 15% increase in our web browsing battery life, a nearly 30% increase in gaming battery life and an 18% increase in video playback battery life. Although Apple hasn't revised its battery life specs, the iPad 2,4 definitely lasts longer on a single charge than the original iPad 2.

If you're in the market for an iPad 2, the 2,4 is clearly the one to get - if you can find one that is. Unfortunately there's no sure fire way to tell that you're getting a 2,4 without opening the box and turning on the tablet, and I suspect most stores will get a bit irate if you're constantly buying and returning iPad 2s in search for a 32nm model. Presumably over time more of the available inventory will shift to 2,4 models, but based on our experiences in trying to find a 2,4 it's still pretty tough.

I would like to applaud Apple's 32nm migration plan. By starting with lower volume products and even then, only on a portion of the iPad 2s available on the market, Apple maintains a low profile and gets great experience with Samsung's 32nm HK+MG process. It's very clear that this is all in preparation for the next iPhone, which will almost certainly use Samsung's 32nm process and require it in significant volumes. It's obvious that Apple employs some very smart chip heads in Cupertino.

What I'd really like to see is a 32nm version of the A5X used in the new iPad. I don't know that there's much reason for that this year, especially when the 4th generation iPad will likely ship in the first half of 2013 with yet another new SoC (dual-core A15 + Rogue anyone?), but it'd still be nice to have. The power efficiency improvements are substantial and the 3rd gen iPad could definitely use them. Those of you who are waiting for the next iPhone should also be pretty happy about these results. Apple could easily deliver a higher clocked version of the A5 for the next iPhone while keeping power consumption equal to if not lower than where it's at today. The move to 32nm is going to be good all around it seems, and Samsung appears to be a very capable foundry partner for Apple. Despite all of the rumors of a rift in the relationship, the foundry side of things is working out well.

Power Consumption, Thermals & Performance
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  • Takoru - Monday, May 14, 2012 - link

    Sadly I didn't get my iPad 2,4.

    At least I was right: Any iPad 2 with the Serial number DM....... is the new iPad 2,4.
    Reply
  • j_connell - Monday, May 14, 2012 - link

    I purchased an iPad 2 at a Best Buy near Indianapolis tonight and specifically asked for an iPad2 with a serial number that started with DM. Most the iPads either started with DV or DR. This was a black iPad 2 made in China Part no. MC769LL/A. Ran Geekbench 2 and it confirmed iPad2,4 Thanks to everyone who put the info together to figure this out. It seems to be the real deal, or at least it worked this time! Reply
  • machugger - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    Not ANY ipad2 w/"DM…" serial number! I checked out six [6] of them with the s/n beginning with "DM" and they were ALL 2, 1.

    Takoru posted that "Every iPad 2 16GB with a serial number starting with "DM", which is manufactured in April is the new iPad 2,4."
    Reply
  • goober296 - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    I purchased a 16 gig black ipad2 from microcenter mpls monday with a dm serial number. Using linpack free app it also was a 2.4 model. So i guess the dm theory is true. Reply
  • Mrmixor - Monday, May 21, 2012 - link

    When it comes to navegating the net, this is THE BEST iPad on the market. I'm going to post my results on a couple other tests when I'm done. Real life usages of the iPad and their respective drains on the battery. So far, I'm very blown away. Reply
  • kokhor3 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Im havin prob determining my replacement iPad 2 which i just received yesterday from Apple authorised service center in Malaysia.

    But i felt it to be heavier n the display color seems better.

    Linpack determined it to b iPad 2,2 but battery life pro merely displayed it as iPad 2 3G.

    Chipmunk website determined my iPad as produced in early May 2012.
    Reply
  • nomadp - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - link

    Tried two iPad 2's at Apple Store Miami Beach
    both have SN starting with "DM", both iPad 2,1
    Thinking about swaping it at Target or BB or Walmart
    Reply
  • kayakingnsf - Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - link

    How do you tell on the 32gig version. Most people have said how to tell on the 16gig version. What would the right model number be for that one?
    Thanks...
    Reply
  • Takoru - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    The 32GB version doesn't get the 32nm processor, it's just the 16GB WiFI version.

    I also bought an iPad 2 with the serial number "DM" today, and finally I got an iPad 2.4!!! :)
    Very happy with it so far!
    Reply
  • Cerro - Friday, June 08, 2012 - link

    Went by the local Target store here in northern California. They only had two ipad 2s in stock. One white and one black. Both had the DM serial number. I bought the white one and took it home, and ran Linpack on it. And it turned out to be the 2,4. Out of the box the battery showed 84%, plugged the charger on it and brought it up to 99%. I then ran the pad for the next 7 hours, all over the web, plus all the setup stuff and email. When I finally went to bed the battery showed 68%. What great battery life! Reply

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