GPU Performance

The 4th generation iPad integrates a quad-core PowerVR SGX 554 (MP4). The 554MP4 doubles USSE2 count over the previous generation PowerVR SGX 543MP4 used in the iPad 3, while keeping ROP and TMU counts the same. The result is a pure doubling of peak theoretical shader performance:

Mobile SoC GPU Comparison
  PowerVR SGX 543 PowerVR SGX 543MP2 PowerVR SGX 543MP3 PowerVR SGX 543MP4 PowerVR SGX 554 PowerVR SGX 554MP2 PowerVR SGX 554MP4
Used In - iPad 2/mini iPhone 5 iPad 3 - - iPad 4
SIMD Name USSE2 USSE2 USSE2 USSE2 USSE2 USSE2 USSE2
# of SIMDs 4 8 12 16 8 16 32
MADs per SIMD 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Total MADs 16 32 48 64 32 64 128
GFLOPS @ 300MHz 9.6 GFLOPS 19.2 GFLOPS 28.8 GFLOPS 38.4 GFLOPS 19.2 GFLOPS 38.4 GFLOPS 76.8 GFLOPS

The theoretical numbers validate Apple's "2x faster GPU" claims, but as always we'll turn to Kishonti's GLBenchmark to see how achievable that performance increase is.

We'll start out with the raw theoretical numbers beginning with fill rate:

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Fill Test

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Fill Test (Offscreen 1080p)

The peak fill rate test shows a ~16% increase in performance over the previous generation 543MP4. Since there's no increase in number of TMUs we're seeing the results of a higher clocked GPU in the iPad 4's A6X.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test (Offscreen 1080p)

There's a pretty hefty improvement in triangle throughput - we're seeing more than a 60% gain compared to the iPad 3.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Fragment Lit

At native resolution the fragment lit triangle texture test shows a big gain over the iPad 3 (~80%).

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Fragment Lit (Offscreen 1080p)

In both of the final triangle throughput tests the iPad 4 manages a 40 - 45% increase in performance over the iPad 3:

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Vertex Lit

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Vertex Lit (Offscreen 1080p)

With the synthetics out of the way, we can look at simulated game performance using the Egypt HD and Egypt Classic benchmarks. Remember the on-screen tests are run at native resolution with v-sync enabled, while the offscreen tests are run at 1080p with v-sync disabled for an architectural apples-to-apples comparison.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD

Despite sub-2x gains in a lot of the synthetic tests, Egypt HD shows us what's possible in a simulated game: the new iPad is roughly twice the speed of the previous gen model when running at the panel's native resolution. How we've seen this implemented in many cases is with titles finally running at native resolution on the iPad 4 vs. some lower, scaled resolution on the iPad 3.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD (Offscreen 1080p)

The Egypt Classic test is a much lighter workload, as a result most of these devices hit 60 fps at their native resolution:

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt Classic

Although Egypt HD is a bit overkill for today's games, Classic undershoots by a good amount. The offscreen test however does provide some guidance as to whether or not these devices would be able to hit 30 fps on an appreciably heavier workload:

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt Classic (Offscreen 1080p)

CPU Performance & Memory Bandwidth PowerVR SGX 554MP4 and iPad Retina Display: A Balanced Platform
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  • darkcrayon - Saturday, December 08, 2012 - link

    I agree totally. I use Splashtop remote. It's pretty CPU intensive on both the client and server end (but is probably the fastest remote app I've used - it's capable of watching video at OK framerates- and with sound). It's much better on the 4th gen iPad just because the 3rd was hitting 100% doing some things. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, December 08, 2012 - link

    The old charger was 10W, the new one is 12W. The old one drew 12.44W at the wall. The new on draws 13.57W at the wall. You say the new one delivers 9% more power, based on your measurement at the wall. The way you write it seems wrong to me. You are not measuring the power delivery of the chargers (which should be 10/12W), because you don't know their efficiency. It could be that the new charger delivers 20% more power as advertised and that the 9% increase in power draw simply means it has a better efficiency. Reply
  • Zink - Saturday, December 08, 2012 - link

    +1 Reply
  • GabeA - Saturday, December 08, 2012 - link

    Sorry to burst the collective bubble here, but in your breathless haste to talk about the objective quality of the screen, you missed one tiny detail: the display stack in action.

    I don't think it takes more than a playthrough of a dark movie (or animation content) to see what I mean. In dim movies, contrast, brightness, backlight (yes, backlight, even with auto-brightness turned off), tint, and color balance fluctuate wildly, producing flickering and pumping, color changes, and other horribly destructive qualities that do not do the display justice.

    Watching video on the iPad 4 -- particularly dark video in a dark room -- is quality suicide. There are threads devoted to the topic online. Colors are hilariously washed and change constantly within a scene, which is beyond annoying when watching a relatively static scene. White subtitles fade to a deep gray. Gray stone walls becomes light blue, then deep purple, then back to gray.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=14841...
    Reply
  • Booster - Sunday, December 09, 2012 - link

    This POS ain't no 'computer'. More like a picture frame, just about as useful. Reply
  • LordConrad - Sunday, December 09, 2012 - link

    Stop trolling. Just because you find it useless doesn't mean that others will. Reply
  • LordConrad - Sunday, December 09, 2012 - link

    I sold my iPad 3 and used the money towards a new iPad 4. I have noticed a huge speed increase in iOS and applications after getting the iPad 4. Switching to the lightning connector was a bit annoying, but I'm glad I upgraded to the 4. This is what the iPad 3 should have been. Reply
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  • prdola0 - Monday, December 10, 2012 - link

    Seriously, what is wrong with the picture quality bias on AnandTech? Most if not all Apple gear is photographed in a polished state, notebooks opened, gadgets turned on (and if not, only to produce a pretty little reflection effect), with fancy backgrounds and fancy picture effects (depth of fields, etc.). Yet, other manufacturers are treated like second-class, with notebooks closed, devices smudgy, on dirty and smudgy backgrounds, turned off with no screen picture. Just look at the background in the Goodle Nexus article, or compare the recent MacBook and other notebook articles.

    I have noticed that Apple stuff is creeping in more and more. Well, I don't like it but I can live with that. But why the hell this incredible, very unprofessional bias? I have asked this question before and did not get an aswer. So here it is again.
    Reply
  • IKeelU - Monday, December 10, 2012 - link

    I just checked the shots in the Nexus 7 review and they seem pretty clean and comparable to those in this review. Maybe the tablet reviews are better photographed than the laptop reviews? Reply

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