iPad 4 (Late 2012) Reviewby Anand Lal Shimpi on December 6, 2012 4:40 PM EST
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|
|# of SIMDs||4||8||12||16||8||16||32|
|MADs per SIMD||4||4||4||4||4||4||4|
|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:
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.
There's a pretty hefty improvement in triangle throughput - we're seeing more than a 60% gain compared to the iPad 3.
At native resolution the fragment lit triangle texture test shows a big gain over the iPad 3 (~80%).
In both of the final triangle throughput tests the iPad 4 manages a 40 - 45% increase in performance over the iPad 3:
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.
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.
The Egypt Classic test is a much lighter workload, as a result most of these devices hit 60 fps at their native resolution:
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: