SoC Analysis: CPU Performance

Now that we’ve had a chance to take a look at A9X’s design and a bit on the difference between the x86 and ARM ISAs, let’s take a look at A9X’s performance at a lower level.

From a CPU perspective A9X is just a higher clocked implementation of the dual-core Twister CPU design we first saw on A9 last year. As a result the fundamentals of the CPU architecture have not changed relative to A9. However A9X relative to A8X drops down from three CPU cores to two, so among the factors we’ll want to look at is how Apple has been impacted by dropping down to two faster cores.

We’ll start things off with Geekbench, 3, which gives us a fairly low-level look at CPU performance.

Geekbench 3 - Integer Performance
  A9X A8X % Advantage
AES ST
1.17 GB/s
0.98 GB/s
19%
AES MT
2.85 GB/s
3.16 GB/s
-10%
Twofish ST
120.7 MB/s
64.0 MB/s
89%
Twofish MT
228.3 MB/s
182.7 MB/s
25%
SHA1 ST
1.03 GB/s
0.53 GB/s
94%
SHA1 MT
1.95 GB/s
1.48 GB/s
32%
SHA2 ST
205.8 MB/s
119.1 MB/s
73%
SHA2 MT
395.5 MB/s
330.6 MB/s
20%
BZip2Comp ST
8.95 MB/s
5.71 MB/s
57%
BZip2Comp MT
17.0 MB/s
16.6 MB/s
2%
Bzip2Decomp ST
14.7 MB/s
8.98 MB/s
64%
Bzip2Decomp MT
28.1 MB/s
25.2 MB/s
12%
JPG Comp ST
33.7 MP/s
20.6 MP/s
64%
JPG Comp MT
64.4 MP/s
60.8 MP/s
6%
JPG Decomp ST
89.2 MP/s
53.0 MP/s
68%
JPG Decomp MT
166.5 MP/s
153.9 MP/s
8%
PNG Comp ST
2.11 MP/s
1.35 MP/s
56%
PNG Comp MT
4.04 MP/s
3.82 MP/s
6%
PNG Decomp ST
31.5 MP/s
18.7 MP/s
68%
PNG Decomp MT
56.9 MP/s
56.3 MP/s
1%
Sobel ST
138.3 MP/s
82.5 MP/s
68%
Sobel MT
258.7 MP/s
225.6 MP/s
15%
Lua ST
3.25 MB/s
1.68 MB/s
93%
Lua MT
6.02 MB/s
4.60 MB/s
31%
Dijkstra ST
10.1 Mpairs/s
6.70 Mpairs/s
51%
Dijkstra MT
17.6 Mpairs/s
16.0 Mpairs/s
10%

The interesting thing about Geekbench is that as a result of being a lower-level test the bulk of its tests scale up well with CPU core counts, as the benchmark can just spawn more threads. Consequently I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect here, as this presents the tri-core A8X with a much better than average scaling opportunity, making it especially harsh on the A9X.

But what the results show us is that even by dropping back down to two CPU cores, A9X does very well overall. The single-threaded results are greatly improved, with A9X offering better than a 50% single-threaded perf gain in the majority of the sub-tests. Meanwhile even with the multi-threaded tests, A9X only loses once, on AES. Otherwise two higher clocked Twister cores are beating three lower clocked Typhoon cores by anywhere between a few percent up to 32%. In this sense Geekbench is something of a worst-case scenario, as real-world software rarely benefits from additional cores this well (this being part of the reason why A8 and A9 did so well relative to quad Cortex-A57 designs), so it’s promising to see that even in this worst-case scenario A9X can deliver meaningful performance gains over A8X.

Geekbench 3 - Floating Point Performance
  A9X A8X % Advantage
BlackScholes ST
14.9 Mnodes/s
8.52 Mnodes/s
75%
BlackScholes MT
28.2 Mnodes/s
24.9 Mnodes/s
13%
Mandelbrot ST
2.23 GFLOPS
1.27 GFLOPS
76%
Mandelbrot MT
4.27 GFLOPS
3.66 GFLOPS
17%
Sharpen Filter ST
2.10 GFLOPS
1.08 GFLOPS
94%
Sharpen Filter MT
4.01 GFLOPS
3.12 GFLOPS
29%
Blur Filter ST
2.68 GFLOPS
1.53 GFLOPS
75%
Blur Filter MT
5.08 GFLOPS
4.47 GFLOPS
14%
SGEMM ST
6.77 GFLOPS
4.12 GFLOPS
64%
SGEMM MT
12.7 GFLOPS
11.6 GFLOPS
9%
DGEMM ST
3.32 GFLOPS
2.02 GFLOPS
64%
DGEMM MT
6.21 GFLOPS
5.61 GFLOPS
11%
SFFT ST
3.52 GFLOPS
1.92 GFLOPS
83%
SFFT MT
6.67 GFLOPS
5.40 GFLOPS
24%
DFFT ST
3.21 GFLOPS
1.80 GFLOPS
78%
DFFT MT
6.02 GFLOPS
5.11 GFLOPS
18%
N-Body ST
1.41 Mpairs/s
0.78 Mpairs/s
81%
N-Body MT
2.69 Mpairs/s
2.34 Mpairs/s
15%
Ray Trace ST
4.99 MP/s
2.96 MP/s
69%
Ray Trace MT
9.56 MP/s
8.64 MP/s
11%

The story with Geekbench 3 floating point performance is much the same. Performance never regresses, even in multi-threaded workloads. In lightly threaded floating point workloads A9X is going to walk all over A8X, and in multi-threaded workloads we’re still looking at anywhere between a 9% and a 29% performance gain. This goes to show just how powerful Twister is relative to Typhoon, especially with A9X’s much higher clockspeeds factored in. And it lends a lot of support to Apple’s ongoing design philosophy of favoring a smaller number of high performance (and now higher-clocked) cores.

SPEC CPU 2006

Moving on, our other lower-level benchmark for this review is SPECint2006. Developed by the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation, SPECint2006 is the integer component of their larger SPEC CPU 2006 benchmark. As was the case with SPEC CPU 2000 before it, SPEC CPU 2006 is designed by a committee of technology firms to offer a consistent and meaningful cross-platform benchmark that can compare systems of different performance levels and architectures. Among cross-platform benchmarks SPEC CPU is generally held in high regard, and while it is but one collection of benchmarks and like all benchmarks should not be taken as the be-all end-all of benchmarks on its own, it provides us with a very important look at CPU performance that we otherwise cannot get.

SPECint2006 is the successor to the SPECint2000 test we’ve been using periodically for the last couple of years now. Initially released in 2006, SPECint2006 is still SPEC’s current-generation CPU integer benchmark. We’ve wanted to switch to SPECint2006 for some time now, but have been held back by the overall low performance of tablet SoCs, which lacked the speed and memory to run SPECint2006 and to do so in a reasonable amount of time. However now thanks to the greater performance and greater memory of A9X, we’re finally able to run SPEC’s current-generation CPU benchmark on a tablet.

SPECint2006 is composed of 12 sub-benchmarks, testing a wide variety of scenarios from video compression to PERL execution to AI. This is a non-graphical benchmark and I believe it’s reasonable to argue that the benchmark set itself leans towards server high performance computing/workstation use cases, but with that said even if it’s not a perfect fit for tablet use cases it offers a lot of real-world tests that give us a good variety of different workloads to benchmark CPUs with. SPECint2006 scores are in turn reported as a ratio, measuring how many times faster a tested system is against the SPEC reference system, a 1997 Sun Ultrasparc Ultra Enterprise 2 server, which is based around a 296 MHz UltraSPARC II CPU.

CINT2006 (Integer Component of SPEC CPU2006):
Benchmark Language Application Area Description
400.perlbench
Programming Language  Derived from Perl V5.8.7. The workload includes SpamAssassin, MHonArc (an email indexer), and specdiff (SPEC's tool that checks benchmark outputs).
401.bzip2
Compression  Julian Seward's bzip2 version 1.0.3, modified to do most work in memory, rather than doing I/O.
403.gcc
C Compiler  Based on gcc Version 3.2, generates code for Opteron.
429.mcf
Combinatorial Optimization  Vehicle scheduling. Uses a network simplex algorithm (which is also used in commercial products) to schedule public transport.
445.gobmk
Artificial Intelligence: Go  Plays the game of Go, a simply described but deeply complex game.
456.hmmer
Search Gene Sequence  Protein sequence analysis using profile hidden Markov models (profile HMMs)
458.sjeng
Artificial Intelligence: chess  A highly-ranked chess program that also plays several chess variants.
462.libquantum
C
Physics / Quantum Computing Simulates a quantum computer, running Shor's polynomial-time factorization algorithm.
464.h264ref
Video Compression  A reference implementation of H.264/AVC, encodes a videostream using 2 parameter sets. The H.264/AVC standard is expected to replace MPEG2
471.omnetpp
C++ 
Discrete Event Simulation  Uses the OMNet++ discrete event simulator to model a large Ethernet campus network.
473.astar
C++ 
Path-finding Algorithms  Pathfinding library for 2D maps, including the well known A* algorithm.
483.xalancbmk
C++ 
XML Processing  A modified version of Xalan-C++, which transforms XML documents to other document types.

Although designed as a CPU-intensive benchmark, it’s important to note that SPECint2006 is officially labeled as “stressing a system's processor, memory subsystem and compiler.” The memory subsystem aspect is fairly self-explanatory – it’s difficult to test a CPU without testing the memory as well except in the cases of trivial workloads that can fit in a CPU’s caches – however the compiler aspect calls for special attention. As SPECint2006 is a cross-platform benchmark in the truest sense of the word, it’s impossible to offer a single binary for all platforms – especially platforms that had yet to be designed in 2006 such as ARMv8 – and, simply put, the moment you begin compiling benchmarks for different systems using different compilers, the performance of the compiler becomes a factor of benchmark performance as well.

As a result, and unlike many of the other benchmarks we run here, it’s important to note that compilers play a big part in SPECint2006 performance, and this is by design. Compiler authors can and do optimize for SPEC CPU, with the ultimate goal of giving the tested CPU the best chance to achieve the best possible performance in this benchmark; the compiler should not hold back the CPU. However in turn, all results must be validated, so overly aggressive compilers that generate bad code will be caught and failed. The end result is that in a cross-platform scenario with different binaries, SPECint2006 isn’t quite as apples-to-apples as our more traditional benchmarks, but it offers us a unique look at cross-platform CPU performance.

For our testing we’re using optimized binaries generated for Apple’s A8X/A9X SoCs and Intel’s Broadwell/Skylake processors respectively. The following compiler flags were used.

Apple ARMv8: XCode 7 (LLVM), -Ofast

Intel x86: Intel C++ Compiler 16, -xCORE-AVX2 -ipo -mdynamic-no-pic -O3 -no-prec-div -fp-model fast=2 -m32 -opt-prefetch -ansi-alias -stdlib=libstdc++

Finally, of SPECint2006’s 12 sub-benchmarks, our current harness is only able to run 10 of them on the iPad Pro at this time, as 473.astar and 483.xalancbmk are failing on the iPad. So the following is not a complete run of SPECint2006, and for the purposes of SPEC CPU are officially classified as performance estimates.

To start things off, let’s look at the Apple-to-Apple comparison, pitting A9X against A8X.

SPECint_base2006 - Estimated Scores - A9X vs. A8X
  A9X A8X A9X vs. A8X %
400.perlbench
25.0
14.1
78%
401.bzip2
17.6
11.5
54%
403.gcc
20.5
12.4
65%
429.mcf
18.7
N/A
N/A
445.gobmk
23.4
13.0
80%
456.hmmer
25.1
14.1
79%
458.sjeng
23.6
13.6
73%
462.libquantum
74.6
49.2
52%
464.h264ref
41.3
24.0
72%
471.omnetpp
10.3
8.0
29%

Unsurprisingly, A9X is leaps and bounds ahead here. The smallest gain is with 471.omnetpp, a discrete event simulator, where A9X holds a 29% lead. Otherwise A9X takes a significant lead, beating A8X by upwards of 80% in 445.gobmk, a Go (board game) AI benchmark.

Calling back to our iPhone 6s review for a moment, A9X has a much larger advantage vs. A8X with SPECint2006 as compared to A9 vs. A8 on SPECint2000. A good deal of this has to do with A9X’s significant clockspeed bump versus A8X, but at the same time this also illustrates how the newer SPECint2006 rates A9X and Twister even more highly than A8X/Typhoon. As we’ve seen time and time again, Twister is a much faster CPU core than the already fast Typhoon, and this is a big part of why Apple continues to top our ARM benchmarks.

Last but certainly not least however is our main event, A9X versus Intel’s Core M CPUs. As we’re finally able to run SPECint2006 on an Apple SoC, this is the first chance we’ve had to compare Apple and Intel CPUs using SPEC, so it’s exciting to finally be able to make this comparison.

At the same time this comparison not just for academic curiosity; as Apple has significantly improved their CPU design with every generation and has quickly moved to newer manufacturing processes, they have been closing the architecture and manufacturing gap with Intel. Twister and Skylake are fairly similar designs, both implementing a wide execution pipeline with a focus on achieving a high IPC, and in this latest generation of devices, coupling that with a fairly high 2GHz+ clockspeed. Over the years Apple and Intel have approached this problem from different angles – Apple built up from phones to tablets while Intel built down from desktops to tablets – but the end result is that the two have ended up in a similar place in terms of basic architecture design goals. Meanwhile from a manufacturing standpoint Intel is arguably still roughly a generation ahead with their 14nm FinFET process – naming aside, their transistors are smaller than TSMC’s 16nm FinFET – so Apple is the underdog from this point of view.

The burning question is of course is whether Apple’s CPU designs are catching up to the performance of Intel’s Core lineup, thanks to the continual iteration of architecture and manufacturing on the Apple side, versus the slower rate of growth we’ve seen over the last few generations with Intel’s Core lineup. The iPad Pro in turn finally gives us the opportunity to try to answer that question, as the faster SoC coupled with a form factor and TDP closer to regular Core M devices gives us the most apples-to-apples comparison yet.

To that end we have assembled a smorgasbord of Core M devices to compare to the iPad Pro and A9X SoC. Perhaps the most apple-to-apple comparison is the iPad Pro versus the 2015 MacBook; though approaching a year old, this is still Apple’s current generation MacBook, with our base model incorporating an older Broadwell-based Core M-5Y31. Also from the Broadwell generation we have an ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi, which uses a high-end Core M-5Y71, to showcase the performance of Intel’s highest clocked Core M processors. Finally, from the latest Skylake generation we have the ASUS ZenBook UX305CA, which incorporates Intel’s base-tier Core m3-6Y30 CPU.

Finally, it should be noted that to keep testing as close as possible, all of these devices are passively cooled, and that as a result all of these devices are also TDP/heat throttling though much of the SPECint2006 benchmark. Ultimately what we’re measuring here is not the peak performance of each system, but rather its sustained performance under the TDP limitations of their respective designs. If unrestricted, undoubtedly all of these devices would score higher.

SPECint_base2006 - Estimated Scores - A9X vs. Intel Broadwell/Skylake
  A9X Core M-5Y31
(2015 MacBook)
Core M-5Y71
(Asus T300 Chi)
Core m3-6Y30
(Asus UX305CA)
A9X vs MacBook %
Base/Turbo Freq 2.26GHz 0.9/2.4GHz 1.2/2.9GHz 0.9/2.2GHz  
400.perlbench
25.0
21.7
28.5
24.4
15%
401.bzip2
17.6
14.6
19.6
15.3
21%
403.gcc
20.5
22.8
31.1
28.2
-10%
429.mcf
18.7
35.9
46.7
38
-48%
445.gobmk
23.4
16.9
23.7
18
38%
456.hmmer
25.1
43.9
61.9
48.1
-43%
458.sjeng
23.6
19.2
26.1
19.3
23%
462.libquantum
74.6
292
476
409
-74%
464.h264ref
41.3
38.4
49.7
37.3
8%
471.omnetpp
10.3
16.3
23.7
20.6
-37%

As this is a fairly dense lineup I’m not going to call out every figure, but let’s focus on a few key areas. First, on A9X versus the Core M-5Y31 (MacBook), the advantage flips between each device as each test hits upon different strengths and weaknesses of each CPU’s architecture. Overall each device wins half of the benchmarks, however the Core M powered MacBook wins by a larger average margin. In other words, the iPad Pro is competitive with the MacBook depending on the test, however on average it ends up trailing in performance.

Relative to the MacBook, the iPad Pro does best in 445.gobmk, the Go benchmark, while its largest deficit is with 462.libquantum. The latter is a particularly interesting case as the benchmark is very easy to vectorize, giving us perhaps our best look at the vector performance of Twister versus Broadwell, and how well their respective compilers can actually vectorize it. The end result has the Intel platforms solidly in the lead here, hinting that Intel still has better vector performance at this time.

Shifting gears to the Asus ZenBook UX305CA and its newer Skylake based Core m3-6Y30, to little surprise Skylake closes the gap with A9X in the benchmarks where Core M was losing, and pulls further ahead in the benchmarks where it was winning. Despite this the two systems split the number of wins at 5 each, but in the cases where the ZenBook is winning it’s very clearly winning. Overall Skylake sees some decent performance improvements relative to the Broadwell CPU in our MacBook – with the exact gains depending on the test – allowing it to widen the gap compared to the A9X. Overall A9X is still competitive in specific scenarios, but on average it definitely trails the Skylake Core m3.

Finally, going back to Broadwell we have the ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi, which incorporates a high-end Core M-5Y71 processor. This is still officially a 4.5W TDP processor, and as a result this essentially measures Broadwell Core M’s best case performance. With a maximum CPU clockspeed of 2.9GHz as compared to the slower low-end Skylake and Broadwell CPUs, the T300 Chi unsurprisingly beats the iPad Pro in every single benchmark. At best the two are neck-and-neck with Apple’s best benchmark, 445.gobmk, but otherwise it’s a clear and very significant lead for Intel’s fastest Broadwell Core M processor.

In the end, what to take away from this depends on how you want to read the results and what you believe the most important CPU comparison is. As Apple doesn’t use multiple bins/clockspeeds of A9X processors, this muddles the comparison some since there’s a significant difference in performance between Intel’s fastest and slowest Core M processors, and at the same time Intel’s official list prices put every CPU except the top-bin Core m7-6Y75 at the same price of $281.

Ultimately I think it’s reasonable to say that Intel’s Core M processors hold a CPU performance edge over iPad Pro and the A9X SoC. Against Intel’s slowest chips A9X is competitive, but as it stands A9X can’t keep up with the faster chips. However by the same metric there’s no question that Apple is closing the gap; A9X can compete with both Broadwell and Skylake Core M processors, and that’s something Apple couldn’t claim even a generation ago. That it’s only against the likes of Core m3 means that Apple still has a way to go, particularly as A9X still loses by more than it wins, but it’s significant progress in a short period of time. And I’ll wager that it’s closer than Intel would like to be, especially if Apple puts A9X into a cheaper iPad Air in the future.

SoC Analysis: On x86 vs ARMv8 System Performance
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  • MathieuLF - Monday, January 25, 2016 - link

    Obviously you don't actually work in a real office where they require lots of specialized software. What's the point of having one device to complement another? That's a waste of resources. Reply
  • LostAlone - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - link

    Totally agree. For a device to really be useful on a professional level then it needs to be something that is useful all the time, not just when it suits it. If you already wanted a tablet for professional stuff to begin with (a pretty shaky assumption since pro users tend to be working in one place where proper keyboard and mouse are usable) then you need a tablet that can be the only device you need to work on. You need something that you can put in your bag and know that whenever you arrive somewhere you are going to have every single tool you need. And that is not the iPad Pro. It's not even close to replacing an existing laptop. It's certainly very sexy and shiny and the big screen makes it great for reading comics and watching videos on the train but it's not a work device. It's simply not. Even in the only field where it might have claim to being 'pro' (drawing) it's not. It's FAR worse than a proper Wacom tablet because the software is so hugely lacking.

    It's an iPad dressed up like a grown up device laying in the shadow of actual professional grade devices like the Surface Pro. You get a Surface then you can use it 24/7 for work. You can buy a dock for it and use it as your primary computer. You can get every single piece of software on your desktop plus anything your employer needs and it's easy for your work sysadmins to include it in their network because it's just another Windows PC. Just dumb stuff like iPads refusing to print on networked printers (which happens ALL the time by the way) exclude it from consideration in a professional space. It's a great device for traditional tablet fare but it's not a pro device.
    Reply
  • Constructor - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - link

    Your straw man scenarios are just that. In reality most users don't need every last exotic niche feature of any given dinosaur desktop software as a praeconditio sine qua non.

    Which you also might be able to deduce from the fact that most of those features had not been present on these desktop applications either when "everybody" nevertheless used them professionally even so.

    In real life the physical flexibility and mobility of an iPad will often trump exotic software features (most bread-and-butter stuff is very much supported on iOS anyway) where the circumstances simply call for it.

    Actual professionals have always made the difference notably by finding pragmatic ways to make the best use of the actual tools at hand instead of just whining about theoretical scenarios from their parents' basements for sheer lack of competence and imagination.
    Reply
  • kunalnanda - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    Just saying, but most office workers use a LOT more than simply notetaking, email, wordprocessor and calendar. Reply
  • Demigod79 - Friday, January 22, 2016 - link

    Software companies only create crippled, lesser versions of their software because of the mobile interface. Products like the iPad are primarily touch-based devices so apps must be simplified for touch. Although the iPad supports keyboard input (and have for years) you cannot navigate around the OS using the keys, keyboard shortcuts are few and far between and and it still has touch features like autocorrect (and of course the iPad does not support a trackpad or mouse so you must necessarily touch the screen). The iPad Pro does not change this at all so there's no reason why software companies should bring their full productivity suite to this device. By comparison, PC software developers can rely on users having a keyboard and mouse (and now touchscreens as well for laptops and hybrids) so they can create complex, full-featured software. This is the primary difference between mobile and desktop apps. Just like FPS games must be watered down and simplified to make them playable with a touchscreen, productivity apps must also be watered down to be usable. No amount of processing power will change this, and unless the iPad Pro supports additional input devices (at the very least a mouse or trackpad) it will remain largely a consumption device. Reply
  • gistya - Sunday, January 24, 2016 - link

    This is just wrong. There are many fully-fledged applications available on iPad. It comes with a decent office suite, plus Google's is free for it as well. I haven't touched MS Word in a couple of years, and when I do it seems like a step backwards in time to a former, crappier era of bloatware.

    Sure, I still use Photoshop and Maya and Pro Tools on my Mac, but guess what? iPad has been part of my professional workflow for four years now, and I would not go back.

    Ask yourself: is a secondary monitor a "professional tool"? Heck yes. What about a third or fourth? What if it fits in your hand, runs on batteries, and has its own OS? Now you cannot find a professional use?

    Give me a break. People who are not closed-minded, negative dolts already bought millions of iPads and will keep buying them because of how freaking useful they are, professionally and non-professionally. They will only keep getting more useful as time goes on.

    The main legit critique I've heard is a lack of availability for accessories but that's a production issue, not a product issue. iOS 9 has been out for only a few months and the iPad Pro much less than that... companies have to actually have the device in-hand before they can test and develop on it. Check back in another year or two if it's not up to speed for you yet though.

    That's what I did, waited for iPad 3, iPhone 3gs before I felt they were ready enough. 3gs for its day was by far the best thing out, so was the 4s. I don't think the iPad Pro is nearly as far back as the iPad 1 or iPhone 1 were when they launched but give it time...
    Reply
  • xthetenth - Monday, January 25, 2016 - link

    If you consider features to be bloat, I guess you could say that the iPad has full-fledged applications. It's not true, but you could say it. Actually trying to do even reasonably basic tasks in google sheets is horrifying next to desktop Excel. Things like straightforward conditional formatting, pivot tables, the ability to dynamically order the contents of a table and so on might strike you as bloat but they're the foundation of the workflows of people who make the program the cornerstone of their job. An extra monitor is a much better professional tool if it doesn't have its own special snowflake OS with different limitations and way of moving data. Reply
  • Relic74 - Saturday, February 27, 2016 - link

    The fffice suits available aren't fully fledged applications, they are still just mobile apps. I can't open 80% of my Excel sheets on the iPad Pro simply because it doesn't support Macros. Visual Basic and Databases. Stop trying to convince everyone that the iPad Pro is a laptop replacement, it's not. It's just a bigger iPad, that's all. Which is fine and has it's uses, but the only people who would use the iPad Pro as an actual computer are the same ones who could get by using a ChromeBook. A professional person could use the iPad Pro, yes but they would have a focused purpose, which means only a few specific apps, the rest of time would be spent on a desktop or laptop computer. It's a secondary device. Reply
  • Relic74 - Saturday, February 27, 2016 - link

    Their not crippled, just mobile versions and they have their uses. The problem I have with these comments is when someone says that the iPad Pro is immensely better than the Surface Pro 4. These are completely different devices intended for completely different tasks. These comparisons honestly need to stop, one doesn't buy a Surface Pro 4 to use as a tablet and vice versa. The iPad Pro is a content consumption device first and foremost. Yes there are some productivity apps and certain professions like a musician or an artist could take advantage of the iPad Pro's capabilities however it is not and I cannot stress this enough, is not a laptop replacement . Those that can use the iPad Pro as a laptop are the same types of people who can just as easily get by using a ChromeBook. The iPad Pro is a secondary device where as the Surface Pro is a primary device.

    IOS is just to limited in it's capabilities to be even considered as a standalone professional device. No, an Architect would not use the iPad Pro to design an house with, the Architect might use one to show off the plans to a client, mark down corrections with the Pencil. No, a programmer would not use the iPad Pro to develope on, he however might use one to create an outline of what needs to be done or even as a second monitor for his laptop. No, a musician would not use one to create his album with, he might use one as the brain for one of his synthesizer, a recording device, instrument, etc. it's a companion device, it's an iPad, nothing wrong with that but stop trying to convince everyone that it's some super computer with fantasy powers. Just the file system issue alone should be enough to tell you that the iPad Pro isn't really meant for connect creation.
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Friday, January 22, 2016 - link

    -- Modern software is very bloated memory consumption wise, especially software relying on managed languages, the latter are also significantly slower in terms of performance than languages like C or C++.

    well, that was true back in the days of DOS. since windoze, 80% (or thereabouts) of programs just call windoze syscalls, which is largely C++.
    Reply

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