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
POST A COMMENT

408 Comments

View All Comments

  • FunBunny2 - Saturday, January 23, 2016 - link

    -- It's by now become a quasi-religious belief system for some that "mobile devices cannot ever be used for any professional purposes whatsoever!".

    despite what some think, Apple didn't invent the tablet. warehouses and manufacturers (when the US had them, of course) have used tablets with 802.11, and earlier protocols, for decades. all Apple did was create a consumer version.
    Reply
  • Constructor - Saturday, January 23, 2016 - link

    A "version" which "consumers" (apparently intended as a belittling epithet by you) can use, but the whole point is that it's not limited to that. Reply
  • akdj - Monday, January 25, 2016 - link

    "You will still never be able to fit Photoshop's whole interface and abundance of options and menus into the tablet in a way that the user is easily able to reach them, without scrolling through pages of big buttons."
    Huh. Wonder why folks. The professional ones, for years have been buying Wacom tab companions to their 'workstation' specifically FOR PS, And EXACTLY for the reasons you outline, the ability to have precision touch and capacitance/tactile feel and response of real pencil or pen to paper. Some of these Wacom Photoshop controllers cost several times the price of the iPP for YEARS, & the iPP has its computer built in! No need to add a 'workstation'
    You must've been hiding under a rock the last ½ decade. You've CERTAINLY not visited the App Store in some time. Adobe, Autoideskk Microsoft and the BIGGEST makers of "Content Creation" software are currently devoting MORE resources to mobile programming and development than their 'workstation' counterparts.
    The 'big brow box' filled with diseases,; viruses - malware, adware, & the ilk's days are numbered. They're already on their way out of MANY folks' homes and offices being replaced by ultra books, passively cooled and ultra low voltage with ultra high efficiency is all the rage today. Battery life > 5 extra FPS, usability and funtionality > pure power, lotsa RAM, and expensive CPU and GPUs. Portability and the ability for 'instant on' access to their tab or phone > waiting til home, turning the power on, waiting for the boot. Opening PS (a slowly dying program with a phenomenal amount of alternatives on an iPad and iPhone and iDevice -- been that way for years, now with Adobe on board, their CreativeCloud suite offers a plethora of companion apps capable of ALL CS6's abilities as it's designed to aggregate and integrate with 'your' CC assets allowing for MOST editing ANYone will ever need on the iPad ...especially now with the display's ability to work with such an excellent active stylus and it's near direct comparison to Wacom's line of ...apparently unnessasary PS instruments and tools over the last decade or two those 'productive individuals' have made many millions of dollars in publishing? Now an AIO system with its OWN computer built in - a massive community of developers, independent to Adobe, friend next door or Autodesk themselves --- any software company interested in future survival in the industry is devoting more resources than ANY point in history to mobile dev. It's why MS, Adobe and AD were all there at the iPP unveiling. ALL demonstrating some phenomenal --- and yes, PROfessional use-case applications and software. I'm not a doctor but downloaded the examples shown at its unveiling of the Human Body atlas and AutoCAD --- its mind blowing how easily and flue to the iPad is able to manipulate such extensive detail and graphic overlays (nervous, muscular, skeletal, circulatory system overlays --- in any combination and with the ability to manipulate the direction you're looking at at a consistent 60fps) are MUCH better teaching aids - and learning that ANY static text book

    Whether you ARE creating, flying a jet filled with passengers, entertaining a couple thousand folks at a concert, controlling inventory or filing your flight plan a personal pilot --- and probably 100,000 other occupations have been made significantly easier to accomplish, with less weight, more time away from the charger and 110v. That's what people need, want and are looking for. Unfortunately for Apple, they're making their iPad 'too well' --- as I've got the original, and an iPad 2 that both work, hold a charge and last as long as the Day I bought them six and five years ago respectively this year.
    I also own the Air 2 and iPP and both have significantl impacts on my business I've run for nearly thirty years, successfully and exponentially dropping 'weight' every decade or so with something as capable as the always on, always connected and never a concern with battery life --- as the iPad is, easily replaces hundreds of dozens of crates of vinyl records! All while weighing about as much as a single - double record LP.

    So, to summarize at the end of the day if you're a Photoshop user, you just got an incredible tool to augment your worlflow, make your photographic post production easier, organization and metadata handling, batch alteration or editing and aggregation of your library, metadata in tact and ready for post when you get home. No more off loading memory cards, organizing memory cards, redundantly dumping them for redundant/backup purposes and all the other BS that goes into using a dinosaur of a program FEW truly NEED for their projects.
    Today, Adobe offers a ½ dozen "Photoshop" apps on iOS. Along with drawing, marking PDFs, even Premier and AE capture and integration (w/motion) - the options are becoming more extensive everyday, Adobe's just rewrote their entire app library and replaced each app for even better continuity for those still needing PS's tools or Acrobat's abilities beyond the $3, $5, $10 alternatives ...some, like Pixelmator, cross platform with ANY & EVERY PS tool the average layman could dream of --- available - @ the cost of a single month rental of PS/Lightroom 'rental'. And not just for hobbyists. Spend some time at DPreview.com to see the PS competition OR see Adobe's subscription tactics to maintain revenues.

    It's not just a super powerful tablet. It's that and so much more thanks to an extensive and larger library of accessible software already matured to the point the App Store is - all in one place and all reasonably priced. Best prices and selection of software in history is currently more convenient and organized than ever and it's in the App Store

    As devs have only had single GB of RAM, slower SoCs and smaller displays to program to over the last six years, even the Air 2 & 6s line of iPhones seems HUGE right now with double the RAM, graphics and compute. Double it again and you've got tether iPP. I'm already seeing apps available for Air 1/Mini 2 - 5s or A7/64bit iPads and newer to run the app.
    As a daily user of the iPP for two months --- so many of your goofy statements make no sense, shout ignorance and beg to be straightened out --- but there's always a few schills around these parts beating an incredible product down while the masses of us are enjoying it!
    Silly Murloc. What is it that makes YOU a Pro, and why is it YOUR job wouldn't be made easier or convenient with a tablet?
    Reply
  • jlabelle - Thursday, January 28, 2016 - link

    " now with Adobe on board, their CreativeCloud suite offers a plethora of companion apps capable of ALL CS6's abilities as it's designed to aggregate and integrate with 'your' CC assets allowing for MOST editing ANYone will ever need on the iPad"

    a very big big rant that just fall flat because of false premises. The claim above is a good example : simple case that most photographers need : Can I develop my RAW files on an iPad ?
    When I mean developing, it is the normal basic reasons why you are shooting RAW in the 1st place : 1/ work in 16 bits mode so that you can push shadows / pull highlights and work on color without posterization ; 2/ apply automatically the lens correction (distorsion, CA, vignetting, ...) and 3/ have a color managed workflow (take into account the color space of the RAW file, have a calibrated display...)
    The answer is ... drums rolling : you can NOT.
    And you do not need a CS subscription to do that on a Surface, you can just purchase once Capture One Pro, DXO Optics... what you want. So what you can do with a Windows tablet, you simply cannot on an iPad Pro.
    This is just one example but the same is true for a list so long that it makes no sense to try argue against that.
    Reply
  • Gastec - Monday, January 25, 2016 - link

    A gamer you would know what Pro moniker means.
    It goes like this: "I'm a Pro, gamer or whatever" meaning "I'm a big shot, a slick, better and cooler that you". And that's what iPad means when it says it's "Pro" :)
    Reply
  • KPOM - Friday, January 22, 2016 - link

    What do we need all the ports for? Most people, even in offices, can get by with wireless networks and printing these days. Reply
  • xerandin - Saturday, January 23, 2016 - link

    Quadro* Reply
  • rabastens23 - Friday, January 22, 2016 - link

    "Performance is better than a high end workstation from 10 years ago, a system which was capable of running professional tasks which are still nowhere to be found on mobile platforms."

    That's sort of an odd claim - what are those tasks, exactly? And if it's not a performance issue, why do you need an iPad Pro to do them?
    Reply
  • ddriver - Friday, January 22, 2016 - link

    Design, engineering, content creation. Basically every scenario that involves making something professionally rather than consuming something.

    Nobody needs a ipad pro to do this, point is the device is powerful enough for such tasks, and it would be nice if there was the software for it, in order to make that device truly PRO as in useful to professionals and not "pro" as in an empty marketing BS.
    Reply
  • lilmoe - Friday, January 22, 2016 - link

    DUDE. Software is NOT the only thing the iPad "Pro" is missing for it to be a Pro tablet. Get this through your head.

    The hardware is lacking even if it were much more powerful. The OS is also lacking.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now