GPU Performance

On the GPU side of things the iPad Air 2 seems to have a GX6650, which should provide a healthy boost to GPU performance when compared to the GX6450 in the A8. Apple has placed a strong emphasis on gaming for their iPad line, so there are some obvious comparisons to be made between NVIDIA's Tegra K1 and the A8X as well. To test this, we use a suite of benchmarks that can give a good idea of real world gaming performance.

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Overall

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Graphics

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Physics

BaseMark X 1.1 - Overall (High Quality)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Dunes (High Quality, Offscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Hangar (High Quality, Offscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Dunes (High Quality, Onscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Hangar (High Quality, Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Offscreen)

In practice, while we see that the A8X's GPU is extremely close to Nvidia's single Kepler SMX across the board, with the sole exception of 3DMark which seems to be due to the dependencies present in the physics test that dramatically lower the overall score. NVIDIA's Tegra K1 seemed incredible for its GPU performance earlier this year, so it's just as surprising to see Apple successfully rival NVIDIA in this area. Of course, GPU performance is a function of both peak performance and sustained performance, so we'll have to look at the GFXBench battery rundown test to get the full picture here. If Apple can deliver far superior performance and battery life in such a situation, it's pretty clear that the jump to 20nm will be critical to pushing the limits on what's possible in a mobile device.

NAND Performance

As we've seen before on some tablets, poor storage performance can cause major issues with the overall experience as I/O pauses can far exceed just a few frame drops that one might expect from cases of UI lag induced by insufficient performance elsewhere. In order to attempt to quantify this performance we use a custom utility developed by Eric Patno. While such testing is far from a complete look at performance, this can give a rough idea of what to expect.

Internal NAND - Sequential Read

Internal NAND - Sequential Write

Internal NAND - Random Read

Internal NAND - Random Write

Overall, it seems that Apple does quite well on the storage tests. It seems that the iPad Air 2 shares its storage solution with the iPhone 6. While I don't have an iPad Air on hand for testing, it should match quite closely to the iPhone 5s. This represents a generally high-quality NAND solution, but as mentioned before random I/O could stand to improve a bit. Compared to most of the lower-cost Android tablets it's definitely as good as it gets though.

CPU Performance Battery Life and Charge Time
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  • hughlle - Friday, November 7, 2014 - link

    iOS may not be perfect..

    Damned right. The nexus 9 could offer half the performance of this and i'd still pick that due to no other reason than iOS.
    Reply
  • Desusenam - Friday, November 7, 2014 - link

    Indeed, exactly the reason I just bought a Nexus 9. That and not needing to install iTunes.
    However, I'm still annoyed I can't yet buy the cover for the Nexus 9. When I bought the iPad 2, it came with the cover I bought at the same time. I can see why some people like the Apple experience...
    Reply
  • dmunsie - Friday, November 7, 2014 - link

    You do know that you don't need iTunes to setup and use an iOS device anymore, right? Been that way since iOS 5 (2011). Reply
  • Desusenam - Friday, November 7, 2014 - link

    Cheers, I had no idea, I must be someone companies really like, they get a bad experience, go somewhere else and never look back... Reply
  • darwinosx - Friday, November 7, 2014 - link

    Most Android users have no idea.

    ITunes hasn't been required in years.
    Reply
  • Tikcus9666 - Friday, November 7, 2014 - link

    until you install an update that bricks the device, then you need a pc or mac with itunes to fix it....
    iOS 8.0.1 update anyone
    Reply
  • svan1971 - Friday, November 7, 2014 - link

    um other than just itunes and a pc to fix a bricked apple device, how about listing the items required to fix an android device thats been bricked? Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Friday, November 7, 2014 - link

    On WIndows Phone, I just press two buttons and it un-bricks itself. Reply
  • sprockkets - Saturday, November 8, 2014 - link

    "On WIndows Phone, I just press two buttons and it un-bricks itself."

    Then your phone wasn't bricked.

    Nokia has tools just like everyone else that runs on a pc to fix a phone. Except Google's can be fixed with macs and Linux.
    Reply
  • akdj - Thursday, November 27, 2014 - link

    And with iOS, you can fix on a Mac, Windows PC OR Linux!
    & you're coreect. A pair of buttons doesn't (un)brick a phone of any make, model, manufacturer or OS
    Reply

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