System Performance

While the iPad Pro is important for some of its tertiary features, without the performance to back it up the user experience will inevitably suffer. In order to try and get an idea for how the iPad Pro performs as a whole we turn to our suite of performance benchmarks that stress a number of different areas including the CPU, GPU, memory, and internal storage.

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT 2015 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

In the browser benchmarks, it's quite evident that the iPad Pro is far and away superior for browser performance compared to almost anything else on the market today, save the latest Surface Pros. This can be attributed to a few factors. One factor is that Safari has a number of optimizations that most Android browsers don't. The other factor is that the Twister CPU in A9X is just better suited for dealing with intense JavaScript, which is heavily reliant on single-thread performance. As the A9X only has two CPU cores that mostly rely on ILP to get acceptable levels of performance, the iPad Pro ends up doing impressively well in these benchmarks. I've found that this is also reflected in real world browsing performance, as the iPad Pro is less likely to choke on some popular JS-heavy tech websites than other devices with Chrome or an OEM-optimized browser. Quickly checking EmberJS performance tells pretty much the same story here as well.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - System

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Memory

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Graphics

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Web

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Overall

In Basemark OS II 2.0, the iPad Pro pretty handily sets the record for performance by virtue of its GPU and CPU performance. For whatever reason there's some sort of hang-up in web browsing performance, which could be due to some sort of code path that doesn't respond very well to additional ILP. Whatever the case, performance isn't too far behind the iPad Air 2 here by virtue of higher IPC and clock speeds. Overall, the iPad Pro seems to be quite performant for everyday tasks.

SoC Analysis: CPU Performance System Performance Cont'd and NAND Performance
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  • Valantar - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - link

    I have to say I'm a bit confused by the large portion of this review comparing the iPad Pro to the Pixel C, all the while nearly neglecting the Surface Pro 4. You have a long section praising the pen experience with the Pencil, without a single comparison to the (included) Surface Pen? That's just weird. Sure, the SP4 runs a full desktop OS, but it's a far more natural comparison in terms of size, weight, power and compatible accessories. I get that not all of your reviewers can get access to every product, but for the sake of that part of the review, acces to a SP4 would have been essential.
  • Constructor - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - link

    I'm not defending this review necessarily, which is a bit odd and lacking in some regards, but there are various interesting Youtube demonstrations and reviews which make exactly that comparison.

    This is an interesting comparison of tracking accuracy and latency:

    This is from a designer's perspective:

    And comparing iPad Pro, Surface Pro 3 and Wacom Cintiq:
  • glenn.tx - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    I agree completely. It's quite disappointing. The comparisons seem to be cherry picked.
  • bebby - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - link

    What I miss in the discussion and review so far is the fact that google obviously does not yet support the higher resolution of the ipad pro for their apps. I wonder if there is intent behind that. It is very annoying as a user.
    Google is getting more and more important as a software/app provider but so far they have not been successfull with any of their hardware ventures (motorola, google glass, tablets, etc.).
    ipad pro would be perfect with working google apps.
  • Constructor - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - link

    Looks like Google doesn't want to be seen boosting the competition's platform even though that's where they make most of their money on mobile, ironically.

    (Can't say I'd miss any of their software, though. Apart from an occasional picture search I'm not using any of it.)

    Not that Apple is falling all over themselves in making software for other platforms either (even if they sporadically do, for their own purposes).
  • Zingam - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - link

    A Chargeable Pen? Apple's sense of humor never fails to amaze me!
  • Constructor - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - link

    Which other pen with the same capabilities (zero-calbration pixel-precise resolution + pressure + tilt + orientation, near-zero latency, near-zero parallax) a) even exists and then b) does not need its own power supply?
  • phexac - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - link

    The only way I would call this device "Pro" is if I could actually use it at work. I drive a bulldozer and, though I've tried, digging ditches with iPad Pro is terribly inefficient, and that's a problem that I don't see software makers fixing any time soon for a touch only device. Furthermore, the charging port has compatibility issues and would not accept the hose I use to refuel the bulldozer. To add insult to injury, you cannot sit on the iPad while using it! I couldn't help chuckling at the expectation that Apple apparently has for its consumers to either stand or kneel while SUPPORTING THE IPAD'S weight and trying to use it to move a mound of gravel at the same time.

    Finally, I have found in my experiments that even adding a keyboard to this device does not solve the problem. I have tried both the Apple iPad Pro keyboard and a Bluetooth one I could use wirelessly while sitting on a stack of cement bags. iPad lacks the basic ability to self-propel around the construction site and requires me to carry it from one task to another.

    Better luck next time, Apple! I will stick with my Caterpillar earthmover!
  • Constructor - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - link

    Yep. The exact same argumentation as above in many cases! B-)
  • althaz - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - link

    What I don't understand is the constant comparisons to the Surface Pro 3 - particularly in terms of the keyboard which changed quite significantly with the Surface Pro 4 (the pen also changed significantly).

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