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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  • Jumangi - Saturday, January 30, 2016 - link

    Why wouldn't it? It's in a similar price range and is pushed as a "professional" device for use in business.
  • eNT1TY - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    I only owned the device for 3 weeks before returning it but i must say the apple pencil was fantastic. For my needs the ipad pro wasn't particularly any more "pro" than an ipad air 2 but combined with the pencil comes pretty damn close to being something special for graphics work though you are ultimately still not going to finalize/complete any work on it but you can get a hell of a start. File management sucks, like going around your ass to get to your elbow.

    But back to the pencil, it is amazing when the app takes full advantage. Adobe sketch is not that great even pen optimized but procreate is a different beast. The pencil has no perceptible lag, something even my wacom pro pen on my cintiq 27qhd can't claim and has more accurate angle recognition and doesn't distort drawing on the edges of the screen. Procreated is the real deal and much better at exporting a complex psd's than adobe's own. Adobe Draw fared a bit better than Sketch as far as responsiveness to pencil. uMake is no solidworks and is too basic and weak for a $15 monthly subsciption app but it felt intuitive with the pencil.

    I can wait for the pro 2, it will have a mature selection of apps by then and hopefully that newer version of ios will have better file management solutions. Man apple just needs to make a pencil compatible imac as well and stick it to wacom.
  • - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    It's interesting to compare A9X and Intel M. I am wondering if Apple has any data to back up its claim that A9X is faster than 80% of portable PCs released in the past year.

    I would like to see more info:

    1. Die size: A9X is 147 mm^2 while is 99 mm^2. So Intel may have an advantage here. But I am not sure if we can come to the conclusion that Intel has a cost advantage.
    2. Where's the GPU comparison?
    3. I don't trust Intel's TDP claim. It's better to include that in your power consumption test.
  • Constructor - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - link

    1. Processes are different, as are the respective chip designs on the whole (including what's on the chips), so the physical size doesn't say that much.

    2. In other tests. The A9X looks quite good in these.

    3. TDP doesn't say much about actual consumption in real life anyway. It only says how much heat the cooling solution will have to move away at maximum. Battery usage can still vary substantially even at the same nominal TDP if – for instance – one of the chips can do "regular work" at lower power than the other. TDP comes only really into play when the chips are ramping up to maximum performance and try to stay there.

    The CPU comparison part of this test is pretty sketchy. Not necessarily wrong, but likely disregarding crucial influences on the particular benchmarks (vectorization by the compilers being part of it).
  • rightbrain - Friday, January 29, 2016 - link

    Another useful comparison would be die size, since it gives a rough but real cost comparison.
  • Constructor - Friday, January 29, 2016 - link

    Not really, because densities are different and so are yields as well as process and SoC development costs.
  • ads2015 - Monday, February 1, 2016 - link

    Apple's SPEC06 option "-O3 -FLTO" not "-Ofast". All cases are ok
    and llvm has 30+% performance headroom for SPEC06.
  • Delton Esteves - Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - link

    Biased review.

    Ipad Pro

    No usb ports
    No display port or HDMI
    No memory card
    No Kickstand
    No pen included

    Is expensive
    No backlit
    No trackpad
    No function keys
    There is no place to rest the hand
    Very complicated to set up

    Ipad Pro runs a Mobile OS

    Summing up, Ipad Pro cannot be considered a Pro device, so, stop being a Fanboy. Surface Pro 4 wins
  • Crisisis - Thursday, February 4, 2016 - link "stop being a Fanboy" and "Surface Pro 4 wins". A new definition of irony.
  • Delton Esteves - Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - link

    "A new definition of irony". why do you think Ipad Pro is better? Justify?

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