Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > iPhone, iPod and iPad > iPad

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Mar 27, 2013, 01:48 PM   #1
ebedgert
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
iPad 3 vs. iPad 4 - which one?

I'm thinking of getting a second iPad to complement my iPad 2, which I like a lot. I have a lot of poorly supported apps on the iPad 2 (which runs 5.1) that I absolutely can't afford to have break when iOS is updated, and I want a second iPad anyway, so I'd like to get a refurbished iPad 3 or 4. (so at least I can use it as a test environment to make sure my apps don't break with new OS updates, plus the retina display would be nice too)

The sticking point is the iPad 4's price - plus the fact I'd have to invest in a new connector. But the iPad 4 is supposedly faster than the iPad 3, and I'd like that for the art applications I use. How much faster *is* the 4? Or would I be fine with a refurbished 3, which is about $60 cheaper than the refurbished 4?
ebedgert is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 27, 2013, 02:04 PM   #2
Skika
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Well if you want it for some time go with the 4.
__________________
MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone
Skika is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 27, 2013, 02:45 PM   #3
ThatsMeRight
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
The iPad 3 performs, graphically, 50% worse than the iPad 2 if you take the Retina display into account (because: Retina display has four times more pixels, but the A5X chip is only twice as powerful)
CPU-wise they are equal

The iPad 4 , graphically, is equal to the iPad 2. Why? The iPad 4's display has 4x as many pixels as the iPad 2, and the A6X chip is also four times as powerful as the A5 chip in the iPad 2.
CPU-wise, it's also twice as fast.
The iPad 4 also has: the new dock connector (so 'compatible' with any future Apple products), a better camera than the iPad 3, a better front-facing camera (FaceTime HD)
About A6X vs A5X: basically, you could say the A6X chip is just as powerful as 2 A5X chips combined.

I'd say: if the difference between an iPad 3 and iPad 4 is 'only $60', than go for an iPad 4. It's got better cameras, the new connector with a 12 W charger included, GPU is equal or sometimes better compared to the iPad 2 (all in full glory 2048 x 1536 resolution) and it's much more future-proof thanks to the powerful CPU that's twice as fast.

EDIT:
To clear some stuff up: the iPad 3 being relatively less powerful, doesn't necessarily mean performance always drops. There are basically three things that can happen:

1) Performance drops (lower framerates, image tearing)
2) Performance doesn't drop, because it's a very light game (like Angry Birds) and the GPU was never fully utilized
3) Performance doesn't drop, because the developer removed functionality and special effects (see image below)


Last edited by ThatsMeRight; Mar 27, 2013 at 05:17 PM.
ThatsMeRight is offline   7 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 27, 2013, 02:55 PM   #4
TacticalDesire
macrumors 68020
 
TacticalDesire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Michigan
For longevity sake I'd probably go for the iPad 4.
__________________
GSM Unlocked Moto X 16gb (Android 4.4.3)
ATT Nokia Lumia 520 8gb (Windows Phone 8.1)
Slate iPod Touch 5th Generation 32gb (iOS 6.1.2)
Slate iPad Mini 16gb (iOS 7.1.1)
TacticalDesire is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 27, 2013, 04:47 PM   #5
WeegieMac
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Glasgow, UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatsMeRight View Post
The iPad 3 performs, graphically, 50% worse than the iPad 2 if you take the Retina display into account (because: Retina display has four times more pixels, but the A5X chip is only twice as powerful)
CPU-wise they are equal

The iPad 4 , graphically, is equal to the iPad 2. Why? The iPad 4's display has 4x as many pixels as the iPad 2, and the A6X chip is also four times as powerful as the A5 chip in the iPad 2.
CPU-wise, it's also twice as fast.
The iPad 4 also has: the new dock connector (so 'compatible' with any future Apple products), a better camera than the iPad 3, a better front-facing camera (FaceTime HD)
About A6X vs A5X: basically, you could say the A6X chip is just as powerful as 2 A5X chips combined.

I'd say: if the difference between an iPad 3 and iPad 4 is 'only $60', than go for an iPad 4. It's got better cameras, the new connector with a 12 W charger included, GPU is equal or sometimes better compared to the iPad 2 (all in full glory 2048 x 1536 resolution) and it's much more future-proof thanks to the powerful CPU that's twice as fast.
What scaremongering, absolute nonsense. It's not a cut and dried 50% difference as you boldly claim.

Real Racing 3, running at a higher resolution on iPad 3 is not 50% worse performance wise than the iPad 2. And even the 4S, essentially the same spec as an iPad 2 with a smaller display to drive, has frame rate issues in the cockpit view in that game.

To the OP though, always go with the best device you can afford and if you want to keep the same device long term without upgrading, get the latest device. The iPad 3 was my first iPad, I waited until the 3rd gen (great decision in retrospect eh?) and after dropping 649 on the top end model at that time (64GB WiFi + Cellular) I'll be using my iPad 3 for some time yet.
WeegieMac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 27, 2013, 04:59 PM   #6
ThatsMeRight
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by WeegieMac View Post
What scaremongering, absolute nonsense. It's not a cut and dried 50% difference as you boldly claim.

Real Racing 3, running at a higher resolution on iPad 3 is not 50% worse performance wise than the iPad 2. And even the 4S, essentially the same spec as an iPad 2 with a smaller display to drive, has frame rate issues in the cockpit view in that game.
I am obviously talking about 100% utilisation of the GPU cores. In that case, the iPad 3 will perform 50% worse if you take the Retina display in account. Raw power.

Still, even if the GPU is not fully utilized, game performance on an iPad 3 is worse than on an iPad 2. Basically, the only time when you don't notice it is with the really 'light' games (think Angry Birds).

iPhone 4S is about 12% less powerful than the iPad 2, but the resolution is also 12% lower.
ThatsMeRight is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 27, 2013, 05:02 PM   #7
Han Solo 1
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by WeegieMac View Post
What scaremongering, absolute nonsense. It's not a cut and dried 50% difference as you boldly claim.
Agreed 100%. What absolute drivel.
Han Solo 1 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 27, 2013, 05:14 PM   #8
ThatsMeRight
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Han Solo 1 View Post
Agreed 100%. What absolute drivel.
There's only one thing: the iPad 3 is in raw power, if you take the Retina display, up to two times less powerful.

Of course, in real-world situations you won't always see such a huge performance drop. Why not? Sometimes, you're just dealing with simple games like Angry Birds: these kind of apps don't require that much power, so even with a relatively less powerful GPU they will run just fine.

In some other cases, performances does actually drop. Also, in other cases, the developer might decide to scrap some functionality (see image below).



In this game, you'll see that some special effects have been removed.
ThatsMeRight is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 27, 2013, 05:28 PM   #9
Han Solo 1
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatsMeRight View Post
There's only one thing: the iPad 3 is in raw power, if you take the Retina display, up to two times less powerful.

Of course, in real-world situations you won't always see such a huge performance drop. Why not? Sometimes, you're just dealing with simple games like Angry Birds: these kind of apps don't require that much power, so even with a relatively less powerful GPU they will run just fine.

In some other cases, performances does actually drop. Also, in other cases, the developer might decide to scrap some functionality (see image below).

Image

In this game, you'll see that some special effects have been removed.
Hmm. Perhaps not total drivel after all.

Well, in the end, I'm glad I have the 4, lol.
Han Solo 1 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 27, 2013, 10:51 PM   #10
raccoonboy
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Of course, you would love Ipad 2. Its so loveable. Everything about it is so balanced which is the best Ipad to date imo.

And why would u even consider getting discontinued Ipad 3? Its heated, battery is bad and for only 60 cheaper, Ipad 4 is a clear winner.
raccoonboy is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 27, 2013, 11:40 PM   #11
ixbilalxi
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatsMeRight View Post
There's only one thing: the iPad 3 is in raw power, if you take the Retina display, up to two times less powerful.

Of course, in real-world situations you won't always see such a huge performance drop. Why not? Sometimes, you're just dealing with simple games like Angry Birds: these kind of apps don't require that much power, so even with a relatively less powerful GPU they will run just fine.

In some other cases, performances does actually drop. Also, in other cases, the developer might decide to scrap some functionality (see image below).

Image

In this game, you'll see that some special effects have been removed.
Except in this game and others with demanding graphics you can turn on the non retina graphics and get all the special effects back.

Although I don't know who gets iPads based upon whether they get to see some insignificant smoke effects. Go worry about that on a gaming PC.

Every game is very playable on the Ipad 3 and I'm talking about all the new releases as well.
ixbilalxi is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2013, 02:29 AM   #12
Han Solo 1
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by ixbilalxi View Post
Although I don't know who gets iPads based upon whether they get to see some insignificant smoke effects. Go worry about that on a gaming PC.
I don't think that's his point. I think the point is the fact that the iPad 3 can't run the same effects with the same efficiency as the 2 suggests a lower output of power.

So the implication is that you are making a rather big trade off if you want retina when going with the 3. This trade off doesn't exist if you are going with the 4.
Han Solo 1 is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2013, 05:28 AM   #13
augustya
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatsMeRight View Post
What is this Game ? Which one is this ?
augustya is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2013, 08:44 AM   #14
mapledress
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacticalDesire View Post
For longevity sake I'd probably go for the iPad 4.
Yes, get the iPad 4 is a wise choice. The iPad 3 comes rocking a dual core A5X processor, with a quad core GPU. However, The iPad 4 packs Apple's latest A6X processor, which Apple says "doubles the performance of CPU tasks." You're better off buying the newer, more future device.
mapledress is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2013, 09:08 AM   #15
ebedgert
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Thanks for the responses. I should have been clear up front about what I intend to use the new iPad for - artwork. (I don't give a hoot about games.)

However, speed and power is relevant for most high-end art apps with the Retina display, because some apps are prone to lag, and I'm assuming a faster chip will keep that from happening.

I think your comments have nudged me toward the 4, at any rate. I know many people were unhappy with the 3 when it first came out.
ebedgert is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2013, 09:26 AM   #16
AppleRobert
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
I think there have been discussions about using an ipad for artwork. Maybe a search would help your choice, I do not remember the recommendation.

My choice regardless is the 4, I had a 3 and returned it.
AppleRobert is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2013, 10:00 AM   #17
akdj
macrumors 65816
 
akdj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Alaska
Quote:
Originally Posted by WeegieMac View Post
What scaremongering, absolute nonsense. It's not a cut and dried 50% difference as you boldly claim....

...I'll be using my iPad 3 for some time yet.
It's cool---your iPad 3 is an incredible piece of technology. I sold mine and took the hit to pick up the iPad 4. We've since also updated our business iPad 3s to the iPad 4s. They're definitely a bit quicker across the board. Is it able to be quantitively 'felt' as a specific percentage? Nah...but regardless of the task, it's quicker. Whether it's loading an app, populating an RSS reader (FlipBoard, Early Edition), surfing, loading sites, rendering a video or exporting a file...all the way around, it's definitely 'faster'. It's also a substantial upgrade to the fluidity of the UI, gestures and app switching. It's going to be most noticeable to you and I. Both of us being long time iPad 3 owners...as soon as you spend a day or two with the '4', you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. Dicking with one @ Best Buy for 10 minutes won't reveal the difference as well as spending real time with your real daily workflow for the differences to be apparent... To me, it's the same as the transition from the 4-4s...to the iPhone 5. The big 'processing' difference between the evolution of the iPhone '4' family to the 5 was big! Again...quite noticeable after being an owner for a long time then switching. That's when the differences are obvious. I like the different GPU differences shown by 'That's Me Right'. Pretty cool. But this only ONE area where the CPU/GPU of the iPad 4 shows it's prowess in comparison to the A5 family (iPad 2/3 and Mini...iPhone 4/4s).

That said---enjoy your iPad 3, you're right---it's Awesome!!! Easily the second best tablet on the market today (tied with the 'Mini' IMHO)


Quote:
Originally Posted by ixbilalxi View Post
Except in this game and others with demanding graphics you can turn on the non retina graphics and get all the special effects back.

Although I don't know who gets iPads based upon whether they get to see some insignificant smoke effects. Go worry about that on a gaming PC.

Every game is very playable on the Ipad 3 and I'm talking about all the new releases as well.
You're missing the forest through the trees (or is it the other way around? )
See my above response. Most folks don't decide just because of 'smoke effects' to buy the latest technology. I've owned both...and noticed many more pros to the iPad 4 vs my iPad 3s than just a couple of special FX. It was cool that he took the time to post those differences though, eh?

J
akdj is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2013, 11:03 AM   #18
Han Solo 1
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by akdj View Post
but regardless of the task, it's quicker. Whether it's loading an app, populating an RSS reader (FlipBoard, Early Edition), surfing, loading sites, rendering a video or exporting a file...all the way around, it's definitely 'faster'.
I have noticed this as well. I do a lot of exporting of large PDFs after annotating them, and it is a lot faster than the iPad 3. Websites do load faster as well, but I really mostly notice the speed in exporting of documents.
Han Solo 1 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 2013, 11:05 PM   #19
LatinaC09
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ohio
Wow! I just got the iPad 4 today coming from the iPad 2...and all I can say is wow! The screen is absolutely beautiful! Now I know what you guys are talking about with the rMBP....eventually I will make that switch as well but for now this iPad 4 is gorgeous!
LatinaC09 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 2013, 03:18 AM   #20
WeegieMac
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Glasgow, UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by akdj View Post
It's cool---your iPad 3 is an incredible piece of technology. I sold mine and took the hit to pick up the iPad 4. We've since also updated our business iPad 3s to the iPad 4s. They're definitely a bit quicker across the board. Is it able to be quantitively 'felt' as a specific percentage? Nah...but regardless of the task, it's quicker. Whether it's loading an app, populating an RSS reader (FlipBoard, Early Edition), surfing, loading sites, rendering a video or exporting a file...all the way around, it's definitely 'faster'. It's also a substantial upgrade to the fluidity of the UI, gestures and app switching. It's going to be most noticeable to you and I. Both of us being long time iPad 3 owners...as soon as you spend a day or two with the '4', you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. Dicking with one @ Best Buy for 10 minutes won't reveal the difference as well as spending real time with your real daily workflow for the differences to be apparent... To me, it's the same as the transition from the 4-4s...to the iPhone 5. The big 'processing' difference between the evolution of the iPhone '4' family to the 5 was big! Again...quite noticeable after being an owner for a long time then switching. That's when the differences are obvious. I like the different GPU differences shown by 'That's Me Right'. Pretty cool. But this only ONE area where the CPU/GPU of the iPad 4 shows it's prowess in comparison to the A5 family (iPad 2/3 and Mini...iPhone 4/4s).

That said---enjoy your iPad 3, you're right---it's Awesome!!! Easily the second best tablet on the market today (tied with the 'Mini' IMHO)

J
Yeah, I mean I'm not naive enough to ignore that the 4th Gen is a more powerful machine, but people seem to see the specs on paper and allow those to manifest themselves in first time impressions. Right now the 3rd Gen isn't "50%" slower than the 4th Gen, you can't use raw specs on paper and screenshots of extra smoke to scream, "It's twice as fast"!

The day will come, possibly soon with the release of iOS 7, where the 3rd Gen will begin to feel slower, in line with those specs on paper, than the 4th Gen. For now, thankfully, my 3rd Gen runs every app I throw at it very well and is fast in it's operation and I've no issue with iOS animations (stuttering animations annoy me, I cannot use my wife's iPhone 4 compared to my 4S). I've also never had any issues with excess heat, regardless of what I run on my 3rd Gen, although I never use it above 50% brightness ... too bright otherwise!

I waited until the 3rd Gen before taking the plunge on an iPad, and to some extent you could say given the circumstances which unfolded that I got burned. I opted for the top end model, at that time prior to the introduction of 128GB models, and I'm not going to go through the hassle of selling it via the likes of eBay or Gumtree to fund a 4th Gen.

I personally believe that there's no real benefit in 3rd Gen owners upgrading to the 4th Gen, I'd rather wait until the form factor changes and get a "real" update rather than a speed bump and new charging port. For some, that is enough of a reason to update, but even if I wanted to right now I have committed to paying for a bathroom refit and my wife would more than likely throttle me if I spent any of the budget on a new iPad less than a year after dropping 649 on one!
WeegieMac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 2013, 04:58 AM   #21
Mic'sBook
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Hong Kong
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatsMeRight View Post
There's only one thing: the iPad 3 is in raw power, if you take the Retina display, up to two times less powerful.

Of course, in real-world situations you won't always see such a huge performance drop. Why not? Sometimes, you're just dealing with simple games like Angry Birds: these kind of apps don't require that much power, so even with a relatively less powerful GPU they will run just fine.

In some other cases, performances does actually drop. Also, in other cases, the developer might decide to scrap some functionality (see image below).

Image

In this game, you'll see that some special effects have been removed.
Just out of interest:
What game is that? And why do the game developers remove some of the special effects with iPad 3?
Mic'sBook is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 2013, 05:30 AM   #22
WeegieMac
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Glasgow, UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mic'sBook View Post
Just out of interest:
What game is that? And why do the game developers remove some of the special effects with iPad 3?
It's NOVA 3.

On iPad 3 you can either run it at iPad 2 resolution with full effects, which results in a lesser resolution image due to it upscaling to the higher resolution screen of the iPad 3, or you can run it at full native iPad 3 resolution which looks razor sharp but removes the fancy graphical effects like smoke.

It's like the old PC resolution vs effects decision.

iPad 4 can run it full resolution with all effects, although oddly enough games like Real Racing 3 run full resolution with particle and reflection effects on the iPad 3 just fine.
WeegieMac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 2013, 07:29 AM   #23
Southern Dad
macrumors 6502a
 
Southern Dad's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: The Peach State
I was ready to get the iPad 4th Gen until I found out that Brandsmart had iPad 3rd Gen in stock at a substantial discount. Truthfully, I'm happy I got the 3rd Gen because of accessories that I already have with the 30 pin connector. I bought the 64 GB AT&T for $599 which would have run me $829 for the 4th Generation.
Southern Dad is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 02:21 PM   #24
Nick05
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Smile

If you're only saving $60 I say go with the newest one. If you can save $100 or more, consider the older one. I just bought a second 3rd generation with LTE because I was able to save $84 less than the refurbished price from Apple. That would put it significantly cheaper than a 4th gen.
Nick05 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 02:45 PM   #25
AppleDeviceUser
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebedgert View Post
Plus the fact I'd have to invest in a new connector.
It comes with a lighting cable do you mean an adapter for your accessories, if you do it only costs about $20, pretty cheap.
__________________
MBP Retina 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Quad core Intel i7, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1GB Mavericks Unlocked iPhone 5s 64GB Space Grey iPod shuffle 4th gen 2GB silver
AppleDeviceUser is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > iPhone, iPod and iPad > iPad

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Apple Launching Updated iPad Air in 2014, No 12.9-Inch iPad or New iPad Mini Until 2015 MacRumors MacRumors.com News Discussion 209 Jul 15, 2014 09:33 AM
All iPads: Upgrade from 3rd iPad to iPad Air, new iPad mini or wait for next iPads? Sven11 iPad 32 Oct 23, 2013 02:55 PM
Apple Drops Refurbished iPad Prices, iPad Mini Now Available for $249, iPad 4 for $379 MacRumors iOS Blog Discussion 16 Oct 23, 2013 09:53 AM
iPad Mini: iPad 5 And Retina iPad Mini Will Be Announced October 22. 13" iPad Maxi In The Works. vmaniqui iPad 1 Oct 9, 2013 03:51 PM
Trouble deciding: iPad mini vs iPad 2 vs Retina iPad? Do NOT get an iPad 2. ThatsMeRight iPad 27 Oct 28, 2012 02:26 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:03 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC