iPad Upgrade to iPad 3 or 4?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by $MacUser$, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    So I've been on an iPad 1 since launch. The paltry amount of RAM was an issue from the start, but one I've learned to deal with (more or less).

    I'm now at the point where I'm putting serious thought into an upgrade. With tax I'm looking at about a $130 premium for a new 4 vs a refurb 3 (which I consider new equivalent for all intents and purposes).

    So is the 4 worth it? I've heard the A6x called revolutionary and super fast while the A5x is more or less a glorified iPad 2 chip, yet the practical/real world speed tests I've seen show a minor speed difference between the two. And it seems my issues with the iPad 1 weren't really CPU related but rather memory related. Both the 3 and 4 have four times the RAM so this is a non-issue.

    I guess I'm wondering if the extra hundred+ will be worth it for future proofing, or if I should just go with the 3 knowing I'll probably upgrade in two or three years anyway? If it makes any difference about 99% of what I do on the iPad involves web browsing, reading and watching movies on HBO/Netflix. I game on PS3 and PC but never really got into it on iPad outside simple stuff like Angry Birds and the like.

    I'm leaning toward the 3 but I have a nagging concern the performance gap between the two might widen considerably with iOS updates on the horizon.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    #2
    I bought an ipad 3 at refurb price at Best Buy (check out stock online). You won't tell the difference with processor between this and the 4 no matter the benchmarks you see. The screen is the reason you get either one of them.

    Plus, all my accessories from previous ipads work. I've saved over a couple hundred not having to rebuy these.

    Ipad 3 is easily the better value.
     
  3. macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #3
    If you're going to upgrade in 2-3 years and are just doing basic stuff, you'll probably be fine with the 3. Keep in mind they're still selling the iP2 and the iPad mini, which contains the same internals, so it's unlikely they'll ship an iOS upgrade that will orphan millions of machines they've just sold so soon.

    Unless you're doing pretty intensive stuff, the only time you'll tell a truly discernible difference is loading stuff onto the machine. Otherwise, meh. When they introduced the 4, I'm sure 'processor is twice as fast (in synthetic benchmarks)' looked a lot better on the keynote slide than 'web pages load 1/2 second faster'. I also agree with the previous poster's observation about the screen being the primary reason to buy either one.

    If you think you'll be upgrading in another year or two, get the lowest specced model you can get reasonably use; the higher the specs, the more of a loss you'll take when selling it.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    #4
    Well, we're now three generations further and only now you believe you should upgrade. The next time you'll consider upgrading is when the iPad 6 or iPad 7 is out.

    My advice: if you intend to keep the device for several years, get the iPad 4. It's GPU is twice as powerful as the one in the iPad 3. The CPU is twice as powerful, and the iPad 4 is likely to get an extra year of iOS software updates. You're already stuck at iOS 5 with the iPad 1. Imagine next year, that you'll be stuck with iOS 7 on the iPad 3...

    Also, all that powerful hardware will ensure you that the software will continue running smooth.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    AppleWarMachine

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    #5
    It depends on your cash flow, but I figure for roughly only $130 more your going to get better performance, resale value and as previously mentioned an easier transition with future software upgrades.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    LOS ANGELES BABY!!
    #6
    I would get the iPad 4. I had the iPad 3 and I always thought from the time that i got it it was underpowered. it had trouble loading webpages and I was able to load the same exact page at the same exact time on my iPhone 5 versus my iPad 3 and the iPhone 5 beat it every time. It was very frustrating. I sold my iPad 3 and purchased the iPad 4 and found that the increase in efficiency in the processor was well worth it. Plus the iPad 4 has better cameras has a better Wi-Fi connection has more speed in terms of processor and I found that actually the battery life is better in the iPad 4
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    #7
    It has nothing to with cash flow..if that's a factor, he has no business upgrading. Resale? His cost is much lower so that means squat. You can barely see a difference in performance now. It's the same hardware as the 4 besides a more limited connector, slight processor bump, and slight front camera bump. Future iOS updates will apply to either one equally.

    Never buy based on some future you're not sure about.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    LOS ANGELES BABY!!
    #8
    You failed to mention the improvement in the Wi-Fi iPad 4 because it connects to both the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz Wi-Fi networks and the iPad 3 does not
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    #9
    IMO go for the 4. Fast processor, better wifi & lightning connector
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    j.dstasio

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    South Jersey
    #10
    I saw very little "real world" difference in performance between the iPad 3 & iPad 4. The major upgrades over the iPad 1 which you have currently are the Retina Display, LTE connectivity (if you need cellular capability), and the large bump in RAM. Both of the recent iPads have those features, so either would make a good choice.

    The only good reason I'd see to buy an iPad 4 over the 3 would be the probability of receiving future iOS updates. Has the lack of newer firmware been an issue thus far with your iPad 1?
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    No, from where I'm sitting it's primarily been the RAM bottleneck impacting everyday tasks. Truth be told I was ready to upgrade about a month after buying the iPad 1 but of course that was both impossible due to lack of a new model and impractical due to the amount of money spent. By the time 2 came out I'd adjusted to the 1st gen's shortcomings enough to tolerate it until some future update (512 still wan't enough for me to justify an upgrade).

    I'd like to think by now current generations (3, 4) aren't as arbitrarily limited as the original. Even still and truth be told, I'm not terribly unhappy with the iPad 1 to this day, but after getting some extended time with a Nexus 7 (a "cheaper" tablet in every sense of the word) I now know what I'm missing and know it's time for an upgrade.

    The choice between the two isn't so much a matter of a hundred dollars, it's more a matter of what I need. I could buy an SUV if I wanted to but I don't really need one, ergo I have a cheaper car that better suits my needs.

    A final question: iPad one went from iOS 3.2 to 5.whatever. I believe we're still on iOS 5, so I guess it's a safe bet I'll get to iOS7 and at least 2-2.5 years of good service out of the three?
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #12
    If you use accessories, get the 4. If not, get the 3...processor weakness is no big deal with a toy.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #13
    No, the iPad 2 already supported 2.4 and 5GHz WiFi (although this was not always clear from the specs).
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    #14
    The iPad 3 and iPad 4 are so similar it is hard to believe any iOS update to the 4 wouldn't apply to the 3.
     
  15. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #15
    I have a two, and I'm waiting until the five comes out so I can buy a cheap four.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #16
    For what you use it for, the ipad 3 is more than powerful enough. I'd personally get the 4 if I were you just for it's longevity/future proofing and resale value will be better in 2-3 year than the 3 IMO.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    #17
    This. iPad 4 bump in speed was enough for me to stop using my laptop. iPad 3 was slightly slower than my iPhone 5 and did not feel responsive enough. And As pointed above, it's not really $130 difference since resale value will be higher on iPad 4.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #18
    In terms of speed.

    iPad 4, iPhone 5,

    than

    iPad 3 (remember it has 1GB RAM also, same as iPhone 5/iPad 4).

    iPad 3 is marginally faster than iPad mini/iPad 2 cause it has to power higher resolution retina screen. So the 1GB ram helps along with better GPU than the iPad 2/mini but speed wise is marginally better.
     
  19. macrumors G5

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #19
    I agree, go with the iPad 4.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #20
    Alright guys, you convinced me. iPad 4 ordered. I guess I didn't consider the iPad 3's increased hardware specs over gen2 mostly go toward powering the screen. In the near term I'm sure it would've been more than adequate, perhaps maybe for the next few years, but why risk it over a hundred bucks? I'm upgrading from a machine [gen 1] that was inadequate out of the box so I guess it's better safe than sorry. At the absolute very least I don't have to fumble around with that semi-irritating, archaic 30-pin anymore. Well, not on my iPad anyway...

    ...you guys gonna convince me to upgrade from iPhone 4 to 5 now? ;)
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #21
    If you get an iPad 3 it will come with iOS 5.1.1, which is jailbreakable. No one knows when an untethered jailbreak will be released for iOS 6 for devices with A5 or newer chips.

    Trust me, having a jailbroken iPad will give you a completely new experience. Tweaks, customization,emulators, ability to connect unsupported BT game controllers, file management, safaris enhancements, and much more.

    It's like deciding between a chrome book and an actual computer.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #22
    ^^Not interested in any of that. The experience is just fine for me as it is. What the iPad cant do my air can.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    AppleWarMachine

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan, US
  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #24
    Personally newer is always better, especially if you can afford it, but unless you are doing really graphically or work related intensive tasks, then you should be perfectly fine with an iPad 3. That's what I have and the difference is barely perceptible in real world tasks.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    SeanR1

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #25

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