Chances of iPad 3 Quad Core?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by w00t951, Aug 9, 2011.


Will the iPad 3 include a quad core CPU?

  1. Yes. That would be godly.

    14 vote(s)
  2. No. Innovation sucks.

    11 vote(s)
  3. Screw you for adding another iPad 3 thread.

    35 vote(s)
  1. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Before anyone flames me for posting another speculation thread, at least listen to what I have to say.

    1) The iPad is the one product Apple has left (other than iPods) that holds an almost-monopoly in its category. Very little people buy tablets other than the iPad. Now that the first Android quad core tablets are set to appear with Kal El in September, the iPad can't afford to be left behind.

    2) The iPad is the first choice for businesses, should they require an ultra-portable computing solution. Currently, they're used in doctor's offices to take notes, in conference rooms to view PPTs, and other less powerful roles. If the iPad is loaded with a quad core, people could take advantage of the incredible horsepower available to perhaps write EKG apps, or mobile MRI imagers. A quad core would make the iPad much more practical for professional applications.

    3) Old iOS apps will run just as well on a single core A4 as they will on one core of a quad core A6. iPad 2 apps will run just as well on 2 cores of the 4 core A6. If the dev wishes to, they could employ the quad core horsepower to write more complex and intensive apps.

    4) Given the 2048x1200 displays and matching ultra-res icons that Apple's been playing with, I think it's reasonable that Apple will be adding a high resolution display to the iPad 3. In order to drive this display, a quad core processor with an upgraded GPU will be needed.

  2. beamer8912 macrumors 65816

    May 30, 2009
    Doubtful. Heat one thing, expense another.

    Look for a higher clocked A5 (dual-core).
  3. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Number of cores don't matter.

    It's the software efficiency that counts.
  4. w00t951 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    If you scaled down the quad core, it could produce less heat and consume less energy. Then when you use an intensive app you could increase clock speeds or re-enable another core.
  5. Apple... macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2010
    The United States
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    50/50 :cool:

    I don't see the point though.
  6. PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    Higher clock speeds, more cores, and improved overall architecture and efficiency on processors is always nice. However, how useful that is really depends.

    The iPad2 hasn't shadowed the iPad1 in terms of performance. I doubt the iPad3 will shadow the iPad2, which will mean the iPad1 will still be decent. However, I could be wrong... maybe the iPad 3 or iPad 4 will end up being that 'leap' technology... you know, the increment that shadows all previous tech in a very obvious way.

    I don't care if the next iPad is dual-core, triple-core, quad-core, hexacore, or what-have-you. As far as the processor, graphics, memory, etc goes, I simply hope that it's an improvement, and works well. I obviously hope that they'll be making as much of an improvement as possible.

    The difficulty with any iPad release is that Apple has to maintain some consistency. What I mean by that is this: If Apple releases the iPad 3 with capabilities which far exceed the previous iPads, it's going to need apps that take advantage of that power (or else the power is useless). However, there are so many previous iPad users (iPad 1 & iPad 2) who might not switch to the iPad 3 immediately (within a year), so it will be difficult to get app developers to make apps specifically for the iPad 3 (why make an app for just the iPad 3 when you can make it for the iPad 1, 2, and 3 maximizing your target audience). Of course the argument can go in the other direction (maybe there will be TONS of new iPad 3 users who are really hankering for a new iPad 3-only app, so an app developer would want to jump on that). Anyways, the gist of it is that the iPad 3 could take a leap.... or it might not.

    I don't think the real point of the iPad is extreme power though. I think innovation, fun new features, improvement on the physical feel / look of the device, decreased weight, improved battery life... etc... those are the primary things. I could be wrong. I always love my devices to be more and more powerful in terms of internals.

    Anyways, I voted I don't care for a quad-core in an iPad.
  7. beamer8912 macrumors 65816

    May 30, 2009
    It's possible, but unlikely. There have been a couple reports of heat issues, and in general we don't know much about the chips Apple is producing.

    Apple isn't one to be at the bleeding edge of hardware, they never have been. Instead they maximize their software to work as efficiently as possible. This is why the user experience is so great. It's the software, not the hardware.

    I'm not sure why you need a quad-core anyways. It's not like the iPad 2 is slow. It can already view MRI/EKG/CT etc.
  8. w00t951 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I know my 1st gen iPad feels slower and less usable every day, especially with 256 MB of RAM.
  9. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    I don't think it will matter.

    Even if all android tablets are 'quad core' and the iPad is the only one that isn't, who cares?

    If that's their selling point, then they've blown in.

    It's easy for geeks like us to forget that normal people just don't care about that stuff.

    Quad Core, dual core, RAM, GHz, Flash.... etc.... 99% of people just don't give a ****.

    I'm sure Apple will take that step at some point, maybe even next year, if they manage to keep costs down, remember they want to keep the iPad cheap so loads of people can buy them.

    But as far as the iPad getting left behind because it's not quad core, it just won't happen.

    If the iPad gets left behind, it will be because another platform offers a better experience than the iPad, both in apps and at an OS level.

    Android seem to be chucking the highest specs at their OS trying to make it a good experience, rather than developing the software to be more efficient.

    Plus its support through the life of the product, the iPad first gen is getting IOS5. Do you think the Xoom will get Android 4.0?? Or the Samsung Galaxy 10.1?? Did enough people buy them to warrant the time that goes into that?

    And if they are, when will customers get the update?? After Samsung has messed about with it, covering it up with its skin??

    Anyway, what we're we talking about? Quad Core?

    Yeah, I don't think it will matter
  10. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
    Doesn't matter. As long as Apple can make the hardware and software goes well together. That's the reason to buy Mac or iDevices :D
  11. spiderman0616 macrumors 68040


    Aug 1, 2010
    My feelings exactly.

    Back when I was a big PC gamer, I cared about how many cores I had, how fast they were, how much RAM I was using, RPM speed on my hard drives, etc. With Apple stuff, you don't really have to care. Even if they don't change the physical hardware too much, the performance and efficiency will improve. If they can't get a quad core to run efficiently and not kill the battery, they won't put it in there.

    If you spend your whole day processing video, you should worry about what's in your machine. If you are doing most of your computing on an iPad, you don't need to worry about any of that.
  12. interwebs macrumors member

    May 26, 2011
    Oh great, another one of these :rolleyes:

    iPad competes primarily on the strength of its platform, which includes hardware but is driven more by UI, apps, integration, this sort of thing. Hardware sets an upper bound for those other attributes in terms of functionality but, so long as it hasn't reached that point (it hasn't), hardware is not of major relevance to what drives sales for this device.

    You have no basis for claiming one way or another whether the current hardware is incapable, or on the converse whether nVidia's Kal-El is capable, of running such applications. The form of your argument here is more or less spurious conjecture -> tenuous application of the conjecture to two objects -> strong claim without warrant.

    Reiterates your argument above but more generically. What apps are missing? Who would use them? Without a process shrink and a move to a new architecture the major functional aspect of such apps would be lousy battery life.

    I think there is a good chance that iPad 3 will have a higher resolution display, but I don't think it will be coming this year nor do I think it will run on nVidia's part (or anything equivalent). In order to maintain the same (or better) user experience as before (battery life, heat, size), it would need to be based at a minimum on Cortex-A15, if not including PVR's next gen part. That would put it roughly around Spring 2012.

    We need some sort of large thread to consolidate posts like the OP's into. There was no need for a separate thread on this.
  13. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2008
    It's hard to say, though I do think much more powerful hardware will be required to run a large "retina" display that we hear so much speculation about.

    Apple won't go beyond their needs though, if a higher clock rate A5 with better graphical output and more RAM supports retina and keeps iOS running smoothly then they'll go for it.

    I highly doubt they'll go quad-core just to keep up with their rivals.
  14. Sydde macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
    Thing is, iOS is designed to allow developers to write platform-agnostic code that will make optimal use of however many cores the processor has. Hence, a program can be written to run well on one core, better on two and even better on four with very little effort on the part of the author. If they are planning on implementing at least the option of rich multi-tasking, more cores might help with this as well.

    But the other way to enhance performance is offloading some of the heavy lifting to the truck: improving the utility of the GPU (e.g., making it a GPGPU) would go a long way toward obviating the need for more cores, at a lower development cost (more cores leads to geometric increases in design complexity).

    If Apple goes quad just for the numbers, the will be wasting their time and capital competing according to someone else's rules. They may not even raise the clock, unless it is adjustable rate for better battery life.

    Apple's bottom line often turns out to be good for the customer too, even if the specs look less than cutting-edge.
  15. AppleTech22 macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
  16. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Put me down for "maybe". I think a faster dual-core chip would make more sense. More cores is always good, but most software won't benefit much.

    Dual core was good, because it meant we could run our apps at full speed while there's spare power to handle email checking and stuff in the background without slowing down a game or whatever. Quad core won't really help there, so it's only the high-end apps that can max out both of the current cores that will benefit.

    As to any 'retina' iPad: it needs more GPU power, not CPU. We don't draw graphics on the CPU any more :) The current GPU is dual core, I expect that to go to quad (or even octocore) if the screen goes high res. The current GPU scales well and supports many cores, so this isn't much of an issue aside from heat, space and cost.
  17. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    Not in this cycle ...

    4 core are for iPad 4 ...
  18. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    iPad 3 will prob go quad core, at least GPU wise. SGX543M4 probably, to drive retina resolution.

    And no it won't be out before March 2012 ;-)
  19. LagFighter macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    As a software developer, I can tell you right now that apps aren't written with specific processor and core usage in mind. To the average programmer, that concept is abstracted.

    I don't mind believing that iPad 3 will have a quad core processor, but claims that it will be released this calendar year are ludicrous. Apple would essentially be shooting themselves in the foot to release two significant iterations of a product like that in the same year. iPad Pro, I can see, with specific marketing towards photographers and video editors, but even then it's a stretch.

    I know you want the latest and greatest as an upgrade to your first generation iPad, but please take common sense into account.
  20. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    There's a snowballing effect to people's expectations here that is surely setting people up for disappointment. So far people anticipate a "retina" display, quad-core processor, HD front and rear cameras, doubling of storage and better battery life - oh, and all for $499.

    What you will see in next year's iPad 3 will be considerably less.
  21. Apple... macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2010
    The United States
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    I don't know...all that seems fairly likely. :cool:
  22. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    This proves my point.
  23. Apple... macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2010
    The United States
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    You're on. :cool:
  24. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    They don't care about specs, but they do care about how those things affect their day-to-day usage. They don't care about processor speed, but they do care about waiting for complex games and apps running slowly. They don't care about RAM, but they do care about checkerboard patterns and tabs reloading in Safari. 99% of people don't give a ****... until they do.

    Back on topic, you might not care about quad core, but go back a couple of years and change quad to dual. Now if you don't think it matteres imagine doing everything you do on your iPhone 4, but on the iPhone 3G.

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