iPad How long is A9 chip gonna hold up?

ssledoux

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2006
2,252
1,411
Down south
My grandkids have various different pads. Gave oldest an Air 3 for his birtbday late summer, 3 have 6th gens, 1 has a 5th gen, and the 2 youngest have mini 4s.

One wants a mini and I ordered her a mini 5 because her younger brother stepped on and cracked her 6th gen. I was gonna sell the 6th gen and just take what I could get, but I can get a new screen put on locally for $119, so I‘m going to repair the 6th gen, and either return the mini, OR keep it for her and pass the 6th gen to the granddaughter that has the 5th gen. That would give all the older grandkids pencil support at least.

However, part of me just wants to repair the 6th gen, return the mini and just call it a day. I just figure if that A9 is gonna start really sucking in the near future, I may as well suck it up and keep the mini now.

What do you guys think?

Oh and just another thing to throw in the mix is whether said granddaughter will wind up truly enjoying a smaller iPad after having a regular size, although I’d honestly LOVE to get all the kids back to minis now that the mini 5 is out. It’s just such a great size for kids - doubt I could get my grandson on board though; he LOVES that Air 3!
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,346
4,334
The Air 2 with A8X is starting to show its age but even that is still a darned sight better compared to the iPad 2/3 on iOS 8-9. It's gotten a bit slow but still better than simply tolerable.

I expect lack of RAM on the 5th gen is gonna make itself felt but I expect about 3 more years of good to decent performance from it (so up to 2022 or iOS 15 if it's still supported).
 

parker5011

macrumors regular
May 17, 2018
168
161
My grandkids have various different pads. Gave oldest an Air 3 for his birtbday late summer, 3 have 6th gens, 1 has a 5th gen, and the 2 youngest have mini 4s.

One wants a mini and I ordered her a mini 5 because her younger brother stepped on and cracked her 6th gen. I was gonna sell the 6th gen and just take what I could get, but I can get a new screen put on locally for $119, so I‘m going to repair the 6th gen, and either return the mini, OR keep it for her and pass the 6th gen to the granddaughter that has the 5th gen. That would give all the older grandkids pencil support at least.

However, part of me just wants to repair the 6th gen, return the mini and just call it a day. I just figure if that A9 is gonna start really sucking in the near future, I may as well suck it up and keep the mini now.

What do you guys think?

Oh and just another thing to throw in the mix is whether said granddaughter will wind up truly enjoying a smaller iPad after having a regular size, although I’d honestly LOVE to get all the kids back to minis now that the mini 5 is out. It’s just such a great size for kids - doubt I could get my grandson on board though; he LOVES that Air 3!
Moved my daughter from a full sized iPad to a mini and she loved it. Way easier to carry and travel with.
 

Richard8655

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
1,236
603
Chicago
The Air 2 with A8X is starting to show its age but even that is still a darned sight better compared to the iPad 2/3 on iOS 8-9. It's gotten a bit slow but still better than simply tolerable.

I expect lack of RAM on the 5th gen is gonna make itself felt but I expect about 3 more years of good to decent performance from it (so up to 2022 or iOS 15 if it's still supported).
I'm hoping your assessment holds up, which I don't doubt. I have 2 5th gens as the main workhorse iPads in the household, and they perform and function wonderfully. The longer the better, of course. The memory of the short, sad, and miserable life of my iPad 3 will always be hard to forget.
 

AutomaticApple

macrumors 68040
Nov 28, 2018
3,978
1,366
Massachusetts
My grandkids have various different pads. Gave oldest an Air 3 for his birtbday late summer, 3 have 6th gens, 1 has a 5th gen, and the 2 youngest have mini 4s.

One wants a mini and I ordered her a mini 5 because her younger brother stepped on and cracked her 6th gen. I was gonna sell the 6th gen and just take what I could get, but I can get a new screen put on locally for $119, so I‘m going to repair the 6th gen, and either return the mini, OR keep it for her and pass the 6th gen to the granddaughter that has the 5th gen. That would give all the older grandkids pencil support at least.

However, part of me just wants to repair the 6th gen, return the mini and just call it a day. I just figure if that A9 is gonna start really sucking in the near future, I may as well suck it up and keep the mini now.

What do you guys think?

Oh and just another thing to throw in the mix is whether said granddaughter will wind up truly enjoying a smaller iPad after having a regular size, although I’d honestly LOVE to get all the kids back to minis now that the mini 5 is out. It’s just such a great size for kids - doubt I could get my grandson on board though; he LOVES that Air 3!
The A9 will probably be able to handle iOS 14, but not iOS 15.
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,346
4,334
Could be. But I'm predicting IOS 15 will run on A9, but likely as the last version. Apple has much improved performance compatibility for their older devices.
Probably less so on optimizations. Rather, the chipsets actually had power to spare.

Consider the A9 on the iPad 5 is 8x as fast as the A5X on the iPad 3. The A8X on Air 2 is 6x as fast single-core and 7.6x multi-core as the iPad 3. That's just the CPU. The GPU performance gap is exponentially bigger.

Meanwhile, A8X to A12X is just 2.8x single-core and 4.3x multi-core and A9 to A12X is just 2x single-core and 4x multi-core.
 
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