iPad Mini 4 is gimped with A8?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Kendo, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    Basically the regular A8 is just an overclocked A7 with 30 and 60% performance jumps when the norm is 2x. Since the A8 is already a year old, will this eventually become like the iPhone 6 Plus and iPad 3? Is it best to wait for the next iPad mini 5 with A9? And I know Apple already skipped a revision with the iPad mini 3 (same processor as mini 2) and the iPad Air 2, but do you think we'll really have to wait 2 more years for an A9 mini?
  2. asleep macrumors 68040


    Sep 26, 2007
    Yes. 2017.
  3. Capt T macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2010
    If you are going to use it now, then get it. Or else you will always be waiting. The Mini 4 is a great device. Does not seemed gimped at all. Many improvements over previous versions.

    There will always be something better on the horizon. Any guess at when the next update will be is merely a guess from any of us.
  4. Kendo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    There will always be something better, but I was asking more in terms of best bang for the buck, or best bang for the time. iPad 3 is better than iPad 2, iPad Air is better than iPad 4, etc. but those were horrible products in terms of lasting efficiency.
  5. Epiphron macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2010
    We can't predict the future if that's what you're asking. Get it now if you need it now. If you don't need it now (which it seems like you don't), then don't get it.
  6. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    It's worth mentioning that the A8 in the Mini 4 is also clocked higher than the A8 used in last year's iPhones. That, combined with the doubled RAM (which makes split screen multi tasking possible) and improved display make it a significant upgrade over the Mini 2/3 in my opinion.

    Also keep in mind that we don't know Apple's future plans for the iPad Mini. Anyone who put off buying a Mini 2 because they were waiting for something even better in the Mini 3 was probably quite disappointed. For all we know the Mini 5 might just be a Mini 4 with 3D Touch and a Rose Gold option.
  7. iSheep5S macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2013
    I don't see why these questions are ever posted. No matter which you buy, use it and the resale will be good if you hop to the next iDevice.

    I will keep my Mini 2 till maybe the Mini 5 comes out and i get a good deal on the Mini 4.

    Example, the iPad 2 is on iOS9!!!! The iPhone 4s is on iOS9!!! Zero other companies offer this support on mobile devices.

    They are all relevant devices and will get the relevant updates like the Mini 3 and iPad 3 which were maybe the short run devices quickly replaced. The 2 year upgrade is great IMO.
  8. rkuo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2010
    It is in fact gimped (although still a decent upgrade) and I wouldn't pay apple's asking price. I'm going to wait just because either at some point I see the A9 version coming or the used prices reflect the true value.
  9. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    I absolutely could not agree more. Further, although it's not running an A9 or A8X, it's not exactly "gimped," if you look at the benchmarks. The upgrades vs. the prior three versions are huge and very worthwhile.
  10. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Disagree. The iPad 2 had real legs, better than either of its immediate successors because it's not trying to push a Retina display (unless you needed a Retina display, of course).
  11. Flow39 macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2014
    At the Apple Store
    The Mini 4 is great. If I were looking for a Mini, that would be the one. If there ever was a gimped iPad, it'd be the Mini 3. Same as the Mini 2, but with Touch ID and Gold!
  12. iOSUser7 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2014
    This. Could not have said better.
  13. 0003462 Suspended

    Dec 17, 2013
    My opinion is that iPads are on 2-year refresh cycles now and the A8/2GB RAM devices may be the first iOS devices that get 6 years of software support.

    Looking at A5 devices running iOS 9, the A8 mini will get updates up to the release of iOS 13 at least - September 2019.

    There is nothing obvious about the iPad mini 4 that is lacking. Touch ID, fully-laminated display, improved colour gamut, thickness and weight, A8, 2GB RAM, 8MP camera... All boxes have been ticked with this iPad because it won't be updated for a long time now, as with the iPad Air 2. The power is there, the low-hanging features are there. It doesn't need updating until 3D Touch offers new features and Pencil support trickles down.

    If the iPad mini 4 interests you, go for it now. The iPad Air 2 didn't receive a price drop after a year on sale. I imagine the iPad mini 4 won't either in a year.

    Similarly, the iPad mini 2 will likely stick around in the line up for a while yet; the A7 should be supported until 2018.

    Now is the perfect time to buy an iPad mini. The next perfect time will be in 2 years.
  14. IFRIT macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2012
    My ipad mini 2 is a still a great little tablet i can only imagine how much better the mini 4 is with the better processor and the doubling of RAM.
  15. Kendo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    What I meant was even though the iPad 3 and iPad Air might technically be than their immediate predecessors, they didn't have any "legs" as you mentioned. So you can't just say, "buy now if you need it." There is always a model that has real legs like the iPad 2, iPad 4, iPad Air 2. I feel like the mini 4 won't be one of them.
  16. rkuo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2010
    Not the same thing. The Mini 2 had the latest generation processor A7 and it was basically 100% faster than the A6. It also got the upgrade to a retina display. It was an awesome upgrade. This time the improvements are incremental in many areas and we're getting last year's technology that is only 20-25% faster than the A7.
  17. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Dunno about the Mini 4, only time will tell. I agree that the iPad 3 and 4 were, I am trying to find nice words, as the former owner of an iPad 3...well, never mind. ;)
  18. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    But you are getting 2GB of RAM, which is likely to be a huge factor going forward, and the display is a quantum leap forward to those of us who care about accurate color.
  19. rkuo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2010
    Yes I love the 2GB, but it isn't a huge factor right now and by the time it is, maybe the price of the mini on the open market will have fallen to a point where it's more worth the upgrade or we'll have an A9 version. Apps aren't written to use 2GB right now and the iPad Mini screen is by definition small and multitasking is less pleasant on it.

    The colors ... again, a nicety but difficult to notice in practice. I loaded up a few games side by side and compared the colors ... it's very hard to notice unless you find highly saturated reds, blues, yellows, etc. Obviously your mileage will vary.
  20. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Yes. Definitely gimped. Can't run half the apps in the AppStore.

    Oh, wait...
  21. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    Is there something you're trying to do on the mini 4 but can't (or it's really slow) because of the A8 processor? I use an iPad Air 2 running ios 9 every day and not once have I felt it was slow or had a hard time running apps. I would argue the 2GB RAM is a bigger deal than the A8 chip.
  22. rkuo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2010
    More like I can't convince myself to upgrade from the Mini 2. It's so close, but every time I ask myself one question. "How much better would this experience be if this was an iPad Mini 4?" And the answer is always "not much better".

    If the A8 had been a normal processor generation leap over the A7, I think I would have upgraded by now.
  23. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    I think you're too hung up with how much better the A8 is or isn't on paper. I think mobile processors are getting to the point where they don't need to double in performance every year because most people won't even notice. As others have said, the doubled RAM is really going to be what keeps the Mini 4 up to date in the long run. Now all of Apple's mobile product lines are sporting at least 2GB.
  24. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    If you are looking to use the device for the next 2 years or so - then get the Mini 4. If your horizon is longer, then the internals from 2014 maybe run out of gas by 2018. In any case, I wouldn't pay Apple's asking price for the Mini4, I'd look for deals during this upcoming holiday season.
  25. davygee macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2015
    Saltcoats, UK
    Even although the Mini 4 is just out, it does feel like last years tech. What seems apparent is that Apple is pushing the iPad refresh cycle into a 18 months to 2 year cycle. I was surprised at the time when Apple released the Mini 2 and the Air at the same time with the same processor (A7), albeit, the Mini 2 was clocked slightly lower. They have obviously decided that they want to create 3 distinguished layers of iPad experience. The Mini, the Air and the Pro. The Pro effectively got the chip that should have normally went into the Air 3 this year, hence the reasoning why an Air 3 wasn't released.

    It now looks like the Mini 4 won't be refreshed until 2017, while the Air may get a new lick of paint early next year, but agree with others stating that iPad's are being movied onto a near 2 year cycle.

    With regards to the Mini 4, it's a good machine, but is it worth the extra money up from the Mini 2, or what you can pick up the Mini 3 for? I don't think so. You could probably get an Air 2 for the same price as a Mini 4.

    And if we are looking at a longer refresh of models (ie every 18-24 months), then we are likely going to see huge processor changes after 2 years than only 1, but what seems likely is that the iPhone will lead the charge with the better processor, while the iPad's will be getting the previous years tech.

    So in Spring 2017, we are more likely going to see a Mini 5 with an A9, while the Air will have the A9X and the Pro will get the new A10X.

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