All iPads Is the iPad half the performance than an iPhone? (3Dgraphics)

ventuss

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 9, 2011
363
9
The iPad Air 2 has a huge CPU and GPU performance over the iPhone 6, but until last year both the iPad Air and iPhone 5s shared the same A7 chip.

My question is, the iPhone 5s had a much smaller resolution than the iPad Air, and modt games on the App Store says "optimized for iPhone 5". Does that mean that until the new A8X the iPhone Air would run all games at 30% or less performance than the iPhone?

Let me give you an exemple: The Wolf Among Us didn't run so smooth on my old iPad 4, but was it going to run 30% or more better on an iPhone 5?

I'm just curious because until the Air 2 both iPhone and iPad would share the same processor, but with the iPad having a much higher resolution.
 

XTheLancerX

macrumors 68000
Aug 20, 2014
1,908
781
NY, USA
The iPad Air 2 has a huge CPU and GPU performance over the iPhone 6, but until last year both the iPad Air and iPhone 5s shared the same A7 chip.

My question is, the iPhone 5s had a much smaller resolution than the iPad Air, and modt games on the App Store says "optimized for iPhone 5". Does that mean that until the new A8X the iPhone Air would run all games at 30% or less performance than the iPhone?

Let me give you an exemple: The Wolf Among Us didn't run so smooth on my old iPad 4, but was it going to run 30% or more better on an iPhone 5?

I'm just curious because until the Air 2 both iPhone and iPad would share the same processor, but with the iPad having a much higher resolution.
"Optimized for iPhone 5" just means that the app has been updated to fill the full 16:9 aspect ratio of the iPhone 5. Back when the iPhone 5 came out, many apps had bars at the top and bottom of the screen because they weren't updated for the new screen size. "Optimized for iPhone 5" just means it will fill the screen size. Nothing to do with performance. However a performance edge may exist whether the app was "optimized for iPhone 5" or not, it's just because in every situation the iPhone 5 has less to handle, even though the iPad 4 has a slightly more beefy chip.

iPhone 5S does have a bit of an edge over the iPad Air, mini 2, and mini 3 because they share the same chipset, yet the iPhone doesn't need to handle as much in terms of screen resolution.

Gonna give a little lesson here, it is going to be a bit long so bear with me.

One thing to consider is when comparing the A7 to the A6X, they have the same amount of GPU cores. An A5X/A6X chip means that it has added GPU cores compared to the regular A5 or A6 to help graphical performance due to the high resolution screen. The regular A5 chip has 2 GPU cores. The A5X has 4 GPU cores, the A6 chip has 3 GPU cores while the A6X has 4. The regular A7 chip has 4 GPU cores so making an A7X was unnecessary. Plus improved architecture and 64 bit improved performance over the A6X. Despite all that though, the iPad Air, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3 struggle a bit with the graphically demanding translucency in the UI of iOS 8. On top of that, the A7 only has 1GB of RAM. 1GB of RAM on a 64 bit chipset along with a 2048x1536 screen is bad news. I think Apple learned from this and returned to the "X" series chips for iPads. The regular A8 chip has 4 GPU cores, 2 CPU cores, 1GB of RAM and 2 billion transistors, it's clocked at 1.4GHz. A8X has 8 GPU cores, 3 CPU cores, 2GB of RAM, 3 billion transistors, and it's clocked at 1.5GHz I believe. So the iPad Air 2 has a huge edge over the iPhone 6 in terms of GPU cores, CPU cores, clock speed, architecture, and amount of RAM. It sort of is needed though since it has a much higher resolution screen.

Unless the iPad has a complete overkill processor like the iPad Air 2, it will always be slightly less in performance compared to its iPhone counterpart. It is just how it is because of the screen resolution.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G4
Jul 18, 2011
11,605
9,125
Singapore
How many games actually fully maximise the specs of the newest iOS devices? The ipad2 is still around and supported, and any game that still runs on an A5 chip will have no problems running on a A7 processor with 1gb of ram.

Not many game developers are going to kill their sales by targeting only users with the latest devices.
 

XTheLancerX

macrumors 68000
Aug 20, 2014
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NY, USA
Thanks XTheLancerX, you helped a lot :)
Oh it's no problem!

My real world day to day usage of the devices in question reveals nearly identical performance. Close enough for my purposes. :)
Yeah, most people will find that this is the case. However, the iPhone 5S is probably our best example of an iPhone that has an edge over its iPad counterpart because they have the exact same processor but more or less pixels to push depending on the device. Most iPad Air, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3 users spot little to no difference in performance, but I personally see frame drops all the time when playing around with the UI. I am kind of jealous of those who can't spot frame drops very well because they can use their iPads in peace without this "UGH is my iPad underpowered??? Did I make a mistake buying *this* generation of iPad??" sort of thing hanging over their heads all the time.
 

jonnyb098

macrumors 68030
Nov 16, 2010
2,715
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Michigan
A huge part of the reason developers have to support old A5 devices is that Apple has kept them around waaaay too long. He iPad 2 just got retired and the iPod touch needs to either be updated or die. Otherwise those of us wit the latest and greatest will rarely see full potential being utilized for gaming.
 

RebornProphet

Suspended
Nov 3, 2013
988
484
Oh it's no problem!


Yeah, most people will find that this is the case. However, the iPhone 5S is probably our best example of an iPhone that has an edge over its iPad counterpart because they have the exact same processor but more or less pixels to push depending on the device. Most iPad Air, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3 users spot little to no difference in performance, but I personally see frame drops all the time when playing around with the UI. I am kind of jealous of those who can't spot frame drops very well because they can use their iPads in peace without this "UGH is my iPad underpowered??? Did I make a mistake buying *this* generation of iPad??" sort of thing hanging over their heads all the time.
Ah, a fellow sufferer! :D

While most of what you say is spot on, what I wanted to say is that the iPad Air handled all the transpacny effects just fine in iOS 7, but it's two new ones in particular that cause th Air a little ... trouble.

The first, which has been partially fixed on iOS 8.3 is the stutter as the keyboard slides up from the bottom while activating Spotlight. The blur effect fading in also stuttered a little, but on iOS 8.3 b1 the keyboard and fade in blur is smooth but the fade our blur animation still has a little stutter.

The one that gets me though is Safari in landscape mode. Visit any webpage, then while in the page tap the address bar and watch the animation of the address highlighting and sliding left as the keyboard comes up on screen.

The stutter or sluggishness in the animation as the address slides left is a little annoying and its down to the transparency of the keyboard, address bar and most of all he Favourites/Bookmarks box that appears. On iOS 7 this box didn't appear, which mirrors Yosemite's UI, wasn't present.

Oddly enough in Portrait mode the same animation is far smoother.
 

iamMacPerson

macrumors 68030
Jun 12, 2011
2,743
863
AZ/10.0.1.1
iPhone 5S does have a bit of an edge over the iPad Air, mini 2, and mini 3 because they share the same chipset, yet the iPhone doesn't need to handle as much in terms of screen resolution.
The iPhone 5s, iPad Mini 2 and 3 share the exact same chipset with each other, however the A7 in the iPad Air is a bit different. The A7 in the Air actually has a bit more in common with the AxX series then the regular A7. First off it has an IHS like the X-Series processors. Secondly the processor is clocked at 100MHz faster (1.3 vs 1.4GHz) then the regular A7 (not much I know, but still a difference). Third, the A7 in the Air is not actually a full SoC. SoC means that it would have RAM, GPU, and CPU all in one chip along with the caches, however the Air's RAM is actually located outside the A7 chip on the logic board.

Now this doesn't give it much of a performance boost, but it's not the same A7. Here are the Benchmarks according to Geekbench:

iPad Air: 1469 (Single Core), 2656 (Multi Core)
iPhone 5s: 1398 (Single Core), 2518 (Multi Core)
iPad Mini 2: 1379 (Single Core), 2483 (Multi Core)
iPad Mini 3: 1350 (Single Core), 2405 (Multi Core) (Touch ID slows it down?)

Of course this has nothing to do with the iPhone 5 screen optimization the OP was talking about (which has solely to do with the 16:9 screen like you said), but I just thought it was worth mentioning.
 

XTheLancerX

macrumors 68000
Aug 20, 2014
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781
NY, USA
Ah, a fellow sufferer! :D

While most of what you say is spot on, what I wanted to say is that the iPad Air handled all the transpacny effects just fine in iOS 7, but it's two new ones in particular that cause th Air a little ... trouble.

The first, which has been partially fixed on iOS 8.3 is the stutter as the keyboard slides up from the bottom while activating Spotlight. The blur effect fading in also stuttered a little, but on iOS 8.3 b1 the keyboard and fade in blur is smooth but the fade our blur animation still has a little stutter.

The one that gets me though is Safari in landscape mode. Visit any webpage, then while in the page tap the address bar and watch the animation of the address highlighting and sliding left as the keyboard comes up on screen.

The stutter or sluggishness in the animation as the address slides left is a little annoying and its down to the transparency of the keyboard, address bar and most of all he Favourites/Bookmarks box that appears. On iOS 7 this box didn't appear, which mirrors Yosemite's UI, wasn't present.

Oddly enough in Portrait mode the same animation is far smoother.
Yeah the stutter in this situation is extremely annoying. It stutters a lot in portrait, even though it's better than landscape. What's weird is that I sometimes see very slight stutter in this animation even with increase contrast turned on. Oh, and do this. Tap the URL bar in landscape, split the keyboard, (make sure increase transparency is off so the normal translucency stuff is in effect) type something in the URL bar so there are many results, and then use control center, or do anything, really. It lags at about 15fps! It's really sad. The odd thing is that it still stutters with increase transparency enabled! The iPad 2/3 perform this same thing almost perfectly smoothly because they have translucency disabled. Really sad that a 4 year old iPad lags less than a 1 year old iPad in that regard.

The fact that that still lags with translucency disabled clearly shows that a lot of this is due to horribly done code. Our A7 iPads could be smooth but Apple just decided to make iOS 8 a huge mess, apparently. If iOS 9 doesn't adress this lag surrounding translucency, I don't even know what I will think. I will be quite angry/annoyed, that's for sure. I think they will try and fix UI lag though since they at least paid attention to it a little in 8.3 with the spotlight animation being smoother. Not perfect, but it's still an improvement nonetheless based on how you described it.
 

RebornProphet

Suspended
Nov 3, 2013
988
484
There was indeed talk online that the A7 in the Air is an A7X but for copyright reasons Apple couldn't use the term A7X due to the band Avenged Sevenfold.

----------

How many games actually fully maximise the specs of the newest iOS devices? The ipad2 is still around and supported, and any game that still runs on an A5 chip will have no problems running on a A7 processor with 1gb of ram.

Not many game developers are going to kill their sales by targeting only users with the latest devices.
I've been saying this for years now. These devices are so powerful and refreshed so often that Developers never get to push the best out the latest chipset before its replaced.

Well we're over a year into the life of the iPad Air and the best looking game I've ever seen on iOS only launches three days ago.

AG Drive, a quite gorgeous F Zero clone that rattles along at a ridiculously solid 60fps and has the kind of visuals that's used to launch consoles. The game needs to be seen in action to be believed.

http://youtu.be/xF-sBQG_bgg
 

XTheLancerX

macrumors 68000
Aug 20, 2014
1,908
781
NY, USA
The iPhone 5s, iPad Mini 2 and 3 share the exact same chipset with each other, however the A7 in the iPad Air is a bit different. The A7 in the Air actually has a bit more in common with the AxX series then the regular A7. First off it has an IHS like the X-Series processors. Secondly the processor is clocked at 100MHz faster (1.3 vs 1.4GHz) then the regular A7 (not much I know, but still a difference). Third, the A7 in the Air is not actually a full SoC. SoC means that it would have RAM, GPU, and CPU all in one chip along with the caches, however the Air's RAM is actually located outside the A7 chip on the logic board.

Now this doesn't give it much of a performance boost, but it's not the same A7. Here are the Benchmarks according to Geekbench:

iPad Air: 1469 (Single Core), 2656 (Multi Core)
iPhone 5s: 1398 (Single Core), 2518 (Multi Core)
iPad Mini 2: 1379 (Single Core), 2483 (Multi Core)
iPad Mini 3: 1350 (Single Core), 2405 (Multi Core) (Touch ID slows it down?)

Of course this has nothing to do with the iPhone 5 screen optimization the OP was talking about (which has solely to do with the 16:9 screen like you said), but I just thought it was worth mentioning.
Yeah I knew the A7 in the iPad Air was different, clocked at 1.4GHz vs 1.3. I did not know, however, that it was *that* different. Just thought it was the same A7 but clocked slightly faster. The performance differences are still minuscule, though. All the lag problems I see on my mini 2 are there on my friends air.
 

Closingracer

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2010
3,472
1,372
The iPad Air 2 has a huge CPU and GPU performance over the iPhone 6, but until last year both the iPad Air and iPhone 5s shared the same A7 chip.

My question is, the iPhone 5s had a much smaller resolution than the iPad Air, and modt games on the App Store says "optimized for iPhone 5". Does that mean that until the new A8X the iPhone Air would run all games at 30% or less performance than the iPhone?

Let me give you an exemple: The Wolf Among Us didn't run so smooth on my old iPad 4, but was it going to run 30% or more better on an iPhone 5?

I'm just curious because until the Air 2 both iPhone and iPad would share the same processor, but with the iPad having a much higher resolution.
Huh? Only last year was they ever using the same chip. Of I remember they always used A#x chips in the iPad model over the A# chip in the same phone released that Yea r