Maintaining Graphics Performance & Retina - 2012 too early?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Piggie, May 22, 2011.

  1. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    Feb 23, 2010
    #1
    Been wondering about this.

    I'm sure we've all seem sample screens in the news now that are showing, in the lab displays with twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of the current iPad.

    What Apple will no doubt refer to as a "Retina Display" as it's the phrase they have termed for this type of thing.

    Seeing that we got a quite reasonable speed-up in GPU/GPU speed between iPad1 and 2, thought I get the feeling yet, it's not being taken advantage of very much yet as I've not heard in the news about any stunning games than play horribly on iPad1 due to it's lack of power.

    Anyway, given a "Retina Display" would mean 4x the amount of pixels to throw around. That's a major jump in anyone's books.

    I know this is speculation here, but at only 10 months away, do you think They will be able to develop it to the point of offering iPad2 speed/performance and at the same time moving four times the pixels around the screen at the same high speed.

    Whilst the extra resolution is lovely, I don't think many would accept the iPad3 to be slower than the iPad2 in exchange for the screen hike, and I don't think Apple would want the "iPad3 slower than iPad2" reviews either.

    If anything, naturally, they would want to bring this new screen AND hike up the performance, even if it was only something small like 10%, 20% etc. It would give them something to shout about.

    "Not only is the screen 4x as good, it's faster also"

    Even if only by a little bit.

    Which I suppose, does make me wonder. Is it still being a bit hopeful that a low power tablet chipset will be up to this task by next March, or might another year have to go by before we are there?
     
  2. ani23 macrumors 6502

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    #2
    This might be a dumb way to think but my thought is. If it worked for the iPhone it should work for the iPad.
     
  3. RafaelT macrumors 65816

    RafaelT

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    #3
    I think there is a very good chance that we will see a retina display in the next iPad. They should be on to the A6 by then and with all these higher res screens coming out I think it is very likely.
     
  4. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

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    #4
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I don't remember where I read but it was said that iPad 2 has nine-times the GPU speed of iPad 1 so that should give enough power to drive a retina screen on the same level as iPad 1.
    In addition some spec bumps on the CPU side are always possible as Apple can control the chip design. Higher frequency ? A quad core ? Why not ...
     
  5. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #5
    High-end System-on-a-Chip designs in 2012 are going to feature ARM Cortex-A15 processors and ImgTec Series 6 "Rogue" graphics.

    That's what I would expect from the iPad 3.
     
  6. Piggie thread starter macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    Feb 23, 2010
    #6
    9 times sounded good, but let's just say it was careful use of the term "9 times"

    Rather the phrase "up to 9 times" and that 9x would only be 9x on probably one very unrealistic and narrowly focussed benchmark.
    Without doubt it's quicker, but reality is not quite the same as what was said.

    I personally hope we do Get the quadrupling of the current res, and also at the same time we get, even a little bit of an overall speed up. I'm just wondering how much of a price will have to be paid to get this spec.

    You don't generally get something for nothing, so perhaps I'm worried there may be some negatives in the race to quadruple the screen.

    I know we are all, or mostly all expecting the new screen early next year, I'm looking forward to it myself.
     
  7. HardLuckStories macrumors regular

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    #7
    This has been discussed in length before, search 'why ipad2 doesn't have retina display' and the likes.

    Long story short the amount of processing power to drive those pixels will suck the battery dry in no time. Unless battery tech gets a boost then it's not happening. Techs there, batteries aren't.
     
  8. Piggie thread starter macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    Feb 23, 2010
    #8
    I didn't think the batteries were a problem really.
    After all it's just a backlight, even if there is one or one trillion pixels, it's still the same backlight to power.

    I take it you mean the GPU needed to shift that many pixels around will require a lot of power, and hence is why we don't see such screens on Macbooks for example?

    Yes, I can fully accept that, and I suppose it's why I'm wondering if the tech needed for such a project will be possible in 10 months time as there does not appear to be any real improvements in battery tech coming along. Tweaks here and there, but nothing dramatic.

    I think the current iPad2 performance, and the 10 hour batter life are things Apple are going to have to not drop below for future models.
     
  9. HardLuckStories macrumors regular

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    #9
    I can't locate the thread, it was only a couple of months ago around the ipad 2 launch, if someone can then please post link.

    Yes GPU power requirements for all those pixels is not feasible and I don't see that changing unless they find more room inside for bigger battery (smaller components).
     
  10. Piggie thread starter macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #10
    Well, I can't see that happening as the battery is physically as big as it can be really. Energy density can and will improve of course over time.

    By the tone of your words, you appear to be coming across as saying you don't believe the 4x increase in the number of pixels will take place as early as next march time.
     
  11. HardLuckStories macrumors regular

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    #11
    I'm just a spectator! I have no idea, but those that contributed to the thread of why the iPad 2 was not higher resoloution seemed knowledgeable and their arguments sound.

    From what I've read it's not as simple as quadrupling pixels the resources to do so are outwith the iPads design at present. So no I think it highly unlikely there'll be a retina display in the next 12 months, not to say it wouldn't be fantastic if they did. Apple has billions in the bank but is limited to components that are available to them.
     
  12. Piggie thread starter macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #12
    Indeed, I do feel some people have the illusion that Apple are some kind of magical chip design company that can do things no-one else can, when the cold truth is, they make pretty cases for mostly off the shelf components and then write some nice software to tie it together.
     
  13. HardLuckStories macrumors regular

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    #13
    Well they make the processor or something, or they bought someone that does. Everyone would appreciate so called 'retina' on iPad, but cost/physics dictates otherwise.

    Wish I could find that thread, spent 45mins using macrumors search facility and woe betide. Time to get google search, sure that threads been covered too :)
     
  14. RafaelT macrumors 65816

    RafaelT

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    #14
    That's true however Apple has come up with some pretty innovative stuff over the years and I think they have the capability to do much more then they show the consumer. I think what it really comes down to is will it make economic sense for them to do it at the time, not can they do it.
     
  15. Piggie thread starter macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #15
    I believe they asked the company that made the CPU to tweak the speed up a bit and remove some redundant areas, which they did for Apple for the iPad1.

    Or something like that. I guess it was more a "what can you do to make it faster guys" type of meeting rather than. Here, we are Apple and we have redesigned your chip for you ;)
     
  16. HardLuckStories macrumors regular

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    #16
    Yea a quick tickle and tweak is not magnifying the pixels by 4 times! I mean imagine spreading that display over a 50inch screen it would still look good, is there any need to do so on an iPad? And web content would be freakishly distorted at that resoloution.

    I'm all for progress, but there are limitations.
     
  17. psonice macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I'd say it's mostly down to what developers do with the ipad2 in the next 12 months.

    If you look back at the iphone 4, they quadrupled the pixel count, and didn't really change the CPU + GPU much at all (they made it less power hungry, and slightly faster). Battery life improved, performance wasn't affected (and went up in many cases).

    How did they manage that? Easy, very few apps were really taking advantage of the full power of the 3gs - in fact most apps + games were still designed for iphone 1 level hardware. The 3gs GPU had enough power to run 4x more pixels for almost all apps, without really stressing enough to hit the battery hard.

    With the ipad2, you have 9x (give or take, depending on situation...) the GPU speed. Most apps are still aimed at ipad1 hardware. 9x the GPU power, 4x the pixels.. it's not pushing the GPU, I doubt battery life will be a problem.

    If, on the other hand, devs start really using the new GPU, these apps are not going to run well at 4x the resolution. They'd have to run at the current res, or cut graphical effects out to boost speed. It's worth pointing out though, we're talking a very small number of apps - the high end games and a few others that rely on high GPU performance.

    If apple come out with an A6 next year though, things could change. They could go for a die shrink (making the chip smaller, faster, and more power efficient). They could also boost the GPU - at the moment it's an IMG 543MP2, dual core. That could move to MP4 or even MP8, if there's more space available on the chip. That would give 2x or 4x the current performance. Sony's NGP is going to use MP4 or MP8 (can't remember which) in a similar package later this year, so it's a definite possibility.
     
  18. GnillGnoll macrumors member

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    Sep 16, 2009
    #18
    Samsung showed a prototype 10.1", 2560x1600, 300 ppi, PenTile RGBW display and announced "commercial availability of this technology for tablet applications later this year". They also say the technology uses 40% less power than current panels of equal size.

    While it's unlikely that Apple would use this particular panel, it shows that Samsung is confident that tablet hardware will soon be able to drive that resolution. It also shows that you can up the resolution and at the same time use less power.

    When Apple introduced the iPhone 4, games* didn't immediately run at the higher resolution. An "iPad HD", whatever iteration it will be, won't be different in that regard. Developers will have to adjust their games, and during that process they will make sure that everything is running smoothly. If they can't achieve that at the higher resolution, they simply won't go there. In any case, "iPad HD" won't be slower than its predecessor.

    * Note I'm singling out games since most other apps will have no problems whatsoever running at a much higher resolution. And even 90+% of games are not graphically demanding.


    Yet even the iPad 2 manages to render some games at 1080p, 2.64x as many pixels as it's built-in screen.
     
  19. blackNBUK macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I think that GnillGnoll has got it right and the transition to the Retina iPad will be much the same as the transition to the Retina iPhone. Standard Apps will be re-rendered to the higher res automatically while OpenGL Apps (i.e. games) will be rendered to the old res and upscaled by default. It'll be up to the game devs to decide if it's feasible for them to use the higher Retina res.

    I guess some people maybe disappointed at this but I'm fine about it. Personally I'm looking forward to a Retina display because text should become more attractive and easier to read. To me this will be a much bigger benefit than having more finely detailed games.
     

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