revised iPad 2 has better tech than new iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by donga, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. donga macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2005
  2. TrimmTrabb macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2012
    It definitely isn't any faster.

    But it's manufactured on smaller process, meaning that it runs cooler, which is probably imperceptible on the iPad 2 anyway. However, as it's more energy efficient, I wouldn't be surprised if a benchmark test showed that the new iPad 2 gets longer battery life than the old iPad 2.
  3. MacAttacka macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2012
    Intersting stuff. A5 is hugely expensive to produce so this is mainly a cost cutting measure from Apple. It would be very interesting indeed to see battery life benchmarks. I could also mean that A5x moves on to a smaller process at some point. Again, it suggests a possible improvement to iPad 3's battery life too.

    There's speculation the skinny A5x could make its way into the iPhone 5.
  4. TrimmTrabb macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2012
    My speculation is that Apple wouldn't change process mid-cycle, but would update the A5X if/when the iPad 3 becomes the new low cost model. The likely reason we're not seeing the A5X in 32nm now is because Samsung can't make them at a high enough yield to make the amount needed and/or in a cost-effective way. The clever thing Apple might be doing, though, is salvaging the A5s that only come out of the line with one functioning core, and sticking those in the Apple TV, thus greatly reducing the cost burden of the low yields.

    My feeling is that an A5X in an iPhone would be strange, as it's not clear what benefit a huge GPU swing on the same CPU might bring. However, the downsides are quite clear. I would bet on an A6, packing a dual-core but upgraded CPU and GPU, and perhaps an A6X with a quad-core GPU in the next iPad?
  5. Fruit Cake macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2012
    Deck chair off the titanic. On an iPhone sure, it's got a small battery. But iPad with that kinda battery, a CPU fabrication change isn't going to make a world of difference to the overall power consumption.

    Will it be introduced into iPad 3? Sure providing the package pin outs match or they revise the main board design.
  6. Batavian macrumors 6502


    Mar 10, 2011
    Is there a way to check whether or not I have this chip in my iPad 2? Maybe by serial number?
  7. hasanahmad macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2009
    Its smaller not faster. The a5x is slso smaller if it had the same dual core gpus but it has quad core
  8. unobtainium macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2011
    This is also what I'm wondering.
  9. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    I wouldn't mind knowing myself (purely out of curiosity more than anything).
  10. kxbcvoi macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    That is easy. The goal is to find the name of your iPad's firmware.
    If it is iPad2,4, it has the new chip. If it is iPad2,1 or iPad2,2 or iPad2,3, it has the old chip.
    Search your computer for "iPad2". If you already have firmware, it will show (it is .ipsw). But if there is no firmware, we have to download it from apple.
    Plug your iPad 2 to computer. Open iTunes and choose either upgrade or restore (we are not going to do that so don't worry).
    For case upgrade, it will ask if you want to "download and install" or "download only". Choose download only.
    For case restore, it will ask if you want to back up. I recommend back up. Then it will ask are you sure you want to restore. Just click restore. Continue? Just continue. Unplug your iPad when it start download (your iPad will be fine during download firmware but it will restore when download is complete.)
    Both case will end up downloading firmware. No need to wait for it to finish. Go search for "iPad2" again (again look for .ipsw)
  11. eagandale4114 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2011
  12. blow45 macrumors 68000

    Jan 18, 2011
    to me this opens up interesting possibilities that the ipad 3 will get silently updated too to a 32nm process soon, and that would improve power draw and thermals a lot, maybe when the iphone is released, of course I am sure apple wouldn't be too keen on letting anyone know of such impending plans which will hurt current ipad purchases.
  13. Batavian, Apr 13, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012

    Batavian macrumors 6502


    Mar 10, 2011
  14. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    Does anyone know a quick and easy way to do this? Perhaps by model number?
  15. Batavian, May 1, 2012
    Last edited: May 1, 2012

    Batavian macrumors 6502


    Mar 10, 2011
    I found out my iPad 2 has the 32nm chip using the "System Status" app below. There are probably free ways of checking. This app is on sale now for $0.99 and is actually a very good app for checking other things. (edit: the "System Status" app is now back up to $2.99...sorry)

    It's interesting that the iPad 3 uses 45nm technology. As far as I can tell, there is no downside (power-wise) to using this vs the 32nm in the newer iPad 2's. But I am admittedly ignorant on the subject, and welcome those that know. The difference (from Wikipedia) is below:

    I'd like to hear thoughts on this. There are some who've indicated that the 45nm runs hotter too. I would think the 45nm would run cooler since in theory it would have a lower density of transistors.

    Side note...I would be really pissed as an early adopter of an iPad 3 to learn Apple used higher power consuming components such as a amorphous silicon screen as battery charging and to some extent, battery life, is such a big issue with the iPad 3.

    Put another way, a new iPad 3 bought now would have poorer battery performance than a newer iPad 3 bought later in 2012 if Apple does a silent upgrade, as they just did with the iPad 2.
  16. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    What exactly would the benefit of quad-core be for an ipad, again? :confused:

    Applications load/open faster? Any reason why apple went with A5X, rather than A6?
  17. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    No, it is just a name for a chip. Technologically-wise the name doesn't signify anything at all.
  18. TheWheelMan macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2011
    More power, more possibilities for the kind of apps the iPad could handle.
  19. Tigger11 macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2009
    Rocket City, USA
    Wiki will tell you more, but a die shrink (ie going from 45nm to 32nm) will draw less more power and generate less heat, its mainly because shrinking the die causes less current leakage. In addition since more chips can be taken from each silicon wafer, it reduces the cost per processer, though the cost for the die shrink needs to be factored in here, though with the the quantities Apple is selling its not terribly significant.
  20. Batavian macrumors 6502


    Mar 10, 2011
    I think the naming is because the iPad2's A5 and iPad3's A5X are both dual core, both running at 1GHz. So the naming "gods" figured there were enough similarities not to warrant calling the new chip an A6. Maybe if the clock speed were higher on the A5X, or if it Apple had plans to standardize other products on the A5X architecture, it could more logically be considered an A6. Given the 45nm size, the A5X seems to be an incremental step towards an A6 sometime down the road.

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