Will a dual core CPU do much for the iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by KevinC867, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    The latest rumors suggest that the next iPad will have a dual core 1.2 GHz CPU. Can anyone see how dual CPU cores will have much impact on the iPad's performance? Can you think of any CPU-intensive apps which would take advantage of multiple threads? All that comes to my mind is that an app like AirVideo which relies on a remote host to perform live video conversion *might* now be able to do the transcoding locally. But I would imagne that battery consumption would be pretty heavy.

    Maybe I just don't play enough games to know about the ones which could take advantage of a multi-core CPU in addition to a good GPU.
  2. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Aug 11, 2010
    Considering most software for Mac/PC isn't even optimised for dual-core yet highly doubt it. Developers would have to code apps for it, and if its coded for dual-core, it'll have to work on single-core too, you'd maybe only see a slight performance increase over single-core.

    Considering apps on the app store have to work on all the iDevices. We probably won't see much of a change.

    Maybe just a slightly more zippier experience using iOS in general.
  3. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    The app itself doesn't have to be optimized for dual core, there are a lot of system services and such running all the time that could be offloaded onto different cores.
  4. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    Most software for Mac/pc isn't dual core aware? What?

    Also the platform can load balance.

    Your avatar rules btw.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Given the limits for mobility programs, I'd say that no, they cannot. It really depends on how multithreaded developers make their apps, and how robust the multitasking is for the OS, that is the OS can ensure that both cores are being used equally.

    We all know that iOS is rather limited in multitasking, not really employing multitasking like most modern operating systems, so you have to wonder how much the OS can leverage multicore.
  6. gloss macrumors 601


    May 9, 2006
    I don't think this is true.
  7. elan123 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2011
    And you'd be correct!
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    You are confusing "multitasking" and "multithreading". Grand Central Dispatch is part of iOS 4.
  9. Sydde macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
    Really, though, a huge amount of the heavy lifting on the iPad is handled by the GPU (this is also true of modern Macs). A second core might help, but probably improving the GPU would yield much greater performance gains for much less pain.
  10. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    I'm hoping there will be some demo's written, or some graphical things written that show how fast they run on iPad1 against iPad2, so we can actually see how many frames/sec difference something can be made to run on the newer model.

    I'd almost really like to see that BEFORE I decided to upgrade.

    If with the CPU and GPU upgrade, perhaps Apple may even underclock them for more battery life? If we only see say a 10% speed up for a game, for example, possible on iPad2 then I'm not going to bother spending out on the new model.

    There needs to be at least some "wow" for the dollar.
  11. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Not utilizing multiple cores is sort of a myth. It's true some software is OPTIMIZED for multiple cores, others not, but the two cores will still be beneficial.

    My windows 7 PC has a dual monitor setup, and the second monitor always shows a small system monitor widget. All four cores are almost always even. I don't even have 80% on Core 1, 2% on 3-4 like that myth would have you believe.

    Older software, like Battlefield 1942 that I like to occasionally play, keep usage even across the board.

    Multi-core benchmarking and stress testing software have to SPECIFICALLY address a particular core, if they don't, the load will get (fairly) evenly spread.

    This isn't a perfect situation either, CERTAIN CPU intensive applications DO push harder on one core over another, but I think with iOS, there will be a performance improvement that is noticeable with a dual-core chip.
  12. gks macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    It'll certainly help.

    iOS 4 has supported Grand Central Dispatch since it was released. The link goes to the Mac version of Grand Central Dispatch, but merely for a layman's term explanation of what it is. It is the same type of deal in iOS.

    This means that any apps written to take advantage of grand central dispatch will see improvements in performance right away. I'm guessing every app will so some improvement because of merely being able to divvy out multiple processes to separate cores. But applications written with GCD in mind will see much larger improvements.
  13. WLS, Jan 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011

    WLS macrumors 65816

    Jul 10, 2008
    I think with dual core and the new graphics processor the argument that Flash can't be run on an iPad becomes pretty weak if not invalid. It will be interesting to see if Steve clings to that argument or if he allows Flash in IOS5
    If the power is there to do it why not? I run across lots of Websites with Flash modules that I can't view and with the new chips there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to do so.
    I think the ability of the iPad2 to run Flash with it's hardware is being overlooked..
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    That is probably the operating system switching between different cores to keep heat evenly distributed. (Newer Intel processors can increase the clock speed on one core as long as it is cool, so this can help increasing the clock speed).

    But if your total is less than 100%, that just means your tasks were not very demanding, and a single core CPU could have done it. Dual or quad cores only make a difference when there is too much work for a single core. With good software, all your cores will go to hundred percent each; with badly written software, you will be stuck at 100% of one core, while the user is waiting - the OS can move the task from core to core, but it cannot use more than one core at the same time if the application doesn't help.
  15. gks macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    It has never been an issue of "not being able to run" on an iOS device. Certainly it will run. The problem has been in terms of consistency and openness.

    Let's tackle #1 - Consistency. Most flash apps were never designed for touch interfaces in mind. Yea, sure, you can probably still use them, maybe not real well but they'll work "ok." But if you just let adobe get away with "ok" then you're making the argument that a certain part of iOS is now content at being "ok" instead of stellar like much of the rest of the experience. You allow Flash on, you just weakened the experience.

    #2 - Openness. The open letter from Steve Jobs pretty much tells you that the web is an open set of standards. HTML is open, anyone can read the spec, contribute to it and make it happen. Same goes for CSS and many other technologies that make the web what it is. Anyone can implement these open standards. That's why we have Firefox, IE, Safari (along with any and all forks and deviations from these three browsers). Flash is run and operated by one company, Adobe. It isn't open. It isn't a "standard" that others can contribute to or collectively agree upon. If Adobe just decides to stop working on Flash one day no one has the ability to fix bugs or add new features to it. It's dead. This is not in the best interests of you or the internet. As unlikely as the scenario is it is merely an example of how control over flash is entirely in Adobes court.

    Another factor is that various numbers have been thrown around about crashes. On Mac OS X I forget the number but a overwhelming majority of crashes (as submitted by the crash reporter in OS X) related to Safari have been the fault of Flash. Now imagine that happening to Mobile Safari on your iPad. I for one would be pretty upset. Oh, and Apple cannot fix these crashes. It's all on Adobe. And it's one more thing you have to update as well. Another thing that can be an exploit on your tablet. Just not good all around.

    Allowing flash just means we allow advertising to continue to make obnoxious ads and drain battery life for those ads.

    Flash is best left out of mobile devices. Simple as that. I have no sympathy for anyone wishing they could use Flash on their devices. If you seriously think Flash is needed, go buy an Android based device. Don't muck up my experience because you want crapware on your tablet.
  16. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Couple of points:

    1: And you don't think if Flash "obnoxious ads that drain battery life" don't run in the future and new HTML5 "abnoxious ads that drain battery life" will take their place?

    In many of my tests HTML 5 actually takes more CPU power to run things than Flash does.

    2: It's a bit silly and childish to call anything possibly skilfully coded with professional artwork in Flash as "crapware"
  17. gks macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    Says the person that can see and hear just fine. What about the deaf and visually impaired? Ever wonder what flash contributes to them? Support for the deaf or visually impaired is pretty crappy across flash based sites.

    Navigation is a pain, screen readers typically don't support Flash or if they do it doesn't work well due to the nature of flash.

    Another thing that bothers me with flash, the same thing that bothers me about Bluray and DVDs. Annoying menus to go through. Wait for the stupid animations, wait for the loading. I just want the info. Flash doesn't give me anything that HTML and CSS don't already do. Flashy navigation crap is stupid. The only thing it did prior to HTML5 was display video. Now that we have a video tag there's no need for Flash.

    Screenreaders work fine with the ALT tag and proper CSS means the deaf and visually impaired can work their way through the site using Apple's built in assistance.

    Give me one thing Flash does that you aren't seeing in normal HTML/CSS besides video like netflix or hulu. Which both have their own apps at this point. And games don't count because a vast majority of them won't work with a touch screen anyway.
  18. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    dual cores not running at max = better performance than a single core at max = better battery life.
  19. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    That's like saying you want to get a book or the film "Titanic" and all it says is "big ship build, hit an iceberg and sank, most drowned, the end"

    Sure, for most sites, getting to the "meat" as fast as possible is nice, but I like the fact people can be creative also. The Flash vector animations, which I believe is it's real main function, not video, the games, many of which seem to be tweaked into iOS games, the clever and artistic web sites some people put together.

    Not for business perhaps, but not everything has to be, click a link to text for quick info. there should be a place in the world for different creative things.

    I'm no HTML expert but I have heard it said 1 line of flash could be 1 page of code in HTML5, Flash on a nice machine seems to run things faster than HTML5

    It it can run well then I've nothing against it existing, I'm all for a rich a varied selection of creative tools.
  20. bobobenobi macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2010
    WRONG :eek:
  21. Sydde macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
  22. GnillGnoll macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009

    Dual cores running at half the clock speed will consume less power.
  23. Apple... macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2010
    The United States
    Could widgets possibly benefit from it? (assuming we finally see some in iOS 5?)
  24. Sydde macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
    Probably not particularly. Dashcode is basically Javascript: widgets are just little web pages.
  25. gks macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    If they used node.js as the basis of widgets then it most certainly would make a difference. Not that Apple would do this, but it would make a difference if they did.

    Regardless, widgets could use multiple cores. Each widget would have it's own process. So it could certainly be divvied up and multiple widgets could update at the same time or whatever.

    Anything that has it's own process will benefit from multiple cores.

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