iPad 2 GPU Benchmarked Against iPad and Xoom

By Wesley Fenlon

The iPad 2 obviously outperforms the iPad 1, but you may be surprised by how easily it beats the Motorola Xoom.

In early March we speculated that the GPU humming along inside Apple’s iPad 2 was the PowerVR SGX543MP2, aka the dual-core version of the same graphics processor powering Sony’s upcoming NGP handheld. That guess was right on the money, which means the iPad 2’s GPU easily outclasses the SGX535 in the iPad 1. The iPad 2 should show gains in CPU and GPU performance, as expected--but Apple set awfully lofty goals for its new device.

Apple’s claims hot air, or is this GPU really nine times faster than 2010’s model? Let’s find out.

Anandtech ran the iPad 2 through a series of benchmarks to test Apple’s claims of doubled CPU scores and nine times better graphics processing. In real-world testing, Anand didn’t find massive CPU improvements, but JavaScript tests showed improvements of about 50% and 80%, which puts the iPad 2 safely ahead of the iPad and the Motorola Xoom on CPU performance alone. The confirmed upgrade to 512MB of RAM helps, though we still wish there was a gig inside.

In a full-on game benchmark, the iPad 2 could crank out about 45 frames per second where the original managed only eight. With anti-aliasing, the iPad 2 showed seven times the performance. Epic has already released an update for Infinity Blade that demonstrates what the new processor can do, with cleaner graphics and better anti-aliasing that demonstrate a noticeable jump in detail.

Chart image via Anandtech