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The A5X

Seadog

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It appears the A5X processor was designed specifically for the iPad according to reports. The A5 dual core was chosen because it is good with battery consumption and had enough power to do the job. Many manufacturers have not gone to quad core processors because there are very few programs that can take advantage of four cores. However, more cores for the graphics is a good way to improve performance. Because of the lack of any need for quad core graphics on the iPhone, it is unlikely that it will havethe A5X, and maybe not even get a different processor in the next model.
 

tazz3

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apple was smart staying with a beefed up verison of the A5 processor. like you said there are not many games or programs for a quad core processor but haveing a quad core processor for the gpu was smart and with 1 gig of ram its even better.
 

AQ_OC

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apple was smart staying with a beefed up verison of the A5 processor. like you said there are not many games or programs for a quad core processor but haveing a quad core processor for the gpu was smart and with 1 gig of ram its even better.

Is there any confirmation on the 1gig of ram part? I agree that would be better but I have not seen that stated anywhere.

PS: I have used my iPad 2 every day since I bought it on March 11, 2011. Now it is gone off to Amazon and I'm missing it.
 

maleaco

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Hmm interesting, is there any news of iPads using OLED Screens (Look them up!!! AMAZING!1 Developed in like 1999 wtf...)
 

sjleworthy

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I'm curious.

Does the extra quad processing on the chip just go to powering the new screen? How much extra is left to speed up the general processing tasks? Will the new iPad 'feel' faster and smoother, or not? o does it just compensate for the consumption of the power hungry screen?
 

Airtent

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sjleworthy said:
I'm curious.

Does the extra quad processing on the chip just go to powering the new screen? How much extra is left to speed up the general processing tasks? Will the new iPad 'feel' faster and smoother, or not? o does it just compensate for the consumption of the power hungry screen?

The a5x chip actually has two "chips" inside. It consists of a dual core cpu and quad core gpu. The cpu handles the calculations and operations of the ios, and the interactions of all the other hardware components (touch input, mic input, etc).

The gpu alters memory in such a way so as to accelerate the building of images in a frame buffer intended for output to a display (source wikipedia). In other words the gpu is a specialized version of the cpu in that its made to crunch numbers faster when related to displaying 3d polygons or images onto the screen.

The only thing that was beefed up from the a5 to a5x is the gpu, plus the supposed system memory which is now 1 gig compared to half that on the ipad 2. Take the game series infinity blade; its currently the most visual game out for ios in terms of graphics. As long as you have a decent cpu, your main limiting factor to make better looking apps is system ram (to an certain point) and a fast gpu. The faster the gpu can go, the more polygons can be displayed onscreen without slowing down the frame rate. When you play any game that has a pause or loading screen after pressing the play button, thats the app loading all the images, music, and animations into the system memory so that when you are playing that level or game, there won't be any noticeable stuttering or hiccups during your play session.

Thats why some game developers suggest you to have few to no extra apps running in the background when you play the more graphic intensive Games as those apps are sharing that system memory. When the ram gets overloaded, it sometimes ends up 'crashing' the current app you are running. Rarely it may even freeze up the ios and may cause a reboot to occur, but that is rare. For non game related apps some of you may experience stuttering when you are scrolling text and graphics. This is mostly due to the ram limits and also the cpu trying to complete a few tasks before continuing.

Example try going to http://engadget.com on your ipad and let the page load fully and then scroll down the entire page really fast and then scroll back up from the bottom really fast. With an ipad 2 scrolling to the bottom you should see all the text and graphics fly by, but scroll back up quickly near the top of the site it will be blank because even though it just displayed all those images and text, it may of had to purge some of that data and put it back into memory because it wasn't expecting you to go back up to the top (how it was programmed). But doing this same task on the new ipad, it may keep all of that data into memory and show all of that text and images without an issue.

So you will see a smoother experience overall with faster, better hardware; even with the higher res screen. Developers can also take it a step further and add extra stuff that only the ipad 3 will be able to handle. They already do that with ipad 2 enhanced games. Slight graphical improvements over playing that same game on the ipad 1. While all current apps and games designed for the ipad platform will work on the new ipad, developers will have to update them with higher resolution text/images/videos and even a higher 3d polygon count to take full advantage of the new screen and power.

I typed a little more than i expected to, but hope that helps to explain what we'll see with the new hardware.
 
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Seadog

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OLED is a strong possibility in the future, but they have not made it to the big time yet. There are reasons for the lack of large scale use of OLEDs, including cost and reliability. They may be ready soon, but it is also possible that a newer technology may pass them by. A number of small screen devices have the OLED screens, but the numbers that would be required for the Apple products is not available yet. It could be that they will be ready for the next iPhone or the next iPad, but it will come down to several factors that no one is sure about yet.
 
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donka

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People are saying the A5X is not changed in any way apart from the updated graphics but a lot of reports from the hands on with the iPad 3 confirmed it felt a snappier device in use. That may be down to extra RAM but it may also be down the A5X being clocked faster than the A5 - something I'm certain would have happened if the fabrication process moved to a smaller die. It may also be down to IOS being able to leverage some of the quad core graphics power for some of it's OS duties.
I'm actually curious if we will be seeing some of the high action games being native resolution on the iPad 3. I know Real Racing 2 is pushing the graphical limits of the iPad 2 but if they can run 4 x the resolution smoothly in games with only 2 x the gpu power then I wonder if things have been clocked higher.
It will certainly be impressive if these big games are running @ 2048x1536.
 
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Seadog

Seadog

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There is the usual name calling because Apple will not release all their secrets to the media. Some wannabe techs cannot see how Apple can do what they claim. And there are faults with every benchmark. In truth, unless you run the iPad with Android OS, there can be no real comparison.
 

Skull One

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Now there is something I wish Apple would do as a nice media stunt. Put Android on a iPad and run them side by side. And watch that poor Dalvik VM show just how much overhead it costs and why Android tablets have to have Quad Cores just to keep pace with the A5 and A5X.
 

stitcherIam

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Thanks Airtent! Your reply answered what I've been wondering as far as what to expect with the overall processing speed within the apps!
 

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