A5X Chip Is Faster Than Tegra 3

Back when the new iPad was announced on March 7, many were surprised that the iPad would not be coming with the previously reported A6 processor chip. Instead, the A5X chip was chosen to power the new iPad. As it turns out, the new iPad’s A5X chip is pretty nice–and in fact beats out the Tegra 3 processor chip found in many Android tablets.

LaptopMag conducted some tests with the new iPad and the Tegra 3 powered Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime to see if Tim Cook’s claim that the A5X chip is four times faster than the Tegra 3 chip. The claim was pretty big considering the fact that the A5X is not a true quad-core chip, and the Tegra 3 processor is. LaptopMag tested in three different categories to see how well the two processor chips fared–and if the A5X was really the superior one.


In terms of the GLBenchmark test, which has to do with low-level shader performance, the iPad A5X chip processed an impressive 7,530,524 frames, while the Tegra 3 chip processed less than half that at 3,523,926.  The iPad A5X chip is the clear winnter in this case.

LaptopMag also tested the A5X and Tegra 3 chip in the Geekbench, which is a cross-platform benchmark that measures the raw processing power of hte chip rather than the graphics. As expected, in this case, the Tegra 3 outperformed the A5X with 1571 versus the A5X’s  692 score. This can be attributed to the fact that the A5X is dual-core and not quad-core in terms of processing power.

The Sunspider browsing test was also performed and here again the iPad A5X chip outperformed the Tegra 3 as it took only 1810 milliseconds to complete the rendering test versus 2216 ms for the Tegra 3. That means browsing is likely faster on the A5X.

Another, more subjective gaming test was conducted by LaptopMag. Here the iPad’s A5X also seemed to do better with a much crisper looking display. That can be attributed to the iPad’s brand new Retina display.

Overall, it appears that the iPad’s A5X is clearly the winner when it comes to graphics…which sort of backs up Tim Cook’s claims. With numbers this good, we can only imagine how great the A6 chip will be.

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