CPU Performance

Now that we’ve managed to take a good look at the changes between the A8 and A8X, we can get a good idea of what those differences translate to in some real world performance. While we’ve already seen pure CPU performance, such differences can be small when viewed from real applications. To this end, we use a few browser benchmarks and similar benchmarks. I definitely want to caution against comparing SoCs across platforms though, as rendering engines have a significant effect upon the performance of the device.

SunSpider 1.0.2 Benchmark  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT (Chrome/Safari/IE)

BaseMark OS II - Overall

BaseMark OS II - System

BaseMark OS II - Memory

BaseMark OS II - Graphics

BaseMark OS II - Web

There's really not too much that needs to be said here, as the extra core and minor clock speed bump make for ridiculous amounts of performance. The A8X is class-leading here despite generally having fewer cores and lower clocks than the rest of the competition. However, in comparison to A8 we don't see a massive jump in performance. This seems to suggest that even a third core will invoke diminishing returns in general, although these changes mean that it's enough for the iPad Air 2 to be one of the fastest ARM-based devices on the market. One can see an odd regression in the Basemark OS II storage test, but this is likely to be production variances in NAND quality rather than anything notable.

Apple’s A8X SoC: Bigger and Badder GPU and NAND Performance
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  • Reckoning - Friday, November 7, 2014 - link

    That's cool. Enjoy having a slower device because of your prejudice and ignorance.
  • blackcrayon - Friday, November 7, 2014 - link

    Well you almost get your wish, the Nexus 9 seems fine in benchmarks but it lags as if it offers half the performance... Count me in the list of people who use software on a device other than the "OS".
  • darwinosx - Friday, November 7, 2014 - link

    Poor hughlle knows nothing about iOS and probably not much about Android. The Nexus 9 has been trashed in one review after another including Android sites like Android Police.
    What do you like about Android? The malware? The inferior app quality? I know, Google monitoring and selling to advertisers all your activity! Awsum! Maybe fragmentation? How about terrible build quality and support? So much to like....
  • sonicmerlin - Friday, November 7, 2014 - link

    I'm curious if lollipop finally got rid of android's lag and garbage collection stuttering. Otherwise I'll stick to iOS.
  • NEDM64 - Sunday, November 9, 2014 - link

    Lollipop can't get rid of garbage collection alone, all apps would have to be rewritten.
  • rdjg22 - Saturday, November 8, 2014 - link

    Yes, because Android is so optimized for tablets. I'm an android fanboy too when it comes to phones (N5 is my daily driver), but you'd have to be a blind and dumb fanboy to think android offers a better tablet experience.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - link

    You choose an OS with substandard apps, weak developer support, and almost no tablet optimized apps over a platform with faster hardware and better apps in every single category?

  • TechShark - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    amazon has the iPad Air 2 for $50 off. http://bit.ly/13dl0ss
  • JRX16 - Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - link

    I played around with a Nexus 9 recently and found it disappointing. You couldn't pay me to take that over an iPad Air 2. Browsing a graphics heavy website like The Verge was almost impossible, the lag and stutter was unacceptable and made it unusable. With so much power, something is dramatically wrong with either Android or Chrome that it can't handle a website that an old iPad 4 handled with ease. Also, stock Android Lollipop has zero tablet features so it has no benefits over iOS. At least Samsung adds things to make use of the larger screen like split screen multitasking or windowed multitasking. But then their tablets are terrible in terms of performance and battery life. Can't win. The iPad remains king because it gets so much so right.
  • bmbw2010 - Friday, November 7, 2014 - link

    I'd love to see what performance they could get out of an A8X in Apple TV hardware, with some higher clock speeds and better cooling.

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