Apple A5 is dual Cortex A9, PowerVR SGX 543MP2

Apple A5 is dual Cortex A9, PowerVR SGX 543MP2

While Apple believes the mainstream cares more about iPad 2 experience and feeling than feeds and speeds, Anandtech clearly favors the latter and using an array of tests, they claim they've deduced that -- as suspected -- the Apple A5 system-on-a-chip is indeed powered by an ARM Cortex A9 CPU and Imagination PowerVR SGX 543MP2 GPU. It's also fast, beating out not only the 2010 iPad's A4 but the 2011 Motorola Zoom's Tegra 2 in a number of benchmark tests.

In the CPU and JavaScript render tests iPad 2 was a little faster than iOS 4.3 on iPad 1 and Android 3.0 Honeycomb on the Xoom. In GPU tests it was devastatingly faster. Faster as in it digs a hole, stomps them into the mud, refills the whole, stomps it again, and repeats ten more times before the others even try to fight back. It's fast.

What all these geekily benchmarked numbers mean in the real world is faster access to your web pages, especially JavaScript-heavy pages like Facebook, and far smoother, more detailed, and more high-performance graphics in everything from OS transitions to full 3D games.

In other words, Apple may have changed the specs into an experience fight, but they're more than got the SoC specs to make that experience.

(Can't wait for this to come to iPhone 5, can you?)

[Anandtech x2]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter,, Google+.

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There are 38 comments. Add yours.

Daniel Pinho says:

Cant wait for iPhone 6! (no cash for 5)

Mr.mars says:

cant wait for the 6, because my upgrade is in 22 months

estebancam says:

WOW. I didn't think they would beat out the graphics in the Tegra 2. I guess I was wrong. It's kind of sad for me because I am using the iPhone only as a placeholder for when the Pre 3 and Touchpad are released... I love webOS so much that I would downgrade to a horrible processor like Qualcomm.
Adreno 205 (in the Pre 3) is a joke compared to what's in the A5. A JOKE.

yodaxl7 says:

The scores on the iPad are music to my ears!! Love it!! Guess 512 mb is enough RAM, but still would prefer more. So, it shoot video in native 720p, but the stills are not. Can someone develop an app that would take the video and take out a series of stills. These stills can serve as high def pics. Right? Looks like we need the cloud from apple because games are going to get fatter. Better graphics mean larger files, right? I got 64gb version, but still.

Michael Denney says:

Take video - watch video - pause video - press Home+Power at the same time to screen capture your stills.

Mister-E says:

Why do we need the cloud, because games are going to get "fatter"? Unless you have a true unlimited data plan, it's going to be expensive. Plus if we all were running of the cloud with unlimited plans, the system is just going to get bogged down.

NewType says:

+1 to E-man for making sense.
"Cloud" is nothing but a buzzword for the most part. People repeat it without even knowing what it means, simply because it's trendy.
The "Cloud" is not going to help you if you're in the middle of a national park with no cell signal. The "Cloud" won't help you when the carriers are charging $20/month for a measly 1GB of data and companies like Comcast and Time Warner throttle your bandwidth after you exceed their caps.
The "Cloud" at best will augment or extend local data, but going all Cloud is a recipe for disaster when disaster occurs.

Mike53 says:

Why do they then put in lame cameras? To save 10 cents? If I have a fast processor for video editing, I must first be able to take good video.

dloveprod says:

Surprisingly enough it seems like enough ram to me so far too, let's see how it performs with iOS 5 though.

TK says:

I was playing the the XOOM tablet today. In my opinion, the way it operates, especially with the widgets, that's how a tablet should be, it feels like something different when compared to what's available. But it's so sluggish with launching apps, switching screens, changing screen orientation, closing apps, crashing apps. The keyboard is garbage and is very inaccurate and unresponsive and crashes. And that's after turning it off and then back on and using a task killer.

webvex says:

Just say no to widgets.

NewType says:

+1 to that.
Filling your screen with blinky, screaming widgets does not make for a better experience. Making your tablet look and act like Windows is going to be a major turnoff for most people, as historical sales of Windows-based Tablet PCs have proved over the years. Google even copied the Windows task bar and system tray - it's like they are regressing back to the 1990s in UI design.

jwriherd says:

I don't see one positive thing about the Xoom, sounds like by different you mean crappy. So from your description all tablets should suck but have battery draining widgets so you don't have to launch the twitter app in a second to see what someone just had for lunch.

Stop_takesometimetothink says:

Why do you want to stair at a big clock and weather all day and add a keystroke to get to your apps. Widgets and gadgets for that matter is a halfassed way to get data. I don't think Apple will ever implement them.

Orion2021 says:

"In GPU tests it was devastatingly faster. Faster as in it digs a hole, stomps them into the mud, refills the whole, stomps it again, and repeats ten more times before the others even try to fight back. It’s fast." Rene, great writing:)

SockRolid says:

Faster is as faster does.

iMarksy says:

So is stupid. Haha nice quote

jentino says:

I'm waiting for the next gen of iPhone. I hold really hard not to buy iP4 last year.

Beetlejuice says:

Thanks a million. It is articles like this that will wake up all of the Android trolls.

jayydoggy says:

Wow the xoom really sucks ass lol. Hahahaha

Mister-E says:

I guess this is why Samsung is going back to the drawing board. Could any of this lack of performance be based on the Android OS or just the hardware?

thebizz says:

The tegra 2 has is old news it was already out done by the sgx540 in the optimus3d shoot using the same program

NewType says:

Great argument! "Tegra 2 is so old we're gonna use it in our newest, overpriced tablet because people are just gonna go nuts when they see how it doesn't perform for more money!"

iDavey says:

Wouldn't the difference in screen resolution play a part in these scores?
Actual question...I just wonder since the resolution is higher, does that affect the FPS?

NewType says:

Xoom's resolution is a mere 30% higher, but iPad 2 has almost 4X the framerate performance. So this is a weak argument.

iMarksy says:

In 10 years time, everyone will look at how many iPhones there has been, and we will laugh.

Lorne M. says:

I have to comment on what TK said. He is absolutely right! Never ever go close to Xoom and more importantly you should never touch it because it crashes immediately. My colleague had it and it is not worth the nerves. Every time he tried to run something for his client on it, guess what? It crashed, so he bought something else, much more stable, iPad I think.

Jon says:

I bought XOOM on day one. It has NEVER CRASHED. EVER. EVER. These comments are asinine and placed here in many cases by PAID bloggers who are trying to create fictions to create and maintain an image. This is Hitler-style big lies to defend Apple. Both products are outstanding game changers and have defined the future development of hand held devices. (The camera and video system of the XOOM is far superior BTW and I have both)

DRHughes says:

Wow. I can't wait for this to be in the iPhone 5!

bad gpu benchmarks says:

I hope people do realize that the benchmarks anandtech did comparing the gpu of the A5 and Tegra 2 are very very faulty.

  1. pixel density has a lot to do with these bench marks
  2. hardware acceleration--on for A5 no enabled for Tegra 2

duh. . . what results do you expect. Typical Apple FUD!

FJjmjsPwn says:

iPad 2 managed to get 4 times the frame rate despite having 23% less pixels. So theoretically, even if iPad 2 were to have a 1280*800 display, it would still be able to outperform the Xoom by 300%.

FJjmjsPwn says:

And Plus, I don't see how hardware acceleration can make a 300% impact on performance.

Sour Apples says:

This fraudulent information is just reminiscent of Steve the whiney baby Jobs standing on stage stomping up and down like a scolded school girl claiming his antenna issue on the iPhone was normal and not exclusive to the iPhone 4 but rather common place to all the phone manufacturers.....just as he fires up a video of these other phones in a 'closed room private testing area' (probably a cement bomb bunker 30 feet below the ground) showing the blackberry and android phone loosing signal. Little did he expect those manufacturers would go public with a Steve Jobs proverbial bitch slap and make a fool out of him.
The information posted in graphic testing above is BS. I played with the ipad 2 extensively...nice unit...but I now own the Xoom. Sorry folks, its fast, wicked fast. The graphics abilities are sick, and the crashing people described above is either fraudulent or they downloaded a porn app that didn't agree with the os. OMG I said porn....Steve Jobs would not approve. The Widgets you all whine about.....oh please, can you sit there and tell me that to have completely customizable home screens and Widgets to see the data you constantly access (yes, the data that iPhone/ipad users have to launch a full app to begin to see) is a bad thing and something you only wish you had?
Please don't insult our intelligence. Android users cannot be brainwashed.
If you allow yourself to be brainwashed by crap data like the 'testing'above then you deserve to be treated like the sheep apple makes their customers out to be.

TFM says:

Great comment.
I love Apple hardware but how some people here believe in such 'testing' and propagate such hatred towards other platforms means only one thing: they just want to defend Apple products.
The psychometrics behind this are so dead simple that you really have to question the intelligence level of the average iOS user (then again iOS products are made with average people in mind)...
Heck, even the blogs that iOS users should be reading evaluate these metrics:!5555953/fanboyism-and-brand-loyalty

Guest says:

NICE! now i have to figure out what to do with both my upgrades and plans for work and personal to get it!!

Johnny says:

apple made a low upgrade from iPad 2 to iPad 3/HD. LAME!!! I'm switching over to Android's tablet the Asus Transformer Prime. It's more afordable and its got some awesome specs.