What can a super-fast iPad Pro do when it gets 50% super fasterer?

Ipad Pro 2021 Hero
Ipad Pro 2021 Hero (Image credit: Apple)

While I was fast asleep last night the news broke that the new iPad Pro had been benchmarked ahead of its release in a week or so. It is, as predicted, incredibly fast. How fast? 50% faster than the iPad Pro that came before it, fast.

Now, that's great news of course. We all like machines that are faster than the ones we had before. Except, the iPad Pro that came before the new M1-powered one was already insanely fast. It was faster than any other iPad Pro that came before it. I never heard anyone say that it needed more power. Yet, here we are.


Based on five legitimate Geekbench 5 results (here's the fifth) for the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the M1 chip, the device has average single-core and multi-core scores of 1,718 and 7,284, respectively. By comparison, the fourth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the A12Z chip has average single-core and multi-core scores of 1,121 and 4,656, respectively, meaning that the M1 iPad Pro is around 56% faster.

Not only is the new iPad Pro faster than the old iPad Pro, but it's also faster than Apple's high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro, too. A machine that runs macOS and all manner of pro-level apps. Pro-level apps that aren't on iPadOS – including Xcode, Final Cut Pro, and more. And that's just the Apple apps.

This all has me wondering what you do with an iPad Pro that's half as fast again as an iPad that was already more than fast enough. Where does all that extra computing power go? Anyone encoding video will see the progress bar move more quickly, sure. But it didn't hang around before, did it? And we have WWDC21 around the corner. Just weeks away, in fact.

Could Apple be about to drop something that will make that extra M1 power worthwhile? My fingers are crossed, despite the fact I think hopes that macOS will be coming to iPad are set to be dashed pretty swiftly. The continued merging of iPadOS and macOS? Now that's much more likely.

Come on Apple. It's cool having an iPad Pro that's faster than anything you were selling a few months ago. But we need the software to go with it! Until that happens I'd suggest checking out some iPad deals while we wait for Apple's plans to reveal themselves.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.