Nvidia: Apple’s A5X is not faster than its Tegra 3

Posted March 11, 2012 by Stuff Staff in News


Nvidia has served up a riposte to Apple following last week’s new iPad announcement, which saw Tim Cook claiming that its A5X core was four times faster than the Nvidia Tegra 3.

Apple‘s attempt to focus on the A5X’s quad-core graphics capabilities was a sly attempt to draw attention away from the fact that the A5X is a dual-core processor.

If you’re talking about GPU then the Tegra 3 (as Nvidia pointed out in a Tweet) has 12 cores. So, discounting the fact the new iPad has 1GB RAM, it’s tough to see how Apple could reach the conclusion that the A5X was four times faster than the Tegra 3. Benchmarking can be done on many different figures.

Until a new iPad is properly benchmarked Apple’s claim will remain just that – a claim. But it’s hard to imagine Apple saying something so bold without backup. And since Apple is famous for staying out of the stats race – and ensuring that its gadget are faster than its rivals thanks to its complete control over software – the dual-core A5X may still live up to Apple’s claims.

We’ll be getting our hands on the new iPad for a full review shortly, so stay tuned for the skinny on just how fast it really is.

[via Stuff.tv]

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    french toast

    Im not being funny, but its clear this writer has a very basic knowledge of mobile SOC, im not exactly an engineer my self but i at least know that the quad core GPU in the IPAD is a proper full quad core…where as the Tegra bogus claim of ’12’ cores is a joke….it has 1 GPU core..yes just ONE not 12.

    If you would take just one of the SGX543 GPU cores from the A5X and clock it at the same speed as the Tegra 3 (500mhz) it would smoke it, instead Apple takes a crazy 4 of them and clocks them somewhere around 250mhz…believe me it will be a minimum of 2x the performance of Tegra 3..4x is pushing it though.

    Also The IPAD 3 has dual channel memory and likely lpgddr3?…where as the Tegra 3 does with a basic single channel controller..although it can also support lpddr3…every manufacturer untill now has used lpddr2..as its cheaper..so it has ALOT less memory bandwidth to use..not taking into consideration that the A5X gpu is a much more bandwidth effecient TBDR architecture.

    The ace up Nvidias sleeve of course is its own ‘quad core’ advantage..the cpu..which should blow the IPAD3 out of the water on cpu tasks..although again little memory bandwidth to populate all those cores+GPU..the ipad has less cpus to take up valuable bandwidth.

    IOS is also a closed ecosystem suffering from little fragmentation and is also more efficient than Android..so games are usually better anyway on IOS…although Nvidia does have Tegra zone which helps.


    First independent tests do show the Tegra 3 to have a faster CPU:



    @french toast,

    Apple’s claim of 4 graphics cores is no different from NVIDIAs claim of 12 graphics cores – same thing. Apple’s GPU is no more a “proper full quad core” than any other manufacturer’s GPUs.

    See here for a little more info on the subject: http://www.ubergizmo.com/2012/03/apple-a5x-not-quad-core

    french toast

    Reggie; I don’t think you understand mate…. the A5X contains 4 FULL SGX543 GPU’s…each single 543 is a powerfull COMPLETE gpu….complete with unified shaders…TMU’s and rasterisers…and it has 4 of them.

    Nvidias ‘Geforce’ is a single core..read 1 GPU with the a similar amount of rasterisers and TMU’s as a SINGLE SGX543…except its clocked @500mhz..where as the quad 543 is clocked somewhere near the 250mhz range..

    The ’12’ marketing gimmick come from the shader pipes…they are not cores of any kind, not remotely…they are old style 2005 class pipelined shaders…not full cores.

    Each single SGX 543 has a much more advanced unified shader pipeline and the architecture in some varients is DX 10.1 class…it is much more powerfull…and has multi ‘shader cores’ in each FULL SGX 543 cores…so technically Apple could have said 16 ‘core’ if they went for nvidias marketing crap…and that 16 vastly better ones at that.

    The Tegra 3 has already been benchmarked and lost to the IPAD 2 on every gaming metric…see here;

    Early benchmarks indicate that the NEW IPAD is around 60% faster than IPAD 2..so although it isn’t 4x in real world scenarios..it still is a massive gap.

    Apple has over exagerated the performance gains..and Tegra does have that quad cpu to be used in select games…but also carries alot less bandwidth.

    french toast

    Here is some benchmarks for graphics..which show 2-3x the performance of the new ipad over transformer prime & infinity prime, at 720p off screen..depending on the test.


    Note; i have included 2 Tegra 3 devices on the right, and IPAD 2 & NEW IPAD on left;


    Tegra 3 gets spanked in graphics…but is 2-3x as good on cpu….take your pick..


    did you know your lack of knowledge reflects my nickname? The tegra has 12 GPU CORES you dumbtoast. I has 4 CPUs + 1 companion core. learn to read tech specs, while you are at it, try and hang yourself or your own stupidity


    The tegra 3 has 8 pixel shader ALUs and 4 vertex shader ALUs. 1 SGX543 core has 4 unified shader ALUs. Nvidia calls an ALU a core, so if Imagination tech went with the same naming convention as Nvidia the 543mp4 would be a 16 core GPU, and much easier to get to max throughput. In order to fully optimize for the tegra gpu your workload would have to be 66% pixel load and 33 % vertex load while the sgx543 load could be any combination of pixel and vertex computation. The sgx543mp4 demolishes the tegra 3 gpu

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