Apple said that the new iPad Pro with its A12X chip was faster than “92% of portable PCs” at its announcement event on Tuesday. Apple uses ‘PCs’ as a nice euphemism for both Windows and Mac computers without directly slighting its own Macs.
Geekbench benchmarks for the new iPad Pro have shown up online, and the scores are certainly impressive. The iPad reports ~5030 in single-core, and ~18000 in multi-core. The single core score goes to toe-to-toe with a 2.6 GHz i7 2018 MacBook Pro …
Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
You can build-to-order a 13-inch MacBook Pro with the i7 processor and 256 GB SSD for $2099. The comparable 256 GB 12.9-inch iPad Pro is $1149. Apple offers an off-the-shelf 2.6GHz i7 in a 512 GB 15-inch MacBook Pro config for $2799. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro specced with 512 GB storage sells for $1349, half as much.
The six-core i7 is faster in the multi-core benchmark than the eight-core iPad Pro — but it is really not that far behind.
The 2017 iPad Pro can achieve 3908 single-core and 9310 multi-core scores. The new iPad Pro is 30% faster than its predecessor in single-core and effectively doubles multi-core performance up to 18217, at least according to these synthetic benchmarks.
Tasking the GPU computational ability, Geekbench shows the Metal Compute Score rising by 40% year-over-year. The second-gen iPad Pro could achieve just under 30,000 on the compute benchmark. The new Pro models easily top 41,000.
At least in single-core, Apple only sells a single configuration of portable Mac that is decidedly faster than the iPad Pro — the Core i9 MacBook Pro. Reminder: Apple sells the A12X-equipped iPad Pro from $799. The i9 MacBook Pro sells for more than $3000. Going beyond portables, the iPad Pro matches or beats almost all 2017 iMac configurations, and rivals the iMac Pro on single-core prowess.
These Geekbench reports also back up the claims that the iPad Pro offer 6 GB of RAM … on some models. As seen here, the device with identifier ‘iPad8,8’ has 5650 MB of memory whereas ‘iPad8,3’ has 3769 MB (6 GB vs 4 GB).
Multiple people are telling me that only the 1TB iPad Pros get 6GB RAM. … So that's a thing.
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) October 30, 2018
For the first time in an iOS device, 2018 iPad Pro RAM varies based on the particular storage configuration. 64 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB SKUs of both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models feature 4 GB RAM, unchanged from the 2017 generation. The 1 TB configurations feature 6 GB RAM.
With the current state of iOS, the additional RAM will primarily make a difference in how many apps can stay frozen in memory, or how many Safari tabs can be kept open without reloading. In terms of future-proofing, obviously bigger is better.
Who knows what new iPad features will come along in iOS 13 or iOS 14, and there’s a chance that some features may require higher available RAM (or at least work better with the additional 2 GB floating around).
The new iPad Pro models can be ordered now from Apple.com, with first orders shipping to customers on November 7.