Apple's iPad A5X Graphics Claim Raises Eyebrows at Nvidia

Paul Lilly

If you caught any of the coverage of Apple's iPad launch event yesterday -- and you couldn't have missed it unless you boycotted Facebook, Twitter, Google+, tech sites, and the Internet in general -- then you would have seen the Cupertino company puff out its chest as it talked about the new iPad's A5X processor, a mighty chip with supposedly four times the graphics performance of Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor. There's only one problem with that: Apple's scrumptious claim was served up without a side of benchmarks.

It very well might be the case that the A5X processor is as awesome as Apple says it is, but a bar graph devoid of benchmarks, footnotes, or disclaimers doesn't have Nvidia convinced.

"We don't have the benchmark information," Nvidia spokesman Ken Brown told ZDNet . "We have to understand what the application was that was used: Was it one or a variety of applications? What drivers were used? There are so many issues to get into with benchmarks."

Whether or not Apple provides any benchmarks to back up its 4X performance claim remains to be seen, but with a launch just over a week away, you can bet Nvidia (and tech sites) will do it for them. Brown said we'll have a clearer picture of things when the new iPad gets benchmarked.

"For now, Apple has a really generic statement," Brown said.

Apple's A5X processor has two processing cores, same as the A5 found in the iPad 2, but four graphics cores to help drive the new iPad's 2048x1536 display and for 3D gaming.

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