The 2018 iPad Pro has graphical performance comparable to the Xbox One S

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Apple unveiled its 2018 iPad Pro at an event in Brooklyn, New York on Tuesday. The tablet has improved upon last year's model in several significant ways. The most noticeable change is the shape of the new iPad. Gone are the rounded edges.

The design is reminiscent of the old iPhone 5 — rounded corners, flat back, flat edges. The new form factor also trims one millimeter off the thickness, bring it down to 5.9mm, while retaining the same footprint.

Although it is the same length and width as its previous iteration, the 2018 iPad’s screen is half an inch bigger at 11 inches. This is due to smaller bezels and the elimination of the Home button. There is also a larger 12.9-inch model, which has a much smaller footprint than last year's 12.9 thanks to the same reductions in the borders. However, the bezels are still big enough to house the camera and facial recognition sensors without needing a notch.

The new iPads will bring several iPhone X features to the platform including Face ID, Animoji, and Memoji. If you enjoyed the convenience of logging into things like your banking app with Touch ID, you will still be able to auto log, you’ll just be using Face ID instead.

Under the hood, the 2018 iPad Pro sports a new 7nm A12X Bionic chip. It's a 10-billion transistor SoC with an 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU. The CPU is 35-percent faster than last year's model and 90-percent faster for multicore processing. Apple claims that with the 7-core GPU, graphical performance in the new iPad is on par with that of the Xbox One S. Even with the massive jump in processing power, the tablets still boast a 10-hour battery, just like last year’s models.

Storage capacity has doubled as well. You’ll be able to get up to 1TB if you want to pay the premium for it. They also swapped out the lightning port for USB-C. You can even charge your iPhone or other USB-C devices using your iPad Pro as a makeshift portable battery pack.

The new iPads will be complemented by the Apple Pencil and a new Smart Keyboard Folio.

The second generation Pencil pairs with the iPad and has wireless charging. It also magnetically clips to the side of the iPad Pro. The Keyboard Folio is a new accessory that adds keyboard functionality to the iPad Pro but also acts as a cover protecting the front and the back of the chassis.

The 11-inch iPad Pro will start at $799, while the 12.9-inch will run $999 and up depending on your configuration. Both models go on sale November 7 and you can pre-order one direct from Apple.

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VitalyT

Russ-Puss
I have the previous (now) gen of iPad Pro, which I'm using probably the same as at least 90% of people who buys them - email, web browsing, YouTube, music (at home), reading books, occasional game. And for all such users, including myself, the new gen brings absolutely nothing new...

The screen quality is the same, performance - it was already mighty fast for everything. Keyboard - nobody really cares, and for those who does, it worked fine already. Pen - very few people ever use it. Storage? - people who care already use iCloud.
 

FF222

TS Addict
Of course they are comparable. They always were. You could compare them, and realize that they iPad Pro's graphics performance is nowhere near that of the Xbox S's. Which is a two years old refresh of a 5 years old hardware architecture anyway.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Just ask AMD how well on paper "faster then X" translates in the GPU department. The raw potential performance numbers mean little for GPUs unless you are comparing it to it's last gen version.
 
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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
For about 10 seconds until the throttling kicks in.

It's an alright claim but Xbox One is 5 year old hardware that wasn't very powerful when it was new 5 years ago. Inevitable that mobile devices will eventually start to reach that performance.
But it's comparing itself to the XBOX ONE S = which is only a couple years old...

Of course, once it's out, I'm sure we'll see benchmarks which either prove or disprove (my bet is on disprove) this claim.

As the iPad gets pricier and pricier, it becomes harder and harder to justify purchasing it over the Surface... Yes, the Surface might be a bit heavier... but it is a real computer as well... no matter what they bother calling the iPad "Pro", it's really just a glorified toy - albeit a REALLY nice one...
 
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mrjgriffin

TS Evangelist
I wonder how long it will take for my genitals to overheat if I were to use this on my lap. fellas if you're too poor for the ol' snip snip just set this puppy chucker on your lap while 3d gaming.
 

Vulcanproject

TS Evangelist
But it's comparing itself to the XBOX ONE S = which is only a couple years old...
Xbox One S is a 2013 Xbox One SoC with a die shrink and mild clock bump. Fundamentally it's the same chip. By mild we're talking about 7 percent more GPU performance. It makes absolutely no practical difference to the comparison.

Xbox One had frankly embarrassing performance even when it was just a few months old! It was never considered powerful, brand new. I remember laughing at how Titanfall ran at 1408 x 792 and averaged about 45FPS.

This was ridiculously weak performance for a new $400+ console. You could buy a Radeon 7850 for about $150 which was 18 months older than said new console. It destroyed it on that game at comparable settings. 1080/60 no sweat. Twice the resolution AND a much better frame rate. Pathetic.
 

doug petrosky

TS Rookie
But it's comparing itself to the XBOX ONE S = which is only a couple years old...

Of course, once it's out, I'm sure we'll see benchmarks which either prove or disprove (my bet is on disprove) this claim.

As the iPad gets pricier and pricier, it becomes harder and harder to justify purchasing it over the Surface... Yes, the Surface might be a bit heavier... but it is a real computer as well... no matter what they bother calling the iPad "Pro", it's really just a glorified toy - albeit a REALLY nice one...
Tell that to Adobe and AutoDesk who are bringing out full versions of flag ship products. I've made this argument numerous times. The surface is a compromised product for with full legacy support but all the money is going into iOS and Android development and the iPad is poised to be the king of that landscape. It is a truly useful tool today and it is where development is moving in the future. (no windows is not dead, but it hit it's peak a number of years ago, just look at the sales numbers).
 

crazypostalbob

TS Rookie
For about 10 seconds until the throttling kicks in.

It's an alright claim but Xbox One is 5 year old hardware that wasn't very powerful when it was new 5 years ago. Inevitable that mobile devices will eventually start to reach that performance.

The amount that Ipad and iPhone cpu's have been increasing in power has far outpaced CPU's on the desktop field until recently with Ryzen pushing competition. Apple has performed amazing feats, and it may well be another part of why desktop cpu's are finally being pushed more.

At the rate of their increases in power, they would surpass desktop components, it is simply a matter of time. That is simply put amazing.

It doesn't matter if Xbox one was underpowered at release. This being in a tablet is mindbogglingly insane.

Apple deserves credit here, and it really is them more than anyone else. They have been thwomping everyone else for several A processor releases now. It hasn't even been remotely a competition. I'm not an apple fan boy either, I prefer the surface go, which is powerful enough for me and I can run Torchlight II on it.

However, the power difference is simply insane at that point between any of the lightweight Surface pro's vs the Ipads at this point. They are literally 1/10th as fast in the graphics department. Any of them with a GTX in there can compete but they are dramatically bigger.
 
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Yeah sure it is Apple. Keep telling yourself that.
But it's comparing itself to the XBOX ONE S = which is only a couple years old...

Of course, once it's out, I'm sure we'll see benchmarks which either prove or disprove (my bet is on disprove) this claim.

As the iPad gets pricier and pricier, it becomes harder and harder to justify purchasing it over the Surface... Yes, the Surface might be a bit heavier... but it is a real computer as well... no matter what they bother calling the iPad "Pro", it's really just a glorified toy - albeit a REALLY nice one...
Tell that to Adobe and AutoDesk who are bringing out full versions of flag ship products. I've made this argument numerous times. The surface is a compromised product for with full legacy support but all the money is going into iOS and Android development and the iPad is poised to be the king of that landscape. It is a truly useful tool today and it is where development is moving in the future. (no windows is not dead, but it hit it's peak a number of years ago, just look at the sales numbers).
Hahahahaha.
Good one.
Any real pro isn't going to use a tablet with a mobile OS on it to do their work.
If this was truly a Pro product they'd put OS X on it.

Pro by name only, not substance.
 

crazypostalbob

TS Rookie
But it's comparing itself to the XBOX ONE S = which is only a couple years old...

Of course, once it's out, I'm sure we'll see benchmarks which either prove or disprove (my bet is on disprove) this claim.

As the iPad gets pricier and pricier, it becomes harder and harder to justify purchasing it over the Surface... Yes, the Surface might be a bit heavier... but it is a real computer as well... no matter what they bother calling the iPad "Pro", it's really just a glorified toy - albeit a REALLY nice one...

The only surface that is more powerful would be a several thousand dollar one. $799 is an excellent price point with that much power. The $799 surface pros don't even come close, not even remotely.

However, I still prefer windows on the go for work and for some old school windows games. IOS is too restrictive for me. I like roms, old school games, etc and I want to run my work cloud and programs which Apple can't. It is mostly a compatibility issue.
 

doug petrosky

TS Rookie
But it's comparing itself to the XBOX ONE S = which is only a couple years old...
Xbox One S is a 2013 Xbox One SoC with a die shrink and mild clock bump. Fundamentally it's the same chip. By mild we're talking about 7 percent more GPU performance. It makes absolutely no practical difference to the comparison.

Xbox One had frankly embarrassing performance even when it was just a few months old! It was never considered powerful, brand new. I remember laughing at how Titanfall ran at 1408 x 792 and averaged about 45FPS.

This was ridiculously weak performance for a new $400+ console. You could buy a Radeon 7850 for about $150 which was 18 months older than said new console. It destroyed it on that game at comparable settings. 1080/60 no sweat. Twice the resolution AND a much better frame rate. Pathetic.
And your point? This tablet is on par with current shipping console hardware. This means that it is reasonable for a developer to make serious first party games for it. Don't feel so defensive. It is not displacing the consoles (yet) it is just a seriously capable gaming system with a display that makes 120hz gaming a reality. Over the next year apple will move 20m of them making it something game developers will likely pay more attention to. Next year should bring another nice performance improvement which will just make it that much more interesting to develop for.

Now if Apple were serious! They would put this chip into a $199 5th gen AppleTV and then we would have something really interesting! No power concerns, much better thermal dissipation. It could get real then.
 

crazypostalbob

TS Rookie
Xbox One S is a 2013 Xbox One SoC with a die shrink and mild clock bump. Fundamentally it's the same chip. By mild we're talking about 7 percent more GPU performance. It makes absolutely no practical difference to the comparison.

Xbox One had frankly embarrassing performance even when it was just a few months old! It was never considered powerful, brand new. I remember laughing at how Titanfall ran at 1408 x 792 and averaged about 45FPS.

This was ridiculously weak performance for a new $400+ console. You could buy a Radeon 7850 for about $150 which was 18 months older than said new console. It destroyed it on that game at comparable settings. 1080/60 no sweat. Twice the resolution AND a much better frame rate. Pathetic.
The issue was they used a mobile gpu part essentially. That made it both expensive and weak. a 7970m GPU was comparable, which would have been top of the line at the time, but mobile GPUs were terrible compared to desktop ones back then, unlike the gtx 10 series now. That gpu was expensive. They should not have opted for a mobile gpu or a SOC in my opinion, but they didn't want heat or failures to be an issue like Xbox 360. Now the CPU, that was the weakest no matter how you cut the cake.

Xbox one X is ok for it's time on the GPU end, but I cannot believe they stuck with the cpu they did. I've heard rumors PS5 will go back to a discrete GPU. If they put in a similar priced desktop component we are talking a really nice next gen.

Apple will have a hard time catching up to that on the GPU end.

I got off track though, this Ipad is seriously powerful. There is no doubt of that.
 
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mattferg

TS Rookie
For about 10 seconds until the throttling kicks in.

It's an alright claim but Xbox One is 5 year old hardware that wasn't very powerful when it was new 5 years ago. Inevitable that mobile devices will eventually start to reach that performance.
But it's comparing itself to the XBOX ONE S = which is only a couple years old...

Of course, once it's out, I'm sure we'll see benchmarks which either prove or disprove (my bet is on disprove) this claim.

As the iPad gets pricier and pricier, it becomes harder and harder to justify purchasing it over the Surface... Yes, the Surface might be a bit heavier... but it is a real computer as well... no matter what they bother calling the iPad "Pro", it's really just a glorified toy - albeit a REALLY nice one...
The Xbox One S is a 5 year old GPU/CPU design slimmed down into a new case. It's 5 years, not 2.

The Xbox One X is what you're thinking of - which is only a year old - and is a MUCH more powerful console than the S.

So yes, the thing they're comparing it to is a 5 year old GPU which wasn't that fast when it came out in 2013 (PS4 was faster and that was still beaten by most gaming PCs... in 2013).
 

crazypostalbob

TS Rookie
The Xbox One S is a 5 year old GPU/CPU design slimmed down into a new case. It's 5 years, not 2.

The Xbox One X is what you're thinking of - which is only a year old - and is a MUCH more powerful console than the S.

So yes, the thing they're comparing it to is a 5 year old GPU which wasn't that fast when it came out in 2013 (PS4 was faster and that was still beaten by most gaming PCs... in 2013).
By default, when comparing this, you should be comparing Laptops. The PS4 was beating most laptops, as it had a mobile gpu which was powerful for mobile.

And even then the comparison that matters is this: Can it run modern games? If it can, it doesn't matter if it's beaten by the most powerful gaming pc. If it runs those same games on the go, it's kind of astounding, and would be a first. There is no mobile console to date that can run even a remote chunk of pc gaming. This seems to suggest the Ipad pro can.

I however think this is being over played. I have serious doubts it can run say Halo 5 on the go, or Assassin's Creed Oddyssey. It is still very, very, powerful for the form factor. At the current rate it will certainly be able to run any PC games, it's a matter of when. I say capable as a prequalified statement. Some games will never be put on it, say Roms and of the like, and I doubt it will get too many PC games as apple tends to do IOS type games as opposed to say all the indie and other games from the windows store.
 

doug petrosky

TS Rookie
...
Apple will have a hard time catching up to that on the GPU end.

I got off track though, this Ipad is seriously powerful. There is no doubt of that.
You understand that the iPad is not trying to "compete" with the Xbox. Apple is simply using this as a guide post to show off how capable this battery powered mobile device is and hopefully this will encourage some of the big names to produce for this platform as well! Think about it Microsoft could bring out an amazing Halo series that would rival what we have seen on past consoles. Sure those would pale in comparison to new Xbox One X versions but still a real revenue stream. Blizzard could bring out Diablo III and Overwatch. We are talking about a platform that will quickly grow to tens of millions of devices that is binary compatible with devices that range in the hundreds of millions.

More money for game development, means better games and everyone wins.
 

doug petrosky

TS Rookie
..
I however think this is being over played. I have serious doubts it can run say Halo 5 on the go, or Assassin's Creed Oddyssey. It is still very, very, powerful for the form factor. At the current rate it will certainly be able to run any PC games, it's a matter of when. I say capable as a prequalified statement. Some games will never be put on it, say Roms and of the like, and I doubt it will get too many PC games as apple tends to do IOS type games as opposed to say all the indie and other games from the windows store.
I know you are being positive in a somewhat negative way. Most PC's don't run PC games in the way your are talking about, but with limitations many people still enjoy them so to that I'd say it is not over played and it is already at the point of running VIRTUALLY ALL PC games (just not maxed out). As for who will produce for the platform? Apple doesn't impose limits on who produces for the iOS so it is simply a matter of how many people on a platform will pay and how hard it is to bring the title forward. I think many indies will see value moving to iOS>
 

doug petrosky

TS Rookie
I have the previous (now) gen of iPad Pro, which I'm using probably the same as at least 90% of people who buys them - email, web browsing, YouTube, music (at home), reading books, occasional game. And for all such users, including myself, the new gen brings absolutely nothing new...

The screen quality is the same, performance - it was already mighty fast for everything. Keyboard - nobody really cares, and for those who does, it worked fine already. Pen - very few people ever use it. Storage? - people who care already use iCloud.
You speak from your point of view and yes it is the point of view of some, but most who spent up for a pro did it specifically for the pen, so they probably use it for drawing or taking notes or what ever their purpose.

But regardless, this type of performance boost makes this a desktop or laptop replacement for just that many more people and it attracts big names like Autodesk and Adobe to make more and more capable versions fo their applications.

So, although what you said is true for many. The same has been true for many for their computers for years, but technology evolves and enables new things. Embrace it. But wait another couple years to upgrade your pro.
 

yeeeeman

TS Maniac
Many people have problems with reading: "Apple claims that with the 7-core GPU, graphical performance in the new iPad is on par with that of the Xbox One S". The keyword here is that Apple claims, not that it is true. Until we get hard facts, like fillrates, ROPs, etc, you can say whatever you want. It doesn't mean it is true.

Apple doesn't specialize in black magic. They use the same techniques as all the other manufacturers and frankly, they copy-pasted IMG tech GPU uArch. Sure, when you design something for mobile, you get a power advantage since you remove all the unnecesary bits like high precision FP units, less ROPs and have in general a power-saving approach to everything that you add to the chip. Apple also uses Metal API, so they can optimize the heck out the chip, remove all DX12/OpenGL bloat and make it clean.

Another major point is the fact that the chip might be powerful (I doubt it is as powerful as the Xbox One Polaris GPU), it can sustain a certain performance for short amounts of time. Also, consoles use GDDR5 memory, whereas Apple socs use LPDDR4 memory which cuts lots of power.

Bottom line is that I don't think it is so amazing what they achieved. It is a combination of tight integration, 7nm, low power memory subsystem and misleading advertising.
 
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