Apple's A5X vs nVidia's Tegra 3

Apple's A5X goes head-to-head with nVidia's Tegra 3.

Trace Hagan
Published Mon, Mar 19 2012 4:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 11:25 AM CDT

The two main competing technologies for tablets show off after Apple's Phil Schiller threw up a slide claiming that it has four times the graphics performance of Nvidia's Tegra 3. For those of you who don't know what the A5X is, it's the new CPU in the iPad 3. Thankfully, someone decided to check Apple's claim for validity. Laptop Mag compared the performance of Apple's new iPad with that of Asus's Transformer Prime. They used some benchmarking software available on both platforms.

The results, however, were less one-sided then I'm sure Apple would like to see. In Open GL 3D performance, Laptop Mag found that A5X came out far ahead of Tegra 3 on GLBenchmark 2.1. But, this was not the case in number-crunching. The Tegra 3 beat the iPad's new chip at integer and floating point performance, as well as memory performance. The iPad did win on memory bandwidth.

Additionally, games that are available on both iOS and Android were tested side-by-side. The iPad's retina display made games look sharper and more colorful, but the Tegra 3 powered tablet had more special effects and "eye candy." nVidia noted that the games used, Riptide GP and Shadowgun, had been specifically optimized for Tegra 3, and that the effects could possibly be reproduced on the new iPad.


Trace is a starving college student studying Computer Science. He has a love of the English language and an addiction for new technology and speculation. When he's not writing, studying, or going to class, he can be found on the soccer pitch, both playing and coaching, or on the mountain snowboarding.

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