iPad 2 vs iPad 1 in Infinity Blade graphics benchmark bloodbath

The iPad 2 makes the original iPad feel the taste of its cold steel in our graphics benchmarks and Infinity Blade hands-on tests.

The iPad 2 promises blistering speed improvements over the first iPad, thanks to its dual-core processor and separate GPU for crunching graphics. And in our test, it delivers the goods like an Ocado van strapped to a cruise missile.

We ran our benchmarks using the GLBenchmark app, which is free to download from the iTunes store if you want to try it yourself. We tested an iPad 2 and an original iPad running the latest iOS 4.3 . Both had the same apps installed, too.

In some areas, such as CPU integer performance (a measurement of the speed it completes simple mathematical functions), we didn't see any improvement. But, almost across the board, we saw advances in graphics performance. The iPad 2 was vastly better at rendering textures and triangles, in particular. The improvement was big enough to be obvious to the naked eye, as you can see in our video at the end of this story.

Here's what these benchmarks mean for the iPad 2 in practice. In our hands-on tests, we found that the iPad 2 is fast, but many of its speed improvements come from the iOS 4.3 update. After we put the same update on an original iPad, the two tablets ran close to neck-in-neck for most tasks, such as opening apps and loading Web pages.

But for graphics-hungry tasks, like games, the GPU kicks in to give more detail and texture, and more plentiful enemies or other animated objects on the screen at one time. 

Apple poster-boy Infinity Blade has released an update specifically for the iPad 2. Its makers called the iPad 2 " fantastic for gaming ", but didn't fess up about exactly how they had to tweak their game to take advantage of the iPad 2's muscle. Whatever they did, we can vouch for the fact that it worked. Running the same updated version of the game on the iPad 2 and the iPad, it was clear that textures were more complex and edges were smoother on the newer tablet.

Bump up the resolution to full 720p and go full-screen to attempt to see the difference in our shakycam footage. The contrast between the two was obvious in person. Both screens were set to full brightness during this test, and the white iPad on the right is the iPad 2.

If that video doesn't do it for you, here is the biggest table ever published on Crave with all the benchmark numbers. In every case, higher is better.


iPad 1 iPad 2 Change
Unit Per cent
change
Swapbuffers 594 595 1 frames 0
GLBenchmark HD
GPU skinning
1800 1800 0 frames 0
GLBenchmark HD
CPU skinning
1800 1799 -1 frames 0
GLBenchmark Pro
GPU skinning
693 1158 465 frames 67
GLBenchmark Pro
CPU skinning
1095 1682 587 frames 54
3D rendering quality
- Perspective correction
100 100 0 per cent 0
3D rendering quality
- Bilinear filter
100 100 0 per cent 0
3D rendering quality
- triliner filter
100 100 0 per cent 0
3D rendering quality
- Z-buffer precision
100 100 0 per cent 0
3D rendering quality
- Sub-pixel precision
100 100 0 per cent 0
Fill rate
- Single-textured 1.1
166008800 855771616 689762816 texel/s 415
Fill rate
- Multi-textured 1.1
228412632 972647488 744234856 texel/s 326
Lights - Ambient x 1 3716754 9791014 6074260 triangle/s 163
Lights - Omni x 1 2750150 9806379 7056229 triangle/s 257
Lights - Parallel x 1 3729281 9807360 6078079 triangle/s 163
Lights - Parallel x 2 2804511 9806379 7001868 triangle/s 250
Lights - Parallel x 4 1907984 9621786 7713802 triangle/s 404
Lights - Parallel x 8 1116830 6618444 5501614 triangle/s 493
Lights - Spot x 1 2445685 9758323 7312638 triangle/s 299
Texture filter
- Nearest
6514138 9806379 3292241 triangle/s 51
Texture filter
- Linear
6473827 9806379 3332552 triangle/s 51
Texture filter
- Nearest mipmap nearest
6519984 9806379 3286395 triangle/s 50
Texture filter
- Linear mipmap linear
6100318 9807360 3707042 triangle/s 61
Texture size - 64x64 6459490 9807360 3347870 triangle/s 52
Texture size - 128x128 6520634 9807360 3286726 triangle/s 50
Texture size - 256x256 6478984 9806379 3327395 triangle/s 51
Texture size - 512x512 6095793 9807360 3711567 triangle/s 61
Texture size - 1024x1024 5863308 9807360 3944052 triangle/s 67
Triangles
- Flat shaded and colour
6615804 9807360 3191556 triangle/s 48
Triangles
- Smooth shaded and colour
6611850 9807360 3195510 triangle/s 48
Triangles
- Textured
6515436 9807360 3291924 triangle/s 51
Triangles
Textured and colour
5873742 9806379 3932637 triangle/s 67
CPU float performance 10000 13333 3333 point 33
CPU integer performance 12903 12376 -527 point -4
 

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