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Apple's new iPad graphics claims questioned by Nvidia

Apple claims its A5X processor is four times as fast as Nvidia's Tegra 3, but the chipmaker wants to see the evidence.

Apple isn't shy about bigging up its new iPad's processing power. At last night's announcement, the Californian company claimed its new A5X processor has more power than the Xbox 360 -- and is four times as fast as Nvidia's rival Tegra 3 chip. Quite some claim.

Justifiably, Nvidia wants to see the evidence. Ken Brown, Nvidia spokesman, told our sister site ZDNet it was "certainly flattering" to be name-checked by Apple, but without some benchmarks the claims don't stand up.

"We don't have the benchmark information," Brown said. "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 benchmark."

Apple's chart showed no footnotes, and as is the company's way, it didn't elaborate on exactly how it'd come to its findings.  Nvidia will be getting its hands on a new iPad when it goes on sale a week tomorrow, and carrying out some tests of its own. "At some point it will become more clear what the performance really is," Brown said. "For now, Apple has a really generic statement."

In Apple's chart, the A5 processor from the iPad 2 is also shown to be twice as fast as Nvidia's Tegra 3, but Brown didn't elaborate on how these claims stand up.

The Tegra 3 is found in competing tablets like the Asus Transformer Prime. Unike the A5X, it's quad-core -- the A5X is a dual-core processor with "quad-core graphics", although it's not clear what that means.

We'll have to wait for a full review unit of the new iPad to see how the two stack up, but frankly it doesn't matter, as they run different operating systems. We're some way off gamers getting het up over which tablet platform runs the latest instalment of Angry Birds better.

Apple unveiled the new iPad last night. As well as the new processor, it has a retina display with four times the resolution of the iPad 2, improved camera, and a new voice dictation mode. For a full run-down of its features, see our list here. And check out our hands-on below.

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What do you make of Apple's claims? Let me know in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.