iPad 2 Vs XOOM
Yes, iPad 2 had to beat ‘em all as it packs a 1GHz dual core CPU which none of them has. But Anandtech has got a pretty much longer list of devices bechmarked on Sunspider 0.9. The test was carried out on Motorola XOOM so we have got something to compare with. This test result doesn’t enlist the iPad 2 running iOS 4.3 but we’ve got the performance in miliseconds.
iPad 2 on iOS 4.3 had a performance result of 2097ms according to CNET’s test and Motorola XOOM has a performance result of 2164.4ms according to Anandtech’s test. So iPad 2 beats XOOM by a sharp margin of 67.4 ms. This is a tiny little margin but you take such things into account when you’ve got some intense performance competition.
One thing that makes this performance lead a little skeptical is that CNET’s results were done on Sunspider 0.9.1 unlike Anandtech’s test which was carried out on version 0.9. The results might be affected because of the difference in the version of the benchmark on the two devices.
iPad 2 contains an A5 chip designed and released by Apple and manufactured by Samsung. It has got a 1GHz dual core ARM Cortext A9 (or possibly A8) processor whereas the XOOM has got Tegra 2 manufactured and released by NVIDIA which also contains a dual core 1 GHz ARM Cortex A9 CPU. The only technical difference in both the chips is the RAM. A5 has got 512MB of RAM whereas NVIDIA Tegra 2 in XOOM has got 1GB of RAM. Haven’t you notice that XOOM has got more RAM but the iPad 2 beats it in performace? Surprised!? No, this is not something surprising as Apple is able to achieve noticeably better performance with technically lower level hardware in many cases. Take iPhone 4 for example, it has got a clock speed of 800MHz to 1GHz on Apple A4 chip with 512MB of RAM but it performs way faster than the rival Android phones with 1GB of RAM and 1GHz CPU like HTC Desire. The difference isn’t nominal, you’d experience it in everyday use. Apple achieves this performance lead by the better software efficiency and may be a better hardware design as well.
Honeycomb has got a lot of tablet specific optimizations which mainly include the UI stuff. Apple on the other hand has not released a tablet specific UI with iOS 4.3 but has optimized the performance of already well performing OS specially the web browsing in Safari.
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