Saturday, April 16, 2016

John Ive penned a global limited edition iPad Pro will be auctioned | iPad Pro performance measurement A9X chip can really replace

John Ive penned a global limited edition iPad Pro will be auctioned

iPad Pro performance measurement A9X chip can really replace

At the press conference last September, Apple executives introduced iPad intentionally with the PC platform when compared Pro equipped A9X chip. According to Apple's statement, CPU performance A9X beyond the year before released within 80% of the portable PC, GPU performance is beyond 90% of the models. Needless to say, this comparison naturally caused great controversy. Support for Apple fans tend to view Geekbench, GFXbench test data to prove Apple's conclusion, while opponents of such cross-platform testing impartial, representative scoffed.

Earlier this year, the famous IT website Anandtech industry-standard test suite SPEC CPU 2006 compared A9X and Skylake platform this super performance, the conclusion is A9X performance close to the level Core M 6y30, it seems that for this dispute to an end.

However, SPEC CPU test set Anandtech used more for servers, in a general household, commercial representative of the market is not high. And Anand were tested only CPU integer projects did not involve floating-point comparison of the project; as for the GPU, evaluation tools used by Anandtech also still GFXbench, 3D Mark this traditional items. As equipped A9X the iPad Pro's performance in the real task, the major media evaluation agencies rarely involved.

For users, the real decision points result with the performance of the test program is not perceived, but the actual speed of execution tasks. For more intuitive comparison mission effectiveness iPad Pro with the traditional PC, it decided to conduct a comparison based on real applications, explore the iPad Pro in real-life scenarios exactly what level of performance.

iPad Pro Performance Test

Test Platform Parameters

Since the newly acquired Skylake PC platform broke down, I decided to use a PC for some years to come and iPad Pro under a high. Both specific configuration is as follows:

PC--
Compare .png ipad pro with pc
iPad Pro
ipad pro version .png
Cross-platform performance comparison test software biggest trouble is difficult to unify. Especially iOS and Windows platforms is almost no cross-platform portable applications, we want to measure the performance of the same software in both platforms basically impossible. So I can only second best, two for each task in selecting a relatively mainstream internet applications to be tested. Obviously, such a comparison results will be affected by different software to optimize the efficiency of its own, and therefore can not accurately reflect the true abilities of different hardware platforms. But for the average user, this means more realistic test and reference value.

I chose to contrast the project page JS engine efficiency, file decompression, image format conversion, video software decoding, re-encoding video, covering the iOS platform applications on the performance requirements of the highest category. Unfortunately, iOS platform currently no 3D rendering applications, but also from the lack of a large transplant PC platform game, so these two important projects can not be compared with the PC. When conditions it will try to compensate for this shortcoming in the future.

Next, let us look at the iPad Pro in real application scenarios exactly how the performance of it.

Page JS engine performance

Compare web performance is very easy task, here is Mozilla's Kraken test. JS Test results mainly affected by CPU performance with single-threaded browser engine efficiency and greater impact of some of the latter.
ipad pro performance testing .png
Core i7 920 is a very old CPU, clock speed is not too high, so poor performance in this test. Now the mainstream, such as low-voltage mobile CPU Core i5 6300U much better results, scores around 1000ms, the clear winner iPad Pro.

File decompression test

iOS platform and not very easy to use file compression decompression tool, one of the most popular applications are iZip Pro, only relatively simple compression and decompression. I use a compression rate of 50% of 1G size of the image archive (rar format) has been tested and found on the iPad Pro and PC platforms, file decompression speed only depends on the performance of SSD. iPad Pro handle this packet compression speed is about 85MB / s, while the contrast of PC involvement in the poor performance SSD, speed is only 70MB / s or so. Unzip the same files on another PC equipped with a high-performance SSD's speed can reach 200MB / s.

It also uses a different compression ratio, compressed in different formats to test results are basically the same. We have everyday applications difficult to encounter a high compression rate, compression performance is the test document, it was decided to extract the main parameters of the performance is the speed of the file copy of the storage system. In this regard, iPad Pro's performance is roughly equivalent to the older SSD equipped with the PC.

More valuable task is file compression test, unfortunately iOS platform file compression tools are packaged only simple option that is generating the source file size is the same compression package does not involve the calculation of the CPU. Thus there can be no file compression performance compared.

As a reference, SPEC CPU 2006 integer test project conducted at Anandtech, A9X file compression results with a frequency close to the Core M 6y30 processor.

Image format conversion
ipad pro Performance Test 1.png
In the large number of images into a different format is more CPU resources consumption tasks. There is an app called imageConverter can picture batch convert between JPG and TIFF formats on the iOS platform. As used herein, the app will convert 100 JPG images to TIFF format; as a comparison, using Photoshop CC 2015 (2015 November update.) To perform the same tasks on a PC platform. The results are as follows:

Video decoding test
ipad pro performance testing 2.png
This part, I chose a length of 92 seconds of video test. Video resolution of 3840x2160, encoded x264 Hi10p, frame rate 120fps, video size is 293MB.

PC platform of choice potplayer 2015, the latest version of the decoder is FFMPEG (LAV decoder measured performance much worse); on the iPad Pro is used Oplayer HD, software decoding mode off GPU acceleration. Both are closed test loop filter, statistical actual playing time 92 seconds of the video.

This test, i7 920 full CPU load, eight threads occupancy rate of 98%. Final results from the point of view, iPad Pro roughly down to 1.8G quad-core Nehalem platform, taking into account only two former A9X core 2.26G (the long run will be down-loaded to 2.16G), this result is very alarming.

But iOS platform video player to play the latest video coding efficiency HEVC relatively poor, iPad Pro 4k HEVC video decoding performance is only equivalent to the same frequency dual-core Nehalem platform. D in dealing with 1080p / 120fps video of HEVC iPad Pro performed well, in contrast to PC as smooth playback.

The test is whether or imageConverter Photoshop can not allow the processor to work at full load, image conversion speed is more dependent on the performance of single-threaded processor.

Video encoding test
ipad pro performance testing 3.png
I were used on iPad Pro iMovie to 4k h.264 video conversion period of 52 seconds in length of 1080p format on the PC using Adobe Premiere CC 2015 to complete the same operation, the results are as follows.

Such a large gap is clearly not right, and finally I found iOS platform mainstream video editing applications in dealing with such tasks using the GPU to assist operations, a substantial increase in execution speed. So I in another Core i3-6100 PC is turned Premiere GPU acceleration were compared, the results still lost iPad Pro, the conversion time to reach the 57s. It should be noted that Apple GPU assisted coding efficiency in OS X software platform for professional video FCP X is also higher than Adobe Premiere, iOS version of iMovie probably inherited this advantage.

iOS platform, there is a CPU-based computing video transcoding application iConv. Use this application transcoding test results when it is very unstable: the video is encoded as MPEG4, when WMV8 format iPad Pro speeds roughly equivalent to half of the i7 920, but in the former task x264 encoding only the latter's performance less than 1/5. But iConv using an older version of the x264 encoding component, whether it is done for the ARM platform optimization also unknown.

Testing interesting details

Selected in the App Store for use with PC application comparison is quite difficult to do, in addition to the applications listed in this article I have tried outside dozen other software, but are difficult to obtain reliable results.

Web performance testing, if you are using split-screen feature on iPad Pro open two browser executes Kraken test, the results will decline to around 4400ms; compared with PC internet browser to open multiple simultaneous test does not reduce the results, performance visible iOS split-screen functions have a lot of room for optimization. Dual-core processor should be at least the same performance at the same time deal with the two tests.

Extract the files in the project, some of the file management application documentation decompression speed on iOS called "snail", extract a picture to be consuming more than one second. Containing thousands of images compressed package to deal with one hour, it is amazing;

Video playback test, the decoding performance gap App Store several popular applications large video decoding HEVC maximum efficiency differences several times;

iOS platform most video editing applications are highly optimized for the GPU, efficiency is almost the same. Surprisingly, their high output video picture quality and CPU-coded results are difficult to distinguish, unlike GPU encoding applications for the Windows platform as on the output quality always less one chip;

iOS image processing application platform in the iPad Pro has a very smooth performance on multiple pictures and response speed bulk filter operations fast, no way inferior to the Windows of Photoshop. Just because it is difficult to quantify the results of this test did not include this type of project;

Whatever the scenarios, A9X power performance is very good. In the video transcoding tasks, iPad Pro screen brightness at 10% of full load operation of six hours and 10% of electricity, called mobile devices endurance championship.

to sum up

From the comparison of the above tasks of view, iPad Pro in real usage scenarios overall performance is adequate and comparable to the mainstream PC. However, due to software optimization and other factors, these tests do not accurately reflect the CPU, GPU performance levels A9X chip.

Some scenarios iPad Pro performed very well, but in other cases the performance gap between it and the mainstream PC is a world of difference; there are many things to do in the PC platform and iOS no suitable applications. Only when large software Windows platform complete transplant to iOS platform, Apple Mac systems or migrate to its own chip we have the conditions for a comprehensive and accurate measure of the performance of Apple's self-developed chip.

However, we should also be aware that the mobile chip = low performance situation has become history, based on the ARM processor instruction set is now qualified with a low-power x86 chips higher down. Perhaps not too long, we can see the all-out confrontation ARM platform and the x86 platform. Future ARM camp how to achieve what height, let us work together to witness it.
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