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Apple iPad Pro with M4 chip significantly faster than M2 model

The new Apple iPad Air (2024) models use the same M2 chipset as the 2022 Pros. The new iPad Pros have the M4 chip on board.
Apple iPad Pro 2024 cameras-240507

Apple launched new iPad Pro and new iPad Air tablets earlier this month. Like the Pro models, the iPad Air is now available in two sizes – the iPad Air 11 and the Air 13 inch. It is also interesting that the Air is, in a sense, an “iPad Pro SE”. This means the 2024 models use the Apple M2 chipset, which already powered the iPad Pro 11 (2022) and iPad Pro 12.9 (2022). The iPad Air (2022) instead had an M1 chip like the 2021 Pro models.

Let’s put the model numbers aside and look at the first performance benchmarks of the new iPad Pros. How does the brand new Apple M4 chip compare to the 2022 Pros? The new iPad Air tablets are not yet in the Geekbench database, but the 2022 Pros are a good replacement. As mentioned, both also use the M2 processor.

The Apple iPad Pro 11 (2024) and the iPad Pro 13 (2024) are based on two different versions of the M4 chip. Depending on the memory, they also have different RAM capacities. The 256GB and 512GB models have 8GB of RAM and an M4 with 9 CPU cores. The 1 TB and 2 TB models instead have 16 GB of RAM and 10 CPU cores. Further details can be found here.

The situation with the Apple iPad Air 11 (2024) and iPad Air 13 (2024) is simpler. All versions have 8GB of RAM and use the same Apple M2 chip (8 cores). The values of the Apple iPad Pro (2024), on the other hand, apply to the version with 16 GB of RAM and 10 cores compared to an iPad Pro (2022) with 8 GB and 8 cores.

The results are clear. While there are a few differences, both single-core and multi-core performance are in the range of 40-45% higher than the M2. That’s an impressive increase for two years, especially since the M2 was already quite fast. To be fair, the new chipset is also based on a newer semiconductor node, the N3E from TSMC. The M2, on the other hand, was made on an N5P node. What’s interesting is that N3E appears to be a cheaper version of the N3B node that was used for the Apple M3 series in the current MacBooks.

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Toni Hobrecht
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