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Benchmark tests show new iPad Pro models outperform MacBook Pro in some CPU & GPU tasks

Apple earlier this month refreshed both its iPad Pro and MacBook Pro lineups with faster processors and other performance improvements. The company heavily markets the iPad Pro as a PC replacement, and new benchmarks from blog BareFeats show that the tablet may even outperform the more expensive MacBook Pro in some cases…


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The blog stacked the 2017 and 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models up against four different iPad Pro models. Notably, the MacBook Pro models tested were the top-of-the-line machines with Core i7 processors, 16GB of RAM, and Intel graphics. Here’s the specs of all the MacBook Pro and iPad Pro models compared:

  • 2017 MacBook Retina 13-inch, 3.5GHz Dual-Core i7 processor, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 GPU, 16GB of 2133 MHz LPDDR3 memory, 1TB PCIe based flash storage
  • 2016 MacBook Retina 13-inch, 3.1GHz Dual-Core i7 processor, Intel Iris Graphics 550 GPU, 16GB of 2133 MHz LPDDR3 memory, 1TB PCIe based flash storage
  • 2017 iPad Pro 12.9 inch (iPad7,2), 2.39GHz A10X processor, 512GB flash storage, 4GB of memory
  • 2017 iPad Pro 10.5 inch (iPad7,4), 2.39GHz A10X processor, 512GB flash storage, 4GB of memory
  • 2015 iPad Pro 12.9 inch (iPad6,8), 2.26GHz A9X processor, 128GB flash storage, 4GB of memory
  • 2016 iPad Pro 9.7 inch (iPad6,4), 2.24GHz A9X, 256GB flash storage, 2GB of memory

BareFeats put the devices through a series of GeekBench and GFXBench tests, looking at both CPU and GPU performance.

When it came to single-core CPU performance, the MacBook Pro reigned supreme, with the 2016 and 2017 models beating out all other iPad Pro models. As for iPad Pro, the 10.5-inch 2017 model came in at the top, followed closely by the 2017 12.9-inch model.

For multi-core CPU performance, the 2017 MacBook Pro came in at the top with a score of 10,261. In second place, however, was the 10.5-inch iPad Pro followed by the 2017 12.9-inch model. The 2017 iPad Pros both beat out the 2016 MacBook Pro – a notable feat considering the power and price associated with the MacBook Pro.

Then came the Geekbench metal GPU tests. Here, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro beat out all other devices, including the MacBook Pro. The newest 12.9-inch model came in second, followed by the 2016 MacBook Pro. The 2017 MacBook Pro placed fourth, behind its predecessor.

Lastly, the devices were run through a pair of GFXBench graphics tests. Yet again, the tests showed the iPad Pro reign supreme, with the 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch 2-17 models ending out both MacBook Pro models.

There are few things to consider before proclaiming that the iPad Pro is faster than the MacBook Pro. For one, benchmark tests are not necessarily conducive to real-world usage. Just because a device scores higher in arbitrary benchmarking doesn’t mean it will be faster with real-life tasks.

There’s also the factor of screen sizes and resolution – the MacBook Pro models have larger and higher resolution displays than the iPad Pros, which play a role especially in GPU tests. Theoretically, the added power in the MacBook Pros would erase any discrepancies, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. iOS software is also nearly perfectly optimized for the devices it runs on, whereas there is a bit more room for error when it comes to macOS. Think walled garden versus open garden.

Nevertheless, these benchmarks are notable as they show the true power of the iPad Pro. While the software may be more limited and less capable of true “pro” tasks, the speed is certainly there to get some serious work accomplished.




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