Using the average of three CPU tests, the new iPad Pro scored 5,027 on single-core and 18,050 on multi-core compared to the 2017 iPad Pro’s 3,964 single-core and 9,529 multi-core scores. That makes the new iPad Pros 27 percent faster on single-core and 89 percent faster on multi-core — all within Apple’s claims.
As I’ve said over and over again, synthetic benchmarks like these CPU scores give you an idea of where the new iPads pro rank in comparison to other devices. But what you really want to know is what kind of tangible performance you can get from such power and will it actually make a difference in your work.
I can’t speak for every kind of person’s needs, but I can tell you editing video on the go is not easy. Ask any video producer and they’ll recommend using a beefy laptop with a discrete graphics processor, especially if you’re crunching 4K video files, and rendering lots of transitions and effects, etc.
The more powerful your CPU and GPU, the faster videos will render and export. So I put the iPad Pro’s to the task.
Using Adobe Premiere Rush CC, I created a 3-minute long project file consisting of five 4K video clips (taken with an iPhone XR for our XR review), tossed in a title at the front and a “Subscribe” card at the end, added three video clip transitions (two dissolves and one dip-to-white), and color-graded two clips each with one filter preset.
The entire project weighed in at 179MB and although I had hoped to export the video in 4K, the highest settings you can export in Rush CC on mobile is 1080p at 30 fps. Since the videos were shot at 24 fps, I selected settings for 1080p and 24 fps, and then hit the export button.
I did this on multiples iOS devices running iOS 12.1 and took the average of three exports tests and here’s what I got (don’t worry, all devices were charged to 100 percent and remained plugged in to prevent any kind of performance throttling from depleted battery health:
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2018): 54 seconds
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro (2017): 1 minute and 24 seconds
- 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 (2014): 7 minutes and 18 seconds
- iPhone X (2017): 1 minute and 56 seconds
- iPhone XS (2018): 1 minute and 13 seconds
I also did the export test on my MacBook running the newest version of macOS Mojave and a Surface Pro running the latest version of Windows 10 Pro:
- 12-inch MacBook (2015) with 1.2Ghz Core M + 8GB of RAM: 2 minutes and 1 second
- Surface Pro (2017) with 2.6GHz Core i5 + 8GB of RAM: 8 minutes and 8 seconds
- 13-inch MacBook Air (2018) with 1.6GHz Core i5 + 8GB of RAM: 8 minutes and 8 seconds
Breaking down the numbers, the new iPad Pro exported the video 56 percent faster than last-gen iPad Pro, and 711 percent faster than a four-year-old iPad Air 2, and 115 percent faster than the iPhone X.
The performance gap is smaller compared to the iPhone XS — the new iPad Pro exported the video 35 percent faster — but still speedier. The time saved from waiting for an export to be finished is time that can be put towards uploading or doing something else.
Even more nuts is the iPad Pro’s performance compared to laptops. It exported the video 124 percent faster than my 2015 12-inch MacBook and 804 percent faster than a 2017 Surface Pro and even the new 2018 MacBook Air.
These are preliminary performance tests, too. It’s up to developers to optimize their apps to tap into the A12X Bionic’s insane power so it’s very possible better code could mean even faster performance.
Many of the apps I tested such as Rush CC, Lightroom CC, Procreate, and others weren’t optimized for the the iPad Pro’s screen resolution (you’ll know because they don’t fill out the entire display), but I expect them to be updated on the day of the tablets’ release or shortly after.
The A12X Bionic’s raw power makes everything on iOS (and I mean everything) feel faster. Beautiful 3D games like Asphalt 9 and Fortnite run smooth and rarely with any framerate issues. It’s very telling when Fortnite at “high” graphics settings is playable at 30 fps, but a 2017 top-of-the-line 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro with discrete graphics can barely load it without lag.
Battery life is also as excellent as on previous iPads. Apple advertises “up to 10 hours” for mixed usage and I got just about exactly that for reading, playing some games, watchings lots of YouTube and Netflix, and typing out some of this review. More intensive apps like Rush CC and iMovie will drain your battery quicker, so keep that in mind. But even still, I still got around 7-8 hours while working with pro-level apps.