New iPad : Apple A5X GPU Scrutinised, 166MHz PowerVR SGX543MP4?

Apple has announced that A5X, the processor that powers the new iPad is twice as fast as its predecessor, the A5 and four times as fast as the Tegra 3 which powers a flurry of iPad and iPhone rivals like the Acer Iconia A510, the Asus Transformer Prime and the HTC One X.

Apple only said that the SoC contains a quad core graphics. Given that it is twice as fast as the A5, one can safely assume that Apple is using the Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX543MP4 solution.

Sony is also rumoured to be using the same solution in its Playstation Vita and four cores can deliver up to 133 million polygons per second at 200MHz, an almost linear improvement on two cores (68m PPS).

More controversially though, Apple says that the A5X is four times faster than the Nvidia Tegra 3 with its 12 ULP Geforce cores. Apple did not mention which benchmarks it used.

The only head to head comparison we managed to get was from Anandtech which posted a table showing theoretical peak performance. Kal-el Geforce reaches 4.8GFLOPS at 200MHz while a PowerVR SGX543MP2 reached 12.8GFLOPS at the same clock speed.

Could it be that Apple cut the speed of the GPU to 166MHz while adding two more cores and used the Peak floating point throughput to claim that the A5X is four times more powerful than the Nvidia Tegra 3?

This article is part of a series where we look at multiple aspects of the new iPad including the processor, the GPU, the screen, the 4G connectivity, the iSight camera, design and battery life. There's also a nifty comparison between the new iPad and the iPad 2.

You can read through our liveblog of the event, one which lasted nearly 90 minutes and also saw the launch of a new Apple TV and the iPhoto App plus a number of major updates.