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Did we already say that the new iPad Air 2 is fast, VERY fast?

Análisis iPad Air 2, la frontera entre la imaginación y el objetivo

It is called SilicaMark and consists of three tests with an image of 1536 x 2048 pixels: Undo , to test the speed of Flash storage by seeing how many times the app can go back in the history in a fixed period of time; Alpha Blending , a GPU intensive operation where the memory bandwidth also plays an important role; ColorDrop , one of the new features of version 2. 1 of Procreate and also the feature with the highest GPU and CPU requirement.


Did we already say that the new iPad Air 2 is fast, VERY fast?
Did we already say that the new iPad Air 2 is fast, VERY fast?

In the first of the three tests, the second, third and fourth generation iPads did not show much improvement from one to the other, but with the arrival of the iPad Air and its 64-bit processor the jump was remarkable, practically doubling the figure of the previous model. The iPad Air 2 raises the bar again considerably by performing 38 more operations at the same time.

Alpha Blend

With a normal fusion mode and 16 layers, we were surprised to discover that the original Air performs worse in the test than the 2012 iPad. The reason is found in a series of OpenGL optimizations introduced in the iPad Air and iPad Air 2 when working with textures of less than 256 MB in size that, in turn, penalizes when this limit is exceeded.

The second pass of the Alpha Blend test uses 8 layers and several more complex fusion modes that the guys at Procreate say give a more representative result by requiring many more shaders in each operation. The iPad 3 and iPad 4 show remarkable jumps that are repeated in the next two generations. Compare the 26 operations of the iPad 2 with the 450 of the iPad Air 2 and think that we are talking about two models separated by just over three years.


The hardest test, one that pushes both CPU and GPU to the limit and memory bandwidth, is the best indicator of how the apple tablet has evolved with each generation.

Final score

Once all the data is put together this is the result. Going back to the comparison with the iPad 2, one of the most popular models and also from which probably many of you are thinking of jumping to the iPad Air 2 the difference in the real performance of an app is beastly. Eight times faster in just three years, a leap that opens the door for developers to create apps as complex as they want.

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