Apple iPad Pro 2020 Benchmark Scores And Comparison To Old iPad Pros

Apple announced the new iPad Pros on March 18 and then released them yesterday, which has given us some time to study the hardware performance of it. Here's a quick take on the iPad Pro 2020 benchmarks.

The new iPad Pro 11 and 12.9 got an upgraded processor over the iPad Pro 2018 models, but not in the way that most people had expected, which was the natural expectation of a big increase in benchmark scores. Looking into the Geekbench 4 benchmark scores for both the 2018 models and the 2020 models running iPadOS 13.4, we see that the increase in benchmark scores are negligible.

The iPad Pro 2018 with an Apple A12X chipset will achieve over 5,010 in single-core and 18,050 in multi-core scores easily, both impressive figures in their own respect. The new iPad Pro 2020 with the Apple A12Z chipset meanwhile, will achieve over 5,030 in single-core and 18,325 in multi-core scores.

By comparison, tablets like Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 will come in at 3500 and 11,000, while an i5 version of Surface Pro 7 with 8GB RAM, will come in at 5,340 and 16,860 respectively. So that shows how quick and powerful both the old and new iPad Pros are.

But it also lends some criticism towards benchmarks, because in this example I compared an iPad Pro 2018 model with 4GB of RAM to an iPad Pro 2020 model with 6GB of RAM, and the Geekbench 4 benchmark scores does not reflect the impact that 50% increased work memory has on general performance.

iPad Pro benchmark scores – 2018 model to the left, 2020 model to the right

Apple launched the new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2020 models with the same entry level prices as before, at $799 and $999, but what should be factored in is that the new iPad Pros now all come with 6GB LPDDR4X RAM as standard, whereas the predecessors only had 4GB RAM on all but the 1TB storage model which had 6GB of RAM.

Minimum storage is also increased from 64GB to 128GB for the same entry level models, so together with the more modernized chipset with the more 3D friendly GPU, Apple has future proofed the iPad Pro 2020 models more. So that will make the new iPad Pros work even better with the new augmented and mixed reality features that Apple are developing for future launches, and they will work even better with the large games that Apple are working more and more on too.

But with just an upgrade from a 7-core GPU to an 8-core GPU and otherwise the same 8-core 2.49 GHz processor that just differs a little in architecture, I can see why people are on the fence about buying the new iPad Pro 2020, if they are evaluated based on these hardware upgrades.

The upgraded rear camera features and high quality mics shows us that Apple has aimed at widening the appeal of iPad Pros to more than just their existing customer base, so that explains why Apple upgraded the new iPad Pros the way that they did, when most users of the existing iPad Pros already felt that they had enough power to test their codes or edit videos smoothly with.

So in conclusion, from $799 you are getting 100% more storage, 50% more RAM, a faster and more powerful graphics engine, a LiDAR camera and an additional 10MP wide-angle camera, as well as Wi-Fi 6, so obviously the iPad Pros have been upgraded.

But if you don't feel like you need any of these upgrades, you can buy the old models on a small discount before they sell out, and still buy the keyboards later when they launch in May, if you want one of Apple's new keyboards.

Apple iPad Pro 11 & 12.9

– Tom Bowen