Unraveling the new iPad CPU’s quad-core confusion

Hubert Nguyen for Ubergizmo:

Because Apple has used the term Quad-Core in an unusual context (graphics unit), it leaves a lot of users confused about what Quad-Core means. Coincidentally, this was exactly what Apple needed, from a PR/Marketing standpoint. To make a long story short: the Apple A5X is NOT a quad-core processor, but let’s take a closer look…

Nguyen explains that the A5X chip inside the new iPad uses a graphics core that can operate twice as fast as the previous-generation model thanks to the addition of more graphics processing units.

Apple’s claim that the A5X is faster than Nvidia’s new (truly) quad-core Tegra 3 raised eyebrows, and Nguyen is skeptical that it does outperform Nvidia’s hardware in graphics performance measurements other than fill rate. Apple certainly needed to do something to speed up the iPad’s graphics since the new screen is pushing so many more pixels than before.