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New iPad Pro benchmarks are very close to the 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

Geekbench tests put the new 1TB iPad Pro in sight of the $3,000 15-inch MacBook Pro's single core and multi-core speed, which may restart the conversation about Macs with ARM chips in the future.

John Ternus, vice president of hardware engineering, presenting iPad Pro

John Ternus, vice president of hardware engineering, presenting iPad Pro


Apple has claimed that its new iPad Pro models were faster than 92 percent of all laptops sold in the last year and now Geekbench scores reveal this includes the 13-inch MacBook Pros, and a close proximity to the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Geekbench compares both single- and multi-core speeds using a series of benchmarking tests and then creating a figure to summarize the results. According to first results on the Geekbench website, the iPad Pro gets a single-core speed of 5030.

The same tests run on a mid-2018 15 inch MacBook Pro got that machine a single-core figure of 5419.

Geekbench scores for iPad Pro (top), MacBook Pro (bottom)

Geekbench scores for iPad Pro (top), MacBook Pro (bottom)


That means the highest-spec iPad Pro's single-core performance is 92.8 percent that of the top end MacBook Pro.

Geekbench's scores for multi-core operations are not quite as close, though. For multi-core performance, the benchmark rates the iPad Pro as 17995 and the MacBook Pro as 21251. That puts the iOS device at 85.68 percent of the laptop.

It's not clear how these tests have been performed so quickly, nor could they be authenticated by AppleInsider on Thursday morning. Geekbench data sets are crowd-sourced, so we may see differing figures as more people get iPad Pros.

It is clear that this test was done using the 1TB version of the iPad Pro which comes with 6GB RAM instead of the 4GB in other models. This is also a comparison of specifications in an artificial test —real-world speeds of the two machines will be different based on the user's workflow but the relative performance should be the same.

What it also shows is that the relative performance between the Intel processors which power the MacBook Pro and the ARM processor in the iPad Pro. The startlingly close figures give weight to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's claim that Apple will move to ARM for its Macs no later than 2021.

This would be a significant change for Apple but it's far from the first time the company has made such a move. Most recently it moved to Intel from PowerPC but before that the Mac had Motorola processors. It's been reasonable to expect that Apple would manage another transition as smoothly as it did its prior ones but now with these Geekbench figures there is more reason to believe the move would be worthwhile.

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