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Apple's new M2 iPad Air has a nine-core GPU, despite original claims to the contrary

Apple has corrected the GPU core count in the M2 iPad Air's description.

Apple has quietly changed the M2 iPad Air's listed GPU core count from 10 cores to nine cores, and Metal benchmark testing suggests that the nine-core spec is accurate.

The M2 iPad Air was originally announced as having a 10-core GPU in its initial press release on May 7, 2024. The press release has remained uncorrected, as has an iPad Air support page, and all listings for the product in Apple Stores outside the US as of June 1, 2024.

The correction, first spotted by 9to5 Mac, on Saturday is likely to be the true core count, with the original specs having strangely been in error. Geekbench's Metal benchmark testing of the M2 iPad Air shows a score of 41,095, compared to the M2 iPad Pro's 10-core GPU, which rates a score of 45,195.

The difference of about 10 percent is explained by the lack of a 10th core in the iPad Air's M2 GPU. The corrected core count in the M2 chips used in iPad Air is the same in both the 11-inch and 13-inch models.

The M2 chip in the iPad Air models is a in all probability a "binned" version of the 10-core chip, with one of the GPU cores disabled. This is done in many cases to increase processor yields, and not have to toss a chip that has one GPU core that doesn't function.

The data correction will likely propagate to Apple's other pages and international sites in the near future.

This also means that the M2 iPad Air is the only machine Apple sells that sports a nine-core M2 GPU.