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iPad Air 2 even more powerful than first thought

New findings have shown that the iPad Air 2 is even more powerful than was initially thought.

Apple’s latest full-sized tablet was already know to be an extremely powerful piece of kit, with a modified A8X CPU that adds an additional core over the A8. But several weeks after its release, a fresh piece of information on a key iPad Air 2 component has emerged that shows we were all doing it a disservice.

It was assumed by many that the graphics chip employed by the iPad Air 2’s A8X SoC was a standard 6-core PowerVR GX6650 GPU from the Imagination Technologies production line. However, AnandTech has found that Apple has been able to modify one of the company’s chips to its own specification.

This has resulted in what is actually a custom 8-core PowerVR GPU – something we haven’t seen before.

This was confirmed when Chipworks revealed a die shot of the A8X, clearly revealing those extra two GPU clusters.

Essentially, it seems as if Apple has taken the quad-core PowerVR GX6450 GPU found in the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, and has doubled up on it.

The result is a device that AnandTech describes as “overweight” on GPU performance, offering twice the GPU grunt of the iPhone 6 Plus despite having to push considerably less than double the pixels around its screen.

That’s about the first time we’ve seen anyone use the word ‘overweight’ in relation to the iPad Air 2, but it’s interesting to realise the full extent of Apple’s work in making it the most powerful iOS device out there by quite some margin.

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