iPad mini 4 features 2GB of RAM and speed-boosted 1.5GHz A8 processor

I think we all pretty much expected the iPad mini 4 to be a little slower than Apple’s still top of the line iPad Air 2, and some new benchmarks from Ars Technica back up that expectation. The iPad mini 4, which received little fanfare during last Wednesday’s iPhone 6s event, ships with a new A8 processor and 2GB of RAM.

One thing that the report did indicate that, even with the uptick in speed, the iPad Air 2 is still faster than the iPad mini 4. But, that doesn’t take away from the improvements to the newer tablet:
“Having a whole extra CPU core makes the 1.5GHz A8X in the iPad Air 2 about 50% faster than the Mini 4, but we’re still looking at a 20-or-so percent improvement over the old Mini 2 and Mini 3. That extra RAM will be good for more than just Split View multitasking, too—2GB iDevices need to eject things from memory less often, cutting down on the amount of tab reloading that Safari does and generally reducing wait times when switching between different tabs and apps.”
That RAM increase and, to a lesser extent, the new A8 chip, is what makes it possible for the iPad mini 4 to use all of the new multitasking features found in iOS 9. Still, if you’re looking for the iPad mini 2 to best the iPad Air 2, you’re going to come away a bit disappointed.

Remember, the A8X found in the iPad Air 2 boasts 3 CPU cores, while the A8 remains a dual-core CPU. Ars says that the iPad Air 2 remains about 50% faster than the iPad mini 4, but that the iPad mini 4 is still noticeably faster than the iPad mini 3, or even the iPhone 6.

Of all things worthy of consideration, however, the 2GB of RAM is by far the most important new feature in the iPad mini 4. If you use the Safari browser a lot, you’re going to notice less forced refreshes due to low system memory. That’s a great improvement that might not be instantly noticeable, but makes big difference over the long term.


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