Benchmark Results Confirm Apple Hasn't Downclocked M1 Chip in New iPad Air

Benchmark results for the new iPad Air reveal that Apple has not downclocked the M1 chip to artificially limit the device's performance.

ipad air 5 colors
The M1 chip in the fifth-generation iPad Air has the same 3.2GHz operating frequency as it does in the iPad Pro, according to Geekbench 5 results. As such, the M1 iPad Air has virtually identical performance as the M1 iPad Pro.

Specifically, the M1 iPad Air has average single-core and multi-core scores of around 1,700 and 7,200, respectively. These scores confirm that the M1 iPad Air has performance on par with the M1 iPad Pro, while having around 60% to 70% faster CPU performance than the fourth-generation iPad Air with the A14 Bionic chip.

"The breakthrough M1 chip in iPad Air delivers a giant performance boost to even the most demanding apps and workflows, with incredible power efficiency and all-day battery life," said Apple's press release for the new iPad Air.

First introduced in the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini in November 2020, the M1 chip features an 8‑core CPU, 8‑core GPU, and a 16‑core Neural Engine. The chip provides the new iPad Air with access to 8GB of unified memory.

Apple's decision not to downclock the M1 chip in the iPad Air is notable given that the A15 Bionic chip is downclocked to 2.9GHz in the sixth-generation iPad mini, compared to 3.2GHz for other devices like the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max. The downclocked chip results in the iPad mini being around 2% to 8% slower than iPhone 13 models.

Beyond the M1 chip, key features of the new iPad Air include an upgraded 12-megapixel front camera with Center Stage support, 5G connectivity on cellular models, up to a 2x faster USB-C port for data transfer, and new color options. Pre-orders began March 11 ahead of a March 18 launch, with pricing starting at $599 in the United States.

Related Roundup: iPad Air
Buyer's Guide: iPad Air (Neutral)
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

nvmls Avatar
9 months ago
Lol, well the downclock is iPadOS.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johnmarki Avatar
9 months ago
Hopefully all of these M1s in iPads are to prepare for a more advanced iPadOS rollout this summer.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dj458 Avatar
9 months ago
what can you do for that M1 performance, does it increase the web loading speed or app open speed? It's like add a V12 in a Honda Civic!
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
noone Avatar
9 months ago

I translate: Apple has reduced the absurd, not useful power of the M1 to gain battery performance.
You may want to re-read that headline. They have not downclocked the M1 in the new air.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
9 months ago

Why not put MacOS on iPad? That will be a killer!
That’s wishful thinking. I don’t think Apple will ever allow that. Not anytime soon.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nepalisherpa Avatar
9 months ago
I really hope iPadOS 16 is going to take more advantage of all that M1 power.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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