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AnandTech benchmarks the iPad 2, shows huge graphics gains

AnandTech is in the midst of a lengthy analysis of the iPad 2's hardware. The results so far confirm what most of us already knew: the iPad 2's display is virtually identical to the original iPad, the cameras are nothing to write home about, and the CPU is slightly more powerful.

What's most revealing in AnandTech's testing is how greatly improved the iPad 2's graphics are compared to the original iPad. AnandTech tested the iPad 2's PowerVR SGX 543MP2 GPU against the original iPad and the Motorola Xoom, and the iPad 2 outperformed both of them significantly. More than that, actually -- in terms of performance on AnandTech's benchmarks, the iPad 2 destroyed both the original iPad and the Xoom. Neither device was even close to replicating the iPad 2's graphical performance.

A handful of developers have already pushed out updated apps that take advantage of the iPad 2's graphics hardware, including Firemint's Real Racing 2 HD and Chair's Infinity Blade. While the iPad 2's screen resolution is unchanged from the original iPad, its more powerful GPU has allowed developers to increase the level of detail and lighting effects in their games. AnandTech has a mouseover pic comparing Infinity Blade's appearance on the original iPad versus the iPad 2-optimized graphics, and the difference is easy to see.

As more developers begin tailoring their apps' graphics to the iPad 2's impressive hardware, it's entirely possible that gaming might see a new surge on the iOS platform. Meanwhile, if you're interested in a deep dive into the iPad 2's hardware, definitely check out AnandTech's review.

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