PowerVR GXA6850

The Imagination Technologies PowerVR GXA6850 is a fast mobile graphics solution (mainly) for tablets, which can be found in ARM SoCs such as the Apple A8X (iPad Air 2). The chip is available since Q3/2014 and of one of the fastest solutions in its class at the time of introduction.

Architecture and Performance

In contrast to previous speculations, the A8X integrates an 8-cluster PowerVR Series 6 (Rogue) GXA6850 consisting of two GX6450 GPUs (2x 4 clusters) instead of a single GX6650 (6 clusters). The name GXA6850 has been created by Anandtech, the design may also be called a GX6450MP2.

Each cluster offers four FP16 and two FP32 ALUs, leading to a compute power of about 230 GFLOPS FP32 at 450 MHz (clock rate estimated). The GXA6850 does not only beat the Qualcomm Adreno 420 (Snapdragon 805), but also the Nvidia Tegra K1 by a small margin. Thus, the GXA6850 is one of the fastest tablet GPUs as of 2014 and can handle even the most demanding mobile games in high resolutions. Among others, the GPU supports OpenGL 3.x/4.x, OpenGL ES 3.0 as well as DirectX 10.

Power Consumption

Thanks to the advanced 20-nanometer process and the relatively low clock rate, the GXA6850 implementation in Apple's A8X offers a very high energy efficiency. On the other hand, the GPU has a comparatively "wide" architecture requirering a lot of transistors and die size (about 38 mm² in 20 nm).

PowerVR Series 6XT (Rogue) Series
PowerVR GXA6850 256 @ 450 (?) MHz128 Bit
PowerVR GX6450 128 @ 450 (?) MHz64 Bit
PowerVR GX6250 64 @ 700 (Boost) MHz64 Bit
ArchitecturePowerVR Rogue
Pipelines256 - unified
Core Speed *450 (?) MHz
Memory Bus Width128 Bit
Shared Memoryno
DirectXDirectX 10
technology20 nm
FeaturesOpenGL 3.x, 4.x, OpenGL ES 3.0
Date of Announcement09.09.2014
Link to Manufacturer Page
* The specified clock rates are only guidelines for the manufacturer and can be altered by them.


Basemark X 1.1 - High Quality
min: 29502     avg: 29502 (67%)     median: 29502 (67%)     max: 29502 fps
Basemark X 1.1 - Medium Quality
min: 41488     avg: 41488 (92%)     median: 41488 (92%)     max: 41488 fps
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 1920x1080 +
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 +
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1 - 2D Graphics Tests
min: 2956     avg: 2956 (29%)     median: 2956 (29%)     max: 2956 Points
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card

For more games that might be playable and a list of all games and graphics cards visit our Gaming List
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Notebook reviews with PowerVR GXA6850 graphics card

Apple iPad Air 2: Apple A8X, 9.7", 0.4 kg
  Review » First Impressions: Apple iPad Air 2 Tablet in Review

  Review » Apple iPad Air 2 (A1567 / 128 GB / LTE) Tablet Review

  External Review » Apple iPad Air 2

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Class 1
Class 2
GeForce GTX 580
Radeon HD 6970
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GeForce GTX 560 Ti
Radeon HD 5850
Radeon HD 7770
Radeon HD 7770
GeForce GTX 460 768MB
Radeon HD 6790
Radeon HD 5770
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Radeon HD 4850
Class 3
GeForce GTS 450
Radeon HD 5670
GeForce GT 240
GeForce GT 430
Class 4
Radeon HD 5570
GeForce GT 220
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
Class 5
Radeon HD 4350
GeForce G 107M *
Chrome9HD *
Class 6
unknown *

* Approximate position of the graphics adapter

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Klaus Hinum (Update: 2016-01-26)