Benchmarking the iOS 5 update

Sure, there are plenty of new features with iOS 5, but at what cost? Sometimes, the cost for software updates comes in the form of degraded performance of day-to-day core features that you may depend upon. Let’s see if that’s the case with iOS 5.

iOS 5 update tested

Once again, I used GeekBench 2 ($0.99), Gauge Mathematical Tool (free), BenchTest ($0.99), SunSpider (free) and V8 (free) to test the performance of each OS version on each device. I tested the original iPad 1 Wi-Fi, the iPhone 4 (GSM), the iPod touch 4th Gen, and the iPad 2 Wi-Fi+3G (GSM).


If you use the web more than anything else on your iOS device, then you should be eager to apply each and every update that Apple puts out, since they all improve Safari’s performance every time. iOS 5 is no exception in that regard.

Considering all of the new features you get with iOS 5.0, the hit on performance in other areas is in most cases negligible.  In fact, with the exception of the original iPad (the older device that was tested), all devices actually gained in performance in most areas. That is simply amazing for the first release of a major OS update. This is nothing like the 4.0 release, where we saw incremental performance gains over the lifetime of 4.0 to restore what was lost to older device; iOS 5.0 is a solid release for all where performance is concerned.