Word has been spreading around lately that the second-gen iPod Touch [Portal page] has a faster CPU than any of the previous Touch devices (including the iPhones). This was a bit strange when I first read it because I own an iPhone 3G, and it was easy to see that in comparison, a friends second-gen iPod Touch was visibly faster when there were on-screen GUI actions. I thought that because it was so clear that it was just a known fact that the second-gen iPod Touch was faster. And yet here I am writing this post to let people know that in fact, the second-gen iPod Touch has a faster clock speed than the original iPod Touch, as well as the iPhone EDGE, and iPhone 3G.
From what I’m looking at, it appears as though the ARM CPU in the second-gen iPod Touch is different than those in the other Touch family devices (at first I thought it was simply a change in clock speed). Second-gen iPod Touch: 523MHz, up from 412MHz in the rest of the family of devices. Regardless of the slightly updated CPU, I think it is possible for Apple to turn up the clocks on the other devices to reach the same speed, however there are other important factors to consider before doing that, the biggest of which is battery life. It seems as though the second-gen iPod Touch’s hardware is quite a bit more efficient than the original iPod Touch. Even with the more powerful CPU, the second-gen iPod Touch has better battery life than the original. Here is a list from greatest speed to least for the Touch family:
second-gen iPod Touch
first-gen iPod Touch
In my personal experience with all of these devices I would say that the speed differences between the iPhone 3G, iPhone EDGE, and first-gen iPod Touch are entirely unnoticeable. Only when you compare these devices to the second-gen iPod Touch can you see a difference.
The real question is why didn’t Apple mention this increased CPU speed (they didn’t mention it IIRC) especially if they managed faster speed with improved battery life? Maybe they meant to limit the CPU to the same clock as the rest of the devices but it slipped by them? Hopefully we won’t see games that cater to the second-gen iPod Touch’s faster CPU. At this point, every piece of software is interoperable across the entire Touch family, it would be a shame to see software that ‘works’ on the other three devices, but is really meant to be run on the second-gen iPod Touch.