Yesterday Apple took the wraps off the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and during the announcement it said the tablet sports the same A9X chipset as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro launched last year.
However, in the meantime a pretty big caveat has emerged for this information. See, while the two tablets do share the SoC, the A9X in the smaller 9.7" model comes with both an underclocked CPU and an underclocked GPU compared to the iPad Pro 12.9.
This is made clear from the quick comparison you can see in the image below, which is now available on Apple's website. While the company never likes to publish actual clock speeds for its chipsets, the difference here is clear. It jumps out when you see that the iPad Pro 12.9 has a 2.5x faster CPU compared to the one in an A7 chip, while the 9.7-inch device only gets a 2.4x faster processor.
The situation is even worse for the smaller iPad Pro in the GPU department. The 12.9-inch tablet has 5 times faster graphics than the A7, but the GPU in the 9.7-inch units is just 4.3 times better than the one in the A7.
If we were to speculate, we'd assume this has something to do with keeping things cool inside the iPad Pro 9.7's smaller chassis. There's less surface area to dissipate heat, so less heat has to be produced - or something along those lines.
Still, it's not all bad for the 9.7 incher compared to its bigger brother. The new iPad Pro has the True Tone display, which adjusts colors to the current environment, and a 12 MP main camera with LED flash (a first for an Apple tablet). Then again, the 12.9-inch model has faster data transfer and charging because its Lightning port is based on the USB 3 spec, while the 9.7-inch iPad Pro has one that uses USB 2. So you win some you lose some, no matter which of these slates you go with.