GPU Performance

GPU performance is another important aspect of a device, and with display resolutions increasing there is always a need for more GPU power to drive more pixels. In the eyes of many consumers, Intel is not typically associated with speedy GPU performance, particularly in the mobile space. Many readers commented on the poor performance of Intel's HD Graphics in the Stream 7 review. However, one of the ways Intel's Moorefield chips are differentiated from some other chips in the Atom line is that they use PowerVR graphics. In the case of the Venue 8, it uses the PowerVR G6430 which was used previously in Apple's A7 chip.

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Overall3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Graphics3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - PhysicsBaseMark X 1.1 - Overall (High Quality)BaseMark X 1.1 - Dunes (High Quality, Offscreen)BaseMark X 1.1 - Hangar (High Quality, Offscreen)BaseMark X 1.1 - Dunes (High Quality, Onscreen)BaseMark X 1.1 - Hangar (High Quality, Onscreen)GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Offscreen)GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Offscreen)GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Onscreen)GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Onscreen)

There has historically been a noticable gap in performance between a given PowerVR chip implemented in an iOS device, and the same GPU in an Android device. Due to drivers and other software factors, the performance of the Android device is typically slower. Because of this, I've marked the iPhone 5s on all the charts except for the onscreen ones so comparisons can be drawn between the performance of the G6430 GPU on different operating systems. In the 3DMark graphics test, the Venue 8 actually scores higher than the iPhone 5s, and in the GFXBench tests there is not a large difference between the two devices. In Basemark X there is a sizable performance difference between the two devices in favor of the iPhone, but overall I don't think anyone should be concerned about massive differences in GPU performance between the G6430 running on iOS and it running on Android.

When evaluating the Venue 8's GPU performance on its own, it can hardly be said that it's slow. However, it's now competing with Apple's 8 core Rogue GPU in A8X, and NVIDIA's Kepler graphics in Tegra K1. The devices with those GPUs end up performing between two and three times faster than the Venue 8 in many cases, and with Tegra K1 that GPU power is available in NVIDIA's Shield Tablet which undercuts the Venue 8 at only $299. GPU performance has simply moved onward from when G6430 was leading the pack, and although the Venue 8 isn't exactly slow, it's outgunned by other devices that meet and even beat its price.

NAND Performance

The performance of a device's internal storage has never been a large point of focus in the past. Mobile device manufacturers don't advertise anything about their storage beyond the capacity. However, the speed of a device's NAND can have a significant impact on performance. Slow memory can be what bottlenecks a system's performance when any sort of heavy reading or writing is occurring in the background, which occurs more often than one would think due to background applications and tasks like automatically downloading and installing app updates.

Internal NAND - Random ReadInternal NAND - Random WriteInternal NAND - Sequential ReadInternal NAND - Sequential Write

In all of our tests, the Venue 8 is decidedly average. There's no situation where it shines at the top, but also no cases where it's significantly worse than the competition. I wouldn't expect the Venue 8's storage speeds to cause any performance issues for users, though it would be nice to see at 32GB NAND option at this price.

CPU and Device Performance Display
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  • Murloc - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    1. comfort and ergonomics (seating position, not having to hold it up, big screen and audio without spending even more $$$ in wireless gizmos)
    2. speed of writing and clicking when browsing the internet
    Reply
  • WereCatf - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    As for comfort: I'd say it's actually a plus for tablets that you can use them in all sorts of positions and not be restricted to seated positions. As for "big screen:" not all activities require a big screen. If you always insist on doing everything on a big screen then that's on you, but obviously many people don't. Writing is faster on a proper keyboard, sure, but I don't see how clicking is any faster.

    Besides, nothing you said actually answer the question I asked: why is using a tablet specifically at home so ridiculous compared to using it elsewhere?
    Reply
  • darkich - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Thise arguments are utterly ridiculous.
    Have you ever actually used a tablet?

    An 8" tablet is PERFECTY usable in a sitting position, its screen provides a perfectly natural focal area size from that viewing distance, when held on top of the lap.
    Reading articles is in fact far superior than on a laptop even in that position since:
    1}) articles are usually formatted towards visual focus of the eye(columns) and portrait screen of a tablet is a perfect fit for a column.
    If you still fail to see the obvious and dont get why tablets are far better and convenient way for reading than a laptop is ,let me ask you - how many books and magazines have you read on a laptop??.
    2) tablet screens are superior to laptop(unless you want to compare a $1300 laptop with a $400 tablet) screens in terms of quality.
    3) tablet is incomparably more manageable and confortable to handle than a laptop due to vast weight and size differences.
    4) tapping and swipping >>> using a touchpad for scrolling and clicking
    Reply
  • p1esk - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    I've read a ton of pdfs (books and papers) on a laptop. I tend to agree with your points, however, one thing a laptop has got going for it is the screen size. On my 15" MBP I can display two pages at a time. Alternatively, when a text is really dense (some papers), on a 8" tablet the font is simply too small to read comfortably without zooming in all the time (with your zoom resetting every time you turn a page. Reply
  • darkich - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Yeah I don't disagree with your points either, all you say stands but doesn't counter what I said.
    For some complex and rich context, a top notch laptop like MBP is a natural fit, but overall, Internet is about reading, and for reading a tablet will always be a more natural fit than a laptop.

    It is no coincidence that devices specialized for reading have 6" screens, and are about as light as a magazine.
    I actually by far prefer to surf on my Note 3(despite having an 8" tablet also) ..all context can be easily managed with one hand, and the screen is just the right size to cover the visual focus from one ft distance.
    Reply
  • akdj - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    Ah. You're on 'our side' lol. I misread. I love my Note 4 too. But pick up an iPad mini retina. The second iteration is a bargain right now and it's not much heavier than your Note
    But it's a HELLUVA lot easier to read whe your eyes get tired (I'm 44 & retina, HiDPI displays have changed everything for me when it comes to Legibility & Portability/Hand 'Hold-a-bility'
    Reply
  • akdj - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    Need to look at it differently. I'm with you as an rMBP owner myself and LOVE computing again...after three decades, HiDPI is phenomenal
    That said, as darkich mentions...its a 'comfort' thing
    The iPad Air2's display is phenomenal. The horsepower is finally here and in MANY cases, it's a perfect 'home' computer. Facebook, Twitter, email, SMS MMS, pics, reading, surfing and gaming ALL significantly more 'easy' to do with a one pound 6mm tablet without the keyboard in the way! While the last part may be one of the dislikes you've got with tablets ...you can always get a keyboard case for a hundred bucks ...that said, after time with an iPad you can type quick. Respond fast and get back to what you were reading, watching or playing. A laptop while hella more powerful invites distractions while 'reading a magazine, book or doing a crossword puzzle'
    IMHO, it's always made me curious why others 'want' multitasking on a tabket OR user accounts. The former ...I've also been a Galaxy Note owner and currently use the Note 4 for our business, it's multi tasking system is still very flawed and much like in this article ...it's Google that isn't paying attention to their UI layouts pixel for pixel on individual devices
    Probably an impossibility I know me the latter...a first world deal, but for my family our tablets, whether my son's iPad mini, wife's Air, employees' iPads or my own are VERY personal devices set up the way you're looking to set them up with your icons and apps distributed in the fashion you prefer
    If you're unable to realize the benefits of tablet computing you're 'working too much!' Enjoyment, recreation and pleasure are how I use my iPad at home. On the Job site, it's all business! (& they're VERY capable devices now, today in this incarnation as a productivity piece too! $10/month and you've got 5TB of storage on OneDrive with a free word processor (Word), spreadsheet creator or editor (Excel) and a crappy presentation program in comparison to Keynote. Called PowerPoint;). Five tablets. Five computers. Mix n match as we do and it's a bargain!
    Not to mention making music, editing photos, video work flow or entertainment. Games for a buck or two. Five or ten for the big ones and some IAPs the kids can 'earn'. Lot better than dropping the same amount on a console and $60/pop for a game they don't enjoy
    Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Sunday, March 15, 2015 - link

    I'm comparing a 13" MBP to say, a tablet like the Air 2 or retina mini. I actually find my laptop more comfortable than my tablets when sitting (couch or otherwise), eating (kitchen table), on the toilet (I have a small table in the washrooms dedicated for the placement of tablets and laptops).

    1) on my MBP, books and magazines are okay, and can match my tablet's viewing experience only if the app/program im using is optimized for viewing on a laptop. That being said, I prefer my tablets in this category because of the "curated" views books and magazines have done for the reader.

    2)screen speaks for itself, but one thing to note is that for laptops, u can open a swathe of articles a lot easier and faster than a tablet can. If I'm spending an hour catching up on the news or some tech event, I could easily open 10-20 tabs for articles and related articles much faster than my tablet.

    3) sure, there's a weight and size disadvantage, but there's also a keyboard and screen advantage

    4)for my MBP, scrolling is a pretty easy two finger affair, which doesn't require me to reach my tablet each time. As for switching browser Tabs, I just use the keyboard short cut (same with closing/opening), and keyboard shortcut for switching programs. Zooming for text to fit to size is also an easy affair with "reader" setting on safari (removes adds, reformats text) for those websites with terrible layouts, or I could just double-tap my trackpad on the text I want to read and my browser automatically adjusts the zoom to fit my screen.

    I'm not out to promote apple per say, but once u figure it out, their UI for some things is pretty amazing. It would be a nightmare to do the above in Windows IMO
    Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Sunday, March 15, 2015 - link

    I do prefer my tablet in some scenarios, such as lying down in bed (I have a canter lever tablet holder thing), and when my laptop doesn't fit the area required, like my current predicament of replying to this while in my bathtub Reply
  • SoCalBoomer - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    "The Venue 8 has an LTE variant, but most tablets operate purely over WiFi." Hmmmmm . . . Reply

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