CPU Performance

The Venue 8 is a unique device among the Android devices that we have tested. While most Android smartphones and tablets employ ARM based SoCs, Dell has opted to use Intel's Atom Z3580 processor. Z3580 is part of Intel's Moorefield line, built on Intel's 22nm process and sporting four Silvermont cores with a max burst frequency of 2.33GHz. To test CPU performance we turn to our standard web based benchmarks, along with Basemark OS II. For our 2015 benchmark suite we've removed Sunspider as it's become too much of an optimization target.

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)WebXPRT (Chrome/Safari/IE)

The Z3580 performs very well in all of our web based benchmarks. Its scores are in the same range as devices with Apple's A8 and NVIDIA's Tegra K1 which currently hold the best scores of the devices we've tested.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - OverallBasemark OS II 2.0 - SystemBasemark OS II 2.0 - MemoryBasemark OS II 2.0 - GraphicsBasemark OS II 2.0 - Web

The performance in Basemark OS II is a mixed bag when compared to the consistently good results from our web benchmarks. We see fairly good performance in the web and memory sections of the benchmark, but less impressive scores in the system and graphics categories. This leads to an overall score that sits in the middle of the results from other devices we've tested.

Whether a tablet's performance is acceptable or not will often be based largely on how much the tablet costs. Class leading performance can't really be expected from inexpensive tablets, and for expensive ones having class leading performance is a must. At $399, the Venue 8 is priced at the same point as the Nexus 9, and it trades blows with it across our different tests. With generational improvements to their processors, it's not hard to imagine Intel becoming a major performance leader in the mobile space. Performance isn't the only metric considered when a manufacturer is deciding on the processor for their device, but I wouldn't be surprised if we end up seeing more design wins for Intel in the future.

Device Performance

A device's performance in benchmarks is a fairly objective measurement of performance, but it may not necessarily be representative of how a device actually feels to a user. Issues with performance in the real world can fall under many categories, which range from long loading times to stutters and sluggish framerates. The "jank" that has historically existed on Android devices has typically fallen under the latter category rather than the former. With each iteration of Android, Google has made improvements to this perceived smoothness in the Android interface. The recently released Android Lollipop brought large increases to framerates in many key areas, but the Venue 8 ships with KitKat and can not take advantage of them.

Unfortunately, the Android 4.4 KitKat experience on the Venue 8 is not always as free from jank as one would expect based on its CPU performance. Many issues manifest themselves as stutters or drops in framerate, even in common animations like bring down the notification shade and rotating the device. Turning on any live wallpapers is also guaranteed to bring the animations in the launcher well below 60fps, and even below 30fps. Many scrolling lists also suffer from the jank that was commonly seen on pre-Lollipop versions of Android. It's unfortunate that the Venue 8 didn't ship with Lollipop, as I don't think I would have to discuss performance issues like these if it had. Hopefully a Lollipop update arrives for the Venue 8 soon.

Introduction GPU and NAND Performance
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  • kmmatney - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    Tablet for home use is ridiculously awesome. That's why they invented couches - they knew there would be tablets to use them on some day. Reply
  • zepi - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Maybe Dell should just release a Windows edition of this tablet? Reply
  • Manch - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    I have the Dell venue 8 Pro. I like it better than the Android version. I'm sure this will get the Windows treatment. If only you could dual boot. bluestacks is kind of crappy Reply
  • nevertell - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Are there any Windows 8 tablets with PowerVR G6430 ?
    I'd want this tablet if it had a nice Intel GPU, so I'd have the drivers for it :(
    Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    This. I would actually consider buying this, maybe even for the asking price, if it was Windows.

    I'm currently using the Microcenter WinBook TW100. For $160, you don't get the best possible build quality or components, but it's an 800p IPS with MicroSD, micro HDMI, micro USB, and a full-size USB 3.0 port... and the full Windows experience for when you want it. It runs full Office, plays HD Netflix/YouTube/Prime, and I can use it to remote into my computers and servers. I can easily use the wide array of ad-blocking, VPN softwares, and customize any setting I choose. The CPU/GPU is strong enough to play some old Halo, CS, UT, modern platformers like Meat Boy, and most emulators, but I can also Steam Stream from my gaming rig when I need to. Just connect any USB or BT controller and it couldn't be easier.

    My only complaint (other than it not having an i7+980M) is that it only has 2GB RAM on a 64-bit OS. I would pay another $50 to have 4GB.
    Reply
  • Speedfriend - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Wait for the new smaller surface tablet running the new Atom. Finally a high quality, realtively cheap Win 8 tablet/2 in 1. Coming soon.... Reply
  • OrphanageExplosion - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    The ads on this page are slowing Chrome to a crawl on my 2012 MacBook Air. Please don't make me install AdBlock. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Ever since I disabled Adblock Edge for AT the site has become really slow. This is with 4 GHz Ivy i7 and the last few Firefoxes. And with the flash adverts still blocked. Reply
  • jjj - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Too bad for the stupid chin and obscene pricing. At 200$ it would be almost passable even with that screen.
    In your comparison with other devices don't forget that the ipad min gen 2 is just 300$ and xiaomi's mipad 208$. And you guys really need to get some decently clocked A53 SoCs in those graphs.
    Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Can you identify the specific ad that is causing the slowdown? If my Atom-based Windows tablet with 2GB RAM isn't having problems, I'm guessing the problem is with your system, not the site or the ads. Reply

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