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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  • 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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