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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  • Brandon Chester - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    According to Dell, there is no update yet. Hardwarezone must be mistaken. Reply
  • GeekBrains - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link

    Checked with DELL support and it's available already. Reply
  • PC Perv - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Z3580 is more than competitive but the tablet is sluggish? Did you not think of checking whether Intel is cheating the benchmarks? I am sure you would have, if you were reviewing tablets from other vendors.

    And you keep parroting "AMOLED not made by Samsung," (I counted no less than 3 times). Then who made the screen? How do you know it is not made by Samsung, and if you have that information why not share it?

    Oh and please keep it to recommendation for users. Your trying to advise an OEM is rather funny.
    Reply
  • coolhardware - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    I would like to know more about the screen as well!

    It seems to be tied with Samsung as the highest pixel density tablet (non-phone) display out there?!
    http://pixensity.com/list/tablet/:
    Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 (2014)
    Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (2014)
    Dell Dell Venue 8 7840 (2015)

    All three of these have:
    8.4″ 31.71 square inches (7.1″x4.5″) 2560×1600 16:10 359.39 PPI
    Reply
  • JoshHo - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    All of our benchmarks are designed to defeat benchmark detection mechanisms. The issues with performance are due to Android 4.4 and Dalvik. We saw massive improvements in performance for almost any device updated from 4.4 to 5.0.

    Brandon's statement regarding AMOLED displays refers to the device OEM.

    While we welcome feedback, our writers are human. Please avoid personal attacks.
    Reply
  • PC Perv - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    You two are surely protective each other. I know the feeling. Reply
  • akdj - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    You must. With that hamdle Reply
  • akdj - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    (Sp!). Handle Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Sunday, March 15, 2015 - link

    I actually prefer recommendations to OEM - sure it may be considered subliminal messaging to the readers, but I'd like to think the review community like AT helped submerse the cheating done on android phones back in the day. AT was one of the first in terms of big review sites that caught the cheating and called OEMs on it, which in turn made us readers also aware and called them on it. There's all so many cases where they've done a laptop review, made some recommendations to OEM, and the next gen laptop remedied the issue. Maybe AT wasnt the sole deciding factor for the change, but every little bit helps when it comes to consumer advocacy to big corporations. We as consumers also benefit from their recommendations, so long as their recommendations are logical and objective Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Sunday, March 15, 2015 - link

    Lol, subvert, not submerse Reply

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