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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  • Drumsticks - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Indeed. I haven't noticed a slowdown on any of my devices, including a surface Pro 1 and a 4570k based PC.
  • Sushisamurai - Sunday, March 15, 2015 - link

    Ditto, IPad Air 2, iPad retina mini, ivy-bridge i7-U, my mother of a desktop, iPhone 4S and even my Nokia 830 run this fine. :(
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    If you could please email me some screenshots of the ads in question, I will have it looked it.

  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Read the specs, all sounded good, until I reached "Android 4.4.4 KitKat".

    Oh well.
  • Michael Bay - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    You should have stopped at Android.
  • Michael Bay - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Jesus, what a way to kill a perfectly fine hardware mix.
  • Azurael - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    They make a Venue 8 Pro if you want to run Windows/Linux... Pretty dull looking, but at least it doesn't have stupid bezels.
  • Azurael - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    If anybody wants a point of comparison with a Haswell-Y tablet, my i3 4020Y-based Dell Venue 11 scores the following running an Android-x86 5.0.2 build from a few days back (it's an x86_64 kernel w/ 32-bit userspace):

    Kraken 1.1 - 2741.8ms
    Octane 2.0: 10668
    WebXPRT kills Chrome for some reason (as does one of Vellamo's benchmarks) - I'm assuming that's something to do with the MESA/i915/Android interaction that Android-x86 creates. It worked under 4.4 and 5.0 is unofficial and buggy ATM.

    BaseMark OS 2 hates this thing:
    Overall: 1361
    System: 1893
    Memory: 1486
    Graphics: 1572
    Web: 776

    And I know AT don't use it, and it's not exactly known for accuracy and consistency but AnTuTu 5.6.1: 50757

    There's a lot of optimisation to be done, and it'd be nice to get 64-bit userspace working... But if Intel's slowest Haswell dual core can do that, think what the higher spec devices could do!
  • Kidster3001 - Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - link

    Basemark OS2 for Android scores incredibly poor on all x86 devices. I don't recommend it as a benchmark for Android.
  • darkich - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    "With generational improvements to their processors, it's not hard to imagine Intel becoming a major performance leader in the mobile space"

    In your dreams?
    How in Earth will Intel even come remotely close to achieving that in the light of Tegra X1, Exynos 7420, and upcoming army of Cortex A72 based chips?!?

    Wow, their newest Atom- built on a superior process to any of the compared chips, some of which being more than a half year old - held its
    ground in CPU, and got owned in GPU tests.

    I'm amazed at how your Intel has can translate that into some kind of promising prospect for Intel.
    Wake up and see that in reality, Intel IS FAR BEHIND, and has nothing to counter the upcoming ARM chips.
    The next Atom is basically a die shrink of Silvermont, and should be absolutely demolished by 14-20nm chips with Cortex A72 and Kryo CPU cores.

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