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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  • ruthan - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Tablets without integrated 3G/4G/LTE modem are absolute, tablet for home use is ridiculous, same using with cell phone Wifi hotspot.
  • althaz - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Tablets with integrated modem are absolute garbage. Not using your existing phone or wi-fi connection for internet is simply ridiculous.
  • Gunbuster - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Not to mention they keep trying to unload really terrible tablets with built in modems. My Verizon guy keeps emailing about the Ellipsis 7 Crap Tablet. yeah no thanks...
  • secretmanofagent - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Cell phones are absolute garbage. Not using your own body as a mobile hotspot is simply ridiculous.
  • wewantsthering - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    You should win a prize for this comment! Laughed so hard! :-)
  • p1esk - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

  • akdj - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    Unless you 'need' your phone for the day, 'using your existing phone (sic wifi) for Internet is ridiculous'. Indeed. I concur
    But as an owner of each iPad. A half dozen Android tabs, ½ with, ½ without LTE --- I've YET to find an iPad 'with an intersted modem (that is) "absolute garbage"'
    My iPad Air 2 is getting consistent speeds of 60-75 Mb/s down, 45-50 up. That's fast as hell without wires. And consistently stable. Maybe it's time you tried 'one' (ya know, with a modem?)
  • Sushisamurai - Sunday, March 15, 2015 - link

    The above comments are pretty funny, especially with the sarcasm, for those who didn't catch that.

    As for cellular hotspots, I don't see what's the issue? In today's world, there's a multitude of ways to charge your phone on the go - in the car, at the office, while ur walking, pushing a stroller, riding your bicycle, a mobile battery pack, a solar powered battery pack etc. I would also assume that most wireless carriers also offer free wifi at certain locations just for being a data subscriber (at least where I live, we have this feature; the concept was to remove congestion from the 3G/4G networks in higher density areas). So, even if I didn't have a cellular data modem in my ipad, the coffee shop or random place I'm at usually has some form of free wifi or at least my subscriber's wifi. For the odd times I dont, I just use my cellular hotspot. It also costs less per month as I don't need a tablet data plan. I have a mini with LTE and with my purchases of the Air 2, I opted for wifi, as I barely used my LTE data on the mini
  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, March 16, 2015 - link

    How does that work when your phone isn't in the same location as your tablet, and you want to access the Internet from the tablet, and there isn't wifi available?
  • WereCatf - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    "tablet for home use is ridiculous" -- Uh, why? If you only want to consume content why in your mind would a laptop or a desktop be somehow utterly superior?

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