CPU Performance

Dell offers the Venue 11 Pro with a choice of two Core M processors. The 5Y10 is the lower cost option, and it has an 800 MHz base frequency with a 2.0 GHz boost frequency. As we have seen in our Core M analysis, this will cut the performance in short workloads as compared to the higher end Venue 11 Pro that Dell shipped us for review, which comes with the top Core M offering in the 5Y71 model. At 1.2 GHz base frequency and a 2.9 GHz boost frequency, this Core M can provide some impressive performance on the kinds of short workloads that make up most of the average tasks that most people perform on a tablet, but depending on cooling, it can slow down on sustained workloads.

The Venue 11 Pro is a passively cooled device, and as a tablet, Dell must take skin temperatures into account. The placement of the processor is not 100% ideal either since it is in the upper right corner (with the tablet display facing you) so if you are holding it in your right hand while it is working hard, you can certainly feel it getting warm, but not to the point where it is ever uncomfortable. It can get to around 44°C right over the CPU after 45 minutes of DOTA 2, with the rest of the tablet staying cool.

As you can see in the above image, the CPU heatsink is all copper, and there is a thin copper sheet on the back cover as well to help spread the heat. Given enough cooling, Core M can perform quite well, but being packed into a tablet with a plastic back and no fan can certainly cause issues.

To test overall system performance, we will turn to our suite of benchmarks to see where the Venue 11 Pro fits. As this is a tablet, but can dock and become a laptop or desktop, we will compare it against both devices. First up, we will focus on Windows performance, then move to tablets.


PCMark 8 - Home

PCMark 8 - Creative

PCMark 8 - Work

PCMark 8 - Storage

PCMark 7 (2013)

PCMark 8 from Futuremark has several benchmarks within it, all with the goal of simulating real-world use cases for each of the scenarios. It includes Home, Creative, Work, and Storage benchmarks. The workloads generally include both burst and sustained performance. Core M does very well here, with the Venue 11 Pro pulling ahead of some of the other Core M devices in some tests. In these types of workloads, Core M can outperform Haswell-U series parts from the Ultrabooks of last year, which is fairly impressive in a passively cooled device.

The storage score is also very good, due to the SSD inside this tablet. Windows tablets with Atom processors tend to include eMMC, which can still outperform a hard disk drive, but cannot really match a true SSD.

TouchXPRT 2014

TouchXPRT 2014 Overall Score

TouchXPRT 2014 Beautify Photos

TouchXPRT 2014 Blend Photos

TouchXPRT 2014 Convert Videos for Sharing

TouchXPRT 2014 Create Music Podcast

TouchXPRT 2014 Create Slideshow from Photos

Once again the Core M-5Y71 does fairly well in this test, which includes photo manipulation, podcast creation, and slideshows. Each task executes quickly, allowing the Core M to cool down before the next task. This test shows a large difference in performance from the higher clock speeds of the 5Y71 and the lower speeds of the ASUS Zenbook’s 5Y10 processor.


Cinebench R15 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R15 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench is a rendering test, and loads either one CPU or all CPUs (which is four logical CPUs in Core M) and scores based on the time it takes to render the supplied scene. It favors higher clock speeds and good sustained performance. The Venue 11 Pro cannot sustain its maximum 2.9 GHz for this test for either the single-threaded or multi-threaded versions. This is not an ideal workload for Core M.


x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x

This is a very long benchmark which converts a video. This test emphasizes sustained performance as well, so Core M does not do very well on it.

GPU Performance

Core M includes the Intel HD 5300 GPU, which is the same GPU configuration as seen in the Broadwell-U processors. There are 24 EUs available, with a base GPU speed of 300 MHz, and turbo of 900 MHz, but of course in a 4.5 watt thermal envelope rather than the 15 watts of Broadwell-U.

While certainly not a system where you would expect to play the latest FPS out there, tablets can certainly be used for lower end gaming titles like those offered in the Windows Store.


Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark’s 3DMark has several benchmarks which are aimed at different classes of devices. Sky Diver is aimed at mid-range PCs and gaming laptops, so unsurprisingly Ultrabooks do not do overly well on this test. The sustained performance requirements mean that Core M in a tablet is going to have to throttle quite a bit, and it shows in the overall scores. Cloud Gate shows a similar result. Although the Core M ASUS Zenbook UX305 can compete with Haswell-U based notebooks, the Dell Venue 11 tablet falls down to around the Ivy Bridge levels of GPU performance. Ice Storm Unlimited is better, but is such a short benchmark that throttling is not as big of an issue.


GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan Offscreen 1080p

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex Offscreen 1080p

GFXBench 3.0 ALU Test (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Alpha Blending Test (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Driver Overhead Test (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Fill Rate Test (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Quality/Accuracy Test (Medium Precision)

GFXBench 3.0 Quality/Accuracy Test (High Precision)

GFXBench follows in line with the 3DMark tests. Core M does not have great sustained GPU speeds. On the CPU side of the house, Core M can trade blows with last year’s Haswell-U parts, but the same cannot be said of the GPU. It has everything it needs to outperform the Haswell-U except that processors 15 watts of TDP.


DOTA 2 Value

DOTA 2 Mainstream

DOTA 2 Enthusiast

Our DOTA 2 benchmark confirms what the synthetic tests have shown. Only the value settings on DOTA 2 really allow for ok gameplay. But remember this is comparing a tablet against notebooks and 2-in-1 devices, so it is not unexpected that performance will go down to fit into the smaller overall package.

Display Tablet Performance
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  • MrSpadge - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Well Said! I'm not going to buy Core M because I value performance over mobility - yet this doesn't make it a bad product. If you want maximum performance at high mobility, nothing comes close to Core M.
  • dj_aris - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Core M is in fact a new cpu category on it's own, a cpu that resembles the single core performance of "core" cpus while in the Atoms' TDP envelope (at least before it throttles!). But, as with every new product, it's overpriced at launch. Wait for the Skylake release, I say.
  • lilmoe - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    That's the main point. It's REALLY overpriced.
  • xthetenth - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Pay a pretty high price for the absolute best burst performance for a snappy device. I've heard much worse than that.
  • smilingcrow - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    The M-5Y71 is the same price as the i5-4300U in my laptop with the same base & turbo boost clocks for the CPU. Given the same cooling as my laptop has it should perform very similarly for CPU loads. Not fussed about GPU loads so haven't focussed on that but seemingly it will struggle to match the U series when both are stressed.
  • Marc GP - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    A category where they can only keep this performance for short bursts before having to low their frequency from 2,8Ghz (turbo) to their nominal 1Ghz (where you don't get any much performance than on a simple Atom).
  • ppi - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Even in the benchmarks, where sustained performance is necessary, Core-M is some 25% slower compared to 15W Broadwell. ONLY.

    This effectively means, that if task is pain on Core-M, it will be pain on 15W Broadwell as well. I.e. if some task is not snappy and requires waiting on Core-M, it requires waiting on Broadwell as well. And only desktop class chips may have the oomph to be significantly faster.

    I do not count in games, but nobody considers Broadwell-U gaming SoC either.
  • smilingcrow - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    If you had read the recent detailed Anandtech overview of Core M you would see that is a fallacy. I was surprised how well Core M does in a fanless laptop versus one with a Broadwell i5 that is fan cooled. And even more how well it does in a tablet where surface temperate is more of an issue so throttling is more prevalent.
    A Core M-5Y71 in my Latitude E7440 with a slightly beefier cooler would I imagine come close to my i5-4300U even for extended loads. This is purely for CPU loads as the GPU is another issue that doesn’t concern me.
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    When it throttles it's actually entering Atoms TDP envelope. Before that it's allowed to use more power for short periods. That's the whole point of a Thermal Design Power.
  • zepi - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    If you don't care about absolute performance, Intel is happy to sell you a Baytrail for quite a bit cheaper.

    If you do... Well, no one else can match Core M's CPU-performance even remotely.

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