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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  • gijames1225 - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Out of curiosity, why aren't MacBook Air battery life times available in the comparison chart? Those are normally held up to be the standard for battery life.
  • Brett Howse - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    They are no longer the standard, Dell has passed the Air with the XPS 13. But you can see everything in Bench http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Notebook/620
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    That depends on who you want to believe. CNet did some battery benchmark tests of the XPS 13 and found that it got only 5 hours compared to 8.5 hours on the MacBook Air. Having used a MacBook Air heavily and actually gotten over 8 hours of use from it, I tend to believe CNet. I never feel the need to carry my charger with me, but I have a coworker with an XPS 13 who never seems to be without it. That's also quite telling, IMHO.
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Correction... The Battery Numbers for the XPS came from Gizmodo....not CNet.
  • YuLeven - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Remember that the MacBook Air has a crappy low resolution TN display that accounts for a reduced energy usage.
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    I'm using that display right now....and it looks shaper than the 27 inch IPS 2560x1440 display on the iMac directly behind it. TN displays aren't all bad...the ones used in the MacBook Air are good quality. And the pixel density is still higher than just about every desktop monitor that's not 4K or better.

    My biggest complaint about the screen is the size...11" is a bit too small. But the 13" MacBook Air felt a bit too big....too much like a traditional notebook. For me, this 11" MacBook Air is like my iPad...I take it with me everywhere.....except that I can do real work on it.
  • YuLeven - Friday, April 17, 2015 - link

    Fine, in your experience it outscores the perceived sharpness of ordinary desktops. But wasn't the QHD+ screen equipped XPS 13 the whole point of the comparison? Heck, even the rMBP 13 (which I absolutely love) makes the MBA kind of a dubious choice. The point is: The Air makes compromises to delivery it's extra battery life - one being below average screen for it's price point.
  • akdj - Saturday, April 18, 2015 - link

    But the 'only' one in the lineup to not be given the hiDPI 'treatment' ala "Retina". Will the 12" replace it? Or will the Air continue to be an entry level laptop? Time will tell, but one thing's for sure, regardless of the XPS battery life, one still has to deal with Win's awful scaling algorithms (or lack there of). The trade off isn't worth it (especially touch as hiDPI displays targets are tiny and mandate using a stylus, not finger). The TN panels on the Airs while not IPS are of the highest quality and 'look' better than most OEM displays out of the box due to simple calibration pre-sale. The 'only' compromise is your opinion of a 'below average screen' which can be eliminate for a couple hundred bucks and an external display of choice. The iGPU in the Air is excellent and the processor choices, PCIe storage speeds and phenomenal 'support' are beyond any other OEM's abilities right now. In fact, Apple is replacing the logic board on one of our '11 MBAs out of warranty. Gratis. It's JUST the kind of thing that makes OS X and Apple such an excellent choice, not to mention it's still my favorite machine to run Windows on ;)
  • id4andrei - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    CNet is not the standard, Anandtech is. Anandtech has the thorough and transparent testing suite and uses native browsers for all platforms. Cnet is like all the other tech bloggers that are in Apple's camp. They test PCs with itunes for video playback and Chrome for browsing while giving macs the benefit of native Safari. They also don't adjust for panel brightness.
  • akdj - Saturday, April 18, 2015 - link

    I agree, and love reading reviews her, ARS and Display Mate. But there are often discrepancies and one must decide on their own which review to go by. 'Apple's camp'. Seriously? Good. Lord

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