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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  • liahos1 - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    can you guys start adding normalized battery life for these products against tablets as well?
  • ingwe - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    I would really appreciate having that back too. It isn't like I particularly care from a user perspective (obviously overall battery life is more important), but I really like to see how different platforms stack up in this regard.
  • jjj - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    No idea why i even clicked , Core M is a horrible product for the price so got no interest at all in anything with it - hopefully AMD. Nvidia ,Qualcomm and ARM will catch up in single threaded perf at a fraction of the price soon. Well,maybe not ARM since A72 seems to be actually smaller than A57 , die size wise.
    Anyway this actually made me laugh when i realized that it kinda looks like the Moto Xoom except with thicker bezels (first Android tab ,4 years ago). OEMs should put more effort than this even in 100$ tabs.
  • Speedfriend - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Apple managed a giant 10% improvement in single core performance between A7 and A8...
    So with the top Core M single core performance around 60% higher than the A8X, Apple will need to produce a miracle.

    And as for the cost, a 128gb iPad Air 2 is $699+$100 for a decent keyboard case versus the low end core M equipped Asus T300 Chi which comes with a keyboard for $699. And the high end T300Chi, which will obliterate the iPAd Air 2 comes in at $899 with 8GB of memory
  • jjj - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Apple has no relevance, they have many limitations and high prices so no reason to even consider them.
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Apple has a lot of relevance here, because they've got the ARM core with the highest single threaded performance. If anyone closes the gap to Intel it's going to be them. Even if Qualcom could do it, they need to put 4 cores into phones for the "bigger is better" crowd, which means any single core must not be too big - otherwise people will complain that it gets too hot.

    And if Apple only got 10% on their last refresh they may be approaching the region of diminishing returns that Intel and AMD have long been in. It's easy to improve & grow when you start from nothing, but an entirely different matter once you look at mature technology.
  • jjj - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Apple is not a reasonable purchase so it doesn't matter, even if they have 2 times the perf it's not relevant in the real world.
    It is true that the Android guys do need more cores in general but it's also true that Intel doesn't design it's cores for this kind of TDP. And do remember to compare sustained perf and burst perf.
    I don't know for sure the core size for Broadwell on Intel's 14nm or A57 on 14nm Samsung but likely 7mm2+ vs bellow 2mm2 so A57 must be some 4 times smaller. For Apple 2 cores plus cache are some 12.5mm2 on 20nm TSMC but the cache is not very die efficient and on 14nm Samsung the 12.5mm2 would be closer to 10.5mm.
    For A72 ARM claimed 2.4GHz sustained clocks on 16nmFF+ in phones and it appears they mean quad cores. It also appears that A72 is smaller than A57. The numbers i've seen were core size 3.3mm2 , quad cluster(so with cache) 18.7mm2 but not certain about process, i believe it's on 28nm but that could be wrong. A72 at 2.4GHz should be pretty good and it remains to be seen what's the burst perf and how it clocks at higher TDP. It's not impossible for it to be close enough in tabs. We should see the dual A72 @ 2.4GHz on 28nm from Mediatek soon in tabs (some early benchmarks are in the wild already) and later this year the Qualcomm midrange phone SoCs with A72 at 1.9GHz and that will give us a better idea about what kind of clocks would be needed on 16FF+ and 14nm.
    Qualcomm's custom core must beat A72 or there is no point in using it and that's the case with all the other custom cores from AMD, Nvidia, Samsung and whatever else comes.
  • pSupaNova - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    No Nvidia has the ARM core with the highest single threaded performance.

    Look at the Benchmarks in this site for the N9 tablet.
  • sonicmerlin - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    They had a 30-40% performance improvement in CPU.
  • Speedfriend - Friday, April 17, 2015 - link

    A8 at 1.4ghz single core geekbench 1619
    A7 at 1.4ghz single core geekbench 1468

    Improvement = 10%

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