Android On Intel x86 Tablet Performance Explored

Benchmarks, Objective Performance

Enough with the subjective look-and-feel -- how does the system perform in standardized tests? We've put the Acer Iconia Tab 8 up against a number of its competitors, including the dual-core, Merrifield-based Dell Venue 8 3840.
General Compute, Javascript, and Web Browsing Performance
General Purpose Workloads

Javascript's single-threaded SunSpider benchmark has always been kind to Intel processors and we see the quad-core Bay Trail falling just behing the dual-core Merrifield here thanks to a higher clock speed on the Dell tablet. Intel's chips are well positioned, but they're not at the top of the pack in this test.

Rightware BrowserMark shows a similar performance spread with the Acer Iconia Tab 8 pulling in at the upper end of the market, but not quite at the top.

AnTuTu Performance - Click to Enlarge

According to AnTuTu, the Acer Iconia Tab 8 is the second-fastest tablet in our dataset, losing only to Nvidia's Shield tablet. This version of the design even slightly beats Intel's reference Z3770 system, despite that system's higher specs.

Intel Mobile XPRT - Click to Enlarge

The Mobile XPRT benchmark tends to favor x86 designs, so it's no surprise to see the two Intel chips leading the pack -- but what may surprise some readers is that it's the higher-clocked dual-core Merrifield that leads over the quad-core Bay Trail. Merrifield's PowerVR GPU simply outperforms the Intel chip in multiple areas and takes the overall performance lead in this test. It's also possible that the test isn't particularly well threaded, which would explain some of these figures.

Geekbench is our final general compute test, and it shows the Acer Iconia Tab scoring above the Dell Venue 8 3840 in multi-core testing but below that solution in single-core results -- the higher clock speed on the Merrifield solution gives it an edge in single-threaded testing.

In Geekbench, the Iconia Tab 8 is almost a match of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4, even though that solution packs a 2.3GHz quad-core Krait. This speaks to the impact of thermals on both chips -- all modern tablets throttle down once certain thresholds are exceeded, so internal cooling matters just as much for performance as overall architecture. While the match is close, the Qualcomm-based solution maintains an edge in both single and multi-threaded testing.

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