Android On Intel x86 Tablet Performance Explored

3D Performance and Gaming

2D performance tests are a mixed bag but tend to favor the Intel Bay Trail chip. What about 3D oriented tests? We turned to 3DMark and GFXBench to answer the question.

Graphics Performance
Testing the GPU

According to 3DMark's Ice Storm, the Venue 8 3840 and the Iconia Tab 8 are evenly matched on graphics, but the Acer Iconia Tab 8 takes the lead for its better physics performance. This is one of the noted benefits of a multi-core system and it's a place where the Dell Venue 8 3840 just can't keep up.

Our two GLBenchmark tests, however, both favor the Intel Merrifield design over Intel's own integrated graphics, and neither by a small margin. This is an apples-to-apples comparison at the same resolution and it demonstrates how Intel still has a ways to go to bring its own GPU up to feature and performance parity with other solutions. PowerVR, for now, is providing a better overall mobile graphics engine -- and hitting lower power consumption targets as well.

The Ivy Bridge-derived GPU inside the Acer Iconia 8 isn't bad by any means, but our subjective tests bore out the issue. When we downloaded Despicable Me: Minion Rush (a Temple Run clone that's known to put a serious graphics workload on most mobile chips) the Dell Venue 8 3840 ran the program as smooth as butter.

On the iPhone 5C, LG G3 (with its 1440p screen) and the Acer Iconia Tab 8, Despicable Me: MInion Rush does not run smooth as butter. While it's playable on all of these solutions, it's noticeably jerky in spots and lacks the silky-smooth animation you'd want from an over-the-shoulder running game.

On the other hand, games like Jetpack Joyride and Castle Clash run smoothly on the Acer Iconia Tab 8, as does FIFA 15 (now that it's patched to do so) and a number of other titles we spot-tested. Based on the subjective and objective results we've seen, we'd give the nod to the Dell Venue 3840 for superior graphics performance overall and to the Acer Iconia Tab 8 for a faster CPU solution.

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