Skip to main content

Is Your Windows 8 Tablet Fast Enough For PC Gaming?

More Storage: SanDisk Ultra 128 GB MicroSDXC Memory Card

The Venue 8 Pro's 32 GB of solid-state storage won't get you very far if you plan to install games on your tablet. That's why the 64 GB model is tempting. Fortunately, Dell equips the Venue with a microSD slot. Not all mobile devices have one, so prioritize expansion as you shop for mobile devices. You can find a 32 GB Class 10 card to drop into that slot for as little as $15, instantly doubling your capacity. If you're even more committed to the cause, 64 GB cards start at the $40 mark.

For this story, however, I was planned to install a lot of games. It just so happens that SanDisk recently launched a long-awaited high-capacity card, the Ultra 128 GB MicroSDXC Class 10 UHS-I with an adapter. Call me old-school, but it's surreal to think that such a tiny device holds 128 gigabytes of information. Is it fast, though?

The company claims up to 30 MB/s read speeds, which is expected from a UHS Class 1 device (they have to guarantee at a 10 MB/s minimum). In our tests, performance indeed varied between 10 and 40 MB/s. In fact, I measured the same read transfer rates from a 32 GB G.Skill Class 10 microSD card also in the lab. Both designations are rated for the same minimum performance level, so that checks out.

SanDisk isn't marketing the Ultra 128 GB under its Extreme brand, which tells us that the product's purpose is primarily mass storage, not peak transfer rates. Regardless, if microSD-based storage space is what you need, it's hard to go wrong with 128 GB. Then again, for many folks, the $15 32 GB option delivers the biggest return on investment. It all depends on how much information you need to keep local.

  • batman2142
    Same article with SP3 would be a worthy read since it gives a chance to see how their HD4400 vs HD5000 on the variants match up, and if possible a projection on what the newer chipset that wont be making into the current SP3 but might make into the refresh by holiday season?
  • AMD Radeon
    Great Review :)

    Finally i see one noticeable advantage of Windows Tablet over Android
  • blackmagnum
    Burn your hands on the tablet while gaming, why don't you?
  • iPeekYou
    "...turning it into a portable PC gaming console..."

    Does not compute
  • K-beam
    Awesome article, Don, I have had the same thoughts recently. I think we would have appreciated some more info especially on:
    - Battery (maybe most important when you speak of portablility) - how long does it last with this model. I was eyeing the Asus Transformer Book T100TA, which they say has a quite respectable battery (but is also more expensive)
    - Does a PS3 controller (free, if you have a PS3) work with it?
    I would ideally have liked to see a mention of the Prince of Persia / Max Payne (1+2) / (Older) Tomb Raider / Splinter cell (1-4) and similar older third-person adventure games. In my opinion those work marvellously with a PS3 gamepad. Ah, I forgot - I wonder whether the touch would work directly with games from the Monkey Island series. Ah, another great genre for playing on a tablet, that was totally missed here - turn-based strategy games like the Heroes of Might and Magic series and Civilization (4). And also the grand-daddy of "modern" open-world FPSs - FarCry 1 :)
    The biggest risk with those games is still compatibility with touch/Win 8.
    An expanded re-visit maybe when the new generation of chips come out from either from Intel or AMD?
  • CaptainTom
    I mean isn't the controller choice obvious: PS4. It connects via bluetooth and has a touchpad so you can control the menus with a mouse.
  • back_by_demand
    If you bought a Surface Pro 3 it probably wasn't to play games, but nice to know it is one of the best performers out there in the tablet range
  • ScrewySqrl
    What I want to know is why has no one pushed an AMD APU into one of these windows tablets for gaming?
  • K-beam
    I am also thinking SteamOS as dual boot...
  • K-beam
    What's up with these multiple posts!!! Sorry for the splamming, it seems every time the page gets refreshed, the post is re-submitted!