Vostro V131: Let’s See the Benchmarks

Most of what we have to benchmark is part of a well-trodden path. Basically, we’re having yet another go at a midrange dual-core i5 with a hard drive. The Intel i5-2410M has been a very popular SKU among OEMs, and while the new i5-2430M is set to replace it the outgoing model is only 100MHz slower—less than a 4% difference in most cases. We’ve got the i5-2430M in the recently reviewed XPS 14z, so you can see how the two CPUs compare. Also note how the i5-2520M in the K53E compares, with an 8% higher base clock, 10% higher maximum Turbo Boost, and an 8% faster GPU clock.

PCMark 7 - PCMarks

PCMark 7 - Lightweight

PCMark 7 - Productivity

PCMark 7 - Entertainment

PCMark 7 - Creativity

PCMark 7 - Computation

PCMark 7 - Storage

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

Cinebench R10 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R10 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark - First Pass

x264 HD Benchmark - Second Pass

As expected, the 8-10% theoretical performance difference between the i5-2410M and the i5-2430M and i5-2520M basically gets lost in the noise with PCMark 7 when we measure actual performance. A far bigger differentiator is the presence (or lack) of an SSD, as well as the specific brand of hard drive. The ASUS K53E has a somewhat slower 5400RPM drive, while the only laptop in these charts with an SSD is the ASUS UX21E; the SSD enables the ultrabook to run away with the PCMark 7 results.

Outside of PCMark, the results fall pretty much where you’d expect based on clock speeds. All of the dual-core Sandy Bridge mobile processors are plenty fast for most tasks; it’s only in computationally intensive scenarios like video transcoding, 3D rendering, or complex scientific modeling that the dual-core parts start to struggle. If you need to do any of the tasks we just listed, a quad-core processor will definitely pay dividends.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

This isn’t a gaming laptop—by any stretch of the imagination—and we’ve already looked at Intel’s HD 3000 performance several times. The i5-2410M has the HD 3000 clocked a bit lower than the i5-2520M or i7 quad-core models, but if the 10% performance increase offered by the higher clocks on the quad-core chips is the difference between “too slow” and “good enough”, I’ve got some beachfront property I’m willing to sell cheap. If you want graphics performance for gaming, grab something with a GT 525M or above (or HD 6630M or above) and you should be set. We won’t bother with any gaming tests, as 3DMark already tells us enough: this is the same HD 3000, and it will be sufficient for running some titles at 1366x768 and low detail, but anything more and you’ll want a discrete GPU (or Llano). But then, most businesses aren't worried about their employees playing games on their laptops, are they?

A Closer Look at the Vostro V131 Battery Life, Power, Temperatures, and Noise
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  • retrospooty - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    "1360x768 for a "business" laptop?! Seriously, give me a break"

    All low end laptops start with this, business or personal... Its extremely irritating, most people buy it not knowing, and on the business end, some IT dept's buy it cheaply not caring.

    Unfortunately, its cheap, and it sells more than any other res, so they keep making them and the cycle continues.
    Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    hey retro did you see this one? ==>> http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2011/10/why-p...

    I know it's offtopic, still wanna know if you saw this :)
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    meh... that guy is just an Anti Android troll and has no idea what he is talking about with regards to smartphones, or IT's take on it.

    This is more the real deal =)

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/26/technology/rim_pla...
    Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    This doesn't touch businesses though who use bridge and because of bridge they don't care about consumer email clients or consumer Android apps. Since businesses are the primary target for RIM they couldn't care less about consumer backlash for now. And Apple controls consumers anyway so why bother.

    I see RIM promoting PlayBook for businesses mostly these days, they don't yet have ammo to fight Apple for consumer dollar, they just released PlayBook NDK and the 3D games like N.O.V.A. 2 and more serious apps like Skype Android port just started to appear in the App World.

    Probably it's like six more months until they release next version of PlayBook OS and maybe then they could see some success in fighting against Apple. They also have an option of undercutting the Apple price since with time manufacturing costs go down.

    Apple is obsessed with huge bulky 10" designs with beefy and expensive GPUs to drive high resolution screens and this drives manufacturing costs up a lot, RIM can exploit this fact with their smaller lighter 7" form factor. They already did it this month during two promotional sales weeks, I see more of that coming as manufacturing costs keep going down.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    We've gone for the i5-2430M model. I'm a fan of the fact that skipping from 320GB to 500GB hard drive costs a mere £10 (approx. $16 - take note, Apple). Additionally, there's no 6GB option here - we chose 8GB. Shame the SSD option is so expensive - add £180 ($290), and the RAM upgrade from 4GB to 8GB is £100 ($161) though you do end up with a dual channel machine at that point.

    To save going into too much detail, here's the UK version of said machine:

    http://configure.euro.dell.com/dellstore/config.as...

    We've bought it for our (interim) head so I'm sure we'll know about any problems soon enough. ;)
    Reply
  • fokka - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    first i want to thank you for the great review! anandtech is the go-to site if you really wanna know whats inside a machine! thanks.

    i live in austria and got my first vostro (1310) in 2008. back then they were quite a bit thicker and built 100% out of plastic, but still delivered the best bang for the buck, imho. i only made the mistake of "upgrading" to a geforce 8400gs and while gaming on low details (gta san andreas!) was great, of course the gpu died on me, although i copper-modded it for better cooling.

    thats when i first came in contact with the dell business service, which is nothing but world class support. they fixed the issue (new mainboard) and the machine is running strong since then.

    in my opinion its hard to get better laptops than the vostros for that little money, which is the reason i recommend them to people who are looking for a everyday-machine and want to stay under, say, 800€.

    especially the new series (3300 and newer) dont fail to impress me, since they are quite thin and feel very sturdy.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    I'm using a 2007 17" Dell Inspiron with a dual core T7200 (2 Ghz, 4 MB cache) and a 1920 x 1200 true-life display and is talking about "upgrading" me to a 17" version of this. I'm a bit torn - I love my current screen, and I upgraded my current system with an SSD and maximized the RAM, and it's quite a fast system. Even though I typically run the system at 1440 x 900 resolution, I like the possibility of running at 1920 x 1200 when I need to. I really wish they still made 1920 x 1200 displays... Reply
  • nklak - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    My company is dell direct partner in Europe and I as manager recently choosed this little vostro for my new laptop replacing HP models after 10years. What made me do this is the size of laptop and battery life as I am always on the move and carry notebook with myself 24/7. For strict bussines use even i3 is good enough, SSD is for speed lovers, and this should be enough for 90+% of bussines users.What is bad and what was the ONE AND ONLY reason to dump this notebook is LCD. Crap resolution, shit quality (color quality, wash away effect, very bad angles etc). End of discussion, deal breaker. I spend my 10+ working hours WATCHING at this screen, for proffesionals it should be biggest issue over everything else. I have money, I can afford latitude no problems, but trust me no latitude model is match for this little fellow in usability/portability. 6420 is just to big/heavy for me (who else still need optical drive inside). This is reason apple made it right. They made it like Steve liked it, and everyone else said WOW. I personaly can not use mac, and what makes me thinking is why nobody took their aproach. When you build bussines notebook build what bussines man needs. Try not to pack everything inside, you cant please all. Home users got inspiron, power users XPS, latitude can be for professionals top speced, but be rare manufacturer who makes bussines notebooks and make Vostro a bussines laptop. Needed options, top quailty, and I am in. Right now, mr. dell, one of your partners just ordered sony for himself... Reply
  • Stuka87 - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    The next BDS still works pretty well. I ended up having my Precision 4500 replaced due to BSOD's that they could not track down. And lucky for me, it go replaced with a brand new M4600, which I have to say, is a great machine. I have been very happy with it. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    Oh, and as for the Vostro, never been a huge fan of them. Although it looks like this one may be a step up from previous models. Reply

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