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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  • Penti - Saturday, October 29, 2011 - link

    Your supposed to make a backup/rescue disc with the supplied software, it usually have some kind of rescue partition too, using other media is always forbidden on OEM-computers and are essentially the same as running unlicensed. If you really need it Dell might supply a disc for your modell if you ask, but just might. Reply
  • agent2099 - Saturday, October 29, 2011 - link

    If I remove the original hard drive I assume the rescue partition will still be in the laptop, perhaps some kind of storage soldered onto the motherboard.

    If that's the case will it allow me to install from the rescue partition directly to the SSD without hassle.

    I'm surprised this isn't a more talked about topic as it seems replacing hard drives is common in laptops. I guess everyone just has a spare DVD of Windows 7 lying around the house.
    Reply
  • Penti - Sunday, October 30, 2011 - link

    Your supposed to make your backup, moving your preinstalled Windows to a SSD is fully possible. Not optimal but you just have to buy a business-laptop with media included (optional) if that's not good enough if you don't want to ask for a disc, it's as much a Microsoft issue as a OEM-issue. Using other media isn't allowed. As said. It's a pain but cloning your preinstalled Windows or install a warez-copy isn't insurmountable. Businesses also needs a volume license to handle their OS's.

    Or as they do offer it you can just ask them for a rescue disc in accordance to their rules regarding that.
    "Dell Customers can now request a set of backup discs containing the factory-installed operating system as well as the device drivers and utilities specific to your system.

    *Requests are limited to one (1) set of backup discs per system purchased.
    *The backup discs requested must match the operating system that was factory installed on the original order."

    What's more depressing are that there usually aren't any clean or retail-like installation discs provided. By supplying recovery rather then installation. OEM-specific drivers are another matter. That don't hurt what your whining about though, if you request a disc or if you burn out a few dvd-/+r you can just use them to restore the system to a SSD or you can just clone your drive (with your backup tool of choice) to a external drive and restore from that ones you have put in the SSD. Users who know enough to change out drives will probably know enough to both make backups and rescue discs before they install it. Ordinary home users can probably just use the restore partition/function if they screw up and has no disc. Or just order one. Hardly life or death just a nuisance.
    Reply
  • Zap - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    I have a Vostro V131 sitting here (just got, haven't even powered it on yet) and it does come with discs.
    1) Trend Micro (useless)
    2) Dell branded Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit (this is the disc you are looking for)
    3) Dell branded APPLICATION "For Reinstalling DigitalPersona Personal Fingerprint Software (fingerprint reader)
    4) Dell branded Resource Media "Contents: Device drivers: Utilities"
    5) Dell branded Resource Media "Webcam Central"
    Of course it doesn't come with a way to use the discs, but that's what my external USB optical drive is for. Once the SSD shows up, I'll probably be using discs 2 and 4.
    Reply
  • ixelion - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    toshiba hard drives are horrible, failure rate is insane. Disapointed to see another vendor using them probably cheap$ Reply
  • Penti - Saturday, October 29, 2011 - link

    While I don't totally rule out a Vostro in low-end business, small businesses and for example one-computer-per-child schemes at secondary education level, junior high or equivalent it sure doesn't seem worth it compared to cheaper Lenovo models like Lenovo L520 kinda ThinkPad that you can actually get with a "high-res" screen, 1600x900 for about 850 dollars (864 USD right now on the web, add another 150 USD to have it properly spec out regarding BT, network and RAM though) both 1600x900 screen and docking support (which means you can hook up a screen of more then 1920x1200 if you happen to have that). A Dell Latitiude E5420 might be more interesting with a upgraded screen though. That is about $859 right now on the web for Core i5-2410M, 4GB DDR3, 320GB and 1 year basic warranty. Even if you have pretty basic demands though 1600x900 screens there appears to be a few options to choose for business/prosumer instead of the Dell, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba and HP models that don't. If you really like a compact 132 there is also the 1100 dollar Asus UX31* now too. Seams like a small stretch. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, October 30, 2011 - link

    Fixed, thanks! Reply
  • Jehnavi24 - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Dell Vostro V131 is basically a good, cheap business laptop, but boasts some of the great features that make it stand somewhere in the market.
    http://www.techiecop.com/
    Reply
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