Application and Futuremark Performance

It should go without saying that the Sony VAIO S' performance in PCMark is going to be less than impressive. Not only does it not have an SSD, but the hard drive is (as I've belabored) punishingly slow. Thankfully, the Futuremark benches don't seem to be indicative of how well the VAIO S can perform in real world applications (outside of those that hit the storage subsystem), as you'll soon see.

Once you get to the storage subscore (where our SSD-equipped Sandy Bridge reference platform excels), you can see just how bad things are with the VAIO S' 5400RPM drive. Now you understand what I mean when I tell you that when you order the notebook, get at least a 7200RPM hard drive upgrade—or plan on doing an SSD upgrade on your own.

Under PCMark Vantage the VAIO S fares at least a little better. You'll notice I've included benchmarks for Atom and the E-350 in this chart and others; when we get to the battery life testing you'll see why. It's true those platforms cost at least a third as much as the VAIO S, but the VAIO S itself can still be had for under a grand, and there are some very good arguments to be made for going that route.

Into our proper application tests, the VAIO S starts to hit its stride. The Core i5-2410M at its heart may be Intel's slowest Sandy Bridge i5, but it's still a Sandy Bridge i5 and the scores reflect that. Performance is right where we want it to be, and the single memory channel in our review unit doesn't seem to hamper it too badly.

Back with Futuremark, the 3DMarks seem less kind to the VAIO S again, but this time they have it coming in behind Intel's HD 3000 integrated graphics hardware. This isn't wholly unexpected since the AMD Radeon HD 6470M is fairly anemic to begin with, but it's not really representative of real world performance either. End users might benefit more from Intel spending time optimizing for actual games instead of 3DMark.

Good Computer, Too Much Bloat Gaming Performance


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  • Rookierookie - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    $200 is 10 times $20, and yes I do need more than 120GB of space.

    On desktops I'll gladly do a boot SSD + storage HDD. On laptops I'm not quite ready to do that.
  • JNo - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    You might well be able to do boot SSD + storage HDD on this (and other) laptops too, so long as you don't mind losing the ODD.

    One solution I'm becoming aware of is to google/ebay "optical hard drive bay" for your laptop model and you can usually then get a bay to slot in to the lappy's optical bay which can hold a mechanical HDD instead...

    Then bingo - fast SSD + spacey HDD in a laptop
  • tmensonides - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    I was thinking of ordering a Sony because there one of the only manufacturers that offers what they call a "fresh start" option when cto... it is supposed to be vaio/sony, demo, game free....

    Looks like it is still in the cto options....

    Do you know anything more about that option?
  • hp79 - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    You have to upgrade your Windows to a Professional version and pay more in order to be able to select "fresh start" which really sucks. Other manufacturers business lines such as Dell's Latitude or Lenovo's Thinkpad lines doesn't come with demos and stuff. Reply
  • tmensonides - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    Yeah but you still get that thinkvantage stuff (dells got their own suite of junk..i have both a thinkpad and latitude at work) least the option is there.... Reply
  • Zoomer - Saturday, September 17, 2011 - link

    Yeah, they have had that option for some time. I guess they need to make money somewhere.

    Think of it as a "can't fix my own computer" tax. ;)
  • docp - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    Thanks for awesome review as always clear and very well detailed.
    brought back my old memories of sony crapware.
    I have been vaio FZ user right when vista came out and this new series got announced,

    I have been formatting the any new laptop that comes in family,Install clean windows 7 and then update essential programs to make all extra utilities working and security software that all and performance is amazing after this ritual.

    Regarding HDD also,I got 200 gb Toshiba 4200 rpm HDD(that times biggest HDD) to 7200 rpm hitachi 500 GB and its running as it is supposed and quiet.

    I dont know why sony installs so much of crap and why bog down pretty good hardware with stupid software.
    Its hurting their own business .
    Just plain stupid of sony .
  • docp - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    their is this little program which does backup and restore your windows 7 activation .it came out for vista and it works beautifully for windows 7 as well.
    this is completely legal and no shady grey tricks for activation.
  • Saidas - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    ABR? Reply
  • docp - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    yes ABR,awesome software.
    on side note,sony does allow you to debloate your laptop for additional 50 $ in form of windows 7 business upgrade.
    so only home premium version targeted at home users is bloated most.
    wrong strategy.

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