Let’s See the Benchmarks

Many of our tests should be familiar by now, as we’ve just updated a few items along with switching to an almost completely new gaming suite. All of the benchmarks we use are now the latest versions, which is some cases makes the results slightly different from earlier versions (e.g. PCMark 7 may be up to 5% faster/slower now compared to the original release). Here’s the short list of application and gaming results; the full suite is visible in Mobile Bench, and as we review more laptops with the new test suite we’ll include the UX51VZ in the charts.

ASUS Zenbook UX51VZ General Performance
PCMark 7 (2013) PCMark Overall Score 5327
Cinebench R11.5 Single-Threaded (FPS) 1.28
Cinebench R11.5 Multi-Threaded (FPS) 5.62
x264 HD 5.x Pass One (FPS) 54.89
x264 HD 5.x Pass Two (FPS) 10.56
3DMark (2013) Fire Strike 1571
3DMark (2013) Cloud Gate 9155
3DMark (2013) Ice Storm 59686
3DMark 11 Performance 2346
Battery Life 2013 Light Use (Minutes) 295
Battery Life 2013 Moderate Use (Minutes) 259
LCD Contrast Ratio 838:1
LCD White Level (nits) 302
LCD Black Level (nits) 0.36
LCD DeltaE 2.72
LCD Color Gamut (%AdobeRGB) 64.8%

Starting with the general performance, there’s really nothing particularly surprising to report. The quad-core i7-3612QM delivers performance that will be plenty fast for all but the most demanding users. Yes, it’s a bit slower than the standard voltage quad-core parts, but the UX51VZ seems to cool well enough that maximum Turbo Boost is usually in effect. As for the graphics scores, the only thing I have to go on right now are iGPU results from Ultrabooks, and the 2x-3x performance gap is about what you’d expect from GT 650M vs. ULV HD 4000. This is one area where Haswell may not make as big of a dent in the lead as I’d like, as the TDP on the ULV parts means even if GT3 is present, it’s likely to run into throttling situations, so dGPUs will be desirable for anyone serious about gaming.

Speaking of which, here are the gaming results—we’ll be adding GRID 2 and Metro: Last Light to our gaming suite when those launch, so for now we have five titles to work with. Skyrim is the sole holdover of our last suite, mostly because we couldn’t find an RPG we felt was a better option (and MMORPGs tend to introduce too many variables to make them good benchmarks). Keep in mind that this list is for laptop only, where gaming performance is merely one of numerous elements we test.

Also of interest is that our current gaming suite has three AMD Gaming Evolved titles (and GRID 2 will make a fourth) while the only NVIDIA The Way It’s Meant to Be Played title will be Metro: Last Light—Skyrim and StarCraft II remain DX9 games that are GPU vendor agnostic. We tried to stick to games that were well received and if possible both demanding on the hardware and easy for us to benchmark. The second aspect is why Crysis 3 and Far Cry 3 didn’t make our list, and we figured at seven titles (with four already being FPS/shooters) we could skip adding two more. If you’d like to see more GPU comparisons with games, please refer to our GPU benchmarks where we have ten titles and at present three overlap our mobile test suite.

ASUS Zenbook UX51VZ Gaming Performance(FPS)
Bioshock Infinite - Value 81.9
Bioshock Infinite - Mainstream 34.1
Bioshock Infinite - Enthusiast 19.4
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Value 88.2
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Mainstream 60.5
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Enthusiast 37.6
Sleeping Dogs - Value 72.4
Sleeping Dogs - Mainstream 44.9
Sleeping Dogs - Enthusiast 19.1
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Value 55.2
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Mainstream 44.4
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Enthusiast 28.1
Tomb Raider - Value 74.8
Tomb Raider - Mainstream 40.7
Tomb Raider - Enthusiast 11.6

Gaming performance on the GT 650M is decent but not exceptional. In most instances, High detail settings at 1080p are playable, but typically not with antialiasing. Our Enthusiast settings meanwhile prove too much for the GPU in four of the five games, with Skyrim being the only passing grade. Based on their predecessors (Metro 2033 and DiRT: Showdown), I’m betting our Enthusiast settings will likely prove unplayable on most laptops for the time being.

ASUS Zenbook UX51VZ Closing Thoughts and Other Items
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  • Flunk - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I also prefer the keyboard centered, with standard-width keys.

    I never use the number pad at all because it requires me to move my right hand off the keyboard to do so. This also requires me to look at the keyboard, something I otherwise never do. For me the numberpad is just slower and unnecessary. I that way the keyboard layout that 15" notebooks like the Dell XPS L521x or MacBook Pro is better.
  • nevertell - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Don't want to be rude or anything, but this seems like a rather short review :(
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I got the impression Jarred rushed it out to clear his backlog without skipping it entirely the way some products appear to have been when they didn't get a near launch time review.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    That's what the introduction is for. ;-) I have several more of these planned prior to the Haswell and Trinity launches. Basically, the laptops are now somewhat older and so I'm giving a quick review to cover the product and get the benchmarks done prior to the updates arriving (and to flesh out our new benchmark suite). If you have any questions about the laptop you feel I missed covering, ask away and I'll be happy to respond.
  • fruitbar - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Speaking of Haswell-powered laptops, is there an ETA on their general availability? Can we expect them right after the unveiling at Computex or would mid-/late-Q3 be a more reasonable time-frame?
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I think June 2nd is the launch date (or thereabouts), so probably within a few weeks there will be a few available, and in July/August there will be a bunch.
  • Bob Todd - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I just wanted to chime in and say that I like the short reviews. The one thing I'd change about Anandtech is just more content for all categories. I know the big reviews take a lot of time to put together, so I'd love more 'mini' reviews like this across the board. The smaller benchmark set still gives a decent idea about performance, and as long as there's some good subjective information about the overall experience I still find them very useful.
  • kyuu - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - link

    I presume you mean Haswell and *Richland* launches. Unless you really are that far behind on reviewing AMD hardware. =p
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - link

    Er, yup. :-)
  • lmcd - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - link

    Haswell and Richland, you mean? I know Richland is basically Trinity, but...

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