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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  • Roland00Address - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I am fine with short reviews.

    I am happy he got the benchmarks and actually prefer the new format (though I wish the chart possess links to bench so it makes easy comparison, for example click on x264 first pass and it shows how other laptops compare with this test on bench).

    I wish there more personal opinions and expressions in the review, for these often give the best insight on the strengths and flaws of a laptop. There are so many opportunity costs with laptops, for example put a good ips screen in a laptop and you sacrifice battery life without using a bigger battery (for ips need a stronger backlight for the same final brightness the user sees, bigger backlit means higher screen power draw.).

    I though Jared did a pretty good job for only 2400 words
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I linked all the results to Mobile Bench... what a pain! Anyway, all of the games (other than Skyrim) only have a single result right now, which is why I used the tables. The other benchmarks have other results, but many are for Ultrabooks that don't really compete with the UX51Vz (e.g. iGPU vs. dGPU, ULV vs. quad-core LV, $1000 vs. $1850).
  • marraco - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Looks like Anandtech was down minutes ago. It was worldwide non accesable.
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    the images on the site are not loading up to now. It seems some server of the new rack has a problem...
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    wow its back!
  • ajp_anton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    What exactly makes Macbook a bad Windows laptop? The trackpad drivers can be sort of fixed and the keyboard partially remapped.
  • mr_tawan - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Even the keyboard can be remapped, it's still inferior to the keyboard that screened corresponding to the Windows's keyboard layout in term of Windows usage.

    Imagine someone who cannot touch-type but has to type a lot in remapped keyboard. One of my senior programmer cannot touch-type, but his press-typing is super fast!
  • mr_tawan - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    (missing one sentence), but if the key is not printed correctly, he would mistype a lot.
  • ananduser - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    No ACPI optimizations, no support for Intel Speedstep™, no discrete/integrated graphics switching, basic drivers that are never updated.

    Might I add issues with foobar plugins that attempt to bypass Windows' audio subsystem that bsod a bootcamped Windows(most likely due to BIOS emulation).

    Also add the Windows cost...win8 pro is 200$(non-OEM version with support included) worth of software, not a 20$ service pack.
  • ajp_anton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I've used Bootcamp quite a lot, and while I've noticed some audio bugs, I've learned how to avoid them. Never had a BSOD.
    Speedstep works just fine, and switchable graphics isn't an issue in the 13-inch retina I'm interested in.

    Battery life does suffer a little, but Macs seem to have much larger batteries anyway - 74Wh in 13-inch.

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