GPU Performance

On the GPU side, the Core M-5Y10 has the Intel HD 5300 Gen8 graphics of Broadwell, but with clock speeds of 100 Mhz to 800 Mhz, as compared to the 5Y71 which has 300MHz to 900 MHz available. We have tested several Broadwell processors so far, and the Gen8 graphics are a reasonable boost over the Haswell Gen 7.5 model, with a bump in execution units (EU) from 20 on Haswell to 24 on Broadwell. The Yoga 3 Pro has the Core M 5Y71, which on paper should offer more performance than the 5Y10 based UX305 that we received for review.

One thing that became clear on the Yoga 3 Pro review was how even though the GPU was the same number of EUs as the Broadwell-U processors, and it has the same base and boost clock speed, the 4.5 watt window of Core M limited performance quite a bit. As we saw on the system performance already though, ASUS has elected to allow Core M to get hotter, so that may change the outcome on the GPU as well.

FutureMark 3DMark

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark 11

FutureMark has compiled several benchmarks in 3DMark 2013. All are a reasonable length, except for Ice Storm Unlimited which is more of a smartphone/tablet benchmark, and therefore completes very quickly on a PC. Here we can see how much more performance the ASUS UX305 can deliver over the Yoga 3 Pro, which again on paper has a faster processor. ASUS allows much more thermal headroom on the SoC, which results in considerably better scores when using the GPU. The exception to this is the Ice Storm Unlimited, which completes quick enough that the Yoga 3 Pro does not have to throttle as much.

GFXBench

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan Offscreen 1080p

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex Offscreen 1080p

GFXBench 3.0 Alpha Blending Offscreen 1080p

GFXBench 3.0 ALU Offscreen 1080p

GFXBench 3.0 Driver Overhead Offscreen 1080p

GFXBench 3.0 Fill Rate Offscreen 1080p

GFXBench 3.0 Render Quality (High Precision)

GFXBench 3.0 Render Quality (Medium)

GFXBench 3.0 is available in the Windows Store, and is a DirectX version of GFXBench. On the two gaming benchmarks (Manhattan and T-Rex) we can see that the UX305 pulls ahead of both of the Haswell-U based devices in our graphs, which are the Yoga 2 Pro and the Latitude 12. The Dell XPS 13, with Broadwell-U, is still a lot more powerful which is not surprising since it has a 15 watt TDP compared to just 4.5 watts on Core M (Broadwell-Y). Once again, we can see that the ASUS is stronger than the Yoga 3 Pro.

DOTA 2 Benchmarks

DOTA 2 Value

DOTA 2 Mainstream

DOTA 2 Enthusiast

One area where the Yoga 3 Pro struggled was with our DOTA 2 benchmark, which is quite long in duration. We run at three different levels, and the Yoga 3 Pro fell quite far behind the Dell XPS 13. The ASUS UX305 closes that gap though, and gave a much higher frames per second than the Yoga 3 Pro.

Tablet Comparison

As with the Yoga 3 Pro, we will compare the ASUS UX305 to several tablets to see where Core M fits in the lineup. The UX305 is certainly not a tablet competitor unlike the Yoga 3 Pro, but the improved GPU performance seen in the laptop comparisons should give us some more information to about where the Intel graphics compare to the best SoC GPUs available today.

Tablet 3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Overall

Tablet 3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Graphics

Tablet 3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Physics

Tablet GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Offscreen)

Tablet GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Offscreen)

Tablet GFXBench 3.0 ALU Test (Offscreen)

Tablet GFXBench 3.0 Alpha Blending Test (Offscreen)

Tablet GFXBench 3.0 Driver Overhead Test (Offscreen)

Tablet GFXBench 3.0 Fill Rate Test (Offscreen)

3DMark Unlimited shows the capabilities of the GPU, but is so short that the throttling issues we have observed do not come in to play. The Gen8 graphics of HD 5300 should certainly be able to compete favorably to any of the tablet SoCs if give enough headroom, however that is obviously not the case.

The GFXBench scores show that the Core M 5Y10 can compete with tablets, with it coming in very close to the same scores as all of the latest tablets on the Manhattan score. The T-Rex benchmark is much easier, and it falls behind a bit, but is still a lot quicker than the Yoga 3 Pro.

GPU Conclusion

The increased thermal headroom that ASUS allows on the UX305 has dramatically increased the GPU performance of Core M when compared to the Yoga 3 Pro. The device does get warm though, with it hitting close to 50°C at the top of the laptop, but it does not affect the keyboard or wrist areas. The lack of a fan makes these scores even more surprising, but Lenovo has opted to keep the surface temperatures a lot lower on the Yoga 3 Pro.

There is a lot to be said about Core M performance, and too much to put in this review. We will be doing a deeper dive into the performance of Core M and how it performs in various devices, both actively and passively cooled, as well as compared to Broadwell-U based systems which are a more traditional design. Clearly, there is a lot of factors that affect performance in a device such as this than just the label on the spec sheet.

System Performance Battery Life, Wi-Fi, and Speakers
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  • Calista - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link

    Well, for a lot of people a Core 2 Duo is more than powerful enough. Using a M4400 with a Core 2 Duo T9600 from time to time rarely does it feel slow for "normal usage", i.e. browsing the web, working with Photoshop and whatnot.

    Once we have reached a certain threshold more performance just doesn't seem so important any more. I would say most folks reached that threshold with the release of the later C2D CPU:s.
    Reply
  • FlushedBubblyJock - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link

    I know many of these people, and replacing the spindle drive with a small SSD (and my usual optimizations in 5 mins) settles it entirely for them.
    It's faster than the new regulars at the stores.
    Reply
  • TheWrongChristian - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - link

    I just "upgraded" from my Core Duo T2400 based laptop (which kept up with modern software) to a $60 second hand thinkpad t61, with Core 2 T7100 CPU (which easily keeps up with modern software.)

    I only upgraded because the screen backlight on the old laptop was a bit flaky, and only upgraded to the thinkpad because it has a fantastic keyboard and I already had the ultrabay HDD adaptor from a previous work laptop, as well as using the same PSU as my old laptop (also a Lenovo.)

    Modern machines are let down by their crappy keyboards and screens. That's where the race to the bottom has hit.

    TL;DR

    I concur. With the push of software down to tablet and smartphones, people have learned to somewhat optimize again, and CPUs performance from ~7-8 years ago is perfactly adequate.
    Reply
  • akdj - Saturday, March 28, 2015 - link

    Except I'd argue your two biggest concerns (keyboard and screen) are ..at least ½ of the equation ... Of MUCH higher quality, legibility, brightness, contrast, and their corresponding technologies behind them; AMOLED or LCS have come leaps and bounds in the last half to full decade. I'm also intrigued by the new keyboard and trackpad Apple has implemented
    If anything, it does seem more Window's OEMs are getting trackpads correct. I can't speak to their keyboards but I've been using solely OS X laptops during that time period you're talking about. Though, during that period Apple's keyboards, again, have only gotten 'Better'. Just MHO, but not a lot of laptops are upgradable either, some 32bit even limited to 3-3.5GB of RAM & nearly impossible to get an SSD inside. That, the SSD today is the ONE differentiator and bottle neck eliminator we've seen. Not the CPU, the RAM, the display or the keyboard. GPU in some cases, sure. But going solid state and fanless without the need for AC all day...for the layman, those are HUGE wins
    Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - link

    I completely agree with the C2D being adequate. For me, "adequate performance" was an upgraded Dell Latitude D620 with a T2300 (1.6 GHz 32-bit dual core), 4 GB of RAM which wasn't fully utilized due to the 32-bit OS and a thing about the 945 chipset that didn't recognize more than like 3.2 GB and a 320 GB non-SSD. It was and still is just fine but the battery was bad, the screen was getting kinda flickery and one of the USB ports was damaged so I bought a used Latitude E6320 with some kind of i5 Sandy Bridge in it and it's far more than I need. While I like the fanless aspects of modern laptops, I hate the short key travel and other sacrifices made in the name of making something thin. It seems pointless and faddish to do that because the laptop still needs just as much space in a handbag or whatever since the other two dimensions aren't different. I'm sure that some people will want something like this, but I can't find a reason to care that much about the thickness. I didn't care when I had a 90 MHz Pentium laptop (which was fanless...Texas Instruments Travelmate 5130..there was a heatsink and this huge heat spreader bar under the keyboard) and I don't worry about it now. Reply
  • 074geodude - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link

    CPU performance wise, no you will not be upgrading.

    But everything else - screen quality, resolution, thickness, weight, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, battery life (11+hours, try getting that out of a Core 2 Duo).

    It's time to upgrade.
    Reply
  • beehofer - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - link

    The Core M might not stand much a of chance against the the U but they seem to have a purpose. I would very much like a review of the new more powerful Asus UX303LA which is sporting the 5200U. I got it from the microsoft store for 1300$ after adding a 1TB EVO 850 SSD. the screen is higher ppi than the newest 13 inch macbook pro retina with 8GB of Ram. You can't beat the bang for the buck. Battery life is the only disappointment so far. Reply
  • sonicmerlin - Monday, March 30, 2015 - link

    Even the iPad Air 2 has a faster GPU than Core M. Reply
  • FwFred - Monday, June 15, 2015 - link

    I'd say the GPUs trade blows, but the Core M has faster CPU, and the Asus has far more storage for an equivalent price. Reply
  • Novacius - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link

    It's a shame that it hasn't keyboard backlighting and such a poor display calibration. Maybe they'll do better in future iterations. I'm very interested in a Skylake model. Reply

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