GPU Performance

Although the X1 Carbon is not a gaming laptop, we can still run it through some of our GPU tests to see how the i7-5600U performs. This is HD 5500 graphics inside, which is a 24 Execution Unit (EU) model integrated with the CPU. It has a base frequency of 300 MHz, and a turbo of 950 MHz, which is 50 MHz higher than the i5-5200U that we have already seen in the likes of the Dell XPS 13. It should perform slightly better. It is a bit of a shame that the i7-5650U CPU was not leveraged in the X1 Carbon since it includes the 48 EU HD 6000 GT3 graphics, and the tray price is not much more than the 5600U. It seems like Apple is the only one who puts these in notebooks which is a bit of a shame.

Regardless, we will test what we have, and as this is an Ultrabook I did not put it through our entire gaming laptop suite, since as we found with the XPS 13, even on the value settings the integrated graphics are not really up to par for those types of games. That is why we started testing DOTA 2, which has much lower requirements, to get a feel for how these devices with integrated graphics do on less demanding workloads.

As with the system performance, if you would like to see how the X1 Carbon performs against any other device we have tested, please use our Laptop Bench.


Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark’s 3DMark has long been one of the standard synthetic tests, and the X1 Carbon shows that it is right where it is expected to be – at the top. With the highest turbo frequency, and the new Gen 8 graphics of Broadwell, it edges out the XPS 13’s i5-5200U in all tests.


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)

On GFXBench, we see the same story as 3DMark. The X1 Carbon edges out the XPS 13. Intel has certainly made some gains with the Gen 8 graphics this round, but they still have some work to do here. The key of course is to keep it in the TDP they want.

Moving on, we have our new DOTA 2 test, which is an example of a real world game rather than just a synthetic.


DOTA 2 Value

DOTA 2 Mainstream

DOTA 2 Enthusiast

The reason we use DOTA 2 on these types of devices is because the system requirements are a lot lower. You are not going to be able to play big budget first person shooters with reasonable settings on Intel’s integrated GPU, but a game like this is a lot easier to handle. Even on the Enthusiast settings, DOTA 2 is fairly playable on this device, and once again the X1 Carbon edges the XPS 13, continuing on with what was seen in the synthetic tests.

Overall the GPU is right where you would expect it to be. The higher CPU frequencies help feed the GPU, and the slightly higher turbo frequency of the i7-5600U’s GPU allows it to beat out the HD 5500 GPU in the XPS 13 which was tested on the i5-5200U processor.

System Performance Display


View All Comments

  • Shan Barns - Monday, October 19, 2015 - link

    Beware the so-called extended warranty
    (tl;dr -- warranted computer, gone for over 6 weeks so far, dismissive and poor service, want replacement if they can't repair)

    I own an X1 carbon (2 years old) which over the last year has started to spike in temperature. The fan software no longer works, so I've installed TPFancontrol and Speedfan (one the first time I reformatted and reinstalled Widows, the other the second time) to manually control the fans. I updated BIOS and drivers, reinstalled Windows, etc. I did the normal blowing out of the vent and so on, but the computer would go up to 90+ degrees Celsius and crash. The wireless stopped working as well--intermittently and irrespective of location/modem/time of day.

    I sent the computer in for repair, under my 3 year warranty. The first "repair" did nothing. Within 15 minutes, the computer reached 92 degrees Celsius and crashed 3 times. I sent it back for further repair. (By the way, they didn't return it with all parts of the power cord, even though they insisted I send it, and I marked all the parts on the shipping form). Obviously there is no quality control on their so-called repairs.

    I have now been without a functioning computer for over 6 weeks. Lenovo doesn't have the correct parts and cannot find them. Parts for a popular computer that is only 2 years old. Now, as a doctoral student, it's pretty hard to write a dissertation without a computer, but as a consultant, I am losing money, since I cannot consult until I have a computer. Moreover my doctoral program is only funded for so long--every month of waiting equals a month in which I will have to pay out of pocket to be a student. Being without a computer for over 6 weeks has already cost me at least $4000.

    But when I contact Lenovo to demand they deal with this issue , they reluctantly promise to add 2 months to my warranty--that's it! An acknowledgement that I've lost 2 months of computer use, and a further tacit acknowledgement that they think it will break again. This is after the problem "escalated." Mind you, they don't actually contact you after you "escalate" even though they insist they will.

    Other computer companies will replace a defective computer under warranty if they cannot fix it. This happened with my old Asus, and with my kids' HP also. What is wrong with Lenovo's warranty? I feel that if they cannot fix a 2 year old computer, then this warranty is a fraudulent service they are selling.

    And I also feel that anyone considering buying a Lenovo should be aware of how poor their customer service is. They do not call back, though they say they will. They issue "part hold final" emails insinuating that this is the last time they will await a part, but then re-start the part ordering process. They do not know who your case has gone to when it is "escalated" and are entirely confused by their own computer system when you ask about your repair status. The "escalation" people are dismissive and condescending when you do finally get a hold of a person. They do not stand by their product.
  • chris_of_sd - Friday, October 30, 2015 - link

    I bought this laptop last May after a thorough search. I've been using T410 at work for years, thus the bias. Also I was aware with the quality reduction when Lenovo took over.

    I chose this laptop for a few reasons
    1. Keyboard layout - meaning Enter button and navigation arrows are at the edge; and the trackpad is aligned with the space button.
    2. High resolution display available
    3. Style/ weight

    My experience with it has been quite bad actually.

    The WiFi adapter is the worst I've seen. Well, I haven't seen that many, except my old t410 and the usual mix of apple idevices. Eventually I was able to figure out some obscure setting that was disabling the wifi adapter to save power. Still is very slow to connect. With some old router the wifi was not able to identify the encryption method ( in contrast to all other devices ).

    As build there are highs and lows. My laptop has a loose screw on the bottom ...

    The display is quite annoying. I chose to have touch screen and the look I got is sort of the look that you get when you have a privacy screen on top. Not nice.

    The sound from this laptop is absolutely terrible. And this is not about the speakers, is about the sound that comes from the headphones. It makes is pretty much impossible to watch youtube.

    There are a few issues with cooling too.
    The laptop gets quite hot to hold on lap; let's say that this is expected. However, a second problem is that the air vent is on the right hand side, meaning if I place a mouse there or if I use my right hand for the touch screen I can feel the hot air. My old laptop had it on the left which was much better.
  • mistera1 - Friday, February 12, 2016 - link

    I got a new X1 this week and was disappointed to find the Trackpoint and Keyboard Backlight not working. I called support and upgraded everything, still no go. Lenovo wanted me to send back for repair but I told them I wanted a full refund, and they said OK to that with no fuss. I have an X200 and looking for something faster and with a better display. At this point I will probably buy a used X220. Reply

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