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

  • Valantar - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    An IBM design? In... 2012, if Google serves me right? After Lenovo bought IBMs whole PC division in 2005? I'd like to see some kind of corroboration, please.

    While it's true that my experience is limited, my X201 is doing fine after long years of hard usage - the only issue I ever had was an SD reader with slightly subpar performance, which Lenovo promptly replaced as soon as I reported it. Great end-user customer service. The battery even has around 80% of its capacity after all that time.

    Compared with the HP ProBook I bought for my mother around the same time, that had constant firmware/driver issues, and failed after about three years of very light usage (display failure). I've heard similar experiences from colleagues using ProBooks and EliteBooks too.

    I see a lot of 'ThinkPads suck ever since Lenovo' going around, but I can't help seeing that as a combination of bad luck (getting your first faulty unit after the ownership change) and just plain resistance to change. YMMV.
  • Samus - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    Everyone in my IT circle avoid Lenovo equipment like the plague among all their clients. The one guy who did use Lenovo, exclusively, is in the process of closing his business and dissolving his corporation because of super fish fallout and generally unhappy customers due to poor Lenovo support. Reliability is indeed s YMMV but with hp elitebook a they come the next day to your door and rebuild the thing in front of you for 3 years. Reply
  • sandy105 - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    funny guy .. Reply
  • T2k - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    Oh PLEAHHSE. I literally don't know ANYONE with an HP laptop in my immediate circles but every AWS, Rackspace, SIGGRAPH etc conference I still see a LOT OF Thinkpads, even regular Lenovo laptops, stop spreading BS, please. Reply
  • Samus - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    You obviously do not realize that HP Corporate is twice as large as Lenovo's Corporate presence. HP commands around 70% of the world server market where as about 15 other companies make up the remaining 30%. Proliants literally run the world.

    As far as laptops, the US military has used Elitebooks exclusively for years...and very few healthcare sectors use Lenovo for the same reason: they're a Chinese company.

    But there is no real debating that Elitebooks are better than Thinkpads dollar for dollar. Stop thinking of Best Buy when you think of HP equipment. Best Buy sells to suckers, not enterprise. I I can't find the article right now and I'm pretty sure it was Forbes or WSJ but I read nearly half of fortune 500 companies are exclusively HP houses. It also helps HP is in the printer business so companies can keep their accounts in one place.

    Does any of this make HP better than Lenovo? No. But if you've ever actually disected an Elitebook next to a modern day Thinkpad you'd quickly realize, if you have any concept of quality, that the Elitebook was designed by brighter minds with less cut corners.

    The only reason Lenovo has overtaken HP in sales over the past two years comes down to economies of scale: Lenovo can mass produce more crap than HP can, so they are cheaper. In this economy people are buying based on price, not quality. Look how many KIA's and Chrysler's are on the road.
  • CoolRunnings - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - link

    Actually the army uses Dell Latitudes last I saw... I've got hundreds of Thinkpad T420 and T430 laptops in my customers hands and have had the fewest number of issues with those of any series of laptop I've used. They're not perfect by any stretch but all those griping about Lenovo having ruined the Thinkpad brand since 2006 must have forgotten the terrors of the T40-T42 series and their GPU from hell problems or the brittle plastic on the T20 series. I've worked on Thinkpads since the T20 came out and the T420-T430 series have by far been the best built in my experience. The keyboard in the T60's was better in some ways though. Now when you start talking of the T440+, yep, agreed, they tend to suck in comparison... Reply
  • T2k - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    Same thing here, my ~5 years old X201 is still working (sans a loose power connector and the Thinklight that usually refuses to turn on.) I would never trade it for any HP, sorry. Heck, I'd rather get a VAIO with their hybrid graphics any day than an overpriced, bloatware-ridden HP, that's for sure. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    Casualuker, you are an idiot. The last ibm design were the T40 and X40 series. Lenovo was allowed to use the IBM logo on the abysmal T60 series under license but the 60 series were Lenovo design and had chronic reliability problems ranging from failing cathod inverters to warped cooling fans.

    The T43 and X41 were the last good thinkpads. I still see them in use on occasion...15 years later. Some X40 series machines even have 60gb ssd's.
  • CasualUker - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    @Samus, if you say so. The truly last bit of IBM imprints where the Tx30 series. If you don't believe me that's fine. Reply
  • Samus - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    I don't need to believe you, because you are wrong.

    Lenovo hasn't had license to use the IBM logo since 2005. You are confusing the IBM logo with a Thinkpad logo or something...because there are NO IBM LOGO'S on the last decade of Lenovo Thinkpad, ThinkCentre, ThinkServer, and so on...

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