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

  • close - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    Samus, Lenovo used the IBM logo on T60 an T61 even though they weren't IBM anymore. Probably because the chassis was built in the same machines and according to the same plans and they had the shape cut out for the IBM logo. In 2007 the T61/p were being built also without the IBM logo and used a ThinkPad logo. But that was it. T61 had the last of the IBM logos in 2007. Reply
  • Samus - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    I understand and agree with you. It's CasualUker that seems to think there are IBM "imprints" on the T430's. LOL. Reply
  • close - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    CasualUker: the last one IBM made under their own name was the T43/T43p. T60 was already a Lenovo affair. Ok, they were probably riding on a lot of IBM knowhow, designs and everything but to be honest it was all downhill from there. I'm not saying they're the worst, they're still among the OK ones, just that the general level of quality and reliability has constantly dropped.
    I have a running T43. It's 2015 and it's still running. I had two R31 and R32 that ran until a few years ago. Also a running X200 (3 generations after lenovo took over). Had some issues but still running. After that I couldn't get a laptop to run fine for more than 3 years. And I work in a company that buys thousands of Lenovos X, T and W every year, generation after generation. Reliability is down. I have no expectations from a ThinkPad anymore.
  • sorten - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    I have to agree. Thinkpads were brilliant laptops when IBM owned the brand. I had a T20 for years. Our company started using the T440s about a year ago. I'm on my second laptop after the MB failed on the first one, and my touchscreen has stopped working. I'm going BYOD with a Surface Pro 4 as soon as it's available. Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    Totally agree, I've had IBM Thinkpads for many years before I move everything to Apple. A couple of years ago I made the horrible mistake to buy a Lenovo Thinkpad; unusable trackpad and trackpoint is often erratic, soft controlled radio functions sometimes can be activated and other times needed a reboot, locked down BIOS to only support Lenovo branded cards in the two mini-PCIe slots, screen easily cracks due to bogus frame and design and claims from Lenovo that a laptop is not made to be transported around -- service is horrible as well.

    Nowadays I see them for what they are: always the cheapest and as usual you get what you pay for...
  • tuxRoller - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    For the enterprise, their service has been pretty great.
    Very fast response times, and prompt deliveries (had to replace a keyboard and battery, but for two different lappys).
    I do wish they'd up their quality, though, b/c, as you say, aspects of their assembly leave room to be desired.
    For linux support, however, they are the only real option. Yeah, you can hack it onto a mac (lots of folks do), but you're at the mercy of mathew garrett to fix the issues at that point.
  • DukeN - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link


    Lenovo apologist here - we've bought over around a hundred or so Thinkpad units since late 2007, and have yet to retire one. There were only two that needed a repair (under warranty), and the only other issues we have had til date have been due to keys ravaged or physical damage.

    Also, LOL @ the guy citing some guy's IT business closing down because of poor Lenovo service
  • Samus - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    Do a quick google search into corporate fallout from Superfish before you "LOL" a lot of people irrationally overreacted costing a lot of IT departments their jobs for "putting companies in danger."

    It was utterly ridiculous, but not really surprising considering how unprofessional of an organization Lenovo is. They are a consumer company, not an enterprise company. Think Ideapad, not Thinkpad. Huge difference. The fact they created the unholy offspring Thinkpad E-series to replace the budget R-series (the E-series is Ideapad internals) then created the joke that is the X100 series that have literally no Thinkpad technologies (Thinklight, Trackpoint, TPM, magnesium...) just goes to show Lenovo is willing to sell anything at any price in any disguise.
  • carbonx1_is-the-worst - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    agree - worst customer service. tons of problems. tons of costs. i am switching to apple. Reply
  • Mumrik - Saturday, May 23, 2015 - link

    My mother buys herself a new Thinkpad every year through her company. Through 4-6 years she has yet to have one last the whole year without the battery, keyboard or pointing device (last year of course) breaking down. Reply

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