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

  • Chloiber - Monday, May 25, 2015 - link

    Sounds to me like a layer 8 issue right there. Reply
  • drwho9437 - Sunday, May 31, 2015 - link

    So I have owned a T60, an X200, an X220 and an X230.

    I sold the T60 to get the X200 because I wanted something smaller. No issues with it until sale. I still have the X200 only failure is a small crack in the bezel that I caused by picking it up pinching the right hand side of the screen for years and years.

    I got my mother a T61 which did seem to develop a firmware issue after 2 years (it was already 10 years old; I had gotten it used). I replaced it with a T400 which is working well.

    My X220 was working fine when I sold it. It had always run a little hot for my taste so I replaced it with the X230 as I had a chance to use the new style keyboard and found it not completely unacceptable.

    Friend of mine has an X201t no issues. I got an X300 off ebay for next to nothing, it does run hotter than I would have thought for so low a power CPU but the fan is tiny. One mouse button didn't work so I got a new set for few dollars.

    All in all some failures to be sure but I have yet to have a single failure in year 1, that said I always buy them refurbished from the outlet or used. Perhaps those get more testing. They cost about 75% of new too, with a longer 3 year warranty in most cases. I just wait until what I want shows up on the outlet and then get it. The need for the newest computer available is long over.
  • carbonx1_is-the-worst - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    Battery broke completely within 18 months for no apparent reason - one day my laptop simply said 'no battery'. Replacement part order took forever - had to call IBM that handles parts for lenovo. part cost over $160 with shipment; installation cost $50 by geeksquad. Once installed, new battery runtime = 4h which is 50% of IBM-tech-support-promised capacity for the new part which was supopsed to be exactly the same OEM as in the brand new laptop. Now, dealing with faulty part replacement - which is another ordeal -- first you call IBM "supplies" number recommended on the packlist; then IBM send you an email with instruction to forward that email to 'returns' - etc. I think they dropped a ball here - the process could have been much more COMPLICATED so no one ever bothers with replacement requests. For instance, IBM could have gently recommended to write a letter by hand with special golden-sparkle-inc explaining the reasons for exchange order, then pack the letter in the eggshell colored in black, then put the eggshell in the treasure box of size 10x10cm, then put that in the oversized envelop with sufficient amount of cushioning, and at last, courier-deliver that to a special location in PA and give a secret knock on IBM/Lenovo door: knock-knock --- triple knock. Reply
  • protomech - Saturday, May 23, 2015 - link

    Wat? You went back to a 2010 laptop over a new 2015 because it offers better battery life?

    That's.. surprising.
  • beastly - Sunday, November 29, 2020 - link

    I have the X1 Carbon as well and it has easily. 19 hr life and charges in about 40 mins to 100%. The biggest factor for laptops not living up to the estimated battery life generally has to do with USB devices drawing off that battery. I use a powered USB hub to prevent battery drain from slave USB devices. Reply
  • lilmoe - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    Really, battery life is a bummer for an otherwise great, expensive machine. But ultrabooks aren't for people like me anyway (also a developer; VS2013/15). I wouldn't mind the extra thickness, performance and weight of the T450s with its hot swappable battery. Reply
  • sorten - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    I guess it depends what you're developing. For me personally, performance has always been more important than battery life because my laptop is docked and attached to two monitors for 95% of my dev time. The only time battery life is a concern is when I'm stuck in all day planning sessions. If I'm undocked and programming on the couch or in some open space at the office then I'm concerned with heat and, to a lesser extent, noise. Reply
  • mmrezaie - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    I have a decent Xeon workstation and some other clusters. I need something with decent performance that I can take where ever I go and also with best class battery. Something that thinkpad was. Actually some of my colleagues chose x250, but somehow I prefer the macbook pros. Reply
  • mmrezaie - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    which is not remotely as durable as I would like. You should have it for a year to see what happens to it. Reply
  • lilmoe - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    Having both would be great (and I really love the ability to hot swap batteries). I'm a freelance developer and I have my own LoB software. I use lots of rich controls, so Visual Studio could use all the oomph it can get. WPF can be harsh at design time, even WinForms can with lots of nested table layout panels. I was shopping around last year for a new Haswell MQ/HQ laptop around the time when Lenovo kind of MESSED UP the trackpad among other things.....

    I don't like U-series CPUs so I opted for a 4702MQ HP ProBook and it's been great. I installed decent quality 16GB RAM modules and a Samsung 850 Pro to help. I'm getting 3-4 hours of heavy usage and, now after Windows 10, up to 8 hours of light use and browsing on Edge (used to be less than 7). But I seriously HATE the TN panel, and I've been shopping around for an IPS replacement part (still waiting on the HP agent in my country) since none of the models I've seen had IPS.

    I really LOVE Thinkpads, but Lenovo just has to mess something up. I can live with a not-so-great screen and so-so battery life if performance was great, but a trackpad with no physical buttons and good travel (on the bottom of the pad)?? Heck no. Not even the clicky type buttons. I hope they get those back next gen.

    I have my eyes on the T550 since I need the numpad, hope the next gen will have hot swap batteries like the T550s. Anandtech really need to do some comprehensive testing of the T-series, and not only U-series alone.

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