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

  • Brett Howse - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    No I don't think so :) But if you do need to be able to run one over, you could get one of these Reply
  • fokka - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    i agree with most things here. 4gb of RAM isn't acceptable in an ultrabook of the thinkpad brand in 2015 and neither is a TN panel. at least the days of 900p displays are over now and i prefer the 1440p display with rgb stripe to 1800p panels using some kind of pentile matrix.

    still, for a "professional"-grade ultrabook, which might also be used outside the office, the display is much too dim. under 300nits is a bad showing imho and with ever more efficient displays and LEDs, i would like to see more models approaching the 400nits-mark, instead of struggling to get 300.

    i'm also wary of the 128gb starting config, if you ask me there should only be options from 256gb-1tb, but i guess you got to meet the lower price points somehow as well.

    i'm glad lenovo came to their minds in regard to the function keys and the track pad buttons, but while they improved battery life, it still is mediocre at best. i think 50wh in a 14-inch form factor that is neither especially thin, nor has remarkably thin bezels is simply too little. 60wh would be much nicer, offering 20% more runtime, and looking how dell stuffs 52wh inside the "miniscule" xps13, 60wh should be manageable on the x1.

    regarding I/O the options could be better too. two usb3 ports is the bare minimum i would expect from a thinkpad and opting for a dedicated ethernet extender port doesn't seem like the greatest idea, if you could reach the same goal with another usb port plus ethernet adapter. using usb type-c would be even better for that and you could use it for the docking port as well.

    in the end it is a nice and fast machine, that's not cheap when configured properly, that is a big step up from the last iteration (but how could it not be?), but with some mediocre scores when it comes to display and runtime.
    for the money one can spend on a higher end x1 i would at least like to see those two main flaws sorted out, otherwise it is a quite nice machine.
  • meacupla - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    Lenovo always lags behind others when it comes to panels offered.
    It's like they are purposefully obtuse about upgrading product lines to newer hardware, or are trying to make more money by skimping on their top tier products.

    I really don't know of any other 'reputable' company that does this with their high end products.
  • edzieba - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    The dock you have pictured is the regular OneLink dock. The OneLink Pro dock has a DVI port in place of the HDMI, adds an extra DisplayPort output, and adds a pair of USB3 ports on the rear. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    Fixed sorry about that! Reply
  • Essence_of_War - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    RAM is soldered down, but is the SSD soldered to the logic board also, or is that potentially end-user replaceable? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    The SSD is replaceable, that's how I got early access to the Samsung SM951 in the laptop ;-) Reply
  • Essence_of_War - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    Good to know that drive failures can be addressed in-the-field! Reply
  • Michael Bay - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    I think Lenovo and bad display panels now are more or less synonymous, in notebooks at least.
    With prices as high as they are, would it kill them to put in something different from usual tn horrorshow for once?
  • der - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    Thank you Brett. Brett is love, Brett is life. Reply

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