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.

3DMark

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

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

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
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  • digiguy - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    These are ULV CPUs, they will never close the cap with desktops CPUs, even from a couple of generations ago (provided we are speaking of the same line, that is i7). My 3rd gen quad core laptop CPU is much more powerful than this and even my 2nd gen dual core i7 ultrabook is almost on par with this thanks to a higher (35W) TDP. Having said that a comparison with quad core mobile CPUs would be interesting to see the difference with the best ULVs. Reply
  • nerd1 - Friday, May 22, 2015 - link

    If you don't utilize more than 3 cores (few application does) they are actually comparable. Reply
  • Valantar - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    Great review! It's good to see how this ultra high end ultrabook is evolving alongside others, even if it still has some of the same issues as before.

    Now, could you, beg, borrow or steal a similarly specced X250 from Lenovo for comparison? It's an interesting parallell between the two, with the X1 Carbon having a larger screen, m.2 storage and slimmer build, while the X250 is more upgradeable (SODIMM RAM! up to 16GB!), has an intriguing battery solution (both an internal 23.2WHr and a replaceable 23.2-72WHr one, for a total 46-95WHr(!) capacity) and is of course slightly cheaper. I'd love to see an Anandtech review of the follow-up to my beloved X201.
    Reply
  • vision33r - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    Imo, Lenovo killed Thinkpads today because of shoddy quality and poor software. To allow even malware to their factory software and driver builds tells you they are not thinking about quality.

    Dells and HP corporate level hardware is better today than Lenovo. Because the BIOS and software provided by HP and Dell are simpler and more stable. There are too many issues with Lenovo firmware and BIOS today. Out of 150 that we received, probably 7-8 will have stability problem using a Windows 8.1 Gold image that we deploy tells you something.
    Reply
  • Hulk - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    I bought a Lenovo t450s a few months ago and have been very happy with it.

    And yes it was loaded with tons of crap. I just wiped it and started over. Now it's nice and clean.
    Reply
  • BMNify - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    Lenovo thinkpad desktop and laptops and other enterprise machines were never loaded with adware, it was a consumer line problem which was rectified. The fact that you have to resort to blatant 100% lies completely invalidates your rant against Lenovo. Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    We've had a few X1 Carbons come through, and while it is a solid piece of hardware, just be ready for UEFI and various other issues due to the lack of built-in network adapter if you are using/deploying it in an enterprise environment. Had to work through a few issues with our PXE server and UEFI boot as well, but nothing too bad.

    Overall Lenovo have been solid for us, lots of X230/X240 in our environment, the only major complaint I have is the amount of overlay/proprietary bloat Lenovo has to use basic functions like WiFi, BT, projectors.

    Personally, I vastly prefer Dell Latitude series, especially the latest E7250 and E7250. Amazing keyboards, I've always preferred Dell's keyboards even compared to MacBook chiclets, but now you get the same Dell feel with full chiclet keys.
    Reply
  • GeorgeH - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    ? All X1s have both wired and wireless network adapters. Reply
  • wintermute000 - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    I hate it how my T440 has a bloody ultrabook CPU (and still hasn't got anywhere near macbook type battery life). VMs grind it to a halt.

    I would trade a bit of weight for more battery / a real CPU any time, the company offered an X1 or a T440 and I picked the latter thinking I'd get a real CPU but nope, same ultrabook form over function rubbish
    Reply
  • mdvision - Thursday, May 21, 2015 - link

    I am both an HP and Lenovo authorized business partner. I have to agree with some other posters that the HP Elitebook line has been superior in build, design and warranty response. My personal device of choice for the last couple of years has been the HP Folio 9480m ultrabook. Battery time is decent....not spectacular but more importantly is user replaceable and there is an optional secondary slice battery option that while adding a bit of thickness and weight provides REAL all day run time. RAM is conventional SODIMM's and serviceable / upgradable as well.

    My current model has an I7 4600U ULV CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 1600x1200 matte display. The display resolution is fine on a 14" display and scales well using Win8.1 Pro. Performance does not lack (gaming excepted of course). I change my demo unit out every quarter or so and keep replacing with the same unit. This is a great device. Warranty response on HP Elitebook products have been nothing but exemplary on the very few units I've had to do warranty claims. RMA turn around times are very fast as in days not weeks. Technical support personnel have been knowledgeable and professional.

    Field serviceable batteries, RAM, HD's are important enough that any minimal weight savings are more than offset rather than having the thinnest / lightest device that requires factory servicing for routine maintenance / repair.

    I also have these deployed with the optional docking station which have performed flawlessly using external displays, peripherals and charging. Smart Buy configurations are competitively priced and offer good value. Highly recommended.

    I've previously considered the X1 Carbon but the above design features always sway me back to the HP.
    Reply

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