Not so Fast at Games

Obviously, most people aren't going to buy a ThinkPad to serve as a gaming laptop, but the GPU is capable of running most games. We've standardized on a comparison at 1366x768 and minimum detail settings, but since the T410 has a 1440x900 LCD we've included results at that resolution as well (in dark green). Bumping the quality up to medium (gold) or high (red) will rapidly push framerates into unacceptable territory, so the NVS 3100M is going to be a light gaming solution at best.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Crysis: Warhead

DiRT 2

Empire: Total War

Far Cry 2

Left 4 Dead 2

Mass Effect 2

Stalker: Call of Pripyat

Most games are playable at minimum details and the native 1440x900 resolution of the T410. Batman and Left 4 Dead 2 are among the few titles where you can still break 30FPS with medium details, and Stalker: Call of Pripyat manages low details with dynamic object lighting at 30FPS as well. The only game in our test suite that couldn't run at a reasonable frame rate without dropping the resolution is Mass Effect 2; you'll need to run at 960x600 to get frame rates up to 30FPS.

As we've seen in other reviews, the G210M/G310M and now NVS 3100M all deliver acceptable performance for low detail gaming. The ATI Mobility HD 4330 is a bit slower on average, though there are games (i.e. Mass Effect 2) where it's faster. We also have results from an older HD 3670 to emphasize that higher numbers aren't always better; with 120 stream processors compared to 80 on the 4330, not to mention a 128-bit memory interface, the old 3000 series hardware is still able to easily surpass "modern" entry-level GPUs. The same naturally goes for last-gen NVIDIA hardware like the 9600M GT. The big advantage of the newer GPUs like the G200M/G300M or the HD 5400 is the move to a 40nm process with improved power saving features. That brings us to battery life testing.

ThinkPad T410: Fast for Applications Big Battery = Decent Battery Life
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  • MrSpadge - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    I own a T61 since 2 years and I like it, especially the keyboard. If only I could get something like that for my desktop!

    However, the machine is far too noisy for my taste (7.2k rpm HDD and/or fan on lowest setting) and the screen is a completely rubbish TN. I love that it's matte (a main reason I chose a Thinkpad), but the viewing angles are so bad that the colors change upon the slightest head movement. If NEC can give us excellent 23" TFTs for 300€ I fail to see why 1000+€ laptops all have to have crappy displays.

    Please keep complaining about the display quality!
  • Belard - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    I'd agree about the screen... I would have thought it would have been fixed by now.

    One of our guys has a T61... and it is very sharp, looks good. But when put an SL-500 or my R61 next to it, then it looks very bland for no good reason.

  • MrSpadge - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    I meant "excellent eIPS 23" TFTs".
  • demonsavatar - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    Reviews of some other Thinkpads would be great, especially the X201/201s.
  • Nomgle - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Jarred, do you intend to look at the new Alienware M11X anytime soon ? It fills a special kind of niche - CULV with a decent video card - I'm very interested to see what you think !
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Just got it this past Tuesday and it's next up for review. This week it will post (i.e. in a few days).
  • beorntheold - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    I've been working on a ThinkPad T60 for the past two and half years. My experience - the best keyboard and /the/ worst LCD screen anywhere.
    So my advise - if you value your eyes look elsewhere.
  • strikeback03 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    should have gotten the flexview, my boss has one and it rocks.
  • fiki959 - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    I understand that PC manufactures have to cut corners somewhere, but 1200+ dollar notebook should have a better screen. My 4 year old Clevo M660 machine has above 400:1 contrast ratio (LG/Philips matrix). It is not very bright around 140 Cd/M2, but is a very nice screen.

    I bought it for 650 euro (800$), so I think there is room for better screen in 1200 dollar T410.
  • juampavalverde - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    From the side of cutting BOM, ¿isnt overkill the gpu for a business laptop? The igp from those intel cpus is fast enough for any business software, it could be weak for a workstation, but this is a laptop for everyday work, light load, quick response. and probably one chip less would give some extra time on battery.

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