Application and Futuremark Performance

Sony's decision to use a full-wattage Intel Core i7 dual-core mobile processor in the VAIO Z2 instead of the 17W CPUs notebooks with these kinds of dimensions usually enjoy means you can expect the Z2 to perform consistently at the top of the heap where application performance is concerned. Add the AMD Radeon HD 6650M in the Power Media Dock to the equation and suddenly you'll also see the Z2 go on a tear in Futuremark's tests. Note that we're focusing on the ultraportable market here, so there are certainly faster laptops around; they're just not available in a sub-14" form factor.

PCMark 7—PCMarks

PCMark 7—Lightweight

PCMark 7—Productivity

PCMark 7—Entertainment

PCMark 7—Creativity

PCMark 7—Computation

PCMark 7—Storage

Or at least it should. In PCMark 7 we can see from the Computation score that the Z2 is clearly running the HD 6650M properly (Computation employs Intel's Quick Sync), but the 6650M seems to have a deleterious effect on scores across the board. I have to wonder if PCMark 7 doesn't just outright favor Intel's integrated graphics: notice how every other system with a dedicated GPU clusters at the bottom of most of the charts.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

PCMark Vantage proves to be a little more even-handed and scores line up where they ought to be, with the HD 6650M offering an improvement to the Z2's user experience.

Cinebench R11.5—Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5—Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark—First Pass

x264 HD Benchmark—Second Pass

Unlike PCMark 7, our application tests reveal no difference in performance between having the Radeon on hand or just using the integrated graphics. These tests are purely CPU bound.

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

Predictably, the 3DMarks enjoy a substantial boost in performance from switching over to the dedicated AMD Radeon HD 6650M. Unlike the Radeon HD 6470M in Sony's VAIO SB, the 6650M is a definite and notable improvement on Intel's integrated graphics.

Accessories to a Crime Gaming Performance
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  • Malih - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    I'm curious how low would the temperature be, and how much longer the battery life is if it uses an i5 (or maybe i3?).

    Primarily cause I don't expect too much CPU power with an ultrabook, and the cooler it runs, the less noisier it is, the better, just as long as I can browse the internet, watch HD movie, run a development web server and code comfortably, preferably on 8-hour or so battery life.

    Perhaps if AnandTech could test/request some of the i3 or i5 Ultrabooks from manufacturers instead of maximum performance hardware in the future.
  • mczak - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    core i5 instead of core i7 doesn't really buy you anything - in fact it should be slightly slower for the same power usage.
    I think though if the fan really has trouble cooling that 35W chip Sony should have opted for a i7 25W instead. If you compare the i7 2620M (35W) with the i7 2649M (25W, same price) you'll notice you don't really give up that much (in contrast to the 17W options which definitely sacrifice peak performance quite a bit).
    The i7 2649M has 2.3Ghz clock with 3.2Ghz turbo, while the i7 2620M has 2.7Ghz clock with 3.4Ghz turbo. That's just 15% deficit for base clock and 6% for turbo. The IGP is also clocked lower but since you've got a dock with discrete graphics it probably isn't that important.
    (In contrast the fastest 17W i7, the i7-2677M, has just 1.8Ghz base clock, with 2.9Ghz turbo, a bigger loss percentage wise against the 25W i7.)
  • JarredWalton - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    While the i3, i5, and i7 are all rated at 35W TDP, that's not what they'll actually draw on a consistent basis. My experience in the past has been that, depending on the voltage of a specific CPU (which varies slightly even for the same clock speed), you will find i7 frequently uses a bit more power (offers slightly lower battery life) than i5. It's usually not enough of a difference to worry about, though -- like less than 5%. My feeling is that 35W is just pushing the limits of the cooling solution a bit too hard; either they need a slightly thicker laptop (thicker = more airflow), or they need a lower TDP CPU.
  • mczak - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    I'd love to see a test comparing different i7 chips (with several identical ones to account for variation) to different i5 chips (again with several identical ones).
    There used to be a time where faster chips had a published TDP which was larger than slower ones (they often also had higher voltage). Then at some point someone must have realized this doesn't look good, and all chips had the same TDP (or rather same TDP class) even though it was plainly obvious the power draw of the faster chips was still higher (they continued to have higher frequency, the same or higher voltage, and leakage wasn't much of a factor).
    Nowadays, with multiple VIDs and leakage being an important factor, this isn't that obvious. but it would not be surprising if it's still somewhat true.
    I agree though it would not be enough of a difference in any case to make a significant difference for cooling (hence the 25W suggestion, though this implies core i7 as there are no current mobile i3/i5 25W chips).
  • Malih - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    Thanks, I wasn't aware they have the same TDP. I wouldn't mind the 17W i7 if the temp is lower, guess I'll be looking for laptop with this CPU.

    I assumed since it is a quad core the i7 probably would produce more heat, compared to dual core i5 (or i3).
  • Malih - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    Oh, I just noticed on the specs sheet that the i7 2620M is a dual core.
  • vavutsikarios - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    could you please provide the dimensions and weight in metric system please?
  • axelthor - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    Yes please!
  • mtoma - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    Amen to the metric system! AnandTech aims to be an international site, yes? Progress, progress, progress, much like we demand to the notebook manufacturers.
  • ratte - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    Agree, really annoying to have to translate everytime

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