Let’s See the Benchmarks

Many of our tests should be familiar by now, as we’ve just updated a few items along with switching to an almost completely new gaming suite. All of the benchmarks we use are now the latest versions, which is some cases makes the results slightly different from earlier versions (e.g. PCMark 7 may be up to 5% faster/slower now compared to the original release). Here’s the short list of application and gaming results; the full suite is visible in Mobile Bench, and as we review more laptops with the new test suite we’ll include the UX51VZ in the charts.

ASUS Zenbook UX51VZ General Performance
PCMark 7 (2013) PCMark Overall Score 5327
Cinebench R11.5 Single-Threaded (FPS) 1.28
Cinebench R11.5 Multi-Threaded (FPS) 5.62
x264 HD 5.x Pass One (FPS) 54.89
x264 HD 5.x Pass Two (FPS) 10.56
3DMark (2013) Fire Strike 1571
3DMark (2013) Cloud Gate 9155
3DMark (2013) Ice Storm 59686
3DMark 11 Performance 2346
Battery Life 2013 Light Use (Minutes) 295
Battery Life 2013 Moderate Use (Minutes) 259
LCD Contrast Ratio 838:1
LCD White Level (nits) 302
LCD Black Level (nits) 0.36
LCD DeltaE 2.72
LCD Color Gamut (%AdobeRGB) 64.8%

Starting with the general performance, there’s really nothing particularly surprising to report. The quad-core i7-3612QM delivers performance that will be plenty fast for all but the most demanding users. Yes, it’s a bit slower than the standard voltage quad-core parts, but the UX51VZ seems to cool well enough that maximum Turbo Boost is usually in effect. As for the graphics scores, the only thing I have to go on right now are iGPU results from Ultrabooks, and the 2x-3x performance gap is about what you’d expect from GT 650M vs. ULV HD 4000. This is one area where Haswell may not make as big of a dent in the lead as I’d like, as the TDP on the ULV parts means even if GT3 is present, it’s likely to run into throttling situations, so dGPUs will be desirable for anyone serious about gaming.

Speaking of which, here are the gaming results—we’ll be adding GRID 2 and Metro: Last Light to our gaming suite when those launch, so for now we have five titles to work with. Skyrim is the sole holdover of our last suite, mostly because we couldn’t find an RPG we felt was a better option (and MMORPGs tend to introduce too many variables to make them good benchmarks). Keep in mind that this list is for laptop only, where gaming performance is merely one of numerous elements we test.

Also of interest is that our current gaming suite has three AMD Gaming Evolved titles (and GRID 2 will make a fourth) while the only NVIDIA The Way It’s Meant to Be Played title will be Metro: Last Light—Skyrim and StarCraft II remain DX9 games that are GPU vendor agnostic. We tried to stick to games that were well received and if possible both demanding on the hardware and easy for us to benchmark. The second aspect is why Crysis 3 and Far Cry 3 didn’t make our list, and we figured at seven titles (with four already being FPS/shooters) we could skip adding two more. If you’d like to see more GPU comparisons with games, please refer to our GPU benchmarks where we have ten titles and at present three overlap our mobile test suite.

ASUS Zenbook UX51VZ Gaming Performance(FPS)
Bioshock Infinite - Value 81.9
Bioshock Infinite - Mainstream 34.1
Bioshock Infinite - Enthusiast 19.4
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Value 88.2
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Mainstream 60.5
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Enthusiast 37.6
Sleeping Dogs - Value 72.4
Sleeping Dogs - Mainstream 44.9
Sleeping Dogs - Enthusiast 19.1
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Value 55.2
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Mainstream 44.4
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Enthusiast 28.1
Tomb Raider - Value 74.8
Tomb Raider - Mainstream 40.7
Tomb Raider - Enthusiast 11.6

Gaming performance on the GT 650M is decent but not exceptional. In most instances, High detail settings at 1080p are playable, but typically not with antialiasing. Our Enthusiast settings meanwhile prove too much for the GPU in four of the five games, with Skyrim being the only passing grade. Based on their predecessors (Metro 2033 and DiRT: Showdown), I’m betting our Enthusiast settings will likely prove unplayable on most laptops for the time being.

ASUS Zenbook UX51VZ Closing Thoughts and Other Items
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  • ananduser - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Speedstep is supported under OSX not under bootcamped Windows(don't confuse it with turbo boost). Lack of ACPI, lack of discrete graphics switching and poor overall driver support means that on a mac, Windows is not able to fully take advantage of the hardware. Therefore it will always be the "worst" Windows machine. Again, don't forget the Windows cost that must be added to the bottom line.

    But you're right, for the mac crowd, a bootcamp or a VM from time to time is good enough. However, for the Windows user that knows these drawbacks, it's a no go.

    Battery life suffers plenty not just "a little". 20% minimum and more on macs where discrete graphics is present and switching it off not available.
    Reply
  • ajp_anton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Turbo doesn't exist on the C2D Mac I've been using. The CPU happily steps from 800 to 2400MHz and everything in between. Has something happened since then? Reply
  • snuuggles - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Er, is "anti-glare" different than "matt". Sorry I'm seriously asking what the difference is... Reply
  • snuuggles - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Just to be clear: the reason I ask is that the first paragraph says this is an anti-glare screen, but the chart says it's glossy. I'm just not sure I'm clear what the differences are. Thanks! Sorry if I somehow missed it in the review. Reply
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    According to the ASUS homepage the screen has an Anti-Reflection Coating. So it is glossy, but with reduced/removed glare. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Sorry, the table was not updated. I always copy/paste a table from elsewhere and then update it, and it seems there's always at least one item I miss. LOL Anyway, it's anti-glare/anti-reflective, but not quite as much as on some LCDs. Reply
  • UpSpin - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Anti-Glare (AG) normally stands for a matte display, which spreads the incoming light across a larger surface, thus reflects it over a larger surface and reduces glare thereby.
    Anti-Reflective (AR) stands for a special coating which absorbs a specific wavelength of the incoming light, thus it consists of several layers absorbing different wavelengths. The display remains glossy, but reflections get partially absorbed. The more it absorbs the more expensive the coating gets. It's always used on camera lenses or on the lenses of glasses and also often found on higher end flat screen TVs. The reflected light looks purple: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-reflective_coati...
    You can combine both to avoid too high costs and take the best of both worlds.
    What exactly the Zenbook has remains unsolved :-)
    Reply
  • ShieTar - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - link

    1. AR coatings do not absorb light. Their working is actually explained correctly on the link you posted.

    2. What the Zenbook has is very clearly stated on their own specs, it is an anti-reflective coating.
    Reply
  • user777 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    At the Asus web site I can see only the model UX52VS (probably UX51VZ is a model only for the USA). Do you have any plans to review the model Asus Zenbook UX52VS (UX32VD is also an interesting model)? Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I found both models with a quick Google; they appear different enough I don't think they're just being sold to different markets. The UX52VS only has a GT645 GPU (vs GT650), a significantly smaller battery (45 vs 70Wh). The battery size is potentially compensated by the use of a ULV CPU instead of standard voltage. Reply

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