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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  • Flying Goat - Sunday, May 5, 2013 - link

    This weight 4.5 pounds, the G55VW weights closer to 8.4 pounds. Significantly lighter, thinner laptops tend to cost a lot more than comparably equipped heavier laptops.

    Don't suppose you know of any other quad core laptops with the GT 650M or better that cost significantly less and are under 5.5 pounds or so? If so, I'd love to know. Thinking about getting something like this with Haswell for my next upgrade, some point after it comes out.
    Reply
  • Zap - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Regarding the WiFi issue, I think it is a problem with some of the Intel WiFi adapters. I've encountered similar issues with the Intel 130 and 1030 models (B/G/N + BT) in Samsung and Dell notebooks, and I've read of issues in HP notebooks. All were using Intel adapters, and various "fixes" include disabling BT, disabling N mode, rolling back drivers, updating drivers. Reply
  • RomanMR - Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - link

    Can anyone provide any details on the "various fixes involving disabling BT support"? I'm at the end of my wits here. Been tweaking the card options this way and that, but nothing has worked so far. Disabled BT both in W8 options and in Device Manager. Connection drops every 2-3 minutes even with very strong WiFi signal. Please share you insights, this is driving me crazy. Ordered 2 usb wifi sticks at Amazon... Reply
  • ZorkZork - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - link

    I wish there was an option of having one SDD and one HDD (when playing around with video and/or images in raw format then a 1TB HDD is invaluable). And they should get rid of the numpad - never use it and I like my keyboard centered. Reply
  • Freakie - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - link

    That's a valid reason, I will admit. Though I find that so long as the touchpad is off center with the keyboard, then it doesn't bug me one bit but if the touchpad wasn't, then I would obviously not enjoy the uncentered main keyboard. But another really nice thing about a numpad is having this nice 3 inch area to the right of your keyboard to set something on, like your phone or a notepad, or a graphing calculator if you're a student, or a camera/mp3 player you're syncing with your computer and you aren't at a desk and have the laptop in your lap. I do frequently find myself using that extra wide space for such things! Reply
  • mabl4367 - Friday, May 3, 2013 - link

    Graphing calculator?

    Run graph89 on your phone! Its free!

    Oh that's right if you are an Apple-man you are out of luck.

    -No emulators for you! That's one of Jobs commandments you see.
    Reply
  • akdj - Sunday, May 5, 2013 - link

    Lol...apparently you've not been by the App Store in a while? The TI89 and any other calculation example you could possibly think of, available, and typically a buck or less. Emulation? Forget-About-It! No need to have an emulator when the app is coded in such a way it's indistinguishable from the almighty '89'! Not sure that for an engineering student though that the 'real thing' isn't arguably a necessity...though with the apps and available 'emulators', $140 calculators will go the way of the slide rule. Sooner than later. Reply
  • nerd1 - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - link

    I'd like to see the review of new samsung chronos with 8870M GPU - initial gaming benchmarks look quite spectacular (for the size), and I was very (positively) surprised to see +10hrs endurance too. Reply
  • Younes - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - link

    My paranoia is arising on the dimensions and weight published for this unit on your article, Sir. It can't be of nearly the same of those of the Macbook Pro Retina 15.4'', they had to go on radical terms to slim the latter down to 0.71" and 2.06kg, other sources say the Asus is rather 1'' thick (you've probably only measures the edges!) and weighs in about 2.2kg. Please do recheck and make corrections if needed. Reply
  • Younes - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - link

    measured* Reply

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