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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  • jmunjr - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Does the IPS LCD on this thing produce real reds unlike the Sony 15.6" IPs screen which is orange?
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    No, not really... I'm still confused as to why this is the case, but my LCD testing on Windows 8 has been rather poor in terms of results. Sorry, I forgot to put in the numbers in Mobile Bench -- will do that right now. Even so, a mediocre IPS trumps TN any day in my book.
  • Friendly0Fire - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I have a UX51Vz. I wondered, did you try to do some calibration? Did it improve the quality in any significant fashion? I was considering it, but I don't have the hardware handy and I'm not sure it's worth the price...
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I can send you the color profile created on my unit. It won't be perfect for any other LCD (and it's not even perfect for this unit -- blues are still pretty far out of ideal), but it may help a bit. The reduction in the red and blue curves will lower the maximum brightness, though. Anyway, here's the link:
  • Friendly0Fire - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Thanks a lot, any improvement is good in my book!
  • Stoffel - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Unfortunately it has a numpad :(
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Why unfortunately? Personally I'd never buy a laptop without a numpad.
  • Freakie - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Same here, I never buy a laptop without one. It's a bloody waste of space to not include a number pad in anything 13.3" or above. And a laptop's numpad is so much more useful than a desktop's I find. Shallower key travel and keys that don't have gigantic spaces in between them from the sides of the keys sloping makes number entering a breeze on a laptop.
  • Friendly0Fire - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    My last laptop didn't have one. I gotta say I didn't think about it much, but now that I have one again, I realize how I'd missed it.
  • twtech - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I want my keyboard to be centered. The numpad is too rarely used to justify not being able to have my hands centered.

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