Asus 13.3" UL30A CULV Notebook Review

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Futuremark PCMark Vantage


Continuing our testing we use Futuremarks PCMark Vantage benchmarking suite, which takes a broad look at all aspects of the machine in order to give a more general idea of how it performs in a variety of "day-to-day" situations.

 Futuremark PCMark Vantage
'Memories', HDD, Gaming and Communications

Futuremark PCMark Vantage 'Memories' Test Description:
Memories 1 - Two simultaneous tasks. CPU image manipulation and HDD – importing pictures to Windows Photo Gallery
Memories 2 - Two simultaneous tasks. GPU image manipulation and HDD – video editing using Windows Movie Maker
Memories 3 - Video transcoding – DV to WMV9 - Transcoding from DV (720x480p 35.38Mbps) to a portable player (SD WMV9 320x240p 1.0 Mbps). Uses two cores if available.
Memories 4 - Video transcoding – VC-1 to WMV9 -Transcoding from media server archive (HD VC-1 1280x720p 11 Mbps) to a portable player (SD WMV9 320x240p 1.0 Mbps)



We get the feeling this will be a trend. A 1.3GHz CPU won't ever match up to a 2.4GHz processor, but the story here is that a $799 ultraportable has the power to even complete these tests.



Futuremark PCMark Vantage 'Hard Disk Drive' Test Description:

HDD 1 - Windows Defender
HDD 2
- Gaming
HDD 3
- Importing pictures to Windows Photo Gallery
HDD 4
- Windows start up
HDD 5
- Video editing using Windows Movie Maker
HDD 6
- Windows Media Center
HDD 7
- Adding music to Windows Media Player
HDD 8
- Application loading



Well, would you look at that? Even though Asus packs only a 5400RPM drive in the UL30, it nearly matched the 7200RPM drive in Dell's Studio XPS 13. We knew this thing felt snappy when loading up applications, and now the numbers are here to back up our suspicions.



Futuremark PCMark Vantage 'Gaming' Test Description:

Gaming 1 - GPU gaming - Performing basic GPU (graphics processing unit) tasks utilizing PS (pixel shader) 2.0 and VS (vertex shader) 2.0 operations found in most 3D games using DX (DirectX) 9. This test utilizes SM(shader model) 3.0 (if available) performance optimizations which do affect visual quality.
Gaming 2
- HDD gaming
Gaming 3
- Two simultaneous tasks. Data decompression - Loading compressed level from hard drive and decompressing it into system memory. CPU gaming -Executing heavy AI path finding algorithms. Uses all available cores up to 16 cores.
Gaming 4 - Three simultaneous tasks. GPU gaming- Performing basic GPU (graphics processing unit) tasks utilizing PS(pixel shader) 2.0 and VS (vertex shader) 2.0 operations found in most3D games using DX (DirectX) 9. This test utilizes SM (shader model) 3.0(if available) performance optimizations which do affect visual quality. CPU gaming - Executing heavy AI path finding algorithms. Uses all available cores up to 16 cores and HDD – gaming



Again, the UL30 falls behind the higher priced competition, but the story here is how well it did all things considered. The GMA 4500MHD isn't considered a powerful integrated GPU, yet it managed to notch a score over 1600. Not too shabby for a $799 machine, low voltage, ultra portable.



Futuremark PCMark Vantage 'Communications' Test Description:

Communications 1 - Three simultaneous tasks. Data encryption – CNG AES CBC. Data compression. Web page rendering – pictures - Opens a web page with many large pictures.
Communications 2
- Three simultaneous tasks. Web page rendering – favorites group parallel - Opens various news pages from IE Favorites in separate tabs and closes them one by one. Data decryption – CNG AES CBC. HDD – Windows Defender
Communications 3
- Windows Mail – searching - Searches mails for words in the message body, subject and sender.
Communications 4 - Two simultaneous tasks. Data encryption – CNG AES CBC. Audio transcoding – WMA to WMA - Measures audio transcoding performance in VOIP usage.

 

In the communications test, the UL30 came darn close to matching the 2.1GHz Toshiba A305. The more expensive Studio XPS 13 soared ahead, but still, we're left impressed with what Asus managed to squeeze out of just $799.


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