Asus Zenbook Prime UX32VD Ultrabook Review

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3DMark 11 and Gaming

The Asus Zenbook Prime UX32VD switches from the integrated Intel HD 4000 to the discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 620M when faced with graphics-intensive tasks like gaming. Nvidia's Optimus technology gives the UX32VD a major leg up over your typical ultrabook, though of course it won’t put your ultrabook in the same league as a true gaming notebook. We ran a synthetic benchmark and two popular games to see what the UX32XD can do with its 620M.

Futuremark 3DMark11
Simulated Application Performance

Futuremark’s gaming 3DMark 11 benchmark is a grueling test that makes use of DirectX 11 and several highly-detailed demos to put your graphics card through its paces. We opt for the Performance setting in the benchmark when we test notebooks and ultrabooks, so keep that in mind if you compare the scores to a system that ran the Entry or Extreme version.

The UX32VD scored very well in 3DMark 11 and took the top spot in our pool of systems. Note that it's up against laptops, as most ultrabooks haven't enabled gaming the way the Zenbook UX32VD does. The discrete graphics really makes a difference in this test – the Nvidia GeForce GT 620M is clearly (and not surprisingly) beating out the integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics, as well as older GeForce GTs.

Far Cry 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 Gaming Tests
DX 9 and DX 10 Light Duty Gaming Performance
We dug into real games with the “Ranch” demo in Far Cry 2, an FPS game with lush vegetation and plenty of explosions and graphical mayhem. We kept AA turned off and used a 1280x720 resolution.

The Geforce GT 620M blew past the competition, as expected. They're not the frame rates you'll get with a gaming notebook, but they're solid for an ultrabook.

Next, we ran Left 4 Dead 2, which isn’t as graphically-intensive as Far Cry 2. We ran this test at several resolutions, as we have for previous systems.

Again, the UX32VD pummeled the competition with its discrete graphics. We were a little surprised to see that the system's frame rate at 1366x768 lagged so far behind the other two scores; a memory bandwidth limitation of the platform combination no doubt. Otherwise, the ultrabook convinced us of its gaming chops. It's not a serious gamer, of course, but light-duty gaming is well within this ultrabook's capabilities.

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