Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 Windows 8 All-In-One

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PCMark & 3DMark Tests

Usually, we’d fire up Futuremark's system performance benchmark, PCMark Vantage, but at press time, Futuremark has not yet released an update of the test for Windows 8. We still have PCMark 7, 3Dmark Vantage, and 3Dmark 11 to test our system, though.

Futuremark PCMark 7
General Application and Multimedia Performance
Futuremark's PCMark 7 is the latest version of the PCMark whole-system benchmarking suite. It has updated application performance measurements targeted for a Windows 7 environment and uses newer metrics to gauge relative performance, versus the older PCMark Vantage.

Below is what Futuremark says is incorporated in the base PCMark suite and the Entertainment, Creativity, and Productivity suites, the four modules we have benchmark scores for you here.

The PCMark test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance during typical desktop usage. This is the most important test since it returns the official PCMark score for the system
-Windows Defender
-Importing pictures

Video Playback and transcoding
-DirectX 9

Image manipulation
Web browsing and decrypting

The Entertainment test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance in entertainment scenarios using mostly application workloads. Individual tests include recording, viewing, streaming and transcoding TV shows and movies, importing, organizing and browsing new music and several gaming related workloads. If the target system is not capable of running DirectX 10 workloads then those tests are skipped. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given an Entertainment test score.

The Creativity test contains a collection of workloads to measure the system performance in typical creativity scenarios. Individual tests include viewing, editing, transcoding and storing photos and videos. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given a Creativity test score.

The Productivity test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance in typical productivity scenarios. Individual workloads include loading web pages and using home office applications. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given a Productivity test score.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 posted a respectable if unimpressive score in PCMark 7. Respectable, because it’s right on par with what we’ve seen from other ASUS AIOs with roughly comparable specifications, but unimpressive because a score of 2561 is far behind what we saw from the Dell XPS One 27, which delivered a 4625. Part of the score discrepancy is the storage system. Our Lenovo has but a 5400 RPM drive, whereas the Dell boasts a 7200 RPM storage drive bolstered by an mSATA SSD. There’s also an enormous gap in these two systems' Productivity and Lightweight subtest scores.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Synthetic DirectX Gaming
The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark Vantage, is specifically bound to Windows Vista-based systems because it uses some advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 10, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows. 3DMark Vantage isn't simply a port of 3DMark06 to DirectX 10 though. With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, in addition to support for the latest PC hardware. We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark Vantage's Performance preset option, which uses a resolution of 1280x1024.

The scores above tell us two things: NVIDIA’s Kepler architecture is impressive, and there’s a big step down from the GeForce GT 640M versus the 630M. Having a third-generation Intel Ivy Bridge chip inside doesn’t hurt, either. None of the above systems are setting any records in 3DMark Vantage, but the Dell XPS system simply has superior components, and it shows. Our Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 is well ahead of the ASUS AIOs, but due largely to a slower hard drive and weaker dual-core CPU, it falls behind the Dell system by a long shot.

A score of P1278 in 3Dmark 11 is acceptable for an AIO that isn’t pretending to be a gaming machine and it isn't terribly far off from the Dell XPS we tested (which scored a P1971). It’s also a good gallop better than the P541 that we saw from the HP TouchSmart 520.

Still, it’s worth noting that even SFF gaming systems with modest specs will routinely double or triple some of those scores, so for as adept as these machines may be at most computing tasks, it’s important to reign in expectations about what they can do in more strenuous situations. Speaking of, let’s see what the IdeaCentre A720 can pull in Sandra and Cinebench.

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