Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017) Review: Optimized Mobility

ThinkPad X1 Carbon Benchmarks: Storage, SunSpider And PCMark 8

To get a sense of how the storage subsystem of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon performs, we fired-up ATTO for a quick sanity check on sequential transfer speeds across various file sizes. The Samsung PM961 NVMe SSD that Lenovo employed for the machine ended up offering impressive results, frankly, as expected... 

ThinkPad X1 Carbon atto test

This may be the one feature of the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon that contributes most to its overall performance and responsiveness. At over 3GB/sec for reads and over 1.4GB/sec for writes (peak), you're not going to want for storage IO throughput. This makes the machine much more adept at storage throughput-heavy workloads like video editing, for example, and in general the low-latency of NVMe storage gives this laptop a responsive and snappy "feel." 

We kicked off our general purpose benchmarks with SunSpider, a JavaScript benchmark, and then ran PCMark 8, which will give us a comprehensive look at the ThinkPad X1 Carbon's capabilities relative to standard office productivity and home media tasks. 

SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark
JavaScript Performance Testing

We should note that SunSpider is more of a platform test, in that different browser versions, associated with different OS types, can and do affect scores. However, among the Windows 10-powered machines here, all things are relatively equal and Microsoft Edge is our browser of choice, since it is installed by default on all machines listed here.

X1 Carbon SunSpider

When you couple that fast SSD with the nimble Speed Shift advancements of Intel's Kaby Lake platform, you're bound to get good results. Here the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon skips past the likes of the previous generation Dell XPS 15 with a quad-core CPU.

PCMark 8 Benchmarks
Productivity And System-Level Benchmarking

We selected three tests from the PCMark 8 benchmark suite: Home, Storage and Work. Futuremark recently improved all three tests with PCMark 8 version 2 that offers a nice swath of mixed media workloads, from document editing, to video conferencing and editing. We selected the Open CL "Accelerated" options for both the Home and Work modules, which let's the benchmark take advantage of current generation integrate GPU engines to accelerate some aspects of processing.

X1 Carbon PCMark8

Here again, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon puts up a commanding performance dropping in near the top of the stack and just behind the current generation Dell XPS 15 with its quad-core Kaby Lake CPU and discrete GPU. These tests tend to be fairly storage subsystem sensitive, so it's no surprise the Samsung PM961 SSD on board the 2017 X1 Carbon was able to push the machine to the top percentile in our test group. Notice it also missed the top storage position, by a hair.

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