Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017) Review: Optimized Mobility

ThinkPad X1 Carbon Graphics And Gaming Tests

Next, we tested the ThinkPad X1 Carbon's graphics capabilities with not only gaming benchmarks but a pro graphics test that measures the machine's ability to render 3D workloads on the CPU and integrated GPU of the processor. 

Cinebench R11.5
3D Rendering On The CPU And GPU

Cinebench is developed by Maxon, which is better known for its Cinema 4D software. We use both of Cinebench’s integrated tests for CPU and GPU. The CPU test uses thousands of objects to stress the processor, while the GPU test puts your system’s graphics chip to work with a short, animated 3D scene involving a car chase. The CPU test is measured in points, while the GPU test is measured by the framerate. In both tests, higher numbers represent better performance.

X1 Carbon Cinebench

This test is largely dictated by raw clock speed on the CPU side, but as you can see, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon puts up admirable CPU scores besting all the dual-core CPUs in the test group, falling in behind only the quad-core machines. This speaks volumes for the thermal headroom in the the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. On the OpenGL or GPU side, there's a more modest showing for the Lenovo machine, more in line with other laptops in its weight class. 

3DMark Cloud Gate
Synthetic DirectX Gaming And Graphics Testing

Futuremark’s well-known 3DMark benchmark suite features tests aimed at different types of devices. We opted for the Cloud Gate and Sky Driver tests, for which we have plenty of comparison data but also as light-duty 3D graphics and gaming benchmarks that are well-targeted for thin and light notebook devices. Sky Diver is a bit more strenuous but still well within the limits of our test group. 

X1 Carbon 3DMark Cloud Gate

X1 Carbon 3DMark Sky Diver

Here, Lenovo's new for 2017 ThinkPad X1 Carbon puts up best in class numbers, falling behind only the HP Spectre x360 with a discrete GeForce GPU. What's surprising is that it even outpace the Core i7-7500U powered machines in our test group, possibly due to updated graphics drivers from Intel but definitely again showing no signs of throttling, comparatively at least, in these tests. 

Far Cry 2 Game Test
DirectX 10 Game Testing
Sure, Far Cry 2 has been around the block a few times and is many years old, but it is still a good test for entry-level PCs and ultrabooks alike.  It features high quality textures, complex shaders, and dynamic lighting to create a rich and immersive environment powered with DX10-class effects. More importantly, it includes an exceptional benchmarking tool. We run the benchmark at 720p and 60Hz on the "High" detail preset with the DirectX 10.rendering path  It is actually still a great yardstick to see just how far integrated graphics solutions have come.

X1 Carbon Far Cry benchmarks

The song remains the same here with the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon punching out a 3rd place showing behind the discrete GPU-powered HP machine and the Dell XPS 15 with Intel HD 530 graphics. Side note: Intel's HD 530 graphics engine is a bit of a sleeper IGP that's strapped to previous gen quad-core Intel CPUs and offers very strong performance overall that's able to surpass most HD x20 variants from lower power Intel Core series chips, even the most current dual-core Kaby Lake family. Regardless, the 5th gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon is nipping at its heels. 

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