Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook Review

SiSoftware SANDRA and ATTO

We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA 2011, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran four of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the SANDRA  suite (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Memory Bandwidth and Physical Disk Performance). All of the scores reported below were taken with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon running at its default settings with full performance mode enabled and the notebook plugged into the AC adapter.

Synthetic General Performance Mertrics

SANDRA CPU Arithmetic and Multimedia Performance

SANDRA Memory and Physical Disk Performance

Lenovo's new ThinkPad Ultrabook chalks up respectable performance for the key metrics measured here with the slight exception of memory bandwidth.  The average Ivy Bridge and dual channel DDR3 setup we've seen usually drops in somewhere around 18 - 20GB/sec for memory bandwidth and has been based on DDR3 1600MHz memory.  At around 16GB/sec it seems the X1 Carbon could have been dialed up a bit more in this area but since the machine is configured with 1333MHz memory it's a tad slower. SANDRA's Physical Disk test however showed snappy throughput so we thought it made sense to look a bit deeper at the performance of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon's SSD.

ATTO Storage Benchmark{Title}
Storage Subsystem Transfer Tests

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and Asus Zenbook SSD Performance Comparison with ATTO
We were so impressed with the SSD performance numbers with our first round of ultrabooks that hit the lab, that we've added ATTO as a quick sanity check for many of our notebook reviews lately, especially SSD-powered machines.

Asus Zenbook UX21

The Asus Zenbook UX21 series of machines is sort of our in-house watermark for Ultrabook SSD performance.  To date we haven't seen another Ultrabook model on the market surpass the UX21's ADATA SATA 3 SSD that is powered by a Sandforce controller.  Let's see how the SanDisk SSD in the X1 Carbon stacked up.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The X1 Carbon's SSD actually scored around the second best set of read/write ATTO numbers we've pulled from an Ultrabook. The write side of the X1 Carbon's equation couldn't keep pace with the Zenbook but still at over 300MB/sec it's no slouch.  And at very small transfer sizes up to 2K, the SanDisk SSD on board the machine actually slipped past the Zenbook's ADATA SSD slightly.  For read performance, at 460 - 480MB/sec, this SSD is nothing to sneeze at either.  Score a point or two for Lenovo in the selection of their storage subsystem here.

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