Sony Vaio T, ASUS Radeon HD7870 Directcu II Top

12/2/2012 6:19:47 PM

Intel Core I5-3317-U @ 1.7GHz - Intel Insider

Intel has been very busy this year with their marketing efforts to push the new 3rd Generation Core series, codenamed Ivy Bridge. Notebooks of all sizes, including Ultrabooks, and desktop PCs now come fully equipped these new generation CPUs and the entailing peripherals that help boost the overall performance of the processors. Has it really lived up to the hype? took the opportunity to make an Intel Core i5-3317-U @ 1.7GHz run the gauntlet and find out if it does deliver as promised. For reference sake, the CPU belonged to the Sony Vaio T Ultrabook, one of the better Ultrabooks that had graced’s Tested Labs.

Description: Intel Core I5-3317-U @ 1.7GHz

Intel Core I5-3317-U @ 1.7GHz

1.    Runs cool and quiet

The Core i5 that the Sony Vaio T comes equipped with is nothing short of amazing when it comes to power processing. Not only does it execute heavy data crunching with ease, render HD graphics marginally well, and boot up relatively fast, the Intel Core seems to be doing on the quiet side. That’s a real plus for those who love silent running notebooks as it basically means the CPU fan is not being overworked to keep the temperature down. In that sense, Intel has managed to come up with a CPU design that doesn’t run as hot or forces the cooling features to be heavily tasked.

2.    Lowered specs

Just last year, the industry is all about chasing higher processing speeds, more processors being squeezed onto one die, and pushing the boundaries of memory and storage creation. That all changed with the introduction of Ivy Bridge as Intel can finally reinforce its stance that it is no longer pursuing higher processor speed ratings or larger core stacks. What it is focusing on now is CPU innovation that improves on the industrial design and manufacturing process of the Core. Hence why, the Core i5 in the Vaio T is somewhat “slow” in terms of processing capabilities. However, it is anything but slow as the i5 managed to blow away our expectations and reservations with its speedy performance. Yours truly is especially taken aback with the almost instantaneous boot up times.

3.    Power efficient

For something that is supposedly powerful, you’d think the 3rd Generation Intel Core would make short work of the battery power. Not so as Ultrabooks and notebooks that come loaded with the new Core do not seem to finish up the battery as fast as those high-end notebooks. This is great for those who are always on the move and do not have easy access to power plugs.

Intel Core I5-3317-U @ 1.7GHz

·         Price: n/a

·         Processor: Intel Core i5-3317-U

·         Clock Speed: 1.7GHz

·         Max Turbo Frequency: 2.6GHz

·         Number Of Cores: 2

·         Number Of Threads: 4

·         Bus/Core Ratio: 17

·         CPU Cache: 3MB

·         Max Memory Size: 32GB (dependent on memory type)

·         Memory Type: DDR3/L/-RS 1333/1600

·         Memory Channels: 2

·         Max Memory Bandwidth: 25.6GB/s

·         Graphics Specifications: Intel HD Graphics 4000

V: 8/10

F: 9/10

P: 10/10

D: 9/10

U: 10/10

Verdict: Power processing at its finest.

Total Score: 9.2/10


Sony Vaio T - Sony’s Slim T

Ultrabooks are now the talk of town and are one of the few top-of-mind products among many consumers. Not only are they curious to know what the hype over Ultrabooks are all about, there is also this indirect need to find out which chassis design packs the most features and still look good doing it. Enter the Sony Vaio T, the first of many Ultrabooks that Sony has in store for the adoring public.

Description: Sony Vaio T

Sony Vaio T

1.    Sleek and Slim

The Sony Vaio T feels like a device that should not, if at all possible, leave my hands at any time. Even taking a quick glance at it evokes a sense of wonderment. Such feelings can be derived from the following factors: being exceptionally light, using a non-standard chassis build that is uniquely Sony, and, last but not least, utilising industrial materials and a design concept that the Sony is famous for. Combining all three creates the basis for the Vaio T and its hyper slick form factor. Using a fullmetal body for the top-lid alloy for the bottom half gives the Sony Ultrabook that cool yet hardy look. With flushed USB and connectivity ports as well as a SD card reader, the entire chassis exudes a minimalistic finish.

2.    Over-Performer

In terms of performance, the Vaio T upholds the belief that Ultrabooks are super speedy and are able to power crunch numbers with ease. That holds true for the Vaio T since it encountered no issues with editing RAW photos with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop opened at the same time, while interacting with multiple browser tabs and having non-stop conversations in a couple of instant messaging apps. Take note that all of these activities are done concurrently in the hopes of causing the Sony Ultrabook to lag somehow. Nothing stopped it, not even raw 1080p HD videos. This is all thanks to the 3rd Generation Intel Core i5 3317-V 4GB DDR3 RAM, the hybrid storage it uses (mixed SATA and SSD hard drives), and Intel’s integrated 4000 graphics card.

3.    True Wireless

Ultrabooks are known for their power efficiency but the Vaio T pushed the envelope further as its battery managed to last almost the entire working day, specifically 8 hours more or less. This is, of course, with basic workflows, playing random video clips, and doing general web-browsing throughout the day. Even when the power usage is set to “High Performance”, the battery still lasted around 6 hours.

Sony Vaio T (SVT11113FGS)

·         Price: From RM2,899

·         Dimensions: (H X W X D) 323mm x 18mm x 226.06mm

·         Weight: 1.6kg

·         Processor: Intel Core i5-3317-U @ 1.7GHz

·         Memory: 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM

·         Storage: 500GB (5400rpm) + 32GB MLC hybrid hard drive

·         Display: 13.3” LED backlit display (optional 11”), Built-in 1.3MP HD web camera powered by Exmor® for PC and microphone

·         Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000

·         Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth (4.0 + HS)

·         Ports: 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, headphones, flashcard reader

V: 8/10

F: 8/10

P: 9/10

D: 9/10

U: 9/10

Verdict: One of the true examples of an Ultrabook.

Total Score: 8.6/10

ASUS Radeon HD7870 Directcu II Top - ASUS’ Idea Of A Pitcairn Retreat

Graphics cards are a dime a dozen where homo-sapiens are concerned and in light of its trending progression of the past few years, they are about to get a whole lot cheaper, namely-er and powerful-er. In the latest instalment of the ASUS’ Southern Island Graphics Processors line-up based on AMD’s new Graphics Core Next (CGN), the ASUS Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II Top made its debut early this year spotlighting the 28nm GPU codenamed Pitcairn XT (a downscaled Tahiti) in all its wondrous glory.

Description: ASUS Radeon HD7870 Directcu II Top Graphics Card

ASUS Radeon HD7870 Directcu II Top Graphics Card

1.    Seriously Packed

Packing some serious levels, ASUS’ Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II Top is not one to be taken lightly. Rollin’ at 2GB GDDR5 that operates on a 256-bits GDDR5 memory bus, the card sports Core and Memory Clocks that run at 1100MHz and 5000MHz respectively. In addition, other interesting values include a Raster Operating (ROP) rating of 32 and power Texture Mapping Units (TMU) of 80 with 1,280 Stream Processors. For a graphics card with 2.8 billion transistor count, PCIe v3.0 x16 and CrossFireX support, this is not too shabby indeed.

2.    Overclocking dream

So, with all that info laid on the table, is that all that makes the ASUS HD 7870 DirectCU II Top shine? Nyet! For that is merely the preamble of ASUS’ latest graphical arsenal. Factory Overclocking, to start, allows noobs entry level graphics enthusiasts to experience the card in its optimum performance thereby allowing some justice to the TOP label. Under the DirectCU banner, improved cooling via dual gargantuan 100mm fans with direct-contact copper heatpipes to dispels heat and noise by 20 percent and 10dB quieter than the reference card while tempting hinting some leg room for more overclocking! And the bundled ASUS GPU Tweak facilitates just that by facilitating management of clock, voltage, and fan speed at your fingertips. Finally, the AMD Eyefinity technology together with DirectX 11 support brings forth the brilliance of a multi-screen environment.

3.    Ratings, ratings, ratings

Tested with an ASUS Sabertooth X79 motherboard, 16GB of Corsair Dominator GTX8 memory and an Intel 300GB 320 Series SSD with Windows 7 Pro Ultimate preloaded, the HD 7870 DirectCU II underwent synthetic benchmark tests with the usual suspects, 3DMark 11 and 3DMark Vantage. After several tests, the card scored an average GPU score of 6,892 points with 3DMark Vantage and an average Performance score of 27,113 points with 3DMark11. Power consumption and temperature tests reveals average power levels of 368W at 90°C while on a full load that caused a furious loud fan noise. I guess the only question left is: are all these worth that hefty price tag?

ASUS Radeon HD7870 Directcu II Top Graphics Card

·         Price: RM1,200

·         Dimensions (L X W X H): 264mm x 114mm x 43mm

·         Chipset Amd: Radeon HD7870

·         Memory Size: 2GB GDDR5

·         Core Clock: 1100MHz

·         Memory Clock: 5000MHz GDDR5

·         Expansion: 1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 2x DisplayPort

V: 7/10

F: 9/10

P: 9/10

D: 9/10

U: 10/10

Test results:

3DMark vantage - GPU score: 6.892 Points

3DMark 11 - performance score: 27,113 Points

Verdict: Would appeal better with improved Zounds and Zaps!! We like everything about it but the price point.

Total Score: 8.8/10

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