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Apr 8, 2011

Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet - Graphics Performance (3d gaming)


Gear: Lenovo ThinkPad X220T, Convertible Tablets.

When Lenovo listed their X220 Tablet data sheet and I could not find discrete graphics... I was nervous and thought that Lenovo had failed at improving graphics which I thought was the biggest downfall of the Lenovo X201 Tablet.   I am happy to say that the X220T is actually good on graphics beyond my expectations.


Games:

I think that the new Sandy bridge line is way more impressive when compared to the previous generation Core i processors.  I thought that the lack of discrete graphics would prevent 3d graphics, but it does not.  You will not be able to run the more "hard core" games, but you can play most games.

If you do get the X220 make sure to enable Intel's Turbo Boost and Lenovo Turbo Boost+ so you can run games as smoothly as possible.   You can access these features via Lenovo's Power Manager.

The system has improved from the previous generation by a lot.  With the X201T I could not run many 3D programs.  I used a ViDock 4 with an ATI Radeon HD 5770 to do some gaming.  Lenovo said that the X220 Tablet had 2X graphics performance, and they were not lying.

(35m)

62 comments:

  1. Hi Jesse does the x220 work with the vidock 4?

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  2. Hi Jesse,nice tests!:-)

    Can u perhaps Run a Starcraft 2 Demo?

    I Think the x220 tablet will run that game in middle.

    Best regards i´am happy to see some more of ur reviews soon :-)

    Are there any news about ur HP quadcore System?

    Tobi

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  3. I'm downloading Starcraft 2 to check it out.

    I'm still waiting for the HP DV6T Quad. No news, but I'm getting anxious.

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  4. Tobi,

    Starcraft 2 runs well on medium and below settings. It can display the game at Ultra, but it won't be smooth.

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  5. Jesse,
    Can you make more detailed video about the stylus and touch features?
    I have the x41t and want to know how much better and accurate the stylus is in the x220t.
    Thank you,
    Nagli

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  6. Nagli,

    I don't think stylus input is more precise than the X201 Tablet. I cannot compare it to the X41 because I never tried that system. The flushed bezel is the biggest difference and it does help with edges. The edges are the most inaccurate part of all Wacom based tablets.

    Wacom is still the best pen input technology that you can get.

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  7. Hi Jesse,

    Would you plz tell me the FPS of the Shogun 2. That's the only game i care about. I am so disappointed that the Total War can run in medium setting but the shogun cant even in low setting. I am getting the x220t with the i7 CPU. Don't you think that have a bit better performance than the i5?

    Chuong

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  8. I think the i7 will have better performance. I would compare the differences between the CPUs.

    Shogun 2 is not going to work great with this system at the lowest level. Obviously there's a lot of stuff going on at the same time with that game. The FPS does depend a lot on how zoomed in/out you are from the scene. When you are close to the ground you can get over 30 FPS, when you zoom out it probably gets less than 15 FPS.

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  9. Hi. Are you playing games on your external monitor? I plan to do very light gaming like heroes of newerth on my 1920x1080 monitor. do you think it will be okay

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  10. I play Total War on my external monitor quite a bit. I don't have the game running at the native resolution of 1920x1200. I bet Heroes of Newerth will run on the system.

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  11. Hi Jesse,

    Which processor configuration would you recommend for adequate graphics performance for games like Starcraft II and Team Fortress 2? Is the i5-2410M good enough or is it worth it to get the i7?

    Thanks

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  12. I tried Starcraft II on medium settings on the i5 version. I have no experience with the i7 so I can't tell you how much better the performance might be. My guess is that it won't be that much better.

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  13. Hi Jesse,

    One important thing i forgot to mention(or i missed) is the heat during gaming. I am reading a topic in notebookreview.com and people complaining about the laptop getting really really hot while playing some light games.
    Here is the links for those topic:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/lenovo-ibm/576922-x220-owners-poll.html

    Man, i am really worry about it. This is the first time I am going to buy a laptop (prefer a tablet). If the heat is as what people said, i am gonna wait for the hp 8560w.

    More over, i think i am not going to use 100% the i7 power, but i will do some light game, some programming, some mathematica work, but mostly i will use it for reading and composing math document using latex, lyx....

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  14. 0.o sorry for the typo of the comment above, i meant "One important thing YOU miss to mention..."

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  15. All systems will get hot when playing 3d games. Laptops have to deal with a small enclosure so air cannot cool the system as well as a desktop PC. This is why a cooling mat can be handy.

    The X220T has a better body than most other systems and should do fine for most situations. The X220T was never intended to be a "gaming" system. But it's a nice bonus.

    I have had some hideous experiences with HP in the past (a convertible TX and a 15 inch laptop with heat, HDD, and wifi issues). As you might know I do have a HP DV6T QE laptop and so far it has been a good system. Yes it gets hot when playing 3D games. But I hope it will last me a long time.

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  16. if i get the system with Intel Core i3-2310M Processor (2.1GHz, 3MB L3) vs the one with an i5, is that going to be a dissapointment to me with performance? i dont game more than just online gaming and am looking for a tablet pc that i can use in college next year. will this system be good for college, music, movies and online gaming? keeping in mind the system needs to have the tablet feature.
    looking forward to your response,
    Paul

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  17. Paul,

    I recommend the i5 due to the Intel Turbo Boost capability. It makes a big difference if you multi-task a lot. If you don't do anything "heavy" the i3 will be fine.

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  18. what do you consider to be heavy use?
    paul

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  19. 3d gaming, 3d object modeling, 1080p video editing and rendering, high resolution image editing (Dslr raw images). Those are tasks that are "heavy".

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  20. Do all models with the i5 processor have sandy bridge?

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  21. Sandy Bridge refers to Intel's second generation Core i CPUs. All of the X220T CPUs are Intel Sandy Bridge.

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  22. Does this system have the ability to change notes written with the stylus into text?

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  23. Yes. You must use something like Microsoft OneNote, Windows Journal, or TabTip.

    Microsoft OneNote probably would be the best at it.

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  24. does that automatically come on the system or does it come with microsoft office 2007?

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  25. There are different versions but you can always give Office 2010 a try.

    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/try/

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  26. Hello, thank you for all informations about X220 tablet. It helped me well in choosing between tablets. (Actually Iam using Lenovo R500 - but many years of work with mouse get my wrist out of order :o( so I hope that changing work-style could still help me... Enough whimpering - I think, that X220 and CAD-like applications has to work well together, are not they? (Yes, and excuse for my "english" - too many years from school...) Dron, Czech Republic

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  27. Dang it... I forgot to answer. I ran the latest Auto Cad with the X220T and it doesn't work well. The screen flashes every once in a while so I don't think you can use the latest version. Maybe an earlier one would work.

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  28. Dear Andersen,
    I ordered online Lenovo X220t online with my customization like core i7,6gb ram etc..
    I forget to order Digitizer..

    do you think it is included with system or I have to re-order the digitizer??

    do you think it will be best for multitasking with latest Auto cad??

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  29. The digitizer comes with the system. You don't have to order one.

    I didn't have much success with the latest AutoCAD. There was a bit of flickering.

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  30. Hello, I do not explained myself well. I wanted to ask, if tablet is good solution for application like CAD (for example). Maybe stupid question from me, but I never worked on such device. (Iam embroidery-maker so not exactly Auto-CAD :o) Thank You for patience. Dron, CR

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  31. I ran the latest AutoCAD and it wasn't running well. There's some screen flickering that occurs often.

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  32. Hi,

    I just purchased one for medical school (the school gives us a sweet deal on them) and I just wanted to know if the displayport outputs audio as well? I'm thinking about buying a displayport to hdmi adapter or cable. Thanks! Leo, CA

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  33. Leo,
    I haven't tested displayport audio output so I really don't know.

    If you try it let me know.

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  34. I have the tablet and it doesn't Let me use the track pad when I go from tablet mode to regular mode.is there abetting I have wrong or is my computer messing up?

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  35. Try the FN + F8 keys. It should give you some settings were you can assign the trackpad back.

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  36. Hi Jesse, could you please let me know how Heroes of Newerth runs on this laptop?

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  37. If it requires me to sign up for it I will not do it. I recommend checking the game's system requirements.

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  38. Hi, I'm trying to find out whether the X220 Tablet will support 2560x1600 on the display port output? Any chance you can take a quick look please!

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  39. @Anonymous regarding resolution
    I shipped the unit back to Lenovo today. I cannot test it. I'm sure Lenovo put the DisplaPort to support those higher resolutions.

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  40. No problem, thanks for getting back to me. Definitely going to get one of these, if I can find one here in the UK! Looks to be the best of its type.

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  41. Will the ViDock 4 setup enable the full 3d gaming experience without compromises or does it just make it possible to play 3d games at decreased settings? By the way, great posts! you are a wealth of info.

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  42. @Blake
    The ViDock paired with the right system/laptop will give you great gaming.

    Most laptops prior to 2010 have ExpressCard 1.0 ports which will limit the capabilities of the ViDock. A ViDock 4 usually cannot be used at their full potential with many systems.

    A Lenovo X220T has an ExpressCard 2.0 slot which would allow better use of the ViDock 4.

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  43. Hi Jesse,
    You do wonderful work here. Your review of the DV6T quad edition is what sold me on my purchase. I love the machine albeit the fact that the machine does get a little hot here and there which makes me quit gaming because I don't want to risk the components. I have just one question. Can this laptop run Shogun Total War at least on medium Graphics? Also, could you explain what the 4 cores mean for performance? I'm new to this but I have seen pentium duo processor's with 3.0 GHZ and this only reaches 2.9 with turbo boost. My little knowledge makes me believe that the pentium duo is faster?

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  44. @liam
    Yes you can play Shogun Total War on this system. I would recommend getting a laptop cooler if you want to play some games.

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  45. Wow, thanks. This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for regarding the Sandy Bridge/HD 3000 processors in regards to gaming. One more question though, this one specific to the tablet form factor: Were there any games you were able to play solely with tablet inputs? For example, Plants vs. Zombies, Angry Birds, Peggle, old-school point and click adventures like the Monkey Island or Sam & Max series, etc?

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  46. I bet there are some touch friendly games at Intel AppUp - http://www.appup.com/applications/find

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  47. Hi Jesse,

    Thanks for all the valuable updates on X220 Tablets. I finally decided to place an order for the same. I do have few worries,

    - My target use is mostly everyday use, with some image editing and occasional Video editing.

    - Also my work requires that i run real-time, less intense simulations for a reasonably longer duration (1 or 2 days at a stretch).

    Do u think X220T i5 is capable of handling video editing and long runs?

    Thanks,
    Nethi

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  48. @Nethi
    - I have used the X220T doing video rendering for many hours straight. The system will work continuously for a long time. I think the system is very reliable due to the awesome Core i Sandybridge CPUs.

    I wish my HP DV6T QE was as reliable as the X220T was. But the discrete graphics do blue screen and have issues. The X220T is rock steady compared to the DV6T QE.

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  49. Nethi,

    Another option is to get a tablet with a dedicated graphics card.

    The only one I know of is the Fujitsu T901 with the nvidia NVS 4200 (optimus) card.

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  50. Yep. Fujitsu did a great job with having the discrete graphics on the T901. I gotta wonder how that system performs.

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  51. Hi,

    Just wondering if the LCD display of x220t is multi-touch or outdoor?

    If it is outdoor then will you still able to use multi-touch feature using fingers?

    Thanks

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  52. The multi-touch + pen is for indoors use. The outdoor version is pen only (no finger touch).

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  53. I was wondering for Arkham Asylum on the X220 what are ideal power settings for playing this game.

    Thanks

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  54. Adjust it so it gives you the most performance (I used the slider, and not the presets). Increasing the performance will use the most amount of battery life, and therefore I recommend using only when plug to a power outlet.

    Note: Lower the graphics quality on the Arkham Asylum to get the smoothest experience. The game will still look good.

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  55. hiiii iam a developer and looking this x220 as most vm type use like running more than1 os so is it good or threre is performance issues

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    1. I never tried VMs on the X220T so I can't tell you if it will perform perfectly. As you may know already, the more stuff you do the less the performance smoothness will be.

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  56. Hi,
    I was wondering whether your ViDock setup allowed you to see benefits on the laptop's internal screen, or only on an external monitor.

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I do not have the ViDock anymore, and you are in the wrong post.
      http://www.jessebandersen.com/2010/11/vidock-4-unbox-hardware-setup-software.html

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  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

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