Lenovo G550 Performance, Battery Life and Conclusion

August 17, 2009 by Kevin O'Brien Reads (888,649)

Performance and Benchmarks
The Lenovo G550 works very well as a desktop replacement notebook, handling most tasks with ease. The target market for this notebook includes small businesses, students, or home users looking for a basic machine. The G550 has no problems surfing the web, playing SD or HD movies, or playing the occasional 2D game like Peggle. Compared to the older G530, Lenovo switched from using DDR2 memory in favor of DDR3 which is faster and now becoming cheaper. In theory this change could have meant greater performance, but we didn’t see any significant change. Both PCMark05 and 3DMark06 dropped, while wPrime saw a small boost in speed.

wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):

Notebook / CPU wPrime 32M time
Lenovo T500 (Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 @ 2.8GHz) 27.471s
HP EliteBook 8530w (Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 @ 2.53GHz) 30.919s
Lenovo ThinkPad SL500 (Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 @ 2.4GHz) 32.275s
HP ProBook 4510s (Intel Core 2 Duo T6570 @2.1GHz) 36.583s
Lenovo G550 (Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4200 @ 2.00GHz) 38.172s
Lenovo G530 (Intel Pentium Dual-Core T3400 @ 2.16GHz) 38.470s
Dell Vostro 1510 (Intel Core 2 Duo T5670 @ 1.8GHz) 51.875s

PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):

Notebook PCMark05 Score
Lenovo T500 (2.80GHz Intel T9600, ATI Radeon 3650 256MB GDDR3)   7,050 PCMarks
HP EliteBook 8530w (2.53GHz Intel T9400, Nvidia Quadro FX 770M 512MB) 6,287 PCMarks
Lenovo T500 (2.80GHz Intel T9600, Intel X4500)  5,689 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad SL500 (2.4GHz Intel P8600, Nvidia 9300M GS 256MB) 5,390 PCMarks
HP ProBook 4510s (2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6570, Intel 4500MHD) 4,192 PCMarks
Lenovo G530 (2.16GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core T3400, Intel Intel 4500MHD) 4,110 PCMarks
Lenovo G550 (2.00GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4200, Intel Intel 4500MHD) 3,964 PCMarks
Dell Vostro 1510 (1.8GHz Intel T5670, Intel X3100) 3,568 PCMarks

 

3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):

Notebook 3DMark06 Score
HP EliteBook 8530w (2.53GHz Intel T9400, Nvidia Quadro FX 770M 512MB) 5,230 3DMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad T500 (2.80GHz Intel T9600, ATI Radeon 3650 256MB GDDR3)   4,371 3DMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad SL500 (2.4GHz Intel P8600, Nvidia 9300M GS 256MB) 2,242 3DMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad T500 (2.80GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9600, Intel X4500) 809 3DMarks
HP ProBook 4510s (2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6570, Intel 4500MHD) 748 3DMarks
Lenovo G530 (2.16GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core T3400, Intel Intel 4500MHD) 730 3DMarks
Lenovo G550 (2.00GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4200, Intel Intel 4500MHD) 716 3DMarks
Dell Vostro 1510 (1.8GHz Intel T5670, Intel X3100) 519 3DMarks

 

HDTune storage drive performance test:

Heat and Noise
Thermal performance of the G550 is very good thanks to the large chassis, slower processor, and integrated graphics. Under stress the system controlled temperatures very well, and under normal loads the bottom of the notebook and palmrests stayed cool to the touch. Fan noise was minimal, with it staying off under light system loads, and going just above a whisper under intensive use. The one hotspot that stood out on the G550 was the panel beneath the hard drive that warmed up considerably if you were stressing the disk. The temperatures shown below are listed in degrees Fahrenheit:

Battery
The new Lenovo G550 uses a slightly smaller battery than the G530, but with a more efficient processor it consumes less power and gets longer runtimes. The G550 stayed running for 4 hours and 18 minutes in our tests with the screen brightness reduced to 70%, Vista on the “Balanced” power profile, and wireless active. This is better than the original 3 hours and 29 minutes the G530 managed with a larger battery. While I hate to see the battery capacity decrease, at least the efficiency made up for it and gave us a net gain in battery life.

Conclusion
The Lenovo G550 is a very solid and durable notebook, but now is missing some of the features that were standard on the previous revision. From what could only be considered cost-cutting measures, Lenovo took away one USB port, removed the ExpressCard slot, and moved to an ALPS touchpad. These types of changes might not look as bad if the retail price also dropped, but it is selling for the same price as (if not slightly more than) the previous model. I would still gladly take this model over a lot of the small-business targeted notebooks on the market, but it is just a shame that it is no longer as nice as it once was.

Pros:

  • Almost tough enough to stand on
  • Textured interior and exterior finish hides smudges and fingerprints
  • Comfortable and solid keyboard

Cons:

  • Missing features from previous revision


LEAVE A COMMENT

0 Comments

|
All content posted on TechnologyGuide is granted to TechnologyGuide with electronic publishing rights in perpetuity, as all content posted on this site becomes a part of the community.