Performance and Benchmarks
You really can’t go wrong with even the base configuration of the ThinkPad T510 if you are in the market for a powerful notebook. Currently as standard features, the T510 comes with a 2.66GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 2GB of RAM (ours was bumped to 4GB)and optional NVIDIA Optimus graphics. The machines equipped with the NVIDIA Optimus graphics automatically switch between NVIDIA dedicated and Intel integrated graphics depending on the programs needs or users preference. This allows you to consume the bare minimum of power when browsing the web, but kick it up a notch when gaming or using 3D-intensive business applications.
In our tests the ThinkPad T510 performed very well in system and 3D benchmarks. We did notice a few odd quirks with the NVIDIA Optimus graphics on this notebook though. We had trouble forcing the system to NVIDIA graphics when running overall system benchmarks like PCMark05 and PCMark Vantage, even after changing application-specific video card preferences and global settings. The system would report as still using Intel HD graphics, but would actually score lower than when we specifically chose Intel HD graphics for that specific test. In terms of how this impacted the scores, the NVIDIA scores in PCMark05 were about 100 points less and PCMark Vantage were about 300 points less. In 3D benchmarks this problem didn’t show up and things benchmarked without any issues.
Wprime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
PCMark Vantage measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):