Samsung Series 9 NP900X3C: Performance

August 30, 2012 by Charles P. Jefferies Reads (126,257)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Software & Support
    • 6
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 2
    • Usability
    • 7
    • Design
    • 8
    • Performance
    • 7
    • Features
    • 6
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 6
    • Total Score:
    • 6.00
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Performance and Benchmarks

Our Samsung Series 9 NP900X3C-A04US Ultrabook has the following specifications:

  • 13.3″ anti-glare 900p “PLS” display (1600×900 resolution, 400 nits brightness)
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • Intel Core i7-3517U dual-core processor (1.9GHz, up to 3.0GHz Turbo Boost, 4MB cache, 17W TDP)
  • Integrated Intel HD graphics
  • 4GB DDR3-1600 RAM (1x 4GB; 8GB max. – 1x 8GB)
  • 256GB Lite-On SSD (LITEONIT LMT-256M3M; Marvell 88SS9174 controller)
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 wireless LAN
  • Integrated Bluetooth V3.0
  • Integrated HD webcam
  • No internal optical drive
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • 6-cell li-ion battery (6300mAh
  • Weight: 2.88 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12.9 x 8.9 x 0.62~0.64 inches
  • Price as Configured: $1,699

The NP900X3C can be had for $300-500 less than our test unit depending on the configuration; this A04US model has a top-of-the-line spec including a 256GB SSD and Intel Core i7 processor. It’s worth noting this model is oriented towards business and includes Windows 7 Professional and a three-year limited warranty; there’s nothing like having an expensive notebook with a short warranty period.

The NP900X3C’s performance as configured is stellar; it can do almost anything except play 3D games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The 256GB SSD is amongst the fastest we’ve tested. I clocked the full bootup of this computer, from pressing the power button until the desktop was fully loaded at 10.1 seconds – incredible! The fast SSD combined with the i7 processor means no waiting for anything.

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

PCMark Vantage is an older benchmark that measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):

PCMark 7 is a newer benchmark and measures overall system performance in Windows 7 (higher scores mean better performance):

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

CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:

Heat and Noise

There are two fans aiming out the rear of the notebook on either side of the chassis. This is interesting because most Ultrabooks have just one fan. At idle the NP900X3C is silent and even under load, it’s hard to hear the fans without leaning close. The chassis doesn’t get more than lukewarm over any particular area. Overall this is a well-designed cooling system.

Battery Life

I measured a solid seven and a half hours of battery life during our standard battery run-down test (Windows 7 Balanced power profile, 70% screen brightness, wireless active and refreshing a web page every 60 seconds). This is a respectable time. Note that the NP900X3C has a much brighter display than most Ultrabooks; 70% brightness is equivalent to 100% on a normal display. The display is the number one consumer of power in a notebook so lowering it to 20-30% brightness (which is equivalent to about 50% of a normal display) would extend the battery life another hour or more.

Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):



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