Performance

April 3, 2009 by NotebookReview Staff Reads (384,860)

Performance
Our T400 configuration included an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 processor, 3GB of RAM, Intel X4500 integrated graphics, and a 7200rpm hard drive. For day-to-day activities such as browsing the web, typing a document, or watching a movie the system performed flawlessly with barely any lag. The 7200rpm drive kept processes moving along smoothly with its faster transfer speeds and shorter seek times. Unlike models with the ATI 3470 Hybrid graphics, this T400 was not destined to game. It is capable of playing older games with tweaking, or newer games if they are not 3D intensive. While a ThinkPad might not be the first choice for a multimedia notebook, the T400 easily handles the load of 720 or 1080P HD movies. Video output is limited to VGA from the T400, or DVI through the advanced docking stations.

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

Lenovo ThinkPad T400 (Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 @ 2.40GHz) 31.841 seconds
Toshiba Satellite E105 (Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 @ 2.26GHz) 33.961 seconds
Dell Latitude E6400 (Intel Core 2 Duo P9500 @ 2.53GHz) 30.497 seconds
Toshiba Satellite U405 (Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 @ 2.1GHz) 37.500 seconds
Lenovo ThinkPad T400 (Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 @ 2.8GHz) 27.410 seconds
HP Pavilion dv4t (Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 @ 2.8GHz) 26.972 seconds
Lenovo ThinkPad SL400 (Core 2 Duo P8400 @ 2.26GHz) 34.628 seconds

 

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

Lenovo ThinkPad T400 (2.40GHz Intel P8600, Intel 4500MHD) 5,305 PCMarks
Toshiba Satellite E105 (2.26GHz Intel P8400, Intel 4500MHD) 4,836 PCMarks
Dell Latitude E6400 (2.53GHz Intel P9500, Nvidia Quadro NVS 160M 256MB) 5,780 PCMarks
Toshiba U405 (2.1GHz Intel T8100, Intel X3100) 3,052 PCMarks
Lenovo T400 (2.80GHz Intel T9600, ATI Radeon 3470 256MB GDDR3) 6,589 PCMarks
HP Pavilion dv4t (2.8GHz Intel T9600, NVIDIA 9200M GS 256MB) 5,463 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad SL400 (2.26GHz Intel P8400, NVIDIA 9300M GS 256MB) 5,173 PCMarks

 

3DMark06 measures video and gaming performance (higher scores mean better performance):

Lenovo ThinkPad T400 (2.40GHz Intel P8600, Intel 4500MHD) 1,032 3DMarks
Toshiba Satellite E105 (2.26GHz Intel P8400, Intel 4500MHD) 1,030 3DMarks
Dell Latitude E6400 (2.53GHz Intel P9500, Nvidia Quadro NVS 160M 256MB) 1,818 3DMarks
Toshiba U405 (2.1GHz Intel T8100, Intel X3100) 539 3DMarks
Lenovo T400 (2.80GHz Intel T9600, ATI Radeon 3470 256MB GDDR3) 2,575 3DMarks
HP Pavilion dv4t (2.8GHz Intel T9600, NVIDIA 9200M GS 256MB) 1,741 3DMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad SL400 (2.26GHz Intel P8400, NVIDIA 9300M GS 256MB) 2,211 3DMarks

*All 3DMark06 benchmark tests are set at 1280 x 800 screen resolution.

HDTune storage drive performance results:

 

Speakers and Audio
Audio performance is one category in which the Lenovo T400 did not excel … which is pretty common for business notebooks. Bass and midrange were lacking and the speakers weren’t even able to produce loud volume levels. For watching the occasional video or listening to a webcast they would be fine, but headphones come highly recommended.

Battery Life
Much to our surprise, power consumption didn?t significantly change with the high brightness screen. While set to a comfortable viewing brightness for our office setting (10/15) the power consumption was on par with the previous T400 with the LED-backlit WXGA+ panel, drawing about 8.5 watts. In our tests with the wireless active, the system in balanced mode, and screen brightness set to 67% the T400 with the 6-cell battery managed to stay on for 5 hours and 58 minutes. With the 9-cell battery option this notebook should have no problem staying on for 9 hours, or 10+ hours with some tweaking.

Heat and Noise
The cooling system seemed greatly improved over the prior generations, letting the notebook run whisper quiet and very cool to the touch under most circumstances. I say most, since gaming did seem to make it run on the high side. When not gaming, one thing really helping lower the system temperatures was the very low power consumption. Consuming almost half the power of the previous generation ThinkPads really helped reduce overall temperatures. The images below show the external temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit.


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