Review Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE Subnotebook

Philipp Trulson / Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 12/02/2013

Ultraslim - the AMD way. Samsung's rather expensive ATIV Book 9 Plus was released some time ago and has been called the "most beautiful Ultrabook" by some. The ATIV Book 9 Lite uses AMD components and is offered at a more palatable price point. What the new notebook has to offer is the subject of our review.

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite - 905S3G NP905S3G-K01DE
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite - 905S3G NP905S3G-K01DE

For the original German review, see here.

It's been a while since Intel introduced the term "Ultrabook" to further the development of notebooks in general. Slim, fast, light - and equipped with an Intel processor of course - that's how we envision an Ultrabook. Since the term itself is trademarked, AMD sells their versions as "thin and lights" with similar qualities, but at a lower pricepoint.

Our ATIV Book 9 Lite is a member of this family and utilizes AMD's "Temash" quad-core processor, which we've reviewed extensively in a previous article. Note that this is not the normal version of the A6-1450 APU, but rather a specialized one for use with a SSD, which, according to Samsung, was co-developed with AMD. What that means exactly we will examine a little later.

We are also going to try to answer additional questions: how far does the Lite stray from Samsung's original Ultrabook concept and are the rest of its features like the display quality and the battery life up to par? We do expect very decent build quality, since the MSRP of 879 Euro (~$1200) for the touchscreen version and the 769 Euro (~$1050) for the non-touch version are fairly substantial for an AMD-based notebook. The current street price is quite a bit lower: we found the non-touch Lite for 660 Euro (~$900) online.

The only competitor with a Temash processor is the Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS (425 Euro / ~$580), which is both smaller and thicker, but also cheaper. For around the same price as the Book 9 Lite, potential buyers can also opt for full-fledged Ultrabooks like the ASUS VivoBook S300CA-C1015H (570 Euro / ~$770), which offer much better performance. Users wanting a good-looking and sleek chassis might be interested in the VivoBook U38DT-R3001H (AMD A8-4555M; starting at 750 Euro / ~$1000), which is somewhat dated, but offers high build quality. The competition thus is pretty fierce.

Case

While Samsung uses only aluminum for the ATIV Book 9, the Lite version has to make do with plastic as the main material. This is not necessarily a disadvantage, as the weight usually decreases as a result. The overall shape of the Series 9 has not been altered much and the new notebook has the same curves and clear lines. Two colors are offered: Marble White and Mineral Ash Black - our notebook is the latter version. Both colors are visually appealing and not very ostentatious, although the glossy back of the display lid with the Samsung logo is prone to fingerprints and scratches.

The weight of 1.58 kilogram, which is at least partly due to the materials used, ranks in the middle of the field. Fortunately, the display and the base are quite stiff and don't twist easily despite the low thickness of 17.4 millimeter. We were able to hold the ATIV Book 9 Lite at one corner without any issues. The upper of the base unit feels nice to the touch; in addition, Samsung uses a rather large piece of plastic here so visually the notebook appears to be without seams. Speaking of seams: the gaps between parts are generally so small that they are not even noticeable. The display has a thin rubber strip running around its perimeter to prevent it from touching the display.

The lid flexes easily when pressure is applied and the base unit is also not very resilient in the area left under the keyboard. The hinges are stiff and hold the display in any position, although because of the stiffness both hands are required to open the laptop. The display does bounce a little, which can get annoying when using the touch screen.

Since our review model will eventually be sold and the bottom does not come apart that easily, we can't say for sure which components can be replaced by the user. Since the maintenance hatch almost extends across the entire bottom, there should be plenty of room for accessing components.

The thin base unit is pretty solid, although it resists twisting less than the aluminum chassis of the ATIV 9 Plus.
The thin base unit is pretty solid, although it resists twisting less than the aluminum chassis of the ATIV 9 Plus.

Connectivity

Similar to the popular Ultrabooks, the members of the ultrathin category usually don't feature a lot of ports. The Book 9 Lite comes with a single USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port, which can also charge devices when the notebook is turned off. In addition, the review notebook is equipped with a combo headphone/microphone jack and an SD card reader.

That's it as far as regular connections are concerned, since the other ports like Micro-HDMI, VGA via a dongle (needs to be purchased separately), and Gigabit LAN via a dongle (included) are somewhat non-standard. The Slim Security Slot functions like a Kensington lock slot, but is a proprietary Samsung creation and thus not compatible with it.

Power jack, USB 3.0, Micro-HDMI, Ethernet (Samsung dongle), SD card reader
Power jack, USB 3.0, Micro-HDMI, Ethernet (Samsung dongle), SD card reader
VGA (Samsung dongle, not included), headphone/microphone, USB 2.0, Slim PC Security Lock
VGA (Samsung dongle, not included), headphone/microphone, USB 2.0, Slim PC Security Lock
Included: power adapter, Ethernet dongle
Included: power adapter, Ethernet dongle
Quickstart guide and warranty information
Quickstart guide and warranty information

Communication

The ATIV Book 9 Lite comes with a Qualcomm Atheros AR9565 module witch supports 802.11 b/g/n and thus all current WLAN standards, although only the the 2.4 GHz band is supported. The 1 × 1 antenna configuration means that the module tops out at a maximum theoretical transfer rate of 150 Mbit/s. The module also includes Bluetooth 4.0 to support data exchange or wireless audio devices. Although the Book 9 Lite was reviewed in a rental apartment with many networks, we never had any issues with wireless connectivity. Our review model still showed 2 bars 15 meters from the access point while outside.

Samsung recently expanded the ATIV Book 9 series with a model targeting the business user. The Lite version, however, does not come equipped as such and therefore doesn't allow for UMTS connectivity. The review model comes with a Realtek Gigabit LAN jack (dongle) and also ships with a 720p webcam for video conferencing purposes.

Software / Security

Since the ATIV Book 9 Lite is a home-user device, typical security features like a TPM module or fingerprint reader are lacking. As mentioned before, Samsung includes their own Slim PC Security Lock, which functions like a Kensington lock slot.

The slick UEFI BIOS allows the user to set up a supervisor, user, and HDD password, but doesn't support any additional security features. Aside from a touchpad on/off functionality and various boot options, there's really nothing else worth mentioning here.

Just like a lot of other notebooks, our test sample came with a lot of pre-installed software, including a 60 day trial version of Norton Internet Security, a trial version of Microsoft Office and Evernote, Samsung SideSyncS PhotoStudio, S Player+ und S Camera+. For photo editing, Samsung also includes a 90 day trial for Adobe Photoshop Essentials 11.

Accessories

Par for the course, the selection of accessories is pretty limited: Samsung includes the small 40 watt power adapter, a cable tie, the Ethernet dongle, and a few pamphlets and instructions in various languages.

Warranty

In Germany, the Samsung Book 9 Lite comes with a standard warranty of 2 years. If so desired, the warranty can be extended to 3 or 4 years.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Also pretty common nowadays is the chiclet-style keyboard with a flat key design. The key travel is pretty short, but the actuation is fairly stiff and provides adequate feedback. Although there is some flexing that can be felt when a lot of pressure is applied to the individual keys, the upper of the base unit doesn't deform at all when typing. In our opinion, the keystroke could be dampened a little batter, as there is quite a bit of noise during spirited typing sessions.

The keys measure 15 x 15 millimeter, are clearly labeled, and have a distance of 4 millimeter between each other - a pretty standard configuration for this type of notebook.  Although we think that this is a good keyboard overall, we hoped for a slightly higher-end design given the price point - maybe with backlight.

Touchpad

The ClickPad is from Elan Microelectronics, measures 102 x 69 millimeter, and is located right in the middle of the palm rest. The surface texture is slightly rough and identical to the surrounding area, which allows for precise cursor control. Since this is a ClickPad, there are no individual mouse buttons - rather, the whole surface is clickable. In our book, this is one of the major shortcomings of this notebook: the clicks are extremely noisy and the pressure required for actuation is too low. It takes quite some time to get used to this setup and we'd prefer a conventional design instead. The comprehensive driver allows for adjustment of the cursor speed and gestures.

Touchscreen (model 915S3G)

In addition to the matte display, the ATIV Book 9 Lite is also available with a glossy touchscreen. The panel handles up to 10 fingers at the same time, recognizes Windows 8 gestures without fail, and reacts precisely to inputs. We think that the touchscreen is best suited for drawing though, as touching it repeatedly induced quite a bit of display bounce, which can be quite annoying after a while. The lid itself is very resilient: we could even lift the notebook by its display without any display ripples. We had both models of the notebook at our disposal, although all the following measurements and rating are taken from the matte non-touch version.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Good layout
Good layout
ClickPad without separate buttons
ClickPad without separate buttons

Display

Another difference compared to the Ultrabook-sibling is the display: the ATIV Book 9 Lite comes equipped with a 13.3-inch TN panel (type AUO B133XTN01 5) with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, which equates to a pixel density of 118 ppi. The model with touch display has the same panel type and all measurements, except for a slightly lower brightness (touch: 213 cd/m², same on battery) and a small difference in contrast (touch: 458:1), are identical.

238
cd/m²
242
cd/m²
251
cd/m²
233
cd/m²
236
cd/m²
236
cd/m²
236
cd/m²
240
cd/m²
231
cd/m²
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 251 cd/m²
Average: 238.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 236 cd/m²
Black: 0.59 cd/m²
Contrast: 400:1
Distribution of brightness
Comparison with sRGB: 59%
Comparison with sRGB: 59%
Comparison with AdobeRGB: 40%
Comparison with AdobeRGB: 40%
Outdoors, cloudy conditions
Outdoors, cloudy conditions
Outdoor, cloudy conditions
Outdoor, cloudy conditions

The average display brightness of 238 cd/m² is slightly below average, which means the panel can be hard to decipher when working outdoors. The contrast of 400:1 and the corresponding black value of 0.59 cd/m² (touchscreen) are also only average. The screen brightness doesn't decrease when the notebook is used away from outlets, which is a plus. The touchscreen version is best used in the shade, because reflections are always an issue. The matte display works well on cloudy days, but we recommend avoiding direct sunlight.

The notebook is not suitable for photo editing: even after calibration, the display doesn't come close to covering the sRGB or AdobeRGB color spaces - we calculated a coverage of 59 % and 40 %, respectively. The competitors VivoBook S300CA and VivoBook U38DT don't fare any better here, however.

Although the professional color spaces are not covered adequately, color reproduction is good overall. The display has a slightly bluish hue; ColorChecker shows an average DeltaE of 5.24 and approximately half of the measured colors are visibly different from the ideal. Especially the lighter gray values show a higher DeltaE-deviation of 5.83.

CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker

There is no denying that this is a TN panel, as the colors pale rapidly or invert completely at more shallow angles in the vertical plane. The picture remains stable from the side, although the brightness decreases a bit.

Viewing angles Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite - 905S3G-K01DE non-touch
Viewing angles Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite - 905S3G-K01DE non-touch

Performance

The ATIV Book 9 Lite is the second notebook we've reviewed that makes use of the same AMD Temash processor Acer incorporated in the Aspire V5-122P. Just like Acer, Samsung also uses very energy-efficient components (like the SSD) here. Even though AMD envisioned the A6-1450 APU as a processor for powerful tablets, some manufacturers also incorporate it in smaller notebooks.

Since we've reviewed both the A6-1450 CPU as well as the Radeon HD 8250 GPU extensively, we won't subject these components to quite as many tests as we normally would. The technical specs already make it clear that we should expect somewhat subdued performance, but long battery life due to the power-saving measures. The system comes equipped with 4 GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 RAM and a 128 GB SSD from Samsung.

Systeminfo CPU-Z CPU
Systeminfo CPU-Z Cache
Systeminfo CPU-Z Mainboard
Systeminfo CPU-Z Memory
Systeminfo GPU-Z
System information Samsung ATIV 915S3G-K01DE

Processor

Cinebench R11.5 Multi: CPU@900 to 1200 MHz (fluctuating)
Cinebench R11.5 Multi: CPU@900 to 1200 MHz (fluctuating)
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL: GPU@400 MHz
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL: GPU@400 MHz (reported wrong)

Just like the predecessor Zacate, the Temash series features Jaguar cores designed especially for very low power consumption, which results in a very low TDP of 8 watts. This is also one of the few quad-core processors in this category (another on is the Intel Atom Bay Trail). Not too much should be expected as far as performance is concerned: the base frequency of 1.0 GHz and the Turbo frequency of 1.4 GHz lag behind even some very basic notebooks. Since Intel's new Bay Trail Atom (Asus T100TA-C1-GR) can handle 32 bit tests, we will also use the older Cinebench R10 (32 Bit) to allow a comparison.

The ATIV Book 9 Lite does have a distinguishing feature, since its A6 APU is not the standard model from AMD, but a version modified by Samsung for use with an SSD, which leads to a higher TDP of 9 watts. Nobody has been able to tell us what those modifications are exactly - the benchmarks seems to indicate a frequency and thus performance increase in corresponding areas of the chip set. 

The new CPU comes close in performance to the predecessor E2-1800 (1.7 GHz, +2 %) when tasked with single-thread tests; when subjected to multi-core tests, the A6-1450 with its four cores is 26 % faster. The Temash APU in the Acer Aspire V5-122P is about 2 to 6 % slower running the same 32-bit tests, which could be either a coincidence, or the result of the aforementioned modification. The new dual-core A4-1250 (HP Pavilion 11-e000sb) is not only slower during multi-core benchmarks (-59 %), but also in the single-thread test (-40 %). The Atom Z3740 (Bay Trail), which is also a quad-core processor with dynamic clock speeds is 15 % faster (multi-core test), but falls behind in the single-thread benchmark (-14 %).

The Kabini APU A4-5000, which is used frequently in very inexpensive budget systems (Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E, for example), is only about 42 % faster than the Temash APU in our review notebook, true not only for the 32-bit, but also for the 64-bit CPU benchmarks (Cinebench R11.5). Intel's Core processors - featured in the more powerful ATIV Book 9 Plus (i5-4200U, +169 %) or the VivoBook S300CA (i3 3217U, +91 %) - are a lot faster. The Asus VivoBook U38DT, on the other hand, comes equipped with the Trinity A8-4555M and is about 24 % slower.

We should point out here that the notebooks with higher-performance CPUs also consume more power - the i5-4200U, for example, has a TDP of 15 watts. The comparison therefor is maybe not quite fair.

Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE
1.03 Points ∼9%
HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11-e000sb
0.47 Points ∼4% -54%
Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE
0.64 Points ∼5% -38%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
1.02 Points ∼9% -1%
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
1.49 Points ∼12% +45%
Asus VivoBook U38DT-R3001H
0.78 Points ∼7% -24%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
1.78 Points ∼15% +73%
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 11-e010sg
0.47 Points ∼4% -54%
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus
2.49 Points ∼21% +142%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE
2895 Points ∼11%
HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11-e000sb
1188 Points ∼4% -59%
Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE
2147 Points ∼8% -26%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
2826 Points ∼10% -2%
Asus Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR
3334 Points ∼12% +15%
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
4120 Points ∼15% +42%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
5525 Points ∼20% +91%
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 11-e010sg
1333 Points ∼5% -54%
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus
7796 Points ∼29% +169%
Rendering Single 32Bit
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE
1097 Points ∼17%
HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11-e000sb
663 Points ∼10% -40%
Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE
1124 Points ∼18% +2%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
1031 Points ∼16% -6%
Asus Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR
940 Points ∼15% -14%
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
1215 Points ∼19% +11%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
2509 Points ∼39% +129%
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 11-e010sg
698 Points ∼11% -36%
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus
3805 Points ∼60% +247%
Legend
      Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE AMD A6-1450, AMD Radeon HD 8250, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
      HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11-e000sb AMD A4-1250, AMD Radeon HD 8210, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
      Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE AMD E2-1800, AMD Radeon HD 7470M, Hitachi Travelstar 5K750 HTS547575A9E384
      Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS AMD A6-1450, AMD Radeon HD 8250, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
      Asus Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR Intel Atom Z3740, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 32 GB eMMC Flash
      Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E AMD A4-5000, AMD Radeon HD 8330, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
      Asus VivoBook U38DT-R3001H AMD A8-4555M, AMD Radeon HD 8550M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
      Asus VivoBook S300CA Intel Core i3-3217U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
      HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 11-e010sg AMD A4-1250, AMD Radeon HD 8210, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
      Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Samsung MZNTD128HAGM
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
3664 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
1280 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
1961 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
1097
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
2895
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
1991
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.34 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.03 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
9.79 fps
Help

System Performance

To determine overall system performance, we don't just rely on our subjective impression, but also use the PCMark 7 benchmark test. While we've also subjected the review candidate to the newer PCMark 8, we don't have a lot of data yet for comparison purposes. The benchmark suite attests the review notebook decent performance, which can be attributed to the fact that the system comes equipped with a SSD and not a HDD. Compared to the Acer Aspire V5-122P, which uses fairly comparable hardware but is equipped with a HDD, the Book 9 Lite scores 43 % higher.

It's interesting that Intel's Atom Bay Trail in the Asus Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR scores about the same (+8 % and -6 %, respectively) when coupled with a low-cost SSD (32 GB). The Transformer Book (tablet) with the docking keyboard sells for less than 400 Euro (~$550). The VivoBook U38DT (A8-4555M) once again lags behind (-21 %, PCMark 7).

Because of the optimizations and Windows 8, the system is ready for use after about 20 seconds. Waking up from sleep mode doesn't take any longer than it does for Intel-based systems, which means that there are next to no delays. The ATIV Book 9 Lite is suitable for the playback of one to two FullHD movies without any performance issues, but we can't recommend it for more demanding tasks like video rendering.

PCMark 7 - Score
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE
2162 Points ∼33%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
1232 Points ∼19% -43%
Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE
1348 Points ∼20% -38%
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
1417 Points ∼21% -34%
Asus VivoBook U38DT-R3001H
1714 Points ∼26% -21%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
2173 Points ∼33% +1%
Asus Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR
2339 Points ∼35% +8%
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus
4912 Points ∼74% +127%
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 11-e010sg
1064 Points ∼16% -51%
PCMark 8 - Work Score Accelerated
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE
2385 Points ∼46%
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus
4154 Points ∼80% +74%
PCMark Vantage - 1024x768 Result
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE
5055 Points ∼21%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
2943 Points ∼12% -42%
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
3178 Points ∼13% -37%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
4607 Points ∼20% -9%
Asus Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR
4758 Points ∼20% -6%
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 11-e010sg
1917 Points ∼8% -62%
HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11-e000sb
1978 Points ∼8% -61%
4.1
Windows 8 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
4.5
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
5.5
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
4.1
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
5.8
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
7.3
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage5055 points
PCMark 72162 points
PCMark 8 Home1383 points
PCMark 8 Creative1236 points
PCMark 8 Work2385 points
Help

Storage Devices

Since Samsung is a huge electronics corporation, it seems only natural that they would use one of their own SSDs. The Book 9 Lite ships with a mSATA PM841 (MZMTD128HAFV), which features a capacity of 128 GB. The drive offers enough storage for a mainstream multi-media notebook and a smaller music library and a few older games; users with an extensive movie collection either need to install a bigger drive or use an external drive.

The benchmark tests show good read rates of up to 475 MB/s; as typical for less expensive SSDs, the write rates are a lot lower at up to 135 MB/s. The 4k tests show high data throughput and outperform HDD-equipped systems (4k read -99 %), as well as low-cost SSDs like the one in the Transformer Book T100TA (-53 % and -90 %, respectively). The Samsung MZNTD128HAGM featured in the larger sibling ATIV Book 9 Plus offers significantly better performance, however.

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE
AMD A6-1450, AMD Radeon HD 8250, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
AMD A6-1450, AMD Radeon HD 8250, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
Asus Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR
Intel Atom Z3740, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Samsung MZNTD128HAGM
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-79%
-72%
44%
Read Seq475.187.7
-82%
109
-77%
524.9
10%
Write Seq135.585.89
-37%
43.2
-68%
135
0%
Read 4k220.298
-99%
10.33
-53%
30.44
38%
Write 4k41.10.899
-98%
4.034
-90%
94.12
129%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-79% / -79%
-72% / -72%
44% / 44%
Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
Transfer Rate Minimum: 170 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 328.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 311.8 MB/s
Access Time: 0.149 ms
Burst Rate: 176.8 MB/s
CPU Usage: 6.9 %

GPU Performance

We already mentioned the AMD A6-1450 APU with its integrated AMD Radeon HD 8250 GPU, which operates at 400 MHz and is not subjected to throttling even under heavy load. The memory frequency is of course identical to the frequency of the DDR3 RAM (533 MHz), since its the system RAM which is used for storing textures etc. According to the various 3DMark suites, the performance is at the lower end of the spectrum and compares to Intel's 3000 (Sandy Bridge Latitude 3330) as well as the HD 4000 (Ivy Bridge Transformer Book TX300CA), which score within +/- 10 % of our review notebook.

The following table shows a comparison with the direct (ultra-mobile) competition. The new Atom Bay Trail trails by -56 %, the slower AMD A4-1250 (dual core) by  -20 %.

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE
AMD A6-1450, AMD Radeon HD 8250, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
Asus Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR
Intel Atom Z3740, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 32 GB eMMC Flash
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 11-e010sg
AMD A4-1250, AMD Radeon HD 8210, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
AMD A6-1450, AMD Radeon HD 8250, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
3DMark 11
-57%
-20%
-1%
1280x720 Performance470209
-56%
369
-21%
466
-1%
1280x720 Performance GPU423178
-58%
341
-19%
422
0%
3DMark Vantage
-55%
-7%
1280x1024 P Result no PhysX1362646
-53%
1272
-7%
1280x1024 P GPU no PhysX1150504
-56%
1075
-7%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-56% / -56%
-20% / -20%
-4% / -4%
3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
2774 points
3DMark Vantage1362 points
3DMark 11470 points
3DMark Ice Storm16318 points
3DMark Cloud Gate1712 points
3DMark Fire Strike228 points
Help

Gaming Performance

After the conclusion of our synthetic benchmark tests it was clear that we shouldn't expect a lot here - after all: that's not what the APUs with their TPD of 8 or 9 watts were designed for. Current games are often not playable at all (frame rates below 30), even with all the settings on low.

We played The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Saints Row IV, Dota 2, BioShock Infinite, as well as Tomb Raider. Additional titles can be found in the previous review of the AMD A6 Temash APU. The frame rates often didn't even reach 20 fps with these more modern games, which results in more of a slide show instead of fluent gaming. Both the CPU as well as the GPU are to blame for this lackluster performance. The comparison below shows that the Atom Bay Trail suffers from even lower gaming performance.

We would recommend the power-sipping SoC for occasional gaming or for friends of retro-gaming: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare or Half Life 2 should still be playable. Games which can make use of all four cores should have an advantage here - otherwise, performance will lag behind Intel's ULV CPUs by a significant margin.

Tomb Raider - 1024x768 Low Preset
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE
20.7 fps ∼4%
Asus Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR
15.9 fps ∼3% -23%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
20 fps ∼4% -3%
low med.high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 20.710.47.2fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 18.969.387.62fps
Dota 2 (2013) 16.711.6fps
Saints Row IV (2013) 8.57.14.4fps
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (2013) 12.377.433.29fps

Emissions

System Noise

Fan exhaust
Fan exhaust
Quiet mode (inactive during the benchmarks)
Quiet mode (inactive during the benchmarks)

Although neither AMD's nor Intel's frugal processors are able to impress with their performance merits, they have distinct advantages as far as noise level and temperature is concerned.

Samsung's ATIV Book 9 Lite also does very well here and is more or less inaudible at about 30 dB(A), which is the noise level of an extremely quiet room and close to the human hearing threshold. Only when we put our ear directly next to the fan exhaust, we could hear a very faint whooshing sound.

Even more impressive is the noise level under load32 to 34 dB(A) are just barely audible and are amongst the lowest levels we've recorded so far. The mSATA SSD also does its part in reducing the noise. The ATIV Book 9 Plus is almost as quiet during idle, but under load noisier by about 25 to 30 %. The competitors VivoBook U38DT (AMD) and Asus VivoBook S300CA (Intel) are louder (Last: +17 to +25 %).

Noise Level

Idle 30.3 / 30.4 / 30.4 dB(A)
Load 31.7 / 33.9 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft SL-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test Prime95 & Furmark: GPU@400 MHz, CPU@1000MHz (constant)
Stress test Prime95 & Furmark: GPU@400 MHz, CPU@1000MHz (constant)

Because of the power-sipping hardware, the temperatures are well controlled: we measured between 28 to 32 degrees C during idle, which is just slightly higher than the ambient temperature of our test environment (24 degrees C). The black version of the notebook does heat up quite a bit when exposed directly to sunlight and thus idle temperatures increase in that particular condition.

Under full load (Prime 95 + Furmark), temperatures naturally increase due to higher power consumption: we recorded up to 43 degrees C on the bottom - warm, but not overly hot. Aside from the usual hotspot (in the middle near the display), the temperatures of 29 to 37 degrees C are well within the acceptable range.

 31.6 °C32.1 °C30.7 °C 
 30.1 °C31 °C29.6 °C 
 28.7 °C28.5 °C29.3 °C 
 
30.5 °C32.1 °C31.8 °C
29.3 °C31.3 °C29.5 °C
28.7 °C28.7 °C29 °C
Maximum: 32.1 °C
Average: 30.2 °C</