Review Update Samsung 550P5C-S08DE Notebook

Manuel Christa (translated by Martina Osztovits), 07/09/2013

Multimedia update. Samsung updates the inner components of its multimedia series 5. The exterior remained unchanged: case and connectivity are the same as the predecessor's. Inside, the Intel i5 was replaced by an i7, the GeForce GT 630M by a 650M. In addition, a display with HD+ resolution was incorporated. We check whether the performance improved.

For the original German review, see here.

Never change a running system. Samsung only slightly changed the multimedia notebooks of the series 5. Case and connectivity remained the same as the Samsung 550P5C-T02 predecessor's from a year ago. The same is true for the 8 GB RAM, the communication module and the DVD burner. But, the mass storage increased from 500 GB to 1 TB and the processors are slightly more powerful, but already familiar: Instead of an i5, the reviewed notebook features an Intel Core i7-3610QM, which was already available in its predecessor's time. The Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics card is also not the newest model, but still quite up-to-date. Nevertheless, the GeForce GT 750M meanwhile leads the mid-range.

This CPU and GPU combination was already available in the 550P7C-S02DE 17-inch model last year. But, it was also used in other notebooks: e.g. the Acer Aspire V3-771G or the MacBook Pro 15. While devices with these components still had a 4-digit price tag last year, the reviewed Samsung notebook costs significantly less than 1000 Euros (~$1309).

Display

Wie wir testen - Display

The display is too dark for outdoor use.
The display is too dark for outdoor use.

With a diagonal of 15.6-inches or 39.6 cm, the size of the HD+ LED display remained the same than the Samsung Series 5 550P5C-T02 predecessor's. In addition, it is a matte display, which is advantageous compared to reflective models in bright rooms and outdoors.  But, the 1366x768 resolution of last year's model was increased to 1600x900.

193
cd/m²
170
cd/m²
168
cd/m²
193
cd/m²
185
cd/m²
183
cd/m²
202
cd/m²
177
cd/m²
192
cd/m²
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 202 cd/m²
Average: 184.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 141 cd/m²
Black: 1.3 cd/m²
Contrast: 142:1
Distribution of brightness

The display brightness is disappointing: While the predecessor delivered an average brightness of 246 cd/m², the reviewed successor can only achieve a maximum of just above 200 cd/m². The average brightness is just 185 cd/m². The contrast of 143:1 is also low. Such values hardly allow outdoor usage and are only acceptable in the lowest price class. While all other details of the notebook remained the same or improved, the brightness is a step backwards.

According to our CalMAN analysis, the color fidelity deviates greatly from sRGB: Cyan, blue and magenta have a high DeltaE 2000 difference of 11 to 16. So, the display has a blue tint, which is apparent at first glance when displaying gray levels.

CalMAN 5.1 Software: CMS Calibration
CalMAN 5.1 Software: CMS Calibration
CalMAN 5.1 Software: Grayscale
CalMAN 5.1 Software: Grayscale
CalMAN 5.1 Software: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN 5.1 Software: Saturation Sweeps
sRGB coverage
sRGB coverage

It was to be expected that the color coverage does not suffice for professional requirements. Home users should not mind anyway. In comparison to the predecessor, the display did not improve.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Small deviations in a vertical direction lead to color inversion and fading. In a horizontal direction, the viewing angles are wider. So, the display suffices for watching films when you move slightly to the left or right. Again, the display performs quite averagely.

Multimedia models from the competition prove that you can also get a decent display for just under 1000 Euros (~$1309). The Asus N56VB-S4050H or the Acer Aspire V3-771G belong to the same price and application category as our Samsung test model and both feature a display with a decent brightness of above 300 cd/m².

Performance

Wie wir testen - Leistung

Hardware is the most important criterion when buying a notebook. The specs indeed suit a multimedia device. Compared to the 550P5C-T02 predecessor Samsung upgraded the hardware. As already mentioned above, the CPU and GPU are not brand new, but still up to date. The Intel Core i7-3610QM quad-core CPU should suffice for most users. The Nvidia GeForce GT 650M is a mid-range graphics cards, which allows smooth gaming. Therefore, 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM is obligatory and RAM will not be a performance bottleneck.

System information: Samsung 550P5C-S08DE

Processor

CPU throttling
CPU throttling

While the 550P5C-T02 predecessor came with an Intel Core i5-3210M dual-core processor, our test device features an Intel Core i7-3610QM quad-core CPU. Both belong to the Ivy Bridge generation and are processed in 22 nm lithography. The i7-3610QM is an entry-level quad-core CPU from Intel for notebooks, but still up to date in terms of performance.

With 2.3 GHz, the clock rate of the quad-core CPU is slightly lower than the dual-core's of the predecessor. If the load is not high, the clock is decreased to 1.2 GHz in order to save energy. We could not observe the Turbo mentioned in the specs, which should increase the clock rate to above 3 GHz during short load periods, in our tests. Instead throttling decreases the clock to only 800 MHz under full load. So, the CPU performance is lower than it could be, which is proved by Cinebench R10 and R11.5.

In being a quad-core CPU, the i7 is faster in multi-core rendering of Cinebench R11.4 than the i5-3210 in the predecessor, but the dual-core CPU performs better in single core tasks. The reason why the i5 outperforms the quad-core in several benchmarks might be that the former can use its Turbo and does not throttle.

We compare the Intel Core i7-3610QM to the faster Intel Core i7-3630QM as devices of the same price class are often equipped with the latter. As expected the latter performs better in our benchmarks.

Cinebench R10
Shading 64Bit
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
4907 Points ∼23%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
6156 Points ∼29% +25%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
6612 Points ∼31% +35%
Acer Aspire V3-771G-736B161TMaii
GeForce GT 650M, 3630QM, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
6431 Points ∼30% +31%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
9712 Points ∼27%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
11034 Points ∼31% +14%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
21756 Points ∼61% +124%
Acer Aspire V3-771G-736B161TMaii
GeForce GT 650M, 3630QM, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
21682 Points ∼61% +123%
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
2842 Points ∼12%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
5278 Points ∼21% +86%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
5770 Points ∼23% +103%
Acer Aspire V3-771G-736B161TMaii
GeForce GT 650M, 3630QM, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
5826 Points ∼24% +105%
Cinebench R11.5
OpenGL 64Bit
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
24.77 fps ∼23%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
24.98 fps ∼23% +1%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
42.12 fps ∼38% +70%
Acer Aspire V3-771G-736B161TMaii
GeForce GT 650M, 3630QM, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
42.51 fps ∼39% +72%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
3.44 Points ∼29%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
2.9 Points ∼24% -16%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
6.41 Points ∼54% +86%
Acer Aspire V3-771G-736B161TMaii
GeForce GT 650M, 3630QM, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
6.26 Points ∼52% +82%
CPU Single 64Bit
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
0.72 Points ∼1%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
1.41 Points ∼1% +96%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
2842 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
9712 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
4907 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
2410
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
9752
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
5127
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.72 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.44 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
24.77 fps
Help

System Performance

We compare the system performance of the Samsung with its predecessor's and the competitions' by means of PCMark 7. Unfortunately, PCMark Vantage refused to run under Windows 8. It gets apparent that more processor cores and more RAM do not necessarily lead to a significant performance gain if the CPU throttles. The result of the predecessor is only 6% lower than the current test model's. The competitors from Acer and Asus are, with 12 and 24% more, significantly faster.

PC Mark
PCMark 72478 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
2478 Points ∼37%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
2327 Points ∼35% -6%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
3065 Points ∼46% +24%
Acer Aspire V3-771G-736B161TMaii
GeForce GT 650M, 3630QM, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
2770 Points ∼42% +12%
5.9
Windows 8 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
7.2
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
7.6
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
6.7
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6.7
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9

Storage Solution

HDTune
HDTune
CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark

In featuring a Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024, the Samsung Series 5 550P5C-S08DE comes with a maximum storage capacity of 1 TB. The hard drive rotates at 5,400 rpm and is nothing special in this regard. Its maximum transfer rate of 110.5 MB/s is not bad for a conventional hard drive, but an average transfer rate of just under 80 MB/s is modest at best.

The 17-inch counterpart of the predecessor, the Samsung Series 5 550P7C-S02DE, came with a much better hard drive. With an average read rate of just under 100 MB/s, its Hitachi drive belongs to the few fast HDDs. But, it can also not keep up with the performance of SSDs.

Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
Transfer Rate Minimum: 21 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 110.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 79.4 MB/s
Access Time: 19.9 ms
Burst Rate: 113.5 MB/s
CPU Usage: 3.6 %

Graphics card

The name hints at a more powerful graphics card than in the 550P5C-T02 predecessor. The Nvidia GeForce GT 630M was replaced by a GeForce GT 650M. The two graphics cards have a different number of graphics units and the latter has a higher standard clock rate of 835 MHz. Both models feature a 128-bit memory interface, a memory clock of 900 MHz and 2 GB dedicated video memory. Therefore, the graphics cards do not need to use the RAM.

In addition, Nvidia's Optimus technology should increase the battery life by automatically switching between the Nvidia graphics cards and the Intel graphics chip depending on the load. The i7 processor features an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000, which is absolutely sufficient for desktop and graphically undemanding tasks and needs less energy.

The built-in Nvidia model performs poorly in the 3DMark tests: The no longer up to date 3DMark06 ends with a low result. At least the other benchmarks show a small performance gain. In 3DMark Vantage, the Nvidia GeForce GT 650M outperforms its predecessor and its competitors.

3D Mark
3DMark 06
 
10661 points
3DMark Vantage9638 points
3DMark 112410 points
3DMark Ice Storm50197 points
3DMark Cloud Gate6874 points
3DMark Fire Strike1496 points
Help
3DMark 06
1280x1024 Standard AA:0x AF:0x
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
10661 Points ∼36%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
8285 Points ∼28% -22%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
12832 Points ∼44% +20%
Acer Aspire V3-771G-736B161TMaii
GeForce GT 650M, 3630QM, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
13514 Points ∼46% +27%
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
10661 Points ∼50%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
2410 Points ∼19%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
1143 Points ∼9% -53%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
2238 Points ∼17% -7%
Acer Aspire V3-771G-736B161TMaii
GeForce GT 650M, 3630QM, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
2410 Points ∼19% 0%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
2304 Points ∼15%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
1019 Points ∼6% -56%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
2044 Points ∼13% -11%
1280x720 Performance Physics
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
4276 Points ∼35%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
3676 Points ∼30% -14%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
7701 Points ∼64% +80%
1280x720 Performance Combined
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
1841 Points ∼22%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
1026 Points ∼12% -44%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
1656 Points ∼20% -10%
3DMark Vantage
1280x1024 P Result no PhysX
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
9638 Points ∼26%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
4752 Points ∼13% -51%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
8605 Points ∼23% -11%
Acer Aspire V3-771G-736B161TMaii
GeForce GT 650M, 3630QM, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
9341 Points ∼25% -3%
1280x1024 P GPU no PhysX
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
7815 Points ∼18%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
4059 Points ∼9% -48%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
7135 Points ∼16% -9%
Acer Aspire V3-771G-736B161TMaii
GeForce GT 650M, 3630QM, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
7824 Points ∼18% 0%
1280x1024 P CPU no PhysX
Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
GeForce GT 650M, 3610QM, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
32134 Points ∼46%
Samsung 550P5C-T02DE
GeForce GT 630M, 3210M
9756 Points ∼14% -70%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
GeForce GT 740M, 3630QM, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
22539 Points ∼32% -30%
Acer Aspire V3-771G-736B161TMaii
GeForce GT 650M, 3630QM, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
22347 Points ∼32% -30%

Gaming performance

Thanks to its dedicated GeForce graphics card, the notebook should also be able to run several games and 3D applications. We started to test the gaming capability with Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, not quite the latest, but graphic intensive titles. DirectX11 can be deactivated in Deus Ex for performance reasons, but the benchmark proves that this does not have a significant impact on the frame rate. This is even true if you play with high graphics details. It could be that only the integrated GPU is used instead of the dedicated Nvidia graphics at minimum details. With 58 fps, the story shooter runs smoothly anyway. 30 fps in Skyrim is a much tighter result, but the game is also playable.

Metro Last Light is a recent game: The mid-range graphics card achieves a playable frame rate of 40 fps at low graphics details. So just released games are playable on the Samsung, but the graphics quality has to be reduced.

In comparison to other notebooks with the same graphics card, the frame rates are exceptionally low, which is probably due to the observed CPU throttling.

low med.high ultra
Deus Ex Human Revolution (2011) 6158fps
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) 343231fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 413719fps

Emissions

Wie wir testen - Emissionen

System noise

The fan is often unobtrusively quiet. If you consider the throttling, it does not have much work anyway. 31 dB(A) is not too loud for a multimedia notebook, but rather unobtrusive and average. Under load the notebook gets audible with about 42 dB(A), which is subjectively not disturbing. The 550P5C was slightly quieter, but the two models do not differ much here.

Noise Level

Idle 31.1 / 31.7 / 31.7 dB(A)
DVD 35.3 / dB(A)
Load 42.5 / 42.5 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

Due to the more powerful hardware and likely the same vent, the temperatures of the notebook are about 5 °C higher than the predecessor's. 34 °C on the underside is a noticeable, but certainly not uncomfortable, temperature increase. However, the temperature on the underside can increase to up to a hot 50 °C when running current, hardware demanding 3D games.

The stress test reveals CPU throttling, which reduces the clock rate to 1.2 GHz and sometimes even to 800 MHz. Nevertheless, the temperature sensors only report up to 95 °C under full load. This is still an uncritical temperature and rather corresponds to a CPU without throttling, e.g. the predecessor's. The results of the CPU and GPU tests ran immediately afterwards did not significantly differ from those of previous runs.

Max. Load
 40 °C30.2 °C26.7 °C 
 41.4 °C40.3 °C27.2 °C 
 35.7 °C41.1 °C28.6 °C 
 
49.1 °C30.6 °C25.7 °C
50.3 °C42 °C26.6 °C
34.6 °C39.6 °C26.8 °C
Maximum: 41.4 °C
Average: 34.6 °C
 Maximum: 50.3 °C
Average: 36.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  60.5 °C | Room Temperature 23.5 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

Like in the predecessor, JBL guarantees for sound quality. We could not complain about the sound. It is still above average for a 2.1 sound system, i.e. 5 Watt-speakers and a subwoofer. It meets the demands on a multimedia notebook and does not dampen music and film experiences. Nevertheless, the sound quality cannot keep up with that from external speakers.

Energy Management

Wie wir testen - Akkulaufzeit

Power Consumption

The wide range in energy demand can be explained with the Nvidia Optimus technology. Despite different hardware it corresponds to the 550P5C-T02 predecessor's. The minimum power consumption of 9.1 Watt is about the same. Under load our device needs 88 Watt – the power adapter's maximum output of 90 Watt could be too low and a performance bottleneck under load. Other notebooks with the same CPU and GPU come with bigger power adapters, e.g. Acer's Aspire V3-771G with a 120 Watt one.

Power consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.7 Watt
Idle 9.1 / 13.7 / 14.8 Watt
Load 86.4 / 88.4 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

Idle test
Idle test
WLAN test
WLAN test
Load test
Load test

The battery capacity of 48 Wh remained the same as the predecessor's. In addition, their energy consumption is nearly identical. Therefore, we also expected to observe similar battery runtimes, but were surprised by the results of our realistic tests.

The Reader's test of the Battery Eater tool simulates reading of a text document. Like its predecessor, our test model achieves a battery life of above 5 hours with minimum brightness and deactivated communication modules.

The battery life in the more realistic WLAN test is, with 3 hours and 26 minutes, more than an hour shorter than the predecessor's. The difference is similar in the DVD test: Our test sample can run DVD films for about 3 hours and 12 minutes, which is about the length of two feature films.

The minimum runtime of about 2 hours and 50 minutes is about one hour longer than the predecessor's. This could be because of the display's lower maximum brightness, which together with the CPU throttling keeps the power consumption lower.

The battery runtimes of faster, yet not more expensive competitors are even shorter than our test model's: Acer's Aspire V3-771G achieves just 2 hours and 2 minutes.

Battery runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 04min
WiFi Surfing
3h 26min
DVD
3h 12min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 50min

Verdict

Upgraded, but not better: While the specs of the multimedia notebook would suggest a faster device, we observed several weaknesses in our review. In comparison to the Samsung Series 5 550P5C-T02 predecessor many things remained the same: There was no reason to change the case, which already appeared solid and convinced with its build quality and look previously. The connectivity including 4 USB ports was also not stingy at all.

Unfortunately, the display is not the same: While the predecessor could score points with a decent brightness of 300 cd/m², our test model only achieves an average brightness of 185 cd/m², which would only be acceptable for a notebook half the price. At least the multimedia notebook suits as a mobile cinema: Relatively wide viewing angles and decent sound won't dampen film experience.

While identical outside, the inside was changed: The Intel Core i5-3210M dual-core CPU was replaced by an Intel Core i7-3610QM quad-core CPU and with the Nvidia GeForce GT 650M, it features a newer graphics card. Due to CPU throttling the i7 processor cannot fully exploit its potential and even performs worse than the i5 in its predecessor in several benchmarks. In addition, we could not observe big performance gains in the graphics benchmarks. Although the graphics card performed significantly better than the predecessor's, the test model was significantly slower than other devices with the same graphics card.

In comparison to competing models from Acer and Asus it is hard to recommend the Samsung, as these models of the same price class are faster. If you focus on the best price-performance ratio and gaming performance, you'd better buy one of the compared models. But, several details, e.g. the decent case and sound quality could be arguments for the Samsung.

By courtesy of ... GetGoods

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In Review: Samsung 550P5C-S08DE, kindly provided by:
In Review: Samsung 550P5C-S08DE, kindly provided by:

Specifications

Samsung 550P5C-S08DE

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM76 (Panther Point)
:: Memory
8192 MB, 2x 4096 MB DDR3 SDRAM (PC3-12800)
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M - 2048 MB, Core: 835 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, Nvidia Optimus
:: Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1600x900 pixel, TN LED, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB, 1000 GB 5400 rpm
:: Connections
2 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Line-In, Line-Out, Card Reader: 4 in 1 (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC) ,
:: Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 (a b g n ), 4.0 low energy Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
Matshita DVD-RAM UJ8D1
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 31 x 368 x 243
:: Weight
2.5 kg
:: Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cells, 4400 mAh
:: Price
999 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 1.3 Megapixel, 1280 × 1024 Pixel , Speakers: 2.1 sound system, 2x 2 W stereo speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet layout, Keyboard Light: no, 24 Months Warranty

 

Same glossy lid as the predecessor.
Same glossy lid as the predecessor.
Same case, already rated last year.
Same case, already rated last year.
Matte display: The display does not reflect the keyboard.
Matte display: The display does not reflect the keyboard.
Unfortunately the display is worse than the predecessor's.
Unfortunately the display is worse than the predecessor's.
Maximum opening angle: about 120 degrees.
Maximum opening angle: about 120 degrees.
Indicator LEDs in front of the mouse pad.
Indicator LEDs in front of the mouse pad.
Elegant: The power button gleams discreetly blue when turned on.
Elegant: The power button gleams discreetly blue when turned on.
JBL guarantees decent audio quality.
JBL guarantees decent audio quality.
The LAN port is directly beside the power-in.
The LAN port is directly beside the power-in.
Two USB 3.0 ports on the left, USB 2.0 on the right.
Two USB 3.0 ports on the left, USB 2.0 on the right.
DVD burner.
DVD burner.
The mouse pad is not exactly centered...
The mouse pad is not exactly centered...
...as the keyboard features a number block.
...as the keyboard features a number block.
The plastic frame is simple, yet elegant.
The plastic frame is simple, yet elegant.
Elegant lid with dot pattern.
Elegant lid with dot pattern.
The hinges look small, but hold the display well in place.
The hinges look small, but hold the display well in place.
SD card reader on the front side.
SD card reader on the front side.
Nearly invisible: small hole of the mic.
Nearly invisible: small hole of the mic.
Underside of the Samsung.
Underside of the Samsung.
Big rubber feet prevent the case from slipping.
Big rubber feet prevent the case from slipping.
Big vent grille on the left.
Big vent grille on the left.
Subwoofer on the underside.
Subwoofer on the underside.
The battery can be replaced without unscrewing the case.
The battery can be replaced without unscrewing the case.
We did it to see the inside.
We did it to see the inside.
4 GB RAM.
4 GB RAM.
1 TB hard drive.
1 TB hard drive.
The power adapter with 90 Watt is just sufficient.
The power adapter with 90 Watt is just sufficient.

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Pro

+solid and elegant case
+2.1 sound system from JBL
+high resolution of the display
 

Contra

-low display brightness
-CPU throttling

Shortcut

What we like

The case looks good and is rather solid.

What we would like to see

The CPU-throttling decreases the performance gain relative to the predecessor.

What surprises us

Despite HD+, the display quality diminished.

The competition

You can actually get more powerful notebooks for the same price: e.g. the Asus N56VB-S4050H or the Acer Aspire V3-771G-736B161TMaii.

Rating

Samsung 550P5C-S08DE
06/30/2013 v3
Manuel Christa

Chassis
85%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
85%
Connectivity
77%
Weight
80%
Battery
86%
Display
69%
Games Performance
88%
Application Performance
90%
Temperature
79%
Noise
84%
Add Points
84%
Average
83%
83%
Multimedia *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Update Samsung 550P5C-S08DE Notebook
Author: Manuel Christa, 2013-07- 9 (Update: 2013-07-12)