The Z580 is allegedly available with Nvidia 630M graphics (according to the pamphlet I received from Lenovo) but I can’t find any models that are being sold with that option at the time of this writing. Our review unit relies on Intel HD 4000.
We’re going to jump straight to in-game performance. For this we’ll take a look at Dawn Of War 2: Retribution, Diablo 3 and Skyrim. We are not going to include Civilization 5 or Battlefield 3 – suffice to say, both offered a basically unplayable experience on this laptop.
Dawn Of War 2: Retribution
This older real-time strategy game is still one of my favorites, and it can be more demanding than you’d think given its age. It tends can cause be stressful because it places significant load on the CPU as well as the GPU. Let’s see how the Z580 holds up.
As you can see, this game was playable at 1366×768 with medium detail. The Z580 also slightly beat out the other dual-core Intel HD 4000 systems we’ve tested. However, the Nvidia GT 630M in the ASUS N56VM nearly doubles the performance of HD 4000.
This game is the newest in our suite, and while it can be played on most any modern system at low detail, we prefer to try it at high detail to really give modern hardware something to chew on.
Wow, the Z580 does well in this benchmark. I suspect that this has to do with performance improvements in Diablo 3 itself. I noticed in our Lenovo Y480 review that the GT 640M LE was inexplicably performing almost as well as the GT 640M. Now that we also see significant improvements in Intel HD 4000, I’m even more inclined to think something has happened within the game.
Whatever the reason, Diablo 3 is playable at high detail, though not entirely smooth because of frequent short-term dips in framerate.
Finally we come to Skyrim. This game, despite the reputation of previous Elder Scrolls titles, is only somewhat demanding. But it’s still been enough to give HD 4000 trouble in past systems. Has that changed?
Nope. The game is more playable than you’d think at this framerate, but the most demanding areas of the game will kill performance, so you can’t consistently enjoy Skyrim at anything besides low detail. The Nvidia GT 630M offers well over double the performance.