Notebooks Guide

Sony VAIO Z (VPCZ117GG/X) review

Sony VAIO Z: Same Look, Brand New Internals

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Overall rating 9/10
Design:
9.5
Features:
9
Performance:
9.5
Value:
8
Mobility:
9
THE GOOD
Light and Portable
Powerful Performance
THE BAD
Expensive


Performance Benchmarking

Performance Benchmarking

This is where the real fun begins. With all the goodies that Sony has packed into the VAIO Z VPCZ117GG/X , it's time to put this baby to the test. The notebook comes packing with an Intel Core i7-620M processor (2.6GHz), 8GB DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330 and 256GB of SSD storage (quad 64GB drives in RAID 0), so you know you're getting a race car of a notebook. How fast? Well, let's pit it against its predecessor and Lenovo's ThinkPad T400s which has a really speedy SSD drive to see how it performs. Oh and we've also tested both Performance and Stamina modes to see how the new VAIO Z notebook holds up in both test scenarios and if there are benefits to them

Specifications / Notebook Sony VAIO Z VPCZ117GG/X Sony VAIO Z VGN-Z17GN Lenovo ThinkPad T400s
Processor Intel Core i7-620M (2.66GHz) with Turbo Boost up to 3.33GHz and 4MB L3 cache Intel Core 2 Duo processor P9500 (2.53GHz) with 6MB L2 cache Intel Core 2 Duo processor SP9400 (2.40GHz) with 6MB L2 cache
Chipset Intel HM57 Express Intel GM45 Intel GS45
Memory 2 x 4GB DDR3 2 x 2GB DDR3 2GB DDR3
HDD 4 x 64GB SATA SSD (RAID 0 Config) 1 x 320GB SATA - 5400RPM 1 x 128GB SATA - SSD
Video NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M / Intel GMA HD NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS Intel GMA 4500HD

As usual, we've loaded our usual benchmarks of PCMark05, PCMark Vantage and 3DMark06 for our testing and the results reflect scores that all but blew us away. We sort of expected this, but seeing it perform that swiftly with our own eyes does change our perspectives somewhat. Also, to see how fast the quad SSD RAID 0 configuration holds up, we also ran HD Tach, and the results are equally impressive. If anything, the Sony VAIO Z is one workhorse that gives most machines a run for their money, and then some. Surprisingly, Lenovo's ThinkPad T400s still retains the crown as the fastest SSD for now, though expect to one day see dual Intel SSD drives in a RAID 0 config for maximum speed.

On the graphics side of things, 3DMark06 reported that the new notebook was almost thrice as fast as its predecessor! That's quite a statement to the new processor and the new GPU's capability over the already decent GeForce 9300M that we've come to expect. This is one notebook that's certainly powerful and sleek - a lethal combo indeed.