System Performance

We’ve already seen a lot of Broadwell Core i5 and i7 devices this year. The T450s comes with a couple of CPU options and we have the middle tier which is the Intel Core i5-5300U. This is a dual-core chip with hyperthreading, and it has a base frequency of 2.3 GHz with a Turbo of 2.9 GHz. As with most of the Ultrabook parts, it is designed in a 15 Watt envelope. Skylake has just been announced, but Ultrabooks featuring it are still not available, so Broadwell is where we are at. That’s not really a bad place to be either. The T450s can be configured with up to 20 GB of memory and it has a single DIMM slot to let you upgrade the RAM. This means that 4 GB of memory is soldered onboard. The model we received has 8 GB of memory in a dual-channel configuration.

Graphics are powered by the Intel HD 5500 GPU, with a 300 MHz base frequency and 900 MHz turbo. The HD 5500 has 24 execution units arranged in three slices of 8. Storage can be either hard disk based or solid state, and the review unit has a Toshiba 256 GB SSD. This is not going to offer the insane performance of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s PCIe Samsung drive, but any of the SSD choices are obviously the right decision unless you are really on a budget. Lenovo offers up to 1 TB of hard drive or 512 GB of SSD, but the Opal 2.0 certified option maxes out at 256 GB.

Performance Graphs

For system performance, we have run the ThinkPad T450s through our 2015 laptop workloads. The graphs include a sampling of other similar notebooks, but if you want to compare the ThinkPad T450s to any other notebook we have tested please use our Notebook Bench. As a reminder the ThinkPad T450s is not yet offered with Windows 10 from Lenovo, so these results are based on Windows 8.1


PCMark 8 - Home

PCMark 8 - Creative

PCMark 8 - Work

PCMark 8 - Storage

PCMark 7 (2013)

PCMark tries to replicate real world use scenarios with its various workloads. It will have sustained performance as well as burst performance requirements, and storage is also a factor in the scores. The ThinkPad T450s scores very well on these tests, outperforming other devices with Core i7 even. Since PCMark is a comprehensive test, even things like display resolution come into play so the 1920x1080 panel is a benefit to these scores since the GPU has an easier time. Storage is right in line with other SSD based devices. PCMark tends to group all SSDs pretty closely together because of the traces it uses to score the result.


To get a better feel for the absolute performance of the drive, CrystalDiskMark was run which provides the typical maximum speeds and this will show more of a difference in maximum speeds than PCMark will. That does not discredit PCMark though since it is trying to show real world performance, and maximum transfer speeds don’t come into play as often when you are doing office tasks. The T450s shows good performance, but for those that need to move very large files around, a notebook with PCIe storage is going to be a better choice. I don’t think that’s the target market for the T450s though the performance is adequate.


Cinebench R15 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R15 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench is a mostly CPU benchmark. The Core i5-5300U is exactly where you would expect which is between the X1 Carbon with its Core i7-5600U and the Dell XPS 13’s Core i5-5200U.


x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x

As with Cinebench, this mostly CPU based test shows the performance gain achieved with the mid-level Core i5 in this notebook.

Web Tests

Mozilla Kraken 1.1

Google Octane 2.0


Web browsing continues to be an important metric. On this Windows 8.1 device, testing was done with the latest version of Chrome (version 45) but with Windows 10 now released, we’ll be switching to Edge since its performance is now comparable. The i5-5300U once again shows it is a decent upgrade over the base i5-5200U.

Overall System Performance

There is not a lot of surprises right now in the Ultrabook space. Broadwell-U based devices have been shipping since the beginning of the year and this notebook is still only available with Windows 8.1. Overall performance is very good for this class of device and the i5-5300U is a reasonable upgrade over the base offering. For those that need better performance, there is an i7-5600U model as well which should then score this laptop similar to the X1 Carbon in the above graphs. The choice of SSD is not the fastest around, but it still offers good sequential and random speeds, it just can’t compare to the latest PCIe based storage on something like the X1 Carbon.

Design GPU Performance
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  • kspirit - Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - link

    Folio 1040 is the excellent. It blew everything else away in durability for size and weight when it launched last year. The G2 refresh is underwhelming though. It offers the same battery life as Haswell, which could have been better. I love my 1040 G1 though. Everyone needs to start using the forcepad now.
  • stefstef - Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - link

    despite the details of the clients of different brands i believe the main specs of these business pcs are not the technical details anymore but the salesmodels behind it. this is described as a 1500 config but for a company buying a couple of thousands this might be a value of maybe 750. same as in the automobile business: buy a 50.000 car for business, use it for say three years (leasing) and after that times it reappears in the market with say about 35.000 miles on it. and ypou already might be able to pick it up at 30% of the price it was purchased. sure after 35.000 miles the cars nowhere new any more but many a miles away from end of usability. i am really waiting for a pc company calculating a price of such a unit including the after business life services like taking the unit back, refurbishing and selling it again. due to the crisis in pc sales they took a lot of privileges and profits backs from resellers. wouldnt wonder if they, just like the car industry, would try to the grip back on the used pc buisness as well.
  • extide - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - link

    Nah dude, cars and PC's are a totally different market. A 2015 PC is WAY better than a 2011 PC, but you can't say the same about a 2015 car vs a 2011 car.
  • Frenetic Pony - Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - link

    Not to mention you might get free malware! Yay Lenopevo
  • CSMR - Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - link

    The thin ultrabooks don't have 2.5" hard drive support, and if they do it's 7mm. This one takes a 9.5mm hard drive as well as an SSD. You can only get 1TB 7mm HDDs at present but you can get 2TB 9mm ones. Getting to 1TB+ or 2TB+ storage with only an SSD is expensive.
  • extide - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - link

    Yeah, expensive, but doable, Samsung has a 4TB SSD in 7mm now. (850 EVO)
  • pjcamp - Thursday, September 17, 2015 - link

    I've read that the external battery is interchangeable with the high capacity battery from the previous generation T440s, which you can find on line for ~$70. On the T440s, that gave me about 14 hours battery life and it is probably comparable here.
  • milkod2001 - Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - link

    What is up with DELL's infinity display presented in XPS13? Is there something special that only Dell can use it? I'd love to see other vendors to use to. Once you see it, all other laptops look like they were designed 10 years ago :) Could at least Dell use it in all its laptop range?

    To this laptop:it would be great laptop if sold for $700 max. $950 base model feels like a little too much to ask.
  • shadarlo - Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - link

    That display on the XPS13 really is revolutionary. I've never been more impressed with any laptop I've ever used than that one. It was so tiny and light and yet still had a huge screen given the minute size of the frame. Everything about the XPS13 is awesome... and it's insane no one else has found a way to use a similar screen yet.

    I'm shocked Dell hasn't released XPS11 and 14/15 versions as well.
  • Zertzable - Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - link

    The fact that a year after release, the XPS13 is still the arguably the best Windows Ultrabook is rather impressive. The battery life and size are, AFAIK, unmatched.

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