As mentioned, Gigabyte is positioning the U2442V as a portable performance machine. I was excited to see how the Ultrabook handled gaming given that the inside holds 8GB of RAM, Core i7 processor, and discrete Nvidia GT 640M graphics.
After testing a number of games I can safely tell you that the U2442V will handle a large majority of games release in the last few years with no issues. I started with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007) which the unit made quick work of, playing it around 60 FPS at max settings and full resolution. I moved up from there to Borderlands (2009) which again posed no challenge to the U2442V at the highest available settings.
Crysis (2007) essentially superseded Half-Life 2 (2004) as the go-to graphical benchmark game for high-end computers. With careful tuning I was able to achieve 30 FPS in Crysis at full resolution and 2x anti-aliasing without sacrificing much visual quality — quite impressive.
The U2442V absolutely destroyed Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2 (2009) with silky-smooth 60+ FPS at maximum settings, a result which bodes well for any Source game (Black Mesa, Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source, TF2, etc.). I also gave the PlanetSide 2 Beta (2012) a shot on the U2442V and was able to run it around 25 FPS at medium settings and full resolution. I also went through HDMI to a 1080p display and was able to play happily by turning down a few additional settings. PlanetSide 2 unfortunately isn’t a good comparison though because the game may be optimized further before launch.
Needless to say, the U2442V was also able to push 100+ FPS in Minecraft at maximum settings.
In addition to the GT 640M GPU from Nvidia, the U2442V has Intel’s integrated HD4000 graphics which can be used when you want power savings over performance. By default the computer should be using GT 640M while plugged in and HD4000 while on battery power. In the CineBench benchmark below you’ll be able to see the difference in scores between the GT 640M and HD4000.
Running performance test suites gives you a benchmark with which to roughly compare against other devices. Tests done with U2442V plugged-in and set to ‘High Performance’.
PCMark 7 – Organic Test
Other PCMark7 Ultrabook results (SB = Sandy Bridge, IB = Ivy Bridge):
- Samsung Series 9  (Core i5 IB): 3679
- Lenovo U310 (Core i5 IB): 3545
- Asus UX21E (Core i7 SB): 3358
- Lenovo U300s (Core i7 SB): 3280
- Toshiba Z830 (Core i5 SB): 2885 (battery power, high-performance mode.)
- Samsung 900X1B (Core i3 SB): 2508
- Acer Aspire S3 (Core i5 SB): 1967
- Samsung Series 5 (Core i5 SB): 1894 (high performance, battery power.)
CineBench – CPU and GPU
CineBench shows more than double improvement in graphical power between the GT 640M and HD4000 graphics. This is definitely a big step up over integrated graphics, but HD4000 actually performed better than I had imagined it would next to dedicated graphics.
HD4000 (i7) vs. HD4000 (i5)
HD4000 in the U2442V performed about 60% faster than HD4000 in the Lenovo U310 (16.31 FPS vs. 10.73 FPS). Differences in the processor (and probably amount of RAM) are definitely the cause. The U2442V’s Core i7-3517U CPU has a higher clock speed, higher turbo speed, larger cache, and a higher graphics clock (1.15GHz vs. 1.05GHz) than that of the U310′s Core i5-3317U (see a technical comparison here).
Other CineBench Ultrabook results:
- Lenovo U510(Core i5 IB)
- CPU: 2.38
- OpenGL: 10.73
- Samsung Series 9  (Core i5 IB)
- CPU: 2.38
- OpenGL: 15.63
- Lenovo U300s (Core i7 SB)
- CPU: 2.12
- OpenGL: 8.68
- Samsung Series 5 (Core i5 SB)
- CPU: 1.55
- OpenGL: 8.11
- Toshiba Z830 (Core i5 SB)
- CPU: 1.89
- OpenGL: 8.36
- Acer Aspire S3 (Core i5 SB)
- CPU: 1.63
- OpenGL: 7.51
- Samsung 900X1B (Core i3 SB)
- CPU: 1.25
- Asus UX21E (Core i7 SB)
- CPU: 2.11
CrystalDiskMark – SSD
The 128GB SSD from Crucial (CT128M4SSD3) equipped in the U2442V is an absolute speed-demon. This is far and wide the fastest SSD we’ve seen in an Ultrabook. I’m willing to bet that the high performance SSD is complimented and enabled by the fast Core i7 processor and 8GB of RAM.
Boot and Resume Times
- Boot: 19.5 seconds
- Sleep (standby): 5.2 seconds
- Wake (from standby): 2.7 seconds
- Shutdown: 8.9 seconds
- Full Restart: 24.3 seconds
The U2442V doesn’t hold up as well as some other Ultrabooks thanks to its big screen and powerful processor. The battery test results will be added soon.