ASUS U30Jc Performance

As an update of the older UL30a, the U30Jc is a great improvement in performance. It includes discrete (switchable) graphics like the UL30Vt, only with Optimus to make the switching seamless. It also bumps the CPU up from CULV to a full Core i3 model, with substantially faster performance and a better IGP. Where it differs from the UL30a is in the inclusion of an optical drive, which does make the U30Jc thicker and heavier than the older model. It's a good feature if you want to watch DVDs or load games onto the system without using an external drive, but it's a change not everyone will like. On the other hand, the performance improvements are a clear win.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

Futuremark PCMark05

Internet Performance

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

Video Encoding - x264

Video Encoding - x264

In terms of application performance, the U30Jc lags slightly behind the i5 equipped laptops like the Acer 5740G, ASUS N61Jv, Dell Inspiron 1564, and Lenovo ThinkPad T410. That's right in line with the difference in CPUs: the i3-350M runs at a constant 2.26GHz; the i5-430M has the same 2.26GHz stock clock but Turbo Boosts up to 2.53GHz, and the i5-520M has a 2.40GHz stock clock and can Turbo up to 2.93GHz. Compared to the older Core 2 platforms, we see the i3-350M easily beating the SP9300 and P8600 processors in the HP 5310m and Dell Studio 14z. The gap ranges from 15% in single-CPU Cinebench up to 40%+ in multi-threaded Cinebench, with other results falling in the 25%-35% range. PCMark05 has the 14z nearly on par with the U30Jc, but it tends to weight things a bit funny so we'd pay more attention to the 31% difference in PCMark Vantage.

ASUS U30Jc Design and Build ASUS U30Jc Gaming Performance
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  • rootheday - Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - link

    Is your data on gaming issues on Intel based on testing with recent drivers? If not, can you check these titles with an updated driver and confirm? From my own experience, most of the titles listed are not a problem any more.

    GRID, Mass Effect (and Mass Effect 2) are fixed in most recent Intel drivers; Referring back to an earlier article (, Dark Athena was fixed in Intel drivers last fall.

    Dirt 2 is fixed with latest game patch.

    Fallout 3 is a bit trickier - it looks like the ISV assumed Intel was below min spec and hardcoded anti-Intel bias into the app. The proof/workaround is here: - if you get use this modified version of the d3d runtime dll to tell the app that it is running on NVidia, the game runs just fine on Intel HD graphics.

    Dragon Age: Origins - I'm not sure what you are referring to here - other Anandtech articles say that it runs on Intel HD graphics at least as well as AMD integrated - see for example or

    In a similar vein, is the comment about Flash 10.1 based on recent drivers/Flash releases?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - link

    I'll check with the latest drivers. The last I tested on laptops was a couple weeks ago, and all of the games I mentioned failed. Interesting Fallout 3 note; Oblivion appears to have the same hard coding of Intel bias. I'll be working on an article with an i3 + IGP setup, so I'll be sure to try everything I can to make it work this time. :-)
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 20, 2010 - link

    I checked and you're right: the very latest driver finally fixes DiRT 2 and GRID (and actually provides decent performance all told, provided you run at a lower resolution than 1366x768). Fallout 3 I can get to load and start benchmarking with the hacked d3d.dll, but it crashes after 20-40 seconds and the only way to recover is to open task manager and force-kill the Fallout 3 executable. Perhaps I just need to start a new save, though? I'll try that and see if it helps at all....
  • rootheday - Friday, May 21, 2010 - link

    Google search shows lots of people have suggestions for crashes with Fallout; this one looked promising...Try adding these 2 lines to Fallout.ini in Documents\My Games\Fallout3 under [General]


    Seems like there is a threading bug in the game engine that shows up on quad core systems - since Core i3/i5 have hyperthreading, they look like quad core...

    Worth a try?
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 21, 2010 - link

    So the INI tweaks worked... at least the game doesn't crash while playing it for 30+ minutes. It does crash when you exit, but in my experience that has always been the case when enabling threading on Fallout 3/Oblivion... though perhaps it was just the threaded audio with Oblivion? I may need to check that as well. LOL. It's "playable" if you don't mind some choppiness. I find FO3 needs around 40 FPS to really run well, and with all the LOD scaling it's hard to determine exactly if two PCs render things the same. They appear to, in which case the Intel HD Graphics (plus DLL hack) gives performance about equal to the HD 4200.
  • aguilpa1 - Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - link

    nothing to see here..., move along
  • ajp_anton - Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - link

    I've never understood your x264 playback test for battery life. Is it x264 (= encoding) or is it playback (= decoding)?
    If it's playback, are you using a software decoder or DXVA?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - link

    The x264 battery life test is playing back a 720p ~6.8Mbit video using Media Player Classic Home Cinema, with DXVA enabled (unless we're using Atom, in which case we use the CoreAVC decoder). So it's sort of a Blu-ray-without-the-disc test. FWIW, I've done the same test with a 1080p 10Mbit video and the battery life was about the same (with a couple percent).
  • ajp_anton - Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - link

    Thank you. I've seen the x264/h.264 mistake made in many places, the description of the x264 test in your CPU reviews comes to mind.
    x264 is one of many h.264 encoders.
  • crydee - Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - link

    I wanted one of those UL or U laptops form asus. But the price just isn't right. For 850 I can get a studio 15 with a full 1080p screen, led keyboard, ati 4850 512mb, 4gb ram, 500gb hdd, a 9 cell battery and a core i5 processor.

    The only thing I'm going to miss is the ability to turn off second gpu at ease to save battery.

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