Asus UL80Vt: A CULV Laptop with Hybrid Graphics

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Acoustics

System Noise @ 0.6m
Activity
GMA 4500MHD
GeForce G210M
Idle
20~21 dBA
Xvid Playback
20~21 dBA
x264 Playback
21 dBA
23 dBA
CPU Load
29 dBA
CPU + GPU Load
29 dBA
35 dBA
Ambient noise level: 11 dBA.

When idle and during Xvid playback, the UL80Vt remained very quiet by laptop standards, between 20 and 21 dBA@0.6m, with the fan either off or spinning at a low level — hard to tell which. The acoustic profile was very smooth with just a soft hiss emanating from the exhaust port. x264 playback caused the fan to spin up slightly resulting in a negligible noise increase on integrated graphics and about 2~3 dBA extra on discrete graphics. When the G210M uses CUDA to decode x264 playback it used much more energy than GMA 4500MHD utilizing DXVA, and this in turn also results in more noise. Still, the acoustic character at this level is fairly pleasant and if you're watching a movie, no doubt the speakers will be on high volume or you'll have headphones on. Either way, it's hard to notice during actual use.

The machine only became loud when we pushed the CPU with Prime95, and it became particularly jarring combined with FurMark when running on discrete graphics. At 29 dBA and above, the noise level is of course, fairly high, but the pitch of the fan is tolerable, though slightly on the whiny side.


UL80Vt idling at 0.6m.

One strange thing we noticed was a ultrasonic peak at well beyond the 10KHz level, at a low enough level that no one is likely to be able to hear.

Thermals

System Temperatures
Activity
GMA 4500MHD
GeForce G210M
CPU Temp
HDD Temp
CPU Temp
HDD Temp
GPU Temp
Idle
28°C
33°C
40°C
35°C
48°C
Xvid Playback
40°C
34°C
40°C
35°C
48°C
x264 Playback
40°C
35°C
46°C
35°C
59°C
CPU Load
55°C
35°C
58°C
35°C
60°C
CPU + GPU Load
55°C
35°C
67°C
35°C
87°C
Ambient temperature: 19°C.

Throughout testing the underside of the laptop never got hot. The warmest sport was the rear left corner and using a spot thermometer we found that it never measured higher than 35°C. Simply put, you can leave it on your thighs all day long without any discomfort — at least not from heat. Internally, the CPU and hard drive remained fairly cool until discrete graphics were turned on and the system was put on load.



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