Transcoding Performance, Accelerated By Quick Sync
Quick Sync remains one of the most useful and innovative features to come from Intel in recent memory. Using optimized software, the features comprising Quick Sync accelerate video decode and encode, making it possible to reformat content in a fraction of the time that would have been required by x86 cores operating on their own. Its utility on the X230T, however, is debatable.
Most folks maintain media libraries on large local or networked disk drives. They're far more likely to transcode video on a potent desktop and then move it over to a mobile device like the X230T. Of course, that might not be an option for a professional perpetually on the road. Quick Sync does make it possible to transcode video quickly (and with little power cost), and then move it over to a smartphone, for example. We've also used it at trade shows to get video YouTube-ready.
With the exception of Lenovo's X230T, all of the systems we benchmarked benefit from Crucial's m4 SSD. As a result, it's no surprise to see the X230T fall behind in our Quick Sync test. Its storage subsystem simply isn't fast enough to keep up, creating a bottleneck. However, upgrading to a SATA 6Gb/s-class SSD allows the X230T's Core i5-3320M to fall right between the beefier 45 W Core i7-3720QM and 17 W Core i5-3427U.