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5 Posts authored by: bryan.kong Employee

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[Originally posted on 06/23/17.]

 

Best For:

  • Graphic Design
  • Productivity
  • E-Sports Gaming
  • Long Trips Away from Plug

 

Summary

 

THE SAMSUNG NOTEBOOK 9 PRO IS A PORTABLE AND POWERFUL 2 IN 1 WITH A BUILT-IN S PEN FOR CONTENT CREATION WORKLOADS.

 

At Computex 2017, Samsung announced the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, their latest convertible laptop offering. The unit we tested was the 15-inch model featuring Radeon™ 540 graphics, Intel i7-7500U, 16 GB of DDR4 Memory and a 256 GB Solid State Drive.

 

Features like S Pen that work with Windows® Ink technology, automatic backlight display, and Samsung RealView Display technology make this a fantastic premium thin & light notebook.

 

Key Specs:

  • 15 Inch Convertible 2-in-1 Laptop
  • 1080p Display
  • S Pen Stylus
  • Intel-i7 processor (7500U)
  • Radeon 540 Graphics (Driver: 17.1.1)
  • 16GB of DDR4 Memory
  • 256 GB Solid State Drive
  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • 1.72 kg (3.79 lbs)

 

Build & Physical Features

 

A well-designed keyboard and track pad are an essential part of any productivity notebook and the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro delivered. I personally press firmly on my keys when typing and the chiclet style keyboard felt solid and had minimal flex. For late night work sessions, the keyboard has an adjustable white backlight that automatically turns on when you head into dimly lit areas.

 

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The track pad was intuitive to use and features gesture and multi finger shortcuts, such as two finger scrolling and pinch to zoom. Left click can be activated by pressing down anywhere on the keypad.

 

One feature we were drawn to is the S Pen that is tucked away just beneath the front of the laptop.  Often found on Samsung mobile and tablet devices, we were happy to see it included on the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro. The S Pen was incredibly precise and responsive with pressure sensitivity and tilt detection. Draw sharp outlines by writing upright or tilt your pen to shade in the areas just like a real pencil.

 

On removal, a set of shortcuts instantly appeared on the screen for the user to select. Starting with the sketchpad, we were impressed at how precise the S Pen was. Pressure sensitivity and tilt are tracked, simulating real drawing and sketching. This experience is topped off with single small button on the side of the stylus for quickly erasing mistakes.

 

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Opening up the Samsung Notebook 9 revealed a M.2 SSD and a dual fan configuration that pulls air from the bottom of the notebook with the exhaust directed out the back. The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro was virtually silent while working at my desk. The fans spooled up during gaming and heavy processing workloads, but remained barely audible unless you put your ear close to the vents. The days of loud fans on all gaming-capable notebooks are over. The M.2 SSD is upgradable if you need more than 256 GB of storage.

 

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All essential ports can be found on the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro. One port to highlight on the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is the inclusion of USB-C with quick charge capabilities. In case you forget your charger, USB-C can keep you going.

 

Ports:

  • Power Connector
  • 2x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • MicroSD Slot
  • USB-C (Quick Charge Ready)
  • Headphone output
  • HDMI®

 

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All hardware is housed in an excellent lightweight chassis. I could easily move the laptop around with one hand.

 

Display

 

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro sports an excellent 1080p touchscreen panel with 360 degrees of motion. It can be used as a tablet or a traditional notebook. Colours are bright and sharp and features >95% sRGB coverage and colour accuracy ΔE <2.5. This accuracy was maintained across a large viewing angle. Images on the screen appeared vibrant even when viewing >45 degrees off center.

 

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Indoor

 

In a bright indoor office environment, we used 80 % brightness which still left additional headroom to push the display brighter when watching dark videos.

 

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Outdoor

 

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro features an impressive outdoor mode that can be activated by a function key directly on the keyboard. Activating outdoor mode pushes the display to 450 nits from 350 nits (indoor mode). We were able to comfortably work outside and enjoy the weather with the Notebook 9 Pro.

 

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Performance

 

Synthetic

 

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Boot Time

 

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To measure the speed of this system I measured boot time from power up to the time my cursor no longer showed the spinning icon. My old work laptop with a HDD drive took over a minute to boot.

 

Hard Drive

 

CrystalDisk Mark was used to measure Hard Drive Performance:

 

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Snappy booting and opening apps can be largely attributed to the SDD. The 256 GB M.2 SSD posted strong read and write speeds. I really believe an SSD is a must-have for any productivity PC.

 

Gaming

 

All tests were done on the latest driver and with the notebook plugged into the wall. For all new laptops, we recommended updating to the latest driver for the best performance.

 

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League of Legends ran amazing and stayed above 100 fps during the game with all settings maxed out at 1080p. The IGP was not able to keep up, we recorded the fps after laning phase and the HD 620 integrated graphics never reached 90 fps and dropped below 60 fps during crucial team fights. The Radeon 540 did not have this issue and stayed above 100 fps on the rift.

 

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The Radeon 540 had ~3X the performance of integrated graphics while running the built-in CIV 6 benchmark running DirectX® 12 on Medium Settings.  The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro notebook experience allowed for smooth scrolling across large detail maps when powered by Radeon 540 graphics.

 

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Productivity

 

Discrete Radeon 540 graphics provided a significant performance uplift in Adobe® Photoshop® and Premiere®.

 

We tested by running a sequence of filters and effects in Adobe Photoshop (2017). A 4K image (300 dpi) was rotated 180 degrees, crystalized by a factor of 10, blurred using the Gaussian Blur tool by a factor of 1 pix, sharpened using the Smart Sharpen tool and rotated again by 180 degrees.

 

On Adobe Premiere, we tested with a 30 second 1080p mp4 video. The clip was flipped vertically, lens distortion was applied, and then a blur using the Gaussian Blur tool by a factor of 1 pix.

 

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Battery

 

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The battery life on the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro was outstanding. The 54 Wh battery powered the PCMark® 8 Mainstream gaming test for 2.5 hours, while a competitive laptop with 940MX graphics ran out of power after 1.9 hours. Idling with the screen on at 80% (a comfortable indoor brightness) resulted in 12 hours of run time before the notebook auto shutdown.

 

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro can be charged through the USB-C port located on the left side of the laptop. If you forget your laptop charger, you can now plug into a portable battery pack or smart phone charger and continue working.

 

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Charge time was quick on the laptop. We fully drained the battery, plugged it in and in 1 hour and 23 minutes the battery was back to 100%. The smart phone quick charger took 2 hours to charge the notebook to 50% which is enough to keep your computer running when your laptop charger is not available. Some laptops we’ve tested in the past could only be charged with compatible USB chargers. This is not a problem with the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, find the nearest phone charger and you are good to go.

 

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Conclusion

 

If you’re looking for a portable light weight productivity laptop the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro should be on your shortlist. The S Pen, beautiful display and discrete Radeon 540 graphics make it ideal for content creation and  gaming on the go. 16 GB of system memory and a 256 GB M.2 form factor make the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro nimble even with a dozen tabs and apps running at the same time. With excellent battery life and a beautifully bright screen; you can confidently work away from a plug for long periods of time.

 

Buy Now:

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Detailed Specs

 

Radeon 540
Clock Speed (Boost)1124 Mhz
Peak Performance (TFLOPS)up to 1.2
Memory2 GB GDDR5
Memory Speed (Effective)up to 6 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth48 GB/s

 

 

Disclosure: This review is written by AMD employee Bryan Kong. Samsung is an AMD OEM customer.

 

 

Bryan Kong, Product Marketing Specialist at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies, or opinions. Links to third party sites and references to third party trademarks are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

 

 

  1. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of 6/14/2017 on the 2017 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 15”, i7-7500U, Radeon™ 540, Windows 10, Radeon Driver 17.1.1. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. Using the PCMark 10 benchmark, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro scored 3950 (Total), 6912 (productivity), 7687 (Essentials), 3149 (Digital). Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. RX-127
  2. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of 6/14/2017 on the 2017 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 15”, i7-7500U, Radeon™ 540, Windows 10, Radeon Driver 17.1.1. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro took 18 seconds to boot from a powered off state. Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. RX-128
  3. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of 6/14/2017 on the 2017 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 15”, i7-7500U, Radeon 540, Windows 10, Radeon Driver 17.1.1. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. Using CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro scored, Seq (Q32T1) Read:541.2MB/s Write:191.2 MB/s, 4K (Q32Ti) Read:294.3 Write:190.4 MB/s, Seq: 507.4 MB/s Write:338.5 MB/s, 4K Read:34.88MB/s Write 65.89. Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. RX-129
  4. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of 6/14/2017 on the 2017 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 15”, Intel HD620, i7-7500U, Radeon™ 540, Windows 10, Radeon Driver 17.1.1. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. Using 3Dmark TimeSpy, 3DMark FireStrike, League of Legends 1080p Very High and Civilization 6 1080p Medium Benchmark.The Radeon 540 scored 911,2489,117 fps and 35 fps respectively. The Intel HD 620 scored 400, 991, 65 fps and 11 fps respectively.Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. RX-130
  5. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of 6/14/2017 on the 2017 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 15”, Intel HD620, i7-7500U, Radeon™ 540, Windows 10, Radeon Driver 17.1.1. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. When using the Adobe Photoshop (2017) program a 4K image (300 dpi) was rotated 180 degrees, crystalized by a factor of 10, blurred using the Gaussian Blur tool by a factor of 1 pix, sharpened using the Smart Sharpen tool and rotated again by 180 degrees. Rendering the picture with CPU took 175 seconds (not using GPU acceleration). The Radeon™ 540 and Intel HD 620 IGP rendered the clip in 37 and 66 seconds respectively with Graphics Acceleration on and with OpenCL enabled. All times are an average of 3 test runs. Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. RX-131
  6. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of 6/14/2017 on the 2017 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 15”, Intel HD620, i7-7500U, Radeon™ 540, Windows 10, Radeon Driver 17.1.1. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. When using the Adobe Premier Pro (2017) program a 30-second 1080p mp4 video clip was flipped vertically, lens distortion applied, and blurred using the Gaussian Blur tool by a factor of 1 pix.Rendering the picture with CPU took 198 seconds (not using GPU acceleration). The Radeon™ 540 and Intel HD 620 IGP rendered the clip in 27 and 41 seconds respectively with Graphics Acceleration on and with OpenCL enabled. All times are an average of 3 test runs. Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. RX-132
  7. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of 6/14/2017 on the 2017 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 15”, Intel HD620, i7-7500U, Radeon™ 540, Windows 10, Radeon Driver 17.1.1 and Acer Aspire F15 15.6”, Intel i7-7500U, Nvidia 940MX, Nvidia Driver 382.53, Windows 10. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. In the Idle battery test, screen 80% brightness, The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro auto-shutdown after 720 minutes. PCMark8 Battery test (Mainstream Gaming 1 and 2) resulted in battery life of 150 minutes for the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro and 115 minutes for the Acer Aspire F15. Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. RX-133
  8. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs as of 6/14/2017 on the 2017 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 15”, Intel HD620, i7-7500U, Radeon™ 540, Windows 10, Radeon Driver 17.1.1. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro charged from 0-100% in 83 minutes with a laptop charger and 0-50% in 120 minutes with an Adaptive Fast Charger through USB-C. Performance may vary based on use of latest drivers. RX-134

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[Originally posted on 10/13/17.]

 

It’s Friday the 13th and The Evil Within® 2 is now available. Created by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks, this third-person thriller comes right before Halloween and is sure to give you an early scare.

 

The Evil Within 2 is a graphically stunning game that brings monsters and supernatural events to life on your quest to save your daughter. Jump into a twisted, alternate reality where nothing is as it seems while facing horrifying creatures, witnessing murders and possibly losing some limbs along the way.

 

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I ran The Evil Within 2 on the latest 17.10.1 Radeon driver on an AMD Ryzen™ 1600X system targeting 60 fps with our Radeon RX graphics cards.

 

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If you get scared easily, I highly recommend you play with the lights on.

 

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Don’t forget to download the latest driver (17.10.1) HERE which adds Radeon Chill support.

 

 

Bryan Kong, Product Marketing Specialist at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies, or opinions. Links to third party sites and references to third party trademarks are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

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[Originally posted on 06/09/17.]

 

The iconic DiRT® Series returns with the 4th installment on June 9th. DiRT 4, developed by Codemasters, is an off-road racing game that puts you behind the wheel of over 50 amazing rally cars, rallycross vehicles, buggys and trucks. Show off your driving skills and pull off e-brake turns on beautiful stages and circuits around the world.

 

The game is extremely well optimized and ran great across all Radeon™ RX 500 series graphics cards paired with my RYZEN™ 1700X. I started off with a couple of training runs and before long I was ready to start my own Radeon RX racing team in career mode.

 

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The recommended system requirements for DIRT 4 are:

  • OS: Windows 10 64bit
  • Processor: AMD FX 8320 or Intel Core i5 4690 or greater
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Video card: Radeon™ R9 390 or greater

 

I tested each of the cards on the Liske Forest course with my red and black Ford Fiesta. The Radeon™ RX 580 and 570 cards ran at maximum settings (Ultra) at 1440p and 1080p respectively. No tweaks to the advanced settings were necessary. The outstanding optimizations in DIRT 4 provided enough headroom for me to maintain 60+ fps on ultrawide displays, 3440×1440 on the Radeon RX 580 and 2560×1080 for the Radeon RX 570 running on the same Ultra settings.

 

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Despite a couple barrel roll crashes, I had a lot of fun testing this game. DiRT 4 has got me back into the racing genre and I’ll be playing more this weekend. There’s something very satisfying about executing an extended drift around a corner at high speeds. I highly recommend playing the game with a racing wheel or a gamepad controller for the best experience.

 

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For the best performance possible, make sure you grab the latest copy of the Radeon™ Software Crimson Edition driver.

 

 

Bryan Kong, Product Marketing Specialist at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies, or opinions. Links to third party sites and references to third party trademarks are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

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[Originally posted on 11/29/17.]

 

The legendary Call of Duty® series is back with its latest installment set in World War II. Published by Activision and developed by SledgeHammer games, travel back in time and relive some of the most significant battles in history in Call of Duty: World War II. Join your brothers in arms and fight against the Axis powers.

 

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Recommended System Requirements:

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit or later
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen™ 5 1600X (or Intel® Core™ i5 2400)
  • Memory: 12 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Radeon™ RX 580 or better

 

Visually this game is incredible. Sprint up the battlefield and infiltrate enemy strongholds. Explosions happen all around you, realistic clouds form and shrapnel cuts through the air with a stunning amount of detail. This game feels like a live action movie, effects, shadows and textures are realistic and require a significant amount of graphics horsepower to drive an immersive experience.

 

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Radeon™ RX graphics are ready to place you in the center of legendary battles. Tested on my AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700X processor powered rig with 16GB ram, here are my recommended settings targeting 60+ fps.

 

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For the best experience in Call of Duty: WWII, grab the latest Radeon™ Software Crimson ReLive Edition Driver: HERE

 

 

Bryan Kong, Product Marketing Specialist at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies, or opinions. Links to third party sites and references to third party trademarks are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

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[Originally posted on 11/01/17.]

 

BJ is back. Developed by MachineGame and published by Bethesda Softworks, Wolfenstein® II: The New Colossus™ is the sequel to Wolfenstein®: The New Order™. It’s 1961, you’re Blazkowicz and your mission is to liberate America from the Nazi empire with the help of your fellow resistance fighters.

 

Recommended System Requirements:

  • Processor: Ryzen™ 5 1600X (or Intel Core i7-4770)
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • OS: Win7, 8.1, or 10 64-Bit
  • Graphics: Radeon™ RX 470 4GB or better

 

I had an outstanding time testing this first-person shooter. There is no shortage of weapon choices to annihilate Nazis with. Take on hordes of enemies at a time and if one gun isn’t enough, take it to the next level by dual-wielding and upgrading your arsenal for maximum fire power.

 

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“When we started development of Wolfenstein II, the choice of graphics API for PC was a simple one. DOOM had already set the stage for what could be done with Vulkan and we wanted to take it to the next level. Using Vulkan when developing has allowed us to utilize the power of AMD’s VEGA graphics chips in ways that were not possible before, giving us fine grained control over the performance and feature set of the GPU without having to sacrifice artistic intent. Combined with the flexibility of AMD’s hardware, Vulkan gives us the artistic freedom to deliver Wolfenstein without compromise.”

-MACHINEGAMES

 

Wolfenstein® II took full advantage of the Vulkan™ API and latest features found on Radeon RX Vega graphics cards. By using the advanced features on the “Vega” GPU such as rapid packed math, multi-threaded command buffer recording, asynchronous compute and shader intrinsics, I averaged 60+ fps at 3440×1440 with Radeon™ RX Vega 56 and at 4K with Radeon™ RX Vega 64.

 

Here are my recommended settings for Wolfenstein® II: The New Colossus™ from testing conducted on my AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700X powered system with 16 GB of DDR4 memory.

 

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For the latest performance optimizations for Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, download Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition Driver 17.10.3: HERE

 

Bryan Kong, Product Marketing Specialist at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies, or opinions. Links to third party sites and references to third party trademarks are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.