Revisiting Dell's XPS 13 Ultrabook, In Full HD

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Futuremark's PCMark 7 is the latest version of the PCMark suite, released last spring. It has updated application performance measurements targeted for a Windows 7 environment. It combines 25 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, Web browsing, and gaming.

Futuremark PCMark 7
General Application and Multimedia Performance


Dell's XPS 13 is able to pull away from the pack in PCMark 7 in large part because of the speedy SSD that serves as the primary drive. HP's system also uses an mSATA drive, but it serves as cache storage to the primary mechanical hard drive. The strong PCMark 7 score further reiterates that this is a fast and responsive Ultrabook.

 

Ultrabooks aren't designed for heavy gaming. Even so, it's good to know what to expect from any system you're thinking about buying. Although they may not be designed with gaming in mind, Ultrabooks can (and will) be used for light-duty gaming. To help you get a feel for the type of gaming performance you can expect from the HP Envy Ultrabook 6t-1000, we loaded a few gaming-related benchmarks to see just what it can do.

Futuremark 3DMark11
Simulated Application Performance
Futuremark’s gaming 3DMark 11 benchmark is a grueling test that makes use of DirectX 11 and several highly-detailed demos to put a system's graphics card through its paces. We opt for the Performance setting in the benchmark when we test notebooks and ultrabooks, so keep that in mind if you compare the scores to a system that ran the Entry or Extreme version.

Even though the XPS 13 has a brilliant display with a Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) resolution, it's largely wasted for playing games since the system lacks a discrete GPU. You can get away with playing titles like Left 4 Dead 2 and other less demanding games, but by and large, cutting edge titles that push the limit will prove too much for the XPS 13 to handle.

Far Cry 2 Gaming Test
DirectX Gaming Performance

To get another perspective on the IdeaPad Yoga 13's gaming capabilities, we fired up the "Ranch" demo in Far Cry 2. This FPS game features lush vegetation and plenty of explosions and graphical mayhem. For this test, we turned off AA and used a resolution of 1280x720.

 

An older title like Far Cry 2 drives home the point about gaming performance. In this test, we dial down the resolution to 1280x720, well below the XPS 13's native resolution, and disable AA altogether. Even so, the Intel HD Graphics 4000 has trouble keeping up.


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