2014 Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook With Touch Review

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Gaming Benchmarks

We recognize most ultrabooks such as the Dell XPS 13 aren’t designed to be serious gaming machines, but that doesn’t mean they can’t handle a bit of casual gaming, especially when you find Intel's HD 4400 Graphics on board. To get a feel for how the XPS 13 stacks up to other systems, we fired up 3DMark11, Cloud Gate, and Far Cry 2.

Futuremark 3DMark 11
Simulated DX11 Gaming Performance

As a synthetic gaming benchmark, 3DMark 11 puts extra emphasis on your system’s handling of DirectX 11. However, 3DMark 11 measures more than just the graphics card’s performance; the processor has an influence on the score as well as system memory bandwidth. As a result, this benchmark is a good way to get a feel for how well the system can handle gaming and general computing tasks.

The XPS 13 performed very well in this test, earning the second spot behind the Asus Zenbook UX32VD which features a Core i7 3517U processor and discrete NVIDIA GeForce 620M graphics.

Futuremark 3DMark Cloud Gate
Simulated DX11 Gaming Performance

3DMark is the latest flagship benchmark in Futuremark’s catalog. As a result, it is a popular choice for testing all types of PCs. 3DMark has a separate test suite for different device categories. The Cloud Gate test is aimed at entry-level PCs and laptops. It has two subtests: a processor-intensive physics test and two graphics tests. Cloud Gate uses a DirectX 11 engine but the graphics are designed to be compatible with DirectX 10 systems. We ran the test suite at its default 1280 x 720 resolution and at default rendering quality settings. It’s important to remember that 3DMark Cloud Gate scores aren’t comparable to scores from other categories such as 3DMark Fire Strike (gaming PCs) or Ice Storm (smartphones and tablets).

Here again, we see excellent performance from the XPS 13, earning the top spot in our comparison chart by a comfortable margin.

Far Cry 2
Midrange DX10 Gaming Performance

Far Cry 2 uses high-quality textures, complex shaders, and dynamic lighting to create a realistic gaming environments and jungle battlegrounds. Using the game’s built-in benchmark, we can get a better look at a system’s performance with DirectX 10 level gaming graphics.

We have plenty of systems for comparison here, which makes it that much more impressive that the XPS 13 earns the second spot in this comparison chart. If you compare the scores from the 2014 XPS 13 to the score from last year’s version, you’ll see more than a 25% improvement in average frames per second.

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