Alienware 13 R3 Review: OLED, GeForce 10 Pop And Performance

Alienware 13 R3 Disk, SunSpider And Cinebench Performance

The Alienware 13 is primarily focused on gaming, though any laptop that has the muscle for today’s PC games should also be a competent performer in other areas, such as content creation, web, and productivity chores. With that in mind, we kicked off our testing with the ATTO Disk Benchmark, SunSpider, Cinebench and PCMark 8 before diving into gaming benchmark tests.

ATTO Disk Benchmark
Peak Sequential Storage Throughput

The ATTO Disk Benchmark gives us a look at how the AW13's 512GB Toshiba PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive performs with various sized sequential transfers. These are generally best case performance metrics for any storage subsystem. 

AW13R3 ATTO test

Though a little erratic in spots, you can see the SSD inside this machine delivers about 1GB/sec throughput for writes and about 1.8GB/sec for reads, give or take. More importantly perhaps, it also ramps up fairly quickly for smaller transfers, hitting 500 - 600MB/sec starting at 8K transfer sizes. 

Sunspider Javascript Benchmark
Javascript Processing Performance
Next up, we have some numbers from the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark. According to the SunSpider website:
This benchmark tests the core JavaScript language only, not the DOM or other browser APIs. It is designed to compare different versions of the same browser, and different browsers to each other. Unlike many widely available JavaScript benchmarks, this test is real-world, balanced and statistically sound. 
We should note that this is more of a platform test, in that different browser versions, associated with different OS types can and do affect scores. However, among the Windows 10 powered machines, all things are relatively equal.
AW13 SunSpider Perf

No surprises here, as the Alienware 13 R3 with its quad-core Skylake CPU drops in within a few milliseconds of other machines in its performance class. 

Cinebench R11.5
3D Rendering On The CPU And GPU
Cinebench is a combination CPU and OpenGL 3D rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation tool suite used by animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding of system processor resources and can utilize any number of threads, which makes it an excellent gauge of computational throughput. The rate at which each test system was able to render an entire Cinebench scene is represented in the graph below.
AW13R3 Cinebench

In Cinebench we see the same tight grouping of higher-end gaming systems versus the ultralight notebooks that populate the bottom half of the graph. Though the new Alienware 13 puts up over 2X the CPU performance of the previous generation dual-core powered Alienware machine, it only outpaced that model with its lower-end GeForce GTX 965M GPU by less than 10 percent in the OpenGL test. This points to single-thread CPU performance limitations and perhaps some NVIDIA driver optimization that needs to be done for this test. As you'll see in our gaming benchmarks ahead, the R3's graphics engine is decidedly more robust than this test shows.

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