Alienware 13 OLED Laptop Review: 13 Inches Of Gorgeous

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Alienware 13 OLED ATTO Disk, SunSpider And Cinbench

Our Test Methodology And Comparison Data:

Before we dive into the benchmark numbers that follow, we should underscore our approach to testing and the reference comparison data we use. The Alienware 13 presents a bit of a dilemma when it comes to what machines in its weight class should be compared to. This notebook is essentially a 4.5 pound compact and light machine, with specs that are more in line with some notebooks of a beefier weight class. As such, to show a balanced view of performance relative to other notebooks on the market, on the pages that follow we compare the AW 13 to both light, under 4 pound ultrabooks and also larger premium notebooks and gaming notebooks. Remember, comparing one notebook config to another is also never an exact science. Machines are often configured with different memory setups, different storage components, processors and so on. However, the data that follows will give you a good perspective of how the Alienware 13 performs in a variety of use cases, including gaming.

ATTO Disk Benchmark
Peak Sequential Storage Throughput

We decided to first take a look at the storage performance profile of the new Alienware 13, so we first fired up ATTO for a quick sanity check on its IO throughput. 

Alienware 13 OLED ATTO
ATTO Disk Benchmark

While it's still great to see a notebook drive pushing over 1.5GB/sec for reads and over 300GB/sec for writes, we've seen the Samsung PM951 PCI Express NVMs SSD, that's configured in the AW 13, push a more bandwidth than this, hitting in excess of 2GB/sec. We reached out to Dell on this and its apparent that there maybe some driver optimization still going on. Different versions of the NVMe driver for Windows 10, whether it be Microsoft's default driver or the drive manufacturer's, offer different performance. Dell is currently employing Microsoft's driver here and could squeak out more performance if they moved to Samsung's.

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 here, all things are relatively equal. 
 

Alienware 13 SunSpider

The Alienware 13 OLED chalks up the second best score in our test group, just a hair behind the XPS 15.  Early indications here, versus say the Core i7-6500U in the Lenovo Yoga 900 (same CPU) are that thermal headroom is obviously better, allowing higher / longer clock boosts, though not quite a match for the 6700HQ quad-core in the XPS 15.

Cinebench R11.5
3D Rendering On The CPU And GPU
This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders a photorealistic 3D scene (from the viral "No Keyframes" animation by AixSponza). This scene makes use of various algorithms to stress all available processor cores. The rate at which each test system was able to render the entire scene is represented in the graph below.
Alienware 13 Cinebench R115

With the best dual-core CPU performance of our test group, and the best overall graphics performance in the OpenGL test, the Alienware 13 OLED shows it has a balanced combination of general compute and graphics horsepower for content creation professionals. The quad-core CPU in the XPS 15 offers significantly more horsepower in the multi-threaded CPU benchmark, however.

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