Dell XPS 13 (9380) 2019 Review: So Close To Perfection

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Dell XPS 13 (9380): ATTO Disk, Cinebench And Geekbench Benchmarks

Before jumping into our gauntlet of benchmarks, we applied the latest Windows software and driver updates to the XPS 13. Other than that, we didn't change any settings. Our goal is to test the system as it ships, but after auto-updating, to accurately reflect what buyers can expect from an out-of-box experience. Our benchmarking kicks off with storage, CPU, and GPU tests to get an idea how the XPS 13 performs in day-to-day tasks.

ATTO Disk Benchmark
Peak Sequential Storage Throughput

Running ATTO allows us to gauge the speed of the storage drive in the XPS 13. The primary storage on this particular configuration is a 1TB M.2 PCIe solid state drive, and specifically an Intel Pro 7600p.

Dell XPS 13 ATTO

The 1TB Intel NVMe SSD inside the XPS 13 peaked at just over 3GB/s for reads. For writes, it quickly ramped up 1GB/s and peaked at over 1.4GB/s. For the most part, the drive maintains ultra high speeds at a range of file sizes, except when being peppered with tiny files.

SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark
JavaScript Processing Performance

SunSpider tests JavaScript performance to provide a good idea of what to expect with web browsing. We used the default Edge browser in Windows 10 to run the benchmark.

Dell XPS 13 SunSpider

So, this is interesting. Out of the gate, our XPS 13 system stumbled and posted the lowest SunSpider score of the bunch. That's not what we were expecting. Quite frankly, it's an odd result, given the hardware configuration, but repeated runs bore the same general score. We're not sure why the XPS 13 hiccuped in SunSpider, but as you'll see in a moment, this is not indicative of how the system performs compared to other thin and light laptops we've tested. It is most likely indicative to changes made in the Edge browser that have lowered performance somewhat.

Cinebench R11.5 and R15
3D Rendering On The CPU And GPU

Cinebench tests the CPU and GPU independently and provides a glimpse of raw performance. The test is based on Maxon’s Cinema 4D modeling software that’s used in movie productions.

Dell XPS 13 Cinebench R15

The Whiskey Lake chip inside the XPS 13 properly flexed its muscles in Cinebench R15 and posted a CPU score of 664. That's enough to edge out last year's model for the top spot, while creating a tad more separation between the XPS 13 and Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon. More importantly, it ran counter to the quizzical result in SunSpider.

This is a far better representation of Intel's Core i7-8565U CPU. It's built on a 14nm++ manufacturing process and wields four physical cores and eight threads clocked at 1.8GHz to 4.6GHz, and 8MB of SmartCache, with a 15W TDP (configurable to 25W).

Now let's see how it does in the popular Geekbench 4 benchmark...

Geekbench 4
Single and multi-core

Geekbench 4 is a cross-platform benchmark that simulates real world processing workloads in image processing and particle physics scenarios. We tested the XPS 13 in Geekbench 4’s single and multi-core test workloads.

Dell XPS 13 Geekbench 4

The slow start in SunSpider is already starting to feel like a distant memory, or more accurately, a definite performance outlier. Switching our focus to Geekbench 4, the XPS 13 once again skipped to the front of the class with the fastest single-core and multi-core scores of the bunch, and by healthy margins.

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