Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme Notebook Review: Rough And Tumble Mobile Computing

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Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme 3DMark And Far Cry 2 Tests

Next, let's examine the integrated graphics horsepower of Intel's Kaby Lake Core i7 chip on-board the XPS 13. The Cloudgate test is aimed at entry-level PCs and laptops, and has two subtests: a processor-intensive physics test and two graphics tests. We run the test suite at its default 1280 x 720 resolution and at default rendering quality settings. Keep in mind that 3DMark Cloud Gate scores aren’t comparable to scores from say, 3DMark Fire Strike (gaming PCs) or Ice Storm (smartphones and tablets).

Futuremark 3DMark Cloud Gate And Sky Diver
GPU Benchmark
The 3DMark suite breaks its tests down by computer type. Sky Diver, for example, is aimed at gaming laptops and mid-range PCs. Cloud Gate, on the other hand, is designed for mainstream notebooks. As with all 3DMark tests the GPU plays a large role in the results, which are measured in points. Higher is better.

Dell Latitude 12 Rugged 3DMark Cloud Gate
Here again the Latitude 12 Rugged manages to crawl over the competition and take a first place finish, this time with an impressive score of 6,894. That's over 500 points more than the next closest competitor, Dell's own late 2016 model XPS 13 based on Kaby Lake. We really didn't expect this laptop to lead the pack and even re-ran Cloud Gate more times than usual to make sure the score we recorded wasn't an anomaly. It wasn't.

Dell Latituce 12 Rugged Sky Diver

The race for first place was a little tighter in Sky Driver, though Dell's rugged laptop was able edge in front of the HP Spectre, which features the same GPU but a slightly slower CPU.

Far Cry 2
DirectX Game Benchmark
Sure, Far Cry 2 has been around the block for a few years but it is still a fun game and a good test for entry-level PCs and ultrabooks alike.  It features high quality textures, complex shaders, and dynamic lighting to create a rich and immersive environment.  More importantly, it includes an exceptional benchmarking tool.  We run the benchmark at 720p and 60Hz on the "High" detail preset with DirectX 10.  It is a great yardstick to see just how far integrated graphics solutions have come.

Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Far Cry 2

We were a little surprised by how well the Latitude 12 Rugged performed in 3DMark, but would it translate over into real-world gaming performance? For the most part, yes. At 1280x720 with the Quality preset at High and with no anti-aliasing, Dell's rugged laptop was able to keep things smooth at around 56 frames per second, which is bested only by Dell's XPS 15 among our comparison systems.

While that's very good, bear in mind that this is an older DirectX 10 benchmark running at a relatively low resolution. There is no doubt that Dell's Latitude 12 Rugged fares well against similarly configured systems, but even so it's not a gaming system. You'll be able to play some older titles and newer less demanding games on this laptop, but you may need to fiddle with the settings.

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