Dell Precision M3800 Mobile Workstation Review

Gaming and Graphics

We've seen what 3DMark says about the M3800, but how about a real-world title to test things out? For that, we turned to Far Cry 2, an oldie but still a goodie. And since this is a mobile work station, we also fired up SPECviewperf 12.

Far Cry 2
DX10 Gaming Performance

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

Dell Precision M3800 Far Cry 2

To beat a dead horse (as the saying goes -- no horses were injured during our benchmark runs, or any other animals. Only humans...), the Precision M3800 is a capable gaming laptop, depending on the title. As you can see in our Far Cry 2 run, it has no trouble managing playable framerates, though take note of the resolution and lack of Anti-Aliasing.

We repeated the test at 4K, the display's native resolution, and framerates plummeted like a mafia rat wearing cement shoes. Even when we used the lowest settings possible, 4K was just too much gaming goodness for the Quadro K1100M to handle (18.14fps). Not that we're surprised -- in our experience with gaming at 4K, not only is a monster GPU required (for higher end titles), but dual-GPUs are really the way to go.

SPECviewperf 12
Open GL performance

SPECviewperf is a protable OpenGL performance benchmark program written in C. Initially developed by IBM, it was later updated with contributions from other companies, such as SGI, Digital (Compaq, HP), Creative Labs, and other SPECopc project group members. SPECviewperf parses command lines and data files, sets the rendering state, and converts data sets to a format that can be traversed using OpenGL rendering calls.

Dell Precision M3800 SPECviewperf 12

We benchmarked the Precision M3800's discrete Quadro K1100M GPU and Intel HD Graphics 4600 in SPECviewperf 12 to give an idea of the performance gain you get from professional graphics. In every instance, the Quadro posted a significant gain over integrated graphics.

One thing to keep in mind here is that SPECviewperf 12 doesn't officially support Windows 8.1, though we had no issue running the benchmark. It's also worth pointing out that this benchmark is not just GPU focused, but also affected by CPU clockspeed. In this case, the combination of an Intel Core i7 4712HQ CPU and Quadro K1100M proved a capable combination for work chores.

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