Dell Studio XPS 16 Review

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3DMark Vantage and SiSoft Sandra

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Synthetic DirectX Gaming

3DMark Vantage

The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark Vantage, is specifically bound to Windows Vista-based systems because it uses some advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 10, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows.  3DMark Vantage isn't simply a port of 3DMark06 to DirectX 10 though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, in addition to support for the latest PC hardware.  We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark Vantage's Performance preset option, which uses a resolution of 1280x1024.

Click To Enlarge

When compared to the Asus G51VX-RX05, which is equipped with a 1GB GeForce GTX 260M GPU, 4GB of RAM and a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 processor, the Studio XPS 16 simply doesn't hold a candle in terms of sheer 3D performance. 3DMark Vantage stresses the GPU by running a multitude of tests, and just for reference, the aforesaid Asus notched an overall 3DMark score of P4059. Dell's Studio XPS 16 managed only P2774. We ran the tests a few times over to make sure everything was kosher, and sure enough, that's all it could muster. We should also point out that the Asus machine mentioned here lists for $1049, nearly half of the XPS 16. Of course, it has only a 15.6" display, a 320GB HDD, a DVD drive (and not a Blu-ray drive) and a much less stunning design, but still, performance and price are king to most.

Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA 2009
Synthetic Benchmarks

We continued our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA 2009, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant.  We ran four of the built-in subsystem tests (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Memory Bandwidth, Physical Disks). All of the scores reported below were taken with the processor running at its default clock speeds of 2.4GHz with 4GB of DDR3-800 RAM running in dual-channel mode.

CPU Arithmetic Test; Click To Enlarge

CPU Multimedia Test; Click To Enlarge

Memory Bandwidth Test; Click To Enlarge

Physical Disc Test; Click To Enlarge

Overall, the Studio XPS 16 performance about as expected, coming in higher and lower than competing products in the same range. By no means did it outpace the rivals in every arena, though its performance in the Physical Disc HDD test was particularly interesting (and surprising, based on the lackluster real-world results we noticed with the seemingly sluggish hard drive).

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