Dell XPS 12 Convertible Ultrabook Review

SANDRA, PCMark 7 and Cinebench Performance

We kicked off benchmarking with SiSoftware SANDRA 2012, PCMark 7, and Cinebench, which provide a look at how the system’s individual components perform as well as how the ultrabook as a whole handles everyday work and multimedia tasks. We compared the Dell XPS 12's scores to similar systems we have tested recently, keeping in mind each system is likely to have different software and low level hardware configurations. We test each system we review in the condition it arrives in from the manufacturer, though we disable security software and sleep settings so they won’t affect the benchmarks.

Synthetic Benchmarks: CPU & RAM

SiSoftware SANDRA 2012 lets us take a look at the way particular components perform. We ran benchmarks that test the system’s processing power, memory, and storage performance. SANDRA 2012 is the latest version of this benchmark and it is compatible with Windows 8. Each SANDRA benchmark compares the system being tested (the red bar in each graph) to comparable systems.


SANDRA Processor Arithmetic and Multimedia Performance

SANDRA Memory Bandwidth Performance

As you can see, the Core i5-3317U in the XPS 12 earned a mid-range score in comparison to other reference systems in the Processor Arithmetic test. The Processor Multi-Media test wasn't quite as kind to the XPS 12, but the system still achieved a respectable score. We see more of the same in the Memory Bandwidth test: the XPS 12 wasn't a chart-topper, but it still held its own.

PCMark 7
General Application and Multimedia Performance

Futuremark’s PCMark 7 is a well-known benchmark tool that runs the system through ordinary tasks, including word processing and multimedia playback and editing. Graphics and processor power figure prominently in this benchmark, but graphics power doesn’t play as big a role here as it does in another Futuremark benchmark, 3DMark (which is designed for testing the system’s gaming capabilities).


The XPS 12 outscored all other systems in our comparison including the similarly equipped Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13. We'll give the Core i5-3317U, 128GB SSD, and Windows 8 credit for making the XPS 12 a speedy and smooth system.

Cinebench R11.5 64-bit
3D Rendering Performance on the CPU
Next, we ran Cinema 4D’s content creation benchmark, Cinebench. This benchmark generates a complex image in the CPU test. The GPU test includes a chase scene involving two cars. The CPU test is measured in points, while the GPU test results are the chase scene’s frames-per-second.


In the Open GL test, the XPS 12 scored very well, earning third place behind the Asus Zenbook UX32VD which features Nvidia GeForce GT 620M graphics and the Intel Whitebook which features the same Intel HD 4000 graphics as the XPS 12.

The XPS 12 also scores well in the CPU component of this test, earning fourth place behind the Asus Zenbook UX32VD, Intel Whitebook, and Lenovo IdeaPad U310.

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