3DMark 11 and Gaming
Ultrabooks aren't designed for heavy gaming. Even so, it's good to know what to expect from any system you're thinking about buying. Although they may not be designed with gaming in mind, ultrabooks can (and will) be used for light-duty gaming. To help you get a feel for the type of gaming performance you can expect from the Dell XPS 12, we loaded a few gaming-related benchmarks to see just what it can do.
Futuremark’s gaming 3DMark 11 benchmark is a grueling test that makes use of DirectX 11 and several highly-detailed demos to put a system's graphics card through its paces. We opt for the Performance setting in the benchmark when we test notebooks and ultrabooks, so keep that in mind if you compare the scores to a system that ran the Entry or Extreme version.
With its Intel HD 4000 graphics, we weren't expecting the XPS 12 to top the charts in the 3DMark 11 benchmark. As you can see from the chart, a discrete GPUcan make a big difference in this test. The Dell Latitude E6530 includes the same graphics as the XPS 12 but it has a more powerful Core i7 processor, which plays a role in its higher score. If you compare the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 which features the same processor and graphics as the XPS 12, the XPS 12 wins by a few points.
To get another perspective on the XPS 12's gaming capabilities, we fired up the "Ranch" demo in Far Cry 2. This FPS game features lush vegetation and plenty of explosions and graphical mayhem. For this test, we turned off AA and used a resolution of 1280x720.
The XPS 12 held its own in this benchmark, earning third place and beating out most of the systems with Intel integrated graphics. Again, we see here that the Dell Latitude E6530 with an i7 CPU and the same Intel HD graphics beats the XPS 12.