Dell XPS 13 (2015) Ultrabook Review, It's Hot Hardware

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Lame MT And Cinebench

In our custom LAME MT MP3 encoding test, we convert a large WAV file to the MP3 format, which is a popular scenario that many end users work with on a day-to-day basis to provide portability and storage of their digital audio content. LAME is an open-source MP3 audio encoder that is used widely in a multitude of third party applications.

Lame MT Benchmark
Audio Transcoding on the CPU
For this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file (a mile-long Grateful Dead jam) and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME MT application, in both single and multi-thread modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance.

Lame

Here the Dell XPS 13 and its Core i5-5200U are able to beat-out the Surface Pro 3 and it's Core i5-4300U in the multi-threaded test but come up just a hair short in single threaded due to the 4300U's clock speed advantage (2.7GHz vs 2.9GHz). Technically, since Intel bumped the clock speed of the Core i5-5200U (2.7GHz) versus its direct previous generation replacement, the Core i5-4200U (2.6GHz), it's more difficult to draw a clock-for-clock comparison. However, in multithreaded workloads, the new Broadwell-U series delivers beyond its slight clock speed bump.

Cinebench R11.5
3D Rending On The CPU And Integated GPU
Cinebench R15 is a 3D rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation suite used by animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding of processor resources and is an excellent gauge of computational throughput. This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders a photorealistic 3D scene (from the viral "No Keyframes" animation by AixSponza). This scene makes use of various algorithms to stress all available processor cores. The rate at which each test system was able to render the entire scene is represented in the graph below.

Cinebench

Cinebench allows the Core i5-5200U to stretch its legs a bit more and we see a 15 percent advantage for the 2015 Dell XPS 13 versus Lenovo's 2014 ThinkPad X1 Carbon with its Core i5-4200U, in terms of CPU throughput. In addition, Intel's HD 5500 graphics engine in the new Broadwell-U architecture shows in excess of a 17 percent advantage versus the previous gen Haswell HD 4400 architecture, with respect to the OpenGL graphics rendering test.

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