Dell XPS 13 (2019) Review: A Refined 6-Core Ultrabook

Dell XPS 13 (2019) 7390: Graphics And Gaming Performance

UL’s well-known 3DMark benchmark suite features tests that target different types of computing devices. We selected the Cloud Gate, Sky Diver, and Night Raid tests since they are light-duty 3D graphics and gaming benchmarks aimed at PCs that weren't built specifically for gaming. We also have plenty of comparison data for Cloud Gate and Sky Diver, which is the more strenuous of the two tests. Night Raid is UL's newest addition, which measures DirectX 12 performance in mainstream PCs.

3DMark Benchmarks
3D Performance
3DMark has several different graphics tests which focus on different types of systems. The Cloud Gate test focuses on integrated graphics performance with DirectX 11. It's the lightest of the three tests we'll look at.

chart 3dmark cloudgate xps 13 7390

Cloud Gate saw our test system right smack in the middle of the pack. Thanks to the extra CPU performance, the XPS 13 7390 is the fastest of the systems with UHD 620 graphics, but there are a lot of other low-power graphics options that are much faster. In particular, the XPS 13 clamshell gets thumped by the 2-in-1 iteration with Intel Iris graphics to the tune of 20%. The extra CPU cores can't even overcome the deficit when compared to the Ryzen 5 2500U inside the HP Envy 360X

Next up let's see how Sky Diver performs. 

chart 3dmark skydiver xps 13 7390

Once again, there's a clear divider between UHD 620 graphics and faster options. The XPS 13 7390 is the fastest system saddled with UHD 620 Graphics by a single percentage point over an 8th-generation notebook. If Cloud Gate illustrated how Intel's Gen 9 graphics lags behind more recent options, Sky Diver really drives the point home. The XPS 13 2-in-1 is 60% faster thanks to its beefier graphics solution.

Lastly we'll take a look at Night Raid, which is made for DX12 integrated graphics processors. This test should be right up the UHD 620's alley, but the same can be said for the rest of the competition, too. There won't be quite as much competition, however, since Night Raid is one of the newer tests in UL's benchmarking suite. 

chart 3dmark nightraid xps 13 7390

In this test, we start to see a little separation between the various chips with UHD 620 graphics. Finally, those extra cores and hardware threads are paying off for the XPS 13 7390, and it's noticeably faster than the quad-core 8th generation systems. Again, however, better graphics solutions result in much better scores, even with the extra cores helping out on the physics test. The 2-in-1 gets another victory of greater than 50% over its traditional form factor cousin. 

GRID Autosport
Gaming Performance
GRID Autosport is a cross-platform racing simulation developed by Codemasters. The developer wanted to make up for GRID 2, which released to mediocre reviews from critics and gamerse alike. Codemasters set out to improve GRID Autosport's handling and environment rendering to make it a true racing simulator. The third GRID game is built on Codemasters' EGO engine that boasts more realistic physics and damage systems to add a bit of danger and some extra realism to the racing. Codemasters also tuned its graphics engine to perform well over a wide variety of mainstream systems, which makes it a great test for systems with integrated graphics. Codemasters also promotes that GRID Autosport is "optimized for integrated Intel HD Graphics", which is certainly something. We tested at 1080p with the High image quality preset. 

chart grid autosport xps 13 7390

Once again, the XPS 13 7390 is not a gaming system, and it lags towards the bottom of the pack. The 2-in-1 with Intel Iris graphics nearly doubled up our clamshell test unit on performance in both the average and low framerates. Subjectively, the game feels fine, but it's not great to play when the framerate suffers and falls below 30 fairly often throughout a run. There's a lot of CPU performance on tap here, and it's a shame that it's being held back somewhat by the GPU

Next up let's see how the battery life, thermals, and acoustic performance all fare.

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