Dell XPS 13 (9370) 2018 Review: White Spun Glass, Killer Looks And Speed

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Dell XPS 13 (9370) 2018 - ATTO Disk, SunSpider, PCMark, And Cinebench

To get a sense of how the new Dell XPS 13's (model 9370) storage components perform, we fired-up ATTO for a quick sanity check on sequential disk transfer speeds across various file sizes.

ATTO Disk Benchmark, Testing NVMe Solid State Storage

xps 13 atto

The 1TB Toshiba NVMe SSD use in the XPS 13 we evaluated peaked at about 3GB/s reads (at the 1MB mark), with writes just shy of 1GB/s. As you can see, with larger transfer sizes (past the 4MB mark), performance drops off a bit in terms of read speed, but still hovers around the 2GB/s mark.

Sun Spider And Cinebench 

We kicked off our general purpose benchmarks with the JavaScript benchmark, SunSpider, and then ran Cinebench R15, a rendering test that works both the CPU and GPU engines in the processor. Cinebench is developed by Maxon, which is better known for its Cinema 4D software employed in professional 3D rendering and animation studios. We use both of Cinebench’s integrated tests for CPU and GPU.

sunspider

The latest XPS 13 put up the best score we have seen in this benchmark from an ultrabook in this class. Despite having the same processor at its heart as the late 2017 model we recently evaluated, the hardware and software updates to the new model allowed it to pull ahead slightly and take the pole position here.

cinebench xps 13 2018

There are a couple of things we should mention in regard to the latest XPS 13's Cinebench performance. First, is obviously its lead over all of the other systems. The combination of Dell's Power Manager optimizations and the more capable cooler in this system allow the Core i7-8550U to really stretch its legs, which results in the best score of the bunch in the multi-threaded CPU test. Over and above this result, however, we should also mention that the new XPS 13 can maintain much of this performance over time. Whereas some thin and light systems throttle significantly with long, highly-taxing workloads that can saturate their cooling hardware, the XPS 13 can maintain most of this performance for the long haul. For example, after the tenth straight Cinebench run the new XPS 13 was scoring in the mid 630-range.

PCMark 8 & 10 Benchmarks

We selected three tests from the PCMark 8 benchmark suite: Home, Storage and Work. Futuremark recently updated all three tests with PCMark 8 version 2, which offer a nice swath of mixed-media workloads, from document editing, to video conferencing, and video encoding. We selected the Open CL "Accelerated" options for both the Home and Work modules, which let's the benchmark take advantage of current generation integrate CPU/GPU engines to accelerate some aspects of the test. The entire PCMark 10 suite was run in its default mode.

pcm8 xps 13 2018

The new XPS 13 took the overall lead in PCMark 8, besting all other systems by a slight margin. The faster storage score, in conjunction with the highest Work and Home scores, put the XPS 13 clearly in the lead here.

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The latest XPS 13 just missed the top spot according to PCMark 10's overall score, solely because it trailed in the Essentials portion of the benchmark. The XPS 13 actually led the pack in the Productivity and Digital Content Creation tests, but the somewhat lower Essentials score, drags down the overall result.

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