Dell XPS 14 Notebook Review: Optimus Infused

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PCMark & 3DMark Tests

As we normally do, we kicked off our gauntlet of benchmarks with Futuremark's unforgiving PCMark Vantage benchmark and the less stringent 3DMark06 suite. At some point we'll likely drop the latter, but in the meantime, it gives us a quick point of reference as to how the XPS 14 stacks up against previous notebooks we've had in our labs.


The Futuremark 3DMark06 CPU benchmark consists of tests that use the CPU to render 3D scenes, rather than the GPU. It runs several threads simultaneously and is designed to utilize multiple processor cores.

We expected the Dell XPS 14 to get outclassed by the Lenovo and Toshiba, both of which sport an Intel Core i7 processor, and we're not terribly concerned that it lagged slightly behind the Asus U43F. Both the Dell and Asus use the same Core i5 chip and boast similar specs, and while the Dell sits at the bottom of the pack, only 43 synthetic points separate it from the Asus machine.

 PCMark Vantage

Futuremark's PCMark Vantage simulates a range of real-world scenarios and workloads, stressing various system subsets in the process. Everything you'd want to do with your PC -- watching HD movies, music compression, image editing, gaming, and so forth -- is represented here, and most of the tests are multi-threaded, making this a good indicator of all-around performance.

Whereas the XPS 14 trailed the pack in 3DMark06, it was quite a different story when we turned our attention to PCMark Vantage. The XPS 14 jumped ahead of the similarly spec'd Asus machine and also came out in front of the slower-clocked quad-core Lenovo rig. Overall a very good showing for Dell's 14-inch notebook.

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