Dell XPS 14 Notebook Review: Optimus Infused

Article Index

Game Tests & Battery Life

Resident Evil 5
DirectX Gaming Performance

Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5 is capable of benchmarking stereoscopic 3D performance, though the Dell XPS 14 isn't a 3D notebook. We ran Resident Evil 5 in DX10 mode at 136-x768 at a variety of anti-aliasing settings.

Let's face it, bigger is better folks, and there's nothing like gaming on a ginormous screen. At the same time, one of the main benefits to gaming on a smaller panel like the XPS 14 is the lower native resolution. The XPS only supports up to a 1366x760 screen res and it doesn't take much gaming muscle to pull off playable framerates at that setting. We weren't blown away by the performance in Resident Evil 5, though we were impressed to see the XPS 14 handle the increased anti-aliasing without much of a performance hit.

H. A. W. X.
DX10.1 Gaming Performance


Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. is an aerial warfare video game that takes place during the time of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.  Players have the opportunity to take the throttle of over 50 famous aircrafts in both solo and 4-player co-op missions, and take them over real world locations and cities in photo-realistic environments created with the best commercial satellite data provided by GeoEye.  We used the built-in performance test at 1366 x 768 utilizing DX10.1

H.A.W.X. underscores the point we made above about one of the benefits (or consolations) of gaming on a lower resolution panel. With the GeForce GT 420M only having to push out a 1366x768 res, the GPU was able to maintain high framerates even with 4xAA turned on.

 Battery Life
Power Performance

Dell claims you'll see up to 5 hours and 23 minutes of run-time on a single charge using a 6-cell battery, or up to 8 hours and 29 minutes using a 9-cell battery. BatteryEater Pro showed significantly less, though that's because it's designed to eat through battery life with reckless abandon. Think of BatteryEater Pro as the 3DMark Vantage or CineBench of battery performance metrics.

The XPS 14 comes equipped with Nvidia's Optimus technology, which means the notebook will intelligently switch between the discrete GeForce GPU and integrated Intel graphics depending on the task. Fire up a game, for example, and the GeForce chip will come into play. But while you're surfing the Web or hammering out an email, the XPS will help conserve battery life by tapping into the integrated graphics of the Intel chipset that is on board.

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