Dell XPS 14z Notebook Review

Article Index

Gaming Benchmarks and Battery Life

Metro 2033
DirecX11 Gaming Performance


Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is your basic post-apocalyptic first person shooter game with a few rather unconventional twists. Unlike most FPS titles, there is no health meter to measure your level of ailment, but rather you’re left to deal with life, or lack there-of more akin to the real world with blood spatter on your visor and your heart rate and respiration level as indicators. The game is loosely based on a novel by Russian Author Dmitry Glukhovsky. Metro 2003 boasts some of the best 3D visuals on the PC platform currently including a DX11 rendering mode that makes use of advanced depth of field effects and character model tessellation for increased realism. We tested the game engine using the Metro 2033 benchmark tool.

Let's not beat around the bush: Metro 2033 is an intense game. And we aren't just talking about gameplay. It's a title that seriously taxes a machine, and it requires serious hardware to run this title well. The CPU on the XPS 14z was probably ready for the task, but its lower-end NVIDIA Geforce GT 520M isn't exactly powerhouse. This is one of the compromises Dell had to make to keep heat and cost down.

FarCry 2
DirectX Gaming Performance

 


FarCry 2

Like the original, FarCry 2 is one of the more visually impressive games to be released on the PC to date. Courtesy of the Dunia game engine developed by Ubisoft, FarCry 2's game-play is enhanced by advanced environment physics, destructible terrain, high resolution textures, complex shaders, realistic dynamic lighting, and motion-captured animations. We benchmarked the test systems in this article with the FarCry 2 benchmark tool using one of the built-in demo runs recorded in the "Ranch" map.

Unlike Metro 2033, the somewhat dated Far Cry 2 benchmark isn't as hard on systems, and we were able to squeeze out a few more frames-per-second here. Things were plenty playable at even higher resolutions. In other words, Far Cry 2 is about as new a game as the XPS 14z can handle at high-res.

Battery Life
Power Performance

BatteryEater Pro tends to measure worst case scenarios, in that it doesn't really take into consideration power saving features, instead loading up the system until it dies out. It runs a spinning graphic constantly until the battery dies. We keep our test machines with Wi-Fi on, and screen brightness hovering at 50% for the life of the test.


 

A 58WHr, 8-cell battery is pretty impressive for a machine of this stature. There's no battery bulge, either. The XPS 14z managed to last just over two hours in our rigorous battery rundown test, which loops a graphic in BatteryEaterPro with screen brightness at 50% and Wi-Fi on. It handily beat the XPS 15z's battery, and while it's certainly not netbook-level longevity, it's pretty solid for a taxed Core i5 and discrete GPU.  Just browsing the web or firing off emails should net you a lot longer uptime as well.


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