Dell XPS 15 (9570) Review: Same Beauty, Even More Beast
Dell XPS 15 (9570): Now With More Powerful CPU And GPU
The Dell XPS 15 should look familiar if you're a regular HotHardware reader. We’ve seen various iterations of this power-users’ mobile PC over the past few years, usually with an Editors’ Choice logo pegged at the end of the review. The latest version keeps that winning streak alive, thanks to new, more powerful six-core Coffee Lake-based Intel Core processor options and robust NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics.
As in previous generations, this new model is all about the upgrades, and the big news this time around is a selection of Coffee Lake 8Th Gen Intel Core i5, i7, and yes, i9 processors. In addition to the new CPUs though, the machine's maximum RAM config has been upped to 32GB of DDR4-2666MHz memory, which is sure to be a hit with video and content creation professionals. Storage choices include a 1TB hybrid drive, and NVMe SSDs in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities.
The XPS 15 (9570) is available with Intel's Core i5-8300H quad-core processor, the Core i7-8750H, or the Core i9-8950HK hexa-core processors. These all have HyperThreading support, but the i5 is clocked at 2.3GHz to 4.0GHz with 8MB of L3 cache, the i7 at 2.2GHz to 4.1GHz with 9MB of L3 cache, and the i9 tops the charts at 2.9GHz to 4.8GHz with 12MB of L3 cache. The base $999 model comes with Intel HD Graphics 630, but upgraded models like our test unit come with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Graphics with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. That's comparable to the AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics with 4GB of HBM2 memory found in the convertible Dell XPS 15 2-in-1. All-in-all, this is a decent upgrade from the GTX 1050 and GTX 960M graphics we've seen in previous iterations of Dell's flagship 15" laptop
In addition to the CPU and graphics speed bumps, Dell offers the XPS 15 (9570) with 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB of dual-channel DDR4-2666 RAM and 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of fast PCIe solid-state storage. All of this drives a 15.6-inch InfinityEdge touch display, either in Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) or 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160), the latter serving up 100 percent coverage of the AdobeRGB color space for accurate color reproduction, while the 1080p version covers 100% sRGB.
We'll take a closer look at the XPS 15 in a moment, but first let's have a peek at its full spec sheet...
Update, 9/8/18 - Please note we have updated this review's Thermals and Acoustics section, here to reflect additional testing this area.
8th Gen Intel Core i5-8300H Quad-Core (8M Cache, up to 4.0 GHz)
8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H Hexa-Core (9M Cache, up to 4.1 GHz) 8th Gen Intel Core i9-8950HK Hexa-Core (12M Cache, up to 4.8 GHz)
|Dimensions||Height: 0.45-0.66 inches (11-17mm) / Width: 14.06 inches (357mm) / Depth: 9.27 inches (235mm)|
|Starting at weight||
Starting at 4 lbs(1.8kg) with 56Whr battery, SSD, and non-touch display
Starting at 4.5 lbs(2kg) with 97Whr battery, SSD and touch display
15.6” FHD (1920x1080) InfinityEdge display
15.6” UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) InfinityEdge touch display
400-nit, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 72% typical on FHD,100% minimum Adobe RGB on 4K Ultra HD, 170° wide viewing angle -85°/ 85°/ 85°/ 85°
Capacitive touchscreen –10-finger touch support
CNC machined aluminum
Edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on 4K Ultra HD display
Carbon fiber composite palm rest with soft touch paint
|Memory Options||8GB, 16GB or 32GB DDR4 at 2666 MHz (2 x SoDIMMs)|
Intel HD Graphics 630
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GDDR5 graphics
56Whr or 97Whr Battery (built-in)
|AC adapter||130W AC adapter|
1TB HDD + 32GB Flash with Intel Smart Response Technology
256GB PCIe SSD, 512GB PCIe SSD, 1TB PCIe SSD, or 2TB PCIe SSD
Full size, backlit chiclet keyboard; 1.3mm travel
Precision touchpad, seamless glass integrated button
Killer 1535 Wireless-AC 2x2 + Bluetooth 4.1
Intel 8265 Wireless-AC 2x2 + Bluetooth 4.1
|Audio||Stereo Speaker, Dual Microphones, High Definition Audio with Waves MaxxAudio Pro|
|Webcam||Widescreen HD (720p) webcam with dual array digital microphones|
|Ports and connectors||
HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1 (Gen 1) (x2) with PowerShare; Headset Jack(1); SD card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC); Kensington Lockslot; Thunderbolt 3: Thunderbolt 3 supports: Power in / charging, PowerShare, Thunderbolt 3 (20Gbps bi-directional), USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps), VGA, HDMI, Ethernet and USB-A via Dell Adapter (sold separately)
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Software||Skype , Microsoft Edge, Dropbox|
Manageability and Security Options
|Factory Installed with Dell Command | Update and Dell Command | Power Manager, plus compatible with all Dell Client Command Suite tools. Dell Data Protection | Encryption (available via volume licensing), Dell Data Protection | Security Tools, BitLocker Data Encryption with Hardware TPM 2.0, optional Computrace, Configuration Services: Static Image, BIOS settings, Asset Tagging & Reporting|
||As Configured and Tested: $2099
Dell sent us a well-equipped model, with a 4K resolution touch display, Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM, and a 512GB SSD. The standard operating system for the XPS 15 is Windows 10 Home 64-bit. These specs will keep a power user like a digital photographer or graphic designer happy for quite a few years, but it's not the top configuration we could find on Dell's website. We surmise they did this to keep the pricing below $2,100 rather than the $3,200+ price tag you'd be presented with if you chose the Intel Core i9-8950HK processor, 2TB SSD, 32GB RAM, and Windows 10 Pro options. We'd recommend the latter configuration for multi-tasking video editors and folks shooting in 4K.
The main reason to consider the XPS 15 over the Dell XPS 13 is, of course, the larger screen. As before, the XPS 15 (9570) looks like a larger version of the XPS 13, though its relatively tiny bezels let it fit in the same chassis as a traditionally sized 14-inch laptop. The smaller bezels are less distracting, and really make a difference when you're watching a movie in 4K or 1080p HD.
Windows 10 scales the icons intelligently, so the user interface looks similar whether you've chosen the 1080p or 4K screens, but the difference becomes immediately apparent when you look at RAW camera images or 4K videos. Details pop, especially in backgrounds and angular geometric designs in foregrounds.
Even though it's not marketed that way by Dell, NVIDIA's drivers identify the GTX 1050 Ti as a Max-Q design. Max-Q GPUs have more conservative clocking so the same silicon can fit in thinner laptop bodies. While that might mean more fan noise when things get really heavy, we were happy with the 3D performance and acoustics compared to other ultraportables.
Now let's take a look at the system's features...