Dell XPS 13 Review: Kaby Lake Makes A Fantastic 13-Inch Laptop Even Better

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XPS 13 3DMark And FarCry 2 Tests

Next, let's examine the integrated graphics horsepower of Intel's Kaby Lake Core i7 chip on-board the XPS 13. The Cloudgate test is aimed at entry-level PCs and laptops, and has two subtests: a processor-intensive physics test and two graphics tests. We run the test suite at its default 1280 x 720 resolution and at default rendering quality settings. Keep in mind that 3DMark Cloud Gate scores aren’t comparable to scores from say, 3DMark Fire Strike (gaming PCs) or Ice Storm (smartphones and tablets).

Futuremark 3DMark Cloud Gate And Sky Diver
GPU Benchmark
XPS 13 PCMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Sky Diver is targeted as the next step up from Cloud Gate with more emphasis on DX11 gaming performance, but still at the workload limitation of integrated graphics or entry level discrete GPUs. 
XPS 13 3DMark SkyDiver

As far as ultrabook class machines go, with integrated graphics, the Dell XPS 13 is the fastest thing we've tested to date. Notice again as well, how the Asus ZenBook 3 is seemingly held back from where it should scale. To be fair, we've only had the pleasure of testing two 7th gen Intel Core series Kaby Lake-based machine so far, but a win by another other name is still a win. 

FarCry 2
DirectX Game Benchmark
Sure, Far Cry 2 has been around the block for a few years but it is still a fun game and a good test for entry-level PCs and ultrabooks alike.  It features high quality textures, complex shaders, and dynamic lighting to create a rich and immersive environment.  More importantly, it includes an exceptional benchmarking tool.  We run the benchmark at 720p and 60Hz on the "High" detail preset with DirectX 10.  It is a great yardstick to see just how far integrated graphics solutions have come.
XPS 13 Far Cry2

Though it still looks respectable by most standards, Far Cry 2's aging DX10 graphics engine may be getting long in the tooth for even some of these notebook variants. Here is a case where the Dell XPS 13 and its integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 core comes up a little short compared to its counterparts. Since performance with every other benchmark we looked at here shows favorably for the XPS 13, we'll chalk this up to a possible driver optimization issue for the version of Intel graphics driver that Dell currently has qualified for the machine. Of note is that you can't just install the latest Intel HD Graphics driver release. A driver must have an OEM hardware ID from Dell to be able to be installed on the machine.

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