Dell XPS 15z General Performance

Given the components, there aren’t many surprises in the performance metrics. The combination of i7-2620M CPU and GT 525M GPU delivers a solid showing. Here’s how things break down, for those that like charts. We’ve highlighted the 15z in bright green, the XPS 15 in black, an AMD A8-3500M in red, and the Toshiba L775D A6-3400M in orange. We’ve also included some results with the XPS 15z running alternate modes in dark green (e.g. using the IGP for PCMark 7 or testing at 1080p at medium details in the games).

PCMark 7 - PCMarks

PCMark 7 - Lightweight

PCMark 7 - Productivity

PCMark 7 - Creativity

PCMark 7 - Entertainment

PCMark 7 - Computation

PCMark 7 - Storage

Starting with PCMark 7, the 15z places about where you’d expect, though it’s interesting to note once again how Intel’s HD 3000—and more importantly Quick Sync—boost performance in several areas to result in a 15% increase in overall performance. NVIDIA’s latest drivers appear to better recognize when to defer to the HD 3000, but we forced all of the tests to run on the GT 525M or the HD 3000 for the above results. As expected, the dual-core CPU generally finishes behind quad-core offerings, and anything with an SSD walks away with the performance crown. We’ll see the SSD factor once more in PCMark Vantage below, while the other benchmarks are CPU-centric.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

Cinebench R10 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R10 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark - First Pass

x264 HD Benchmark - Second Pass

Interestingly enough, PCMark Vantage actually puts the 15z ahead of several other systems with quad-core CPUs. Either the test doesn’t scale with more threads as well as the latest iteration, or some driver updates are helping the 15z to surpass the competition—or perhaps a little of both. The single-threaded Cinebench result also confirms that the 2620M is a very fast CPU for lightly threaded workloads, while the remaining multi-threaded tests let the quad-core Sandy Bridge laptops spread their wings.

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

Wrapping up with some synthetic graphics tests, the GT 525M generally comes in just slightly behind the GT 540M but ahead of Llano’s HD 6620G and HD 6520G. AMD’s Radeon HD 6630M, incidentally, tends to offer slightly better performance than the GT 540M, at least when there’s enough CPU performance backing it. We’ll have a closer look at an Intel CPU with the HD 6630M in an upcoming review. So far, there aren’t any surprises—unless you consider the fact that the GT 540M is barely any faster than the GT 525M to be a revelation?

Dell XPS 15z: A Good Copy or a Cheap Clone? Dell XPS 15z Gaming: Another Midrange Mobile GPU
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  • vol7ron - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link This is the image that stands out.
  • tag12171 - Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - link

    Really? The OS never freezez on me and never crashes. Maybe you have a bad one. I would return it or find out what is wrong with it.
  • tipoo - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    Yeah, its closer to the 6530M.

    And with a chip of this calibre, yeah, 2GB isn't going to help you much in games. 1GB should be fine for it.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    Edited the statement. You're right that the 6750M is a fair bit faster than GT 525M -- it's around the GT 555M I'd guess. I was thinking of the 6570M when I wrote that, though with OSX you're still likely to get lower than GT 525M performance if you compare something like Portal 2 FPS between the two (unless something has significantly changes since the last we looked at it?)
  • sean.crees - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    No Thunderbolt port? Sorry, not getting my money without at least one. External desktop grade graphics are just around the corner, and without thunderbolt your going to be stuck with your middle of the road non upgradable mobile graphics.
  • tipoo - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    True, but it will still be some time before it takes off. The fact that all of its ports are USB 3 (minus the e-sata USB combo port I think) is a redeeming quality though.
  • retrospooty - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    Thunderbolt? I doubt we will ever see that on a lot of products. USB3 is plenty fast enough for anything out there for the next several years, is cheap and backwards compatible. The industry has absolutely zero reasons to pick up Thunderbolt, and likely never will.
  • darwinosx - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    Heh, Right. I suggest you take a look at what Thunderbolt offers and how it blows USB 3 out of the water. There is a flood of products coming as well.
  • jabber - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    Were we not supposed to get all those kind of exciting things for laptops over 5 years ago with PCI-E card slots on laptops?

    Nope didnt happen so I wont hold my breath.

    Plus those really pricey Thunderbolt cables...owwww!

    That'll be the $1 USB3.0 then.

    Thunderbolt is dead in the water.
  • AssBall - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    What exactly are you using that is going to saturate your USB3?

    There are things that can, but ffs only 1 percent of people are going to use it on a consumer laptop.

    If you are doing huge commercial or industrial data transfer fine, but most people looking at a Dell or Mac consumer notebook aren't those folks.

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