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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  • MobiusStrip - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    "What is it with people simply lifting the design work of Jonathan Ives for Apple"

    What is it with people who don't understand that a rectangle with buttons on it isn't the private domain of one company, especially a company that didn't invent the form in the first place?

    Do you bitch about every car that has four wheels ripping off the work of some ancient cart-builder?

    How about every camera maker that puts the lens of the camera ON THE FRONT, and the viewer on the back?

    Plus, your pathetic strawman here doesn't even hold up for superficial similarity. Show us the Apple laptop that has upward-sloping, curved bottom sides?
  • zepi - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    You should just take all three Macbook Pro configurations trough your normal Windows-test to give people a measurement stick.

    A lot of people install Windows to a bootcamp partition to play games that are not released for OSX.

    Doing the same with iMac would not hurt either.
  • Rob Sims - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link


    Considering how common the 6750m is (the default card in all base model iMacs and also high spec MBP15 and MBP17) there are surprisingly few reliable gaming benchmarks of it.

    I run my games through bootcamp on a MBP17 2011 and would be very interested to see how it stacks up to standard windows laptops.
  • tipoo - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

  • darunium - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    Why the need for a discrete graphics card with intel HD3000 pulling its weight out there? Sure it is no replacement still for a solid discrete solution, so if you want a moderate gaming-capable laptop you still need to look for a separate card, but the GT525M doesn't significantly outperform Intel HD3000 at all, all it will do is add heat, cost, and reduce battery life. It's just another means to sell to an unknowing consumer who will be turned on by the presence of a useless (and now I imagine much-discounted anyway) discrete VGA solution.
  • tipoo - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    What would be "significantly outperform" to you? If I recall correctly it offers about twice the performance of the HD3000. Besides, the laptop will automatically switch between them anyways, so if your not doing anything intensive it will use the lower power chip.
  • Iketh - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    aside from what's already mentioned, it also frees up thermal limitations for the cpu and memory bandwidth
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    Without the dGPU, gaming on the XPS 15z would be a no-go, especially at 1080p. There's a huge difference between 30-40 FPS at 1366x768 at minimum detail (what the HD 3000 can handle) and 30-40 FPS at 1080p and medium detail.
  • seapeople - Saturday, September 3, 2011 - link

    As a corollary to the OP's point, I don't understand why they went with Sandy Bridge in this laptop instead of Core 2. Sandy Bridge doesn't significantly outperform Core 2 anyway, so it's just adding heat, cost, and reducing battery life.
  • Brad4 - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    Low quality monitor. Not good for productivity. I like Windows, but Apple is the only company these days making a 16:10 display laptop. All 16:9 laptops are inferior.

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