The 6th Generation Intel i7 6700hq is a sort of middle-of-the-pack Skylake quad-core mobile CPU with an integrated graphics processor, the Intel 530. The Dell XPS 15 held its own in Maxon Cinebench r15 and Google Octane 2 benchmark tests.
Cinebench measured the Dell XPS 15 9550 at 96 fps on its OpenGL test. The Dell scored 138 for a single CPU and 674 with the four cores working in concert on Cinebench's CPU test. It turned out a Google Octane 2 score of 36157.
We ran the same benchmarks on a MacBook Pro 15 Retina that was configured with a 2.5GHz Intel quad core i7 4870HQ CPU; 16GB RAM; 512GB SSD; dual graphics processors (an AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB of GDDR5 memory and an Intel Iris 5200 Pro) and a 15.4-in. onboard display with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200 (2880 x 1800 external). Interestingly, and with the possible exception of the OpenGL score (which was surprisingly high, since high-resolution computers usually have trouble pushing frames per second), the Dell's test results were perhaps only half a notch faster than the Mac's. Keep in mind that the Dell was pushing around a lot more pixels -- if it wasn't a 4K notebook, the Dell might have done even better.
Benchmark results: Dell XPS 15 9550 vs. Apple MacBook Pro 15 (mid-2015)
|Dell XPS 15||Apple MacBook Pro 15|
|OpenGL||96.04 fps||66.62 fps|
|Google Octane 2||36157||33969|
The Crucial 2133MHz DDR4 RAM is exceptionally fast in the Dell. In operation, for all kinds of computing tasks, I found the XPS 15 to be responsive and willing. I have yet to experience any kind of sluggish behavior in any activity. It's a fast machine, but not flashy about it.
I didn't do formal battery run-down testing on the XPS 15. But after living with the laptop for nearly two months, it's clear the huge battery in the touchscreen model gives you a lot of running time. Dell claims up to 17 hours, which is probably a bit overstated. I think most people will get 6 to 8 hours -- or more, if they're frugal with power. With a display like this one, that's excellent.
I've found a lot of mostly minor things to pick on, but don't be misled by that. The Dell XPS 9550 is a well-designed, well-equipped laptop, and although Windows 10 isn't perfect, it's a whole lot better than Windows 8. Together they're a pleasure to use.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.