Dell XPS 15 i9 Review

Dell XPS 15 i9 Review


Dell XPS 15

The Dell XPS 15 athletics an Intel Core i9 – 8950HK processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti, a terabyte of NVMe storage alongside with a 4K HDR screen, making it a beast in sheep’s apparel

Dell XPS 15 i9 Ranking
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Our Verdict

The Dell XPS 15 is fundamentally a wolf disguised as a sheep. It will come kitted with all the leading conclude factors. The functionality of the notebook is in the very leading rung of non-gaming laptops and even in comparison to some gaming equipment, the XPS 15 can hold its personal. It presents a screen that is excellent for articles creators and articles consumers alike, but the glossy finish may place some people off. We do come to feel that a singular Thunderbolt 3. port is not adequate, in particular observing how the ZenBook Professional 15 presents two Thunderbolt 3. ports in addition to the HDMI two. port. The XPS 15 is a fantastic notebook for a substantial range of ability consumers, but overkill for those who aren’t into gaming or articles development.


  • Leading-notch functionality
  • Display calibrated to numerous colour areas
  • Slim and mild making it very portable
  • Offers great 1080p gaming working experience
  • Incredibly great keyboard and trackpad


  • Only single Thunderbolt 3 port
  • The GPU acts as a bottleneck on some GPU intensive tasks
  • Cannot run online games perfectly at 4K
  • Ordinary battery life
  • Awkwardly placed webcam

Dell XPS 15 i9: Comprehensive Review

Dell’s XPS lineup has appear an incredibly lengthy way since its return to the mainstream market in 2010. The XPS 15 we have in for evaluation rocks Intel’s latest Core i9 processor, a whopping 32GB of RAM and an Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti. Are these technical specs overkill or are they the right blend for those searching for the finest probable functionality? Let us examine on.

Key Requirements

Processor: Intel Core i9 8950HK
RAM: 32GB DDR4 2666MHz
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
Display Resolution: 3840×2160 with Contact
Storage: 1TB NVMe
Battery Size: 6 cell 96WHr

Make and Design and style

Initially things initially, the Dell XPS 15 has lose quiet a great deal of body weight over the several years. My personalized XPS 15, the L502X, which was the initially XPS 15 notebook (and launched in 2010) weighs 3 kilos. The new XPS on the other hand weighs only two kilos. Even nevertheless the new device is substantially lighter, it doesn’t come to feel so, likely owing to its exceptionally condensed form-variable. The Dell XPS 15 measures a lot less than an inch at its thickets position and a lot less than 50 % an inch at its thinnest. The leading lip is created out of good aluminium with a brushed finish and the Dell logo sitting down elegantly right in the middle. When the leading is all about steel and silver, the center of the notebook is black in colour employing a polycarbonate substance wrapped in a rubber skin to include grip to the notebook. The keyboard island has a carbon fiber finish which is wonderful to the contact. The black and silver blend with clean up straight strains provides the XPS 15 a very expert glimpse.

The XPS 15 employs a very minimum and sleek structure language which provides the device a very non-descript visual appearance.


The Dell XPS 15 we’re chatting about in this evaluation athletics a 3840×2160 (4K) screen with contact assist. Nevertheless, the resolution isn’t the only matter to get eyes below. This is an HDR enabled screen, with a vast-gamut DCI-P3 colour gamut. Dell builds in an software named Dell PremiereColour that is used to switch in between the vast-gamut and normal sRGB colour profiles. This is an critical software if you want to make certain the right kind of colour reproduction for not just the articles you are viewing, but also modifying. In scenario you are wondering, you will also be in a position to stream HDR articles from Netflix but will have to use the Netflix Application for Windows to do so.

The Dell XPS 15 athletics a 4K HDR screen with amazing vieweing angles

We established the screen to sRGB to measure the calibration and precision of the screen and took measurements making use of the Spyder 4 Elite colourimeter. The final results confirmed that the screen in fact exhibited a hundred % sRGB and AdobeRGB coverage. In terms of colour precision, we found the typical deltaE values to be a lot less than 3 (which is attractive), but for some shades of crimson, the value was over seven. A colour calibration with the Spyder set the difficulty, with all DeltaE concentrations coming to be in between 1.5 and 3. The screen clocked a peak brightness of 430 nits.

The screen on the XPS 15 is a glossy screen, but interestingly, does not hamper the viewing working experience. Reflections are perfectly managed throughout a range of lights situations. You will nevertheless see a blob of mild if there is a vivid bulb driving you, but for most articles viewing and modifying desires, the screen on the Dell XPS 15 managed the reflections remarkably perfectly.

When it will come to the screen, the Dell XPS 15 athletics one particular of the finest panels we have found on a notebook, with 4K resolution, HDR articles assist and viewing angles great adequate for 3 people to sit side-by-side and view a motion picture with no any discolouration.

Keyboard, Trackpad and I/O Ports

The Dell XPS 15 capabilities a two-phase backlit keyboard with enough distance in between the keys. Amazingly, the keys are instead flat on leading and do not have the slight curvature that is found on keyboards like those found on Lenovo’s laptops. What they do offer, nonetheless, is enough travel for wonderful tactile comments. When typing, the keys do come to feel a minimal spongy, but that could be some thing that goes absent with time and use. The backlighting is vivid adequate to make the keys obvious, with no hurting the eyes when used in pitch dark.

The trackpad on the XPS 15 is a very common device, the moment we have found on the XPS 15 from past yr as perfectly. The matte surface of the trackpad is gentle to the contact and presents just the right kind of come to feel towards the thumb to register motion. The trackpad also takes advantage of Windows Precision motorists which make the use of gestures on the XPS 15 in particular uncomplicated. Video editors, in certain, are going to get pleasure from the fantastic precision of the gestures on the XPS 15. The mouse clicks also come to feel wonderful and light and provided that this is an XPS, we expect the trackpad to past a lengthy time with no any challenges cropping up.

The Dell XPS 15 keyboard delivers a very relaxed typing working experience

Finally, let’s chat ports. The XPS 15 capabilities an HDMI two. port on the remaining side, alongside with a Thunderbolt 3. port and a conventional USB 3. port. On the other side, there’s yet another USB 3. port alongside with an SD Card reader. Dell has included a 4-LED battery level indicator to support you get an strategy about the remaining battery life with no acquiring to transform on the notebook. This is undoubtedly a wonderful contact, but we can say with no a question that consumers would have loved an further USB or Thunderbolt port below. The Asus Zenbook Professional 15, for instance, presents two Thunderbolt 3. ports alongside with an HDMI port and two USB 3. ports.

The ability button doubles up as the fingerprint sensor and is tricky to tell


The star of the present when it will come to the Dell XPS 15 is the processor and RAM blend made available by this certain SKU. Driven by an Intel Core i9 processor and maxed out with 32GB RAM, the XPS is kitted out to the hilt. The GPU onboard is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti providing 4GB of video clip memory, even though it would have been far nicer experienced Dell figured out how to pack an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB of video clip RAM to truly make the Dell XPS 15 a beast. Alas, below we are, so let’s see how the device fared in our flurry of benchmarks. Now we’re going to break the functionality metrics of the XPS 15 into use instances so that its simpler to recognize how the device fares.

BenchMark Effectiveness

We when compared the XPS 15 to the Asus ZenBook Professional 15, which is also run by the Intel Core i9 processor and the identical GPU. It did appear with lesser RAM nevertheless, which reflected in some benchmark figures. On PCMark eight Innovative examination, the Asus pulls in advance with a rating of 3952 in comparison to the XPS 15’s 3747. Nevertheless, in 3DMark’s GPU intensive assessments, the twice-as-substantial RAM capacity on the Dell XPS 15 will help the device rating far increased figures on all the sub-assessments. The XPS 15 just marginally edged in advance of the ZenBook Professional 15 on PCMark10 as perfectly.

Photograph and Video Modifying

The innovative community certainly is one particular who could benefit from impressive components packed into sleek, elegant equipment. Soon after all, that has been a element of the rationale why Macbooks became so popular with the innovative specialists in the past decade. With an Intel Core i9 and 32GB RAM underneath the hood, one particular could expect the Dell XPS 15 to produce amazing functionality when it will come to utilization of widespread innovative applications this sort of as Adobe’s Innovative Cloud suite of applications. We examined the XPS 15’s abilities by exporting fifty,a hundred and then five hundred Uncooked data files into JPG (forty five-megapixel Uncooked data files) and calculated the export time. The XPS 15 managed to comprehensive the endeavor in 1 minute eleven seconds, two minutes 20 seconds and 19 minutes 52 seconds respectively. Just to give you some context, the Intel Core i7 variant of the Dell XPS 15 with 16GB RAM attained the fifty-impression export in two minutes and 15 seconds even though the ZenBook Professional 15 did the identical endeavor in 1 minute 34 seconds. Adobe Lightroom operates exceptionally perfectly on this device, even when handling a catalogue of ten,000 photos.

Relocating to video clip modifying, we used 4K 4:two:two footage from a Purple digicam and established a timeline in Adobe Premiere. The timeline playback was clean when preview high-quality was minimized to fifty %, but when the sequence configurations were being modified to a distinct frame rate, we experienced to drop the preview even lower to get clean playback. This is wherever we take note the GTX 1050 Ti truly sweat it out. Nevertheless, if your video clip edit workflow includes proxies, then you will not deal with any scrubbing difficulties and should really be in a position leading playback the timeline preview in full high-quality. The ultimate export of our ten-minute 4K video clip file in HEVS structure took a minimal underneath ten minutes, a range very related to the ZenBook Professional 15’s nine minute 27 2nd export time. Colour grading making use of DaVinci Solve is also very clean on the XPS 15, even though we strongly endorse being very mindful of the colour gamut the screen is established to.

Gaming Effectiveness

One fantastic matter the Dell XPS 15 has going for it is the compact form-variable that packs this sort of amazing components. We determined to run a couple online games on the XPS 15. We chose to go in advance with our normal established of entertainers Doom, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Forza Horizon 4, Metro: Very last Mild and Wolfenstein: New Colossus. At initially, we attempted running the online games at the machine’s indigenous resolution of 4K. Not a fantastic strategy as the GTX 1050 Ti just are not able to manage the demand from customers. Doom wouldn’t go over 27 frames for each 2nd even though Metro: Very last Mild struck at a choppy 22 fps. Forza Horizon 4’s auto benchmarking resource dropped the high-quality to Low (at 4K) and even then, the sport managed only 20 fps intermittently.

Switching the screen resolution to 1920×1080 modified all the things. Even at their respective best configurations, all our favorite online games were being running butter clean. Doom ran at an eye-pleasing sixty fps even in the warmth of the most powerful battles in the Kardingir Sanctum. The surroundings in Forza Horizon 4 whiz past you with life-like realism and even scurrying by way of the submit-apocalyptic landscape in Wolfenstein is knowledgeable at 60fps. Hardcore players would want nothing small of 144Hz, but the screen is capped at 60Hz, so even if the GTX 1050Ti could reach that range, the screen won’t enable it. This is wherever the NVMe storage, the Intel Core i9 processor and the 32GB RAM all appear with each other to produce a great gaming working experience.

The Intel i9 Throttles

The Intel Core i9 – 8950HK has a thermal tolerance of a hundred degree Celsius and the moment the package deal hits that temperature, the personal computer shuts down. Unfortunately, undesired effects get started substantially prior to hitting the thermal threshold. We observed that each and every time we executed a hefty endeavor, like rendering movies or solving complicated fractal equations, we saw the CPU strike the target 4.8GHz turbo clock only for a couple seconds, throttling down to a extra realistic 3.0GHz and lower. We mentioned the CPU clock drop to its base clock as perfectly on numerous occasions. When you never truly conclude up acquiring the true advantages of a 4.8GHz clock, it is nevertheless extra impressive and a lot quicker at executing sure CPU intensive tasks than its i7-run counterparts. Fairly frankly, we never imagine that an i9 belongs in a device this thin owing to warmth dissipation restrictions. Not to point out, the longer a CPU operates at temps near to its thermal threshold, the a lot quicker its life deteriorated. We never expect the CPU to drop aside in the two to 3 several years of making use of this device with the best types of load.

Battery Lifestyle

The Dell XPS 15 we reviewed arrived with a 96WHr battery that lasted only 3 hrs and 41 minutes, with brightness established to fifty % and the personal computer linked to a secure Wi-Fi network. In true life utilization, we were being in a position to get closer to 5 hrs of use out of the device, which mostly concerned crafting stories, studying for explained stories and maybe making use of Adobe Lightroom for a cumulative of thirty-forty five minutes for mild photo modifying. During this complete time, we experienced the screen brightness established at fifty % and the colour room was established to sRGB.

When we used the device for streaming movies from the indigenous Netflix application, the battery stats were being marginally distinct. We commenced with an episode of Altered Carbon which streamed in HDR (and that’s why, the screen was at full brightness) and found that just after 58 minutes of watching the riveting sci-fi drama, the battery on the XPS 15 experienced dropped by 26 %.

Over-all, the battery life isn’t way too amazing, which is to be envisioned provided the ability-hungry Intel Core i9 chip and the 4K screen. The XPS 15 may give you first rate mileage for when used for less difficult things, but if you experienced to edit a video clip in Premiere, never expect any longer than 3-4 hrs of utilization time on a single charge.


The Dell XPS 15 is without doubt an incredibly impressive device with a form-variable that is minimum, elegant and practical. It presents a screen that will come across favours with every person from articles creators to articles consumers. The Nvidia GTX 1050Ti does a first rate adequate job for gaming and photo/video clip modifying but occurs to be the weakest link in the normally breathtaking spec sheet. If you are looking for a deceptively impressive however mild notebook for the function of running exceptionally demanding applications, the Dell XPS 15 will make a fantastic healthy for you. If you are just a informal consumer, then the XPS 15 with the Intel Core i9 chip is frankly overkill, and you would likely be much better off with an XPS 13 or the Asus Zenbook S, two equipment that are substantially lighter and cost nearly 50 % of what the XPS 15 does.

Asus Zenbook

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