Dell XPS 13 (2015) i5 Signature Edition or i7 Signature Edition?

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by nrwang, Jan 26, 2015.

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  1. nrwang

    nrwang Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hello all,

    I am trying to decide on the new XPS 13 with either the 5th gen i5 processor and 256 ssd or the 5th gen i7 processor and 256 ssd. I was wondering if there would be much of a difference for the extra $270? I know that it is close to impossible to replace the processor and don't want to pick the wrong one. I am a student and will be using it mainly for school and work. A lot of excel, vba, access, and oracle.

    Thanks in advance, the laptop can be found below.

    Buy Dell XPS 13 9343 Signature Edition Laptop - Microsoft Store
     
  2. Stochastic1

    Stochastic1 Notebook Enthusiast

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    The only way to really answer that question would be to benchmark two configs, one with the i5 and one with the i7. However, we can make an educated guess about performance. As far as I can tell, the differences between the 5200U and the 5500U are:

    --Base clock goes from 2.2 to 2.4 GHz
    --Turbo clock goes from 2.7 to 3.0 GHz
    --Cache goes from 3 MB to 4 MB
    --The integrated GPU goes from a max frequency of 900 MHz to 950 MHz

    So I doubt the performance difference will be very significant at all, although if the i7 is binned better than maybe it can maintain turbo clocks for longer periods of time than the i5. That's just me speculating, though. My advice would be to go with the i5 version if you want the better value. If you need maximum performance then you should be looking at a desktop replacement laptop with a quadcore CPU and 16 GB RAM. Or you could do what I do and get a thin, light ultrabook like this one that offers good battery life and then use a powerful desktop system for heavy duty work and gaming (if that's your thing). These days you can build a very powerful desktop rig for around $800, and since it's upgradeable it should last a long time.

    With the XPS 13, the bigger decision is whether to get the 1080p matte display or the glossy QHD+ one. I went with the matte display because it's $300 cheaper, it has little to no glare, offers better battery life, and also weighs slightly less (2.6 vs 2.8 lbs). Of course you lose out on the touch screen if you get the matte model.
     
  3. tkuhe

    tkuhe Notebook Enthusiast

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    I plan on buying the touch i7 256. I am hoping that this will be my daily driver for the next 3 to 4 years and would rather have a little speed just in case.
     
  4. nrwang

    nrwang Notebook Enthusiast

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    That's what I wasn't sure of; I didn't know if I am going to need the maximum performance. The desktop isn't an alternative for me right now though.


    I am hoping for this to be my daily driver for the next 3 years as well and didn't know how big of a factor the i5 vs i7 is going to be speed wise for 3 years.
     
  5. Johnmcl7

    Johnmcl7 Notebook Consultant

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    Given the choice (which we don't have here) I'd go for the i5 as I can't see you'd notice any difference in practice and it's a significant difference in cost. If the system reaches a point where the i5's performance is not good enough, I can't see that the i7 would be good enough either.

    John
     
  6. Stochastic1

    Stochastic1 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I think that summarizes things pretty well.
     
  7. AKmotorider

    AKmotorider Notebook Enthusiast

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    Definitely i5 version. I'm a college student, just got mine today. As far as I can tell, unless you're trying to play intense games and do a lot of media work, an i7 would be a total waste of money for you. Trust me, this thing is fast. Save the extra money for food. And booze!

    Btw, did you know that the supposed "256" gb version only comes with 229 gb of total space?! Yes, I mean TOTAL. The ACTUAL space that's left after the OS and couple factory-installed programs are taken into the mix is only about 205gb. Man, I saw that earlier today and just about punched the screen. I can understand a few GB's off advertised, but TWENTY SEVEN GIGABYTES OFF?! Give me a break.
     
  8. bamaster

    bamaster Notebook Consultant

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    I purchased the i7 only because I wanted the 512 GB SSD. A great reason to have that drive is that it uses PCIe, while the others are SATA (albeit still M.2). So the added drive space plus faster read/write speeds was worth going all-in on this laptop.
     
  9. huai

    huai Notebook Consultant

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    SSD performance rapidly degrades when there is less than 10% free space. As a consequence most (all?) manufacturers reserve a 10% buffer on the drive.
     
  10. einhander

    einhander Notebook Deity

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    if you look at disk manager dell created 5 paritions from the ssd.
     
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