The Dell XPS 13 Plus seems to be able to outperforming Apple’s new MacEbook Air M2 when it comes to uncooked CPU energy, which means that Apple silicon nonetheless faces severe pageant from Intel’s new Alder Lake pc chips.
We know this as a result of we are these days trying out an XPS 13 Plus with an Alder Lake Intel Core i7 CPU that Dell despatched us for evaluation. That manner we will be updating our Dell XPS 13 Plus hands-on evaluation throughout the subsequent week or so with a complete analysis of Dell’s thinner, lighter spin on an XPS 13, however a few of our trying out effects had been so intriguing that we could not wait till the evaluation to percentage them.
One necessary caveat right here: neither the XPS 13 Plus nor the Air M2 we examined are the entry-level fashions. Below you can discover a chart evaluating the entry-level specifications for each laptops (plus the 13-inch Pro M2) for context, however the true devices we reviewed are a bit of pricier and extra robust.
The XPS 13 Plus we are trying out sports activities an Intel Core i7-1280P CPU, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, a 512GB SSD and a three.5K OLED touchscreen. To purchase the similar configuration without delay from Dell, you’ll pay kind of $1,910 — although in the event you ditched the OLED touchscreen improve and went with the default 1,920 x 1,200 show, it would price nearer to $1,616.
The MacEbook Air M2 we examined, via comparability, arrived carrying an upgraded M2 chip with a 10-core GPU (as an alternative of the default 8-core), 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. To purchase the similar pc from Apple you’ll pay $1,899, although in the event you downgraded it right down to a 512GB SSD just like the XPS 13 Plus has you’ll pay simply $1,699.
Dell XPS 13 Plus vs MacEbook Air M2: Specs
|MacEbook Air 13-inch (M2, 2022)||Dell XPS 13 Plus|
|Price||from $1,199||from $1,399|
|Display||13.6 inches (2560 x 1664)||13.4 inches (complete HD+, complete HD+ contact, 3.5K OLED or 4K LCD)|
|CPU||8 core M2 CPU||twelfth gen Intel Core i5, Core i7|
|GPU||8-10 core M2 GPU||Intel Iris Xe built-in graphics|
|RAM||8GB to 24GB||8GB to 32 GB|
|Storage||256GB to 2TB SSD||256GB to 2TB SSD|
|Ports||Two Thunderbolt / USB-4, mic||2 Thunderbolt 4 / USB-4|
|Size||11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches||11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches|
|Weight||2.7 kilos||2.73 kilos|
Dell XPS 13 Plus vs MacEbook Air M2: Geekbench
|Dell XPS 13 Plus||Dell XPS 13 Plus (Ultra mode)||MacEbook Air M2|
Most particularly, the XPS 13 Plus earned a ranking of 10,621 within the Geekbench 5.4 multi-core CPU benchmark take a look at. When we put the XPS 13 Plus into its “Ultra” efficiency mode it scored even upper, netting 11,217. This is a take a look at that, put very merely, places your CPU thru a lot of workloads intended to copy real-world duties (growing content material, taking part in video games, and so forth.) after which assigns it a ranking. The upper the ranking, the simpler (or no less than, extra performant) the CPU.
The ranking earned via the Dell XPS 13 Plus is prime for an ultraportable, and it beats the MacEbook Air M2’s 8,965 ranking via a good margin. The MacEbook’s decrease multi-core ranking vs. the XPS 13 Plus suggests Intel’s chip is extra environment friendly at tackling multi-threaded workloads — this is, apps which will benefit from multi-core CPUs and factor advanced directions to a couple of cores directly.
While each rankings are somewhat excellent for those thin-and-light laptops, the truth that the XPS 13 Plus blew previous the Air M2 within the multi-core CPU benchmark means that Intel’s newest pc chips can nonetheless muscle out Apple’s M2 — even supposing there may be lively cooling to stay Apple’s silicon cool below force.
Because whilst the brand new MacEbook Air’s M2 chip is predicated totally on airflow and warmth sinks to stick cool, the M2 chip in Apple’s new 13-inch MacEbook Pro has the additional advantage of lively cooling by means of enthusiasts. And since we put the ones enthusiasts to the take a look at all through trying out for our Macbook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022) evaluation, I do know that it earned a ranking of 8,911 within the Geekbench 5.4 multi-core CPU benchmark. That’s kind of the similar because the numbers the Air M2 submit, suggesting no matter distinction lively cooling makes is not readily obvious in uncooked CPU checks.
Dell XPS 13 Plus vs MacEbook Air M2: Video transcoding
CPU energy is only one facet of a pc’s efficiency. There are a number of alternative causes to shop for (or skip) a pocket book, together with battery existence, display screen high quality, port choices, and extra. Depending on what you intend to make use of it for, a pc’s uncooked CPU energy would possibly no longer even make that a lot of a distinction on your daily paintings.
With that during thoughts, let’s take a look at one of the crucial different effects from our trying out to peer how the MacEbook Air M2 stacks up towards the XPS 13 Plus around the board.
|Dell XPS 13Plus||Dell XPS 13Plus (Ultra mode)||MacEbook Air M2|
|Time||8 mins 31 seconds||6 mins 49 seconds||7 mins 52 seconds|
When we ran each laptops thru our video encoding take a look at, for instance, which occasions how lengthy it takes a pocket book to transcode a 4K video right down to 1080p the use of Handbrake, the MacEbook Air M2 did the paintings sooner than the XPS 13 Plus — till we put the XPS 13 Plus into Ultra mode, at which level it sped previous the MacEbook.
The Air M2 finished the duty in a median of seven mins and 52 seconds, whilst the XPS 13 Plus took kind of 8 mins and 31 seconds on moderate, although that dropped down to six:49 in Ultra mode. It’s reasonably onerous to mention as a result of we witnessed some bizarre effects when operating this take a look at at the XPS 13 Plus that infrequently noticed it finishing the take a look at in as low as 7 mins 20 seconds, however that is to this point beneath the common that we believe it one thing of a fluke.
Dell XPS 13 Plus vs MacEbook Air M2: Photoshop and Premiere Pro
We additionally ran each laptops thru PugetBench’s Adobe Creative Cloud suite benchmark checks, the use of a script which mechanically runs thru checks for Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Lightroom Classic. Apple’s MacEbook Air M2 took a median of four:49 to finish the Photoshop take a look at (operating Photoshop 23.3.2 by means of Rosetta) and earned a median ranking of 821, whilst the XPS 13 Plus we are reviewing earned a decrease ranking (670) and took longer (6:28) to do it.
|13-inch MacEbook Air M2 (2022)||Dell XPS 13 Plus (Ultra mode)||Dell XPS 13 Plus|
|Pugetbench Photoshop take a look at||821||691||670|
|Pugetbench Premiere Pro take a look at||452||325||279|
Likewise, once we ran each laptops thru a benchmark take a look at for Premiere Pro, the MacEbook Air M2 earned a median ranking of 452, handily beating the XPS 13 Plus’ moderate ranking of 279. So obviously in the event you plan to do numerous paintings in Adobe’s suite of apps, Apple’s pc has a transparent benefit over Dell’s newest flagship 13-incher.
Dell XPS 13 Plus vs MacEbook Air M2: Gaming
|13-inch MacEbook Air M2 (2022)||Dell XPS 13 Plus (Ultra mode)||Dell XPS 13 Plus (2022)|
|Sid Meier’s Civ 6: Gathering Storm (in frames in step with 2d)||40.3 fps @ 1470 x 956||33 fps @ 1080p||22.9 fps @ 1080p|
If you love to play video games in your pc, each the Dell XPS 13 Plus and MacEbook Air M2 will have enough money you some excellent choices. To get a way of ways neatly they run video games we ran each during the graphical benchmark in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, an oldie however a goodie that we use in trying out as it runs on all kinds of each MacBooks and Windows PCs.
However, it may be difficult to get MacBooks to run Civ VI in a similar answer to maximum Windows laptops. For instance, the easiest answer shall we get it to run in at the M2 Air was once 1,470 x 956, which is considerably not up to the Air’s 2,560 x 1,664 local answer. At that answer, the Air M2 accomplished a median of 40.3 frames in step with 2d (fps) within the graphical benchmark.
That’s extra frames in step with 2d than the Dell XPS 13 Plus may just arrange to crank out, however that is no less than partly defined via the truth that the XPS 13 Plus was once additionally operating the sport at the next answer. At 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) answer the XPS 13 Plus accomplished a median of twenty-two.9 fps within the Civ VI benchmark, although at its local 3.5K (3,456 x 2,160) answer the XPS may just best arrange 14.6 fps.
So whilst the XPS 13 Plus could not run Civ VI in anything else coming near an inexpensive framerate (22.9 fps at 1080p is playable however no longer stress-free, personally), we do not truly know the way neatly the Air M2 would run the sport if it will show it at a local answer. As it stands, the sport most likely runs higher at the Air M2 however appears to be like worse than it does at the XPS 13 Plus.
So is the MacEbook Air M2 a greater pc for gaming than the XPS 13 Plus? Well, it is difficult. In phrases of uncooked graphical efficiency, perhaps — however gaming on macOS is a distinct beast than gaming on Windows. For starters, lots of the very best PC video games do not run natively on macOS, and even supposing you get them up and operating efficiency regularly lags at the back of similar Windows PCs.
However, the Air M2 has get right of entry to to all of the video games on Apple’s App Store, which the XPS 13 Plus does no longer. And with MacBooks doubtlessly about to grow to be legitimate gaming laptops due to macOS Ventura, no less than one in every of my colleagues after all has hope for the way forward for Mac gaming.
Dell XPS 13 Plus vs MacEbook Air M2: SSD speeds
When we tasked every pc with operating thru BlackMagic’s disk pace checks, we noticed some intriguing effects. The MacEbook Air M2’s SSD is obviously slower than the only within the XPS 13, because it controlled moderate write and browse rankings of two,800 and a pair of,210 respectively.
|13-inch MacEbook Air M2 (2022)||Dell XPS 13 Plus (Ultra mode)||Dell XPS 13 Plus (2022)|
|Blackmagic Write Test||2800||4058||3638|
|Blackmagic Read Test||2210||4529||4879|
Those are first rate numbers, however the XPS 13 Plus is obviously sooner on each counts. In the similar take a look at it delivered a median write ranking of 3638 and moderate learn ranking of 4879. These numbers are an summary method of quantifying and measuring how briskly a power can learn and write information, in order that they will have to come up with some indication of which pc is faster to retailer and retrieve information.
Dell XPS 13 Plus vs MacEbook Air M2: Battery existence
Apple silicon has given each and every Mac that will get it a spice up in each efficiency and tool potency. That’s why the brand new MacEbook Pro M2 is the longest-lasting pc now we have ever examined, taking 18 hours and 20 mins (!) to expire of juice in our battery take a look at, which duties the pc with eternally browsing the internet by means of Wi-Fi with its display screen brightness set to 150 nits.
|13-inch MacEbook Air M2 (2022)||Dell XPS 13 Plus (2022)|
|Battery existence (hours:mins)||14:06||7:34|
The new MacEbook Air M2 could not closing somewhat as lengthy in the similar take a look at, but it surely nonetheless lasted an excellent moderate of 14 hours and six mins. That’s just about two times as a lot batter existence because the Dell XPS 13 Plus, which ran out of juice in a median of seven hours and 34 mins.
I used to be in my view hoping that the Plus would do some higher for the reason that XPS 13 line has lengthy had a troublesome time hiking previous the 10-hour mark in our battery take a look at. However it in reality lasted rather less time than the Dell XPS 13 OLED we reviewed closing 12 months, which took just about 8 hours (7:59) to die in our battery take a look at.
Dell XPS 13 Plus vs MacEbook Air M2: Bottom line
As you’ll see, in accordance with the specifications and numbers shared above, the Dell XPS 13 Plus with a twelfth Gen Intel Core i7 CPU seems to ship extra CPU energy than the MacEbook Air M2 for kind of the similar amount of cash. And since each ultraportables are rather identical in dimension and value, the XPS 13 Plus provides a extra attractive package deal for pace freaks, which incorporates sooner SSD speeds.
However, that does not imply it is a higher pc general. The Air M2 is a superb ultraportable with sooner video transcoding, higher efficiency in Adobe apps and just about double the battery existence. So if you wish to have an ultraportable for ingenious paintings at the cross, a brand new MacEbook Air M2 may well be simply the article. It additionally sports activities a brighter show (although unfortunately no OLED possibility) and a headphone jack — one thing Dell minimize from the XPS 13 Plus within the identify of creating it thinner and lighter.
Indeed, the XPS 13 Plus’ loss of a headphone jack, coupled with the addition of a row of capacitive contact keys and a trackpad with haptic comments, make it appear extra like a MacEbook than the brand new MacEbook Air. Are those design adjustments a winner, or is the Plus a step within the fallacious path from the XPS 13, probably the most very best laptops in the marketplace at this time? Stay tuned for our complete XPS 13 Plus evaluation to determine!
Next: Speaking of comparisons, you’ll additionally take a look at our detailed take a look at the brand new Dell XPS 15 OLED 2022 vs MacEbook Pro 16-inch.