Dell XPS 17 3D review: Dell XPS 17 3D

For gaming, the Nvidia GeForce GT555M is at the high end of Nvidia's mainstream GPUs (but is behind the GTX series, including the new GTX 580M). We ran our old Unreal Tournament III benchmark at 1,440x900 pixels and got 113.1 frames per second. On a more challenging test, we ran Street Fighter IV at 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution and got 33.5 frames per second.

One of the most extreme current PC games, The Witcher 2, was playable at low to medium settings, which is about what we'd expect, even from a high-powered gaming laptop. Games such as that, and Dragon Age 2, both looked decent in stereoscopic 3D, but your mileage may vary depending on the game. In most cases, you'll get an onscreen pop-up with info about how well the Nvidia 3D Vision system will handle any particular game.

Juice box
Dell XPS 17 3D Average watts per hour
Off (60%) 0.37
Sleep (10%) 1.01
Idle (25%) 20.42
Load (05%) 82.6
Raw kWh number 83.73
Annual power consumption cost $9.50

Annual power consumption cost
Acer Aspire 8950G-9839
$7.10 
Dell XPS 17 3D
$9.50 
HP Envy 17 3D
$19.20 

A hulking desktop replacement laptop isn't really meant to spend much time away from a wall outlet, so when we get battery life scores of 90 minutes or less, it's disappointing, but not totally unexpected. In this case, however, the Dell XPS 17 3D ran for 3 hours and 6 minutes on our video playback battery drain test. That's downright impressive for a gaming laptop, although your time may be lessened by heavy game-playing or use of 3D. HP's 17-inch 3D Envy laptop (with an older 2010 Intel CPU) ran for just over an hour on the same test.

The XPS 17 3D comes with a single year of what Dell calls "Premium Hardware Service," which includes in-home service. That single year seems thin for a $2,000 computer. An extension to three years is available for $229, and adding accidental damage protection for the same three years is $90. Dell's Web site offers 24-7 toll-free phone service and Web support, including software drivers, documentation, and FAQs that are easy to find.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Acer Aspire 8950G-9839
410 
Dell XPS 17 3D
411 

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Acer Aspire 8950G-9839
79 
Dell XPS 17 3D
83 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Acer Aspire 8950G-9839
122 
Dell XPS 17 3D
129 

Unreal Tournament III (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,280x800, 0X AA, 0X AF*  
1,440x900, 4X AA, 8X AF*  
HP Envy 17 3D @ 16x9
159.1 
97.7 
Dell XPS 17 3D @ 1,280x768 / @ 16x9
152.4 
113.1 
Acer Aspire 8950G-9839 @ 1,280x768 / @14x10
122.8 
84.7 
Lenovo IdeaPad Y560D 3D @ 1,280x768
105.5 
89.4 

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Acer Aspire 8950G-9839
232 
Dell XPS 17 3D
186 

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

Dell XPS 17 3D
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.0GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 3GB Nvidia GeForce GT 555M; 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Lenovo IdeaPad Y560D 3D
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Core i7-720QM; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730; 500GB Hitachi 7,200rpm

Toshiba Satellite A665-3DV
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.73GHz Intel Core i7-740QM; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTS 350M; 640GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

HP Envy 17 3D
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Core i7 720QM; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850; 640GB Samsung 7,200rpm

Acer Aspire 8950G-9839
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 6850M; 750GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

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    Where to Buy

    Dell XPS 17 3D

    Part Number: DNDOCQ1 Released: Mar 1, 2011
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Release date Mar 1, 2011
    • Installed Size 6 GB
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