Overview of the Ultrabook Dell XPS 13 (9343) with the new Intel Broadwell / Laptops and PCs

Intel continues to adhere to its "Tick-To" strategy, according to which the release of new processors is divided into two stages. The "Teak" stage involves the reduction of the process and minor improvements in the microarchitecture, and the "So" stage is the release of processors with a new architecture, without changing the technical process. The processor Intel Core i7-5500U, installed in the Dell XPS 13 laptop we are considering, belongs to the "Tick" stage. This processor is made on a 14-nm process technology, while its predecessors, Intel Core 4-generation processors, were executed on a 22-nm process technology. Thanks to the new technical process, the crystal size was reduced by 37%, and the number of transistors was increased by 35%.

While developing the Broadwell architecture, Intel engineers did not focus on increasing processor performance. Even the emerging support for DDR3L-1866 standard memory will increase the performance of the computer in graphics tasks, rather than dependent exclusively on the processor's performance. When developing a new family of processors, the main emphasis was on reducing the power consumption of the processor and improving processor graphics.

In the new graphics cores of Intel HD Graphics 5300 and 5500, the number of executive units increased to 24 pieces, the maximum frequency of these graphics cores is 950 MHz, but will vary depending on the processor and video core. The previous video cores of Intel HD Graphics 4200, 4400, 4600 had only 20 execution units, and the maximum frequency of these video processors was 1,200 MHz.

Other graphics cores, Intel Iris 5000, 5100 and 5200, which had 40 execution units, also found a replacement. In the new graphics cores of Intel HD Graphics 6000, 6100, 6200, as well as in Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 and P6300, 48 execution units are installed. The new processor graphics Iris Pro will take up most of the crystal, and a simpler Intel HD 5500 occupies about half its area. As for the clock frequencies, the maximum frequency of the video core of the old Intel Iris and Iris Pro, belonging to the Haswell generation, was 1100-1300 MHz, and for the new integrated video adapters it will decrease to 1000-1100 MHz.

The new graphics core Intel HD Graphics 5500, HD 6000, Iris 6100 and 6200 will support DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3 and OpenCL 2.0. 4K resolution is also supported, and it can be obtained not only via cable, but also with the help of Intel WiDi 5.1 technology. DirectX 12 support was promised separately, although in fact it's too early to talk about it, because DirectX 12 itself will appear only in Windows 10.

Some changes have occurred in the chipset (PCH), which is on the substrate of the processor, and these changes rather narrow the chip's capabilities. The new PCH supports only 4 USB 3.0 ports instead of 6 ports in the HasH PCH, although this is a very small loss, because a rare ultrabook requires more than three USB 3.0. The number of SATA III ports has decreased from 6 to 4 – in general, there is nothing to be sad about: rarely more than two or three were used, even with the presence of the M.2 port. The number of supported USB 2.0 connectors has not changed, there are still eight.

Also in PCH appeared a new digital signal processor (DSP) Intel Smart Sound. This DSP, in contrast to its predecessor, has support for postprocessing and Wake on Voice technology, which allows the owner to wake the sleeping ultrabook with the help of voice commands.

So, the new Intel Broadwell processors look pretty interesting. However, until there are no tests conducted, it's better not to talk about their power. We will return to them in the section "Performance testing", but for now let's talk about what the laptop Dell XPS 13.

# External appearance

Beautiful appearance – a special feature of the XPS line. As before, the lid and bottom of the laptop are made of aluminum, the frame is made of magnesium alloy, and the working area is made of carbon fiber with a "soft-touch" coating. The maximum thickness of the ultrabook is 21 mm.

Separately, it's worth telling about the screen of the new XPS 13. The manufacturer calls it "frameless" – and it's very similar to the truth. The left, right and top frames on the screen of the new XPS 13 really turned out to be very thin. As a result, the place for the webcam was found only in the lower left part of the screen. It looks like this move is beautiful only until you need to use the camera. The fact is that the angle "from somewhere to the left from below" will not go to everyone – even a thin face at such a view angle will look full. Therefore, the camera XPS 13 is best used only as a last resort: when there is nothing else left.

Dell XPS 13 almost does not get dirty. Dirt, which falls on its silvery cover, will be unobtrusive, and fingerprints cover practically does not collect. The working area, too, can not be used for fingerprinting – it saves the three-dimensional texture of its surface. As a result, cleaning the laptop will not be a difficult task – the usual cloth from microfiber is enough for this.

The laptop turned out not only beautiful, but also convenient. The progress of the keys on its keyboard is quite acceptable for island type keyboards, and pressing is perfectly felt: it's a pleasure to type on this laptop.

The size of the touchpad in our experimental – 100 × 60 mm. Working with it is just as convenient as with a keyboard. Gestures are processed stably and correctly, and with the keys hidden under the touch surface, no problems arise.

XPS 13 does not have many connectors, but this is quite normal: two USB 3.0 typical ultrabook is enough. But the lack of HDMI is a little frustrating. To a large extent, it is compensated by the presence of the Mini DP connector, which allows you to output to an external monitor a picture with a resolution of 3840 × 2160 with a frequency of 60 Hz (HDMI limits the frequency at 24 Hz). However, Mini- or Micro-HDMI also would not interfere – correctly working cables and adapters for these connectors are much easier to find than for Mini DP. To connect the headphones, the laptop has a 3.5 mm audio jack, and for the memory card – SD (HC / XC) card reader.

On the bottom of the XPS 13, there is nothing but a ventilation grid and a sticker with a label that is hidden under the hinged panel. We already met this company chip in other XPS laptops .

# Specifications

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Approximate price

Approximate price

Approximate price [

Dell XPS 13 (9343)
The processor Intel Core i7-5500U;
2,4 GHz (up to 3 GHz in Turbo Boost mode); 4 MB L3;
Two computational cores, four streams, TDP from 7.5 to 15 W
The graphic controller Processor video core Intel HD Graphics 5500;
Displaying the display board 13.3 inches;
Resolution 3200×1800 (276 PPI), type of matrix: IPS + IGZO;
Glossy coating, LED-backlight;
Model of the matrix: SHARP SHP1421
Operative memory 8 GB DDR3L-1600 (All memory is unsoldered on the system board,
replacement by the user is impossible, two-channel mode is supported)
Hard drive 256 GB M.2 SSD (SAMSUNG PM851)
The interfaces 2 x USB 3.0;
1 x Mini DP;
1 x Headset jack (mini-jack 3,5 mm);
Wi-Fi 802.11 a / g / n, 2.4 and 5 GHz, 2×2, (Intel Wireless-N 7265)
Bluetooth 4.0
The network adapter No
Optical drive No
The connector of the flash-card SD (SDHC / SDXC)
The sound of the Two microphones, two speakers
The battery Built-in, 52 W · h (6930 mAh, 7.4 V), 4 cells
The power supply unit 45 W (19 V, 2.35 A)
Size 304 x 200 x 21 mm
Mass 1.26Kg
The operating system Microsoft Windows 8.1 Single Language 64 Bit
Warranty period is 1 year About 100 000 rubles;
from 86,999 rubles for the initial configuration

The notebook has a dual-core Intel Core i7-5500U with Hyper-Threading support. It belongs to the 5th generation Core and is made on a 14-nm process technology. The processor clock speed is 2.4 GHz and can be increased to 3.0 GHz in Turbo Boost mode. The L3 cache size is 4 MB, and the maximum TDP value is 15 watts. In the Broadwell U family, the laptop manufacturer can lower the TDP to 7.5 W, thereby limiting the maximum achievable clock speeds of the processor and graphics cores. However, Dell in XPS 13 has left the TDP equal to 15 W.

All RAM of Dell XPS 13 is uninstalled on the board, and the user can not replace it in any way. The laptop is equipped with 8 GB DDR3L-1600, operating only in two-channel mode.

The Intel HD Graphics 5500 processor core contains 24 execution units, and the maximum frequency of the HD 5500 is 950 MHz. Recall that in a similar processor video core of the previous generation, there were 20 execution units, and their maximum frequency was 1,000 MHz.

The Dell XPS 13 is equipped with a single SATA SSD-drive of M.2 format, 256 GB. For wireless communication is responsible for the adapter Intel Wireless-N 7265, which supports 2.4 GHz networks (802.11 b / g / n,). The Bluetooth protocol is also supported.

The battery capacity of the updated XPS 13 is 52 Wh (6930 mAh, 7.4 V), and it consists of four cells. The charger has turned out to be compact, its power is 45 W (19 V, 2.35 A).

At the time of this writing, the updated version of the Dell XPS 13 (9343) just started to appear on sale. The price of the most simple modification will be 86 thousand rubles. If you take into account all the features of the ultrabook, then this price does not look too high, especially against the backdrop of the doubled dollar rate.

# The internal device

To disassemble the laptop, it is necessary to unscrew all the screws located on the perimeter of its bottom, and also unscrew the last screw that is under the hinged panel in the center. It is necessary to disconnect the lid very carefully – the plastic latch of the XPS 13 is small, but they keep the lid very tightly.

If you notice an error – select it with the mouse and press CTRL + ENTER.

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