Dell XPS M1730 Gaming Laptop Review

Gaming Performance

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead is a cooperative first-person shooter video game developed by Turtle Rock Studios, which was purchased by Valve Corporation during development. The game uses Valve’s proprietary Source engine, and is available for Windows and the Xbox 360. Released on November 18, 2008 in the United States and on November 21, 2008 in Europe.

The Source engine is very reliant on the CPU versus the GPU. I really wasn’t worried about the dual 8700M GT’s not being able to hold their own in this particular title as the CPU would be handling the majority of the work. It was no surprise when the game ran like a charm.
Graphic Settings Used:

    *2 x MSAA, 4 x Anisotropic Filtering
    *VSync Enabled
    *Multi Core Rendering Enabled
    *Shader Detail: Very High
    *Effect Detail: Medium
    *Model/Texture Detail: Medium
    *Paged Pool Memory Available: High

Here’s how the XPS M1730 held up in Left 4 Dead:

Resolution Minimum FPS Maximum FPS Average FPS
1280 x 800 35 64 56.28
1440 x 900 26 63 49.92
1680 x 1050 26 63 48.267
1920 x 1200 20 63 47.003

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is a real-time strategy video game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ for Microsoft Windows based on the fictional Warhammer 40,000 universe. It is the sequel to the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War video game series. Dawn of War II was released in North America on February 19, 2009 and in Europe on February 20, 2009.

Dawn of War II is a fantastic modern RTS. The game looks great graphically and offers some solid physics for added eye candy. The physics and post processing effects are really at their best when space marines trigger explosions from grenades and remote explosives. Explosions are detailed with a fiery haze and toss characters across the map with fun detail.

Dawn of War II includes its own performance test which will benchmark some of the most intense battles the game has to offer. This is a great tool to use when configuring your optimal video settings or just to see what your machine can do. I tested with a range of Low to High graphic settings and resolutions of 1280×800 up to 1680×1050. I tried 1920×1200 but the video driver consistently failed. For this 17” screen, 1680×1050 is beautiful but I am still curious about those driver crashes. 1920×1200 resolution is where a single GTX260M would have came in handy over the dual 8700M GT’s in SLI. Even though you have 2 x 512MB video cards, with SLI the system cannot utilize that as 1GB, only 512MB.

I expected DoWII to push the XPS M1730 significantly harder than Left 4 Dead, and boy did it ever. This was a great test to push the laptop to it’s limits.

Here’s how the XPS M1730 held up in Dawn of War II:

Resolution Graphic Setting Minimum FPS Maximum FPS Average FPS
1280 x 800 Low 25.36 60.93 34.58
1280 x 800 Medium 18.44 60.33 27.46
1280 x 800 High 9.67 60.69 21

Resolution Graphic Setting Minimum FPS Maximum FPS Average FPS
1440 x 900 Low 24.39 60.69 35.19
1440 x 900 Medium 21.48 60.39 30.83
1440 x 900 High 2.94 59.76 23.73

Resolution Graphic Setting Minimum FPS Maximum FPS Average FPS
1680 x 1050 Low 22.92 60.15 38.48
1680 x 1050 Medium 16.94 61.02 29.16
1680 x 1050 High 2.52 21.91 6.1

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  1. solid review.

    i thought it was interesting that on DoW2 the “medium” resolution increased the FPS across the board. any thoughts on why that is?

  2. As strange as it seems, sometimes using a lower resolution than your monitor’s native resolution can worsen performance.

    A lot of that relies on well your particular video drivers are optimized. I’m sure that the game’s coding can play a part in that as well but I’m gonna say in this particular case it’s a mix of SLI/drivers.


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