New Xps 15

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UKIan
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New Xps 15

Postby UKIan » 19 Oct 2013, 19:49

Released today, bought one, delivery November.
Haswell i7, nvidia 7 series 2gig gfx, 16gig ram, 512gig sad and 3200 X 1800 res screen :)
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Tappy
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Re: New Xps 15

Postby Tappy » 20 Oct 2013, 09:01

UKIan wrote:Released today, bought one, delivery November.
Haswell i7, nvidia 7 series 2gig gfx, 16gig ram, 512gig sad and 3200 X 1800 res screen :)


Sweet!
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Re: New Xps 15

Postby UKIan » 20 Oct 2013, 19:40

Tappy wrote:
UKIan wrote:Released today, bought one, delivery November.
Haswell i7, nvidia 7 series 2gig gfx, 16gig ram, 512gig sad and 3200 X 1800 res screen :)


Sweet!


It is spectacular. It's the screen I'm curious about the most, Apple does scaling, Microsoft, ... doesn't so much, so we'll see if this is going to be a boon or a bugger I guess.
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Re: New Xps 15

Postby Tappy » 21 Oct 2013, 09:25

UKIan wrote:It is spectacular. It's the screen I'm curious about the most, Apple does scaling, Microsoft, ... doesn't so much, so we'll see if this is going to be a boon or a bugger I guess.


Yeah, wonder if Windows 8 is any better with that. Guess you'll find out soon! I really have no need for power house laptops now, but I still lust over them.
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Re: New Xps 15

Postby Johnmcl7 » 21 Oct 2013, 11:36

Windows 8 was a big step forward for scaling, 8.1 is supposed to be better again so should be usable, it will be interesting to hear what you think of it though.

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Re: New Xps 15

Postby UKIan » 27 Oct 2013, 21:02

Johnmcl7 wrote:Windows 8 was a big step forward for scaling, 8.1 is supposed to be better again so should be usable, it will be interesting to hear what you think of it though.

John


Yes, I'm still waiting, the delivery date according to the order tracking is the 21st!! even though delivery date on the web site has been the 8th since god knows when. I might chase them up about it this week.

I bought a new toy today to tide me over, so I can talk about 8.1 scaling a little. I picked up a 128gig Surface Pro 2. It seems to scale stuff but slightly oddly in places. There's a screen in old windows where you could pick elements of the UI and specify height and font and that sort of thing. That's gone and been replaced with a list of half a dozen things you can tweak. It may be in there somewhere, damned if I can find it). The Surface defaulted to 150% scaling, so text seems the right size, but borders on windows seem too big to me. Also, some text is clearly being scaled against its wishes and seems less sharp. I actually think the Dell might help on that point.
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Re: New Xps 15

Postby jurassicjim » 06 Nov 2013, 10:45

How much was it?

j
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Re: New Xps 15

Postby UKIan » 07 Nov 2013, 21:24

jurassicjim wrote:How much was it?

j


1908 quid I think. Just under 2k basically.

More importantly it has ARRIVED!!

Few initial impressions, I've literally just got it out of the box. You get a tatty Dell briefcase box, but that holds a rock solid shiny case with the actual machine in. Bizarrely the service tag sticker was stuck to the outside of the protective film pouch which was a bit DIY. It starts up with Windows already set up (mostly) which was a little confusing and I wouldn't be happy if I didn't know Windows already. It sits there asking you to activate windows, but you have to figure out how to connect to a wireless network by swiping in, etc etc. Again, not an issue for me, but felt a bit half finished.

The things that stand out at the moment, the keyboard has a slightly odd font. I quite like it, but it is a bit odd. The machine is beautifully finished, it feels nice, and is very light. I'm typing this on my poor old 17" XPS which looks like Wall-E in comparison.

The screen... Ok, so its super hi-rez, 3800 x 1900? I think from memory. So far, everything looks amazing on it. I've not had to fiddle with scaling options, that all seems to be done, although I've not installed anything yet. The only oddity so far is, when it synced my account onto it, my 1080p wallpaper appears as a little thing in the middle of the screen :)

Anyway, must play with it and get some software on it. More later :D
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Re: New Xps 15

Postby UKIan » 11 Nov 2013, 22:00

Well, I've had a few days to play with it and there are some interesting things to report. The big deal of course is the screen, so we'll get to that at the end.

The keyboard is really pleasant. I mean really lovely and tactile, nice deep press with an affirmative action and a nice sound. Definitely the best keyboard on a laptop I've used that I can remember.

The track pad is large and supports multi fingered actions as you'd expect. It's larger than the pad on my old XPS 17, and just one single surface.

The surface of the laptop itself (the wrist pad area and around the keyboard, etc) is some sort of silicon rubber I think. It's smooth and hard, but it has a slight deadening effect if you tap it. It's quite a nice effect. On the negative, the lower edge where your wrists hang off is quite sharp. It's not uncomfortable, but I'd have preferred it to be rounded.

There are four USB-3 sockets (I think, they all have the little USB 3 symbol), an HDMI, and a small socket I can't identify. Oh and an SD card slot. It also has four tiny holes in the side next to some of the USB ports who's sole purpose seems to be to let some light out of the keyboard. It's purdy.

I've got 512gig of SSD. I have no idea how fast it is, but it feels fast compared to the old XPS 17 which has a 128gig SSD in it replacing one of its 500gig drives.

Graphics wise it has the GT 750M and an Intel 4600. Bizarrely 3dMark can't see the nvidia card, but the intel 4600 piece was producing similar results to the GT 555M in the XPS 17. You read that right, the integrated graphics card was as fast as the dedicated card in the old machine. I'm still not sure how that is right. Initially I thought it was the 750 being really slow and disappointing. I've installed a few games (Bioshock infinite for example) and can run them on high graphics at 1080p res at fully smooth frame rates.

There's a bit of a gotcha here. The screen, ok we'll talk about the screen. So the first time I started Bioshock, I got the game in a tiny box in the center of a black screen. I set it to 1080p full screen and now the black border only filled 3/4 of the screen :/ So I whapped it up to the full 3800x1800 and yay, it filled the screen, but frame rate suffered significantly.

The solution was to quit, set the desktop to 1080x1920 (it's actually 1200x1920 I think) and then run the game in full screen windowed. That gave me perfect performance and filled the screen.

Another game, Metro Last Light, doesn't have a windowed option afaik, so I gave up playing with it after 10 minutes. It also has a number of other irritiating things I'd forgotten about, which explains why I unloaded it it the last time :/

Using it for general windows stuff is a mixed affair, but generally positive. A few apps have issues with the scaling, although I've set it lower than the default (which was 150 or 200% iirc). So now it feels like I'm using a 1080p resolution on a 13" screen like the old Vaio.

That's about it so far :)
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Re: New Xps 15

Postby Tappy » 12 Nov 2013, 11:00

UKIan wrote:Graphics wise it has the GT 750M and an Intel 4600. Bizarrely 3dMark can't see the nvidia card, but the intel 4600 piece was producing similar results to the GT 555M in the XPS 17. You read that right, the integrated graphics card was as fast as the dedicated card in the old machine.


Those Intel jobbies have been getting a lot better over the last few years. I suppose they had to with the AMD/ATI combination. I remember when they went to Ivy Bridge and had their integrated HD4000 thingy, and people were playing games on it and it didn't look awful!

Laptop sounds good, although the screen seems a bit of effort. Shouldn't games just fill the screen when played at a lower res? Isn't that a thing anymore?!
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Re: New Xps 15

Postby Johnmcl7 » 12 Nov 2013, 20:02

At a wild guess could the small unidentified port be mini-display port?

http://cdn-static.zdnet.com/i/story/60/ ... ayport.jpg

I have to laugh about 1080p being a small window on the screen, it just shows what a crazy resolution the screen is. Have you checked the graphics card control panel? Usually games default to stretching the game to fit the panel and ignoring the aspect ratio which was an issue when most games were 4:3 and the panels were 16:9 but shouldn't be an issue now. You should be able to set the GPU driver to stretch the output to fit the panel when it's running at a lower resolution.

How are the Intel and AMD cards supposed to interact, is the AMD driver meant to step in when there's a lot of 3D action? It doesn't seem right that 3Dmark is seeing the Intel iGPU.

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Re: New Xps 15

Postby UKIan » 19 Nov 2013, 23:18

Johnmcl7 wrote:At a wild guess could the small unidentified port be mini-display port?

http://cdn-static.zdnet.com/i/story/60/ ... ayport.jpg

I have to laugh about 1080p being a small window on the screen, it just shows what a crazy resolution the screen is. Have you checked the graphics card control panel? Usually games default to stretching the game to fit the panel and ignoring the aspect ratio which was an issue when most games were 4:3 and the panels were 16:9 but shouldn't be an issue now. You should be able to set the GPU driver to stretch the output to fit the panel when it's running at a lower resolution.

How are the Intel and AMD cards supposed to interact, is the AMD driver meant to step in when there's a lot of 3D action? It doesn't seem right that 3Dmark is seeing the Intel iGPU.

John


Yes, I found that if you go into NVidia control panel you can tell it to use the nvidia for everything which seems to solve a lot ofthe issues I was having. The res is insane, but I like it. I'd actually be happy if it was twice as high, I can see the benefit of using a dozen pixels to render one old fashioned pixel now :)
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Re: New Xps 15

Postby Johnmcl7 » 01 Oct 2014, 23:40

What do you think of this laptop a few months on Ian?

I've been considering getting something else as the Vaio Duo 11's keyboard still annoys me, I've been looking at another Sony as the Vaio Duo 13 would be a good upgrade but they're pricey even for refurbished models. Instead I've been looking at a Dell Outlet XPS 12 with an i7/8GB/256GB for £650 or a 512GB model for under £700 but it feels too similar to what I have. The XPS 15 has caught my eye though as something a bit different to what I have but still fairly light for carrying around with me.

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Re: New Xps 15

Postby EviL Ras » 02 Oct 2014, 09:14

MSI gs60 ghost innit! 15.6" and under 2kg! That said, its nearly a grand more!
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Re: New Xps 15

Postby Johnmcl7 » 02 Oct 2014, 17:12

I had a look at the MSI but it's not really what I'm looking for, it won't be used for gaming so I'd rather a lower powered graphics card and the Dell has a better screen which would be useful for image work. Surprisingly the XPS 15 isn't that cheap, it's hard to tell from the outlet as there's so much variation but the only one I've seen over the last week (and it could be the same one) is the lower spec model which is a quad core i7, 16GB ram, 32GB mSata, 1TB HD, Nvidia 750m with the 3200x1800 screen for £940 (£1249 on the main site). The higher config is the same but drops the msata/HD combo for a 512GB SSD at £250 more on the main site, I've yet to see this one come up on the outlet but if it was under £200 more it would be worth it as it would be cheaper than buying a 512GB mSata and installing it on the cheaper model. It's tough with the outlet as you don't know what a good price is until you've seen a few and then when you've decided on one, you need to wait for it to appear.

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