The Core-i5 XPS Plus is 18% slower than the i7 variant
Making a purchase decision more complicated, Dell has started offering the compact XPS 13 in two versions this year; the normal XPS 13 with Intel Alder Lake U-series CPUs and the XPS 13 Plus with more powerful Alder Lake P chips. Now that we've reviewed both versions, we can conclude that the differences in performance are significant, not only in terms of the processor and graphics card, but also in terms of storage.
Customers have to choose between an Alder Lake P Core i5 and two Core i7 variants when it comes to the high-performance XPS Plus world. We tested the Core i7-1260P. Is the extra charge worth it? Up until Intel Tiger Lake, we often saw small to marginal differences between Core i5 and Core i7 in performance comparisons - in devices that were otherwise identical in construction. Is that also the case here?
Definitely not - There's also the SSD factor. Going for the Core i7-1260P brings a performance increase of a good 10%, which applies to the actual computing power, but also to system performance (PCMark). Furthermore, the Core i7 delivers a plus of 18% under continuous load compared to the Core i5, which throttles to a greater extent in the Cinebench loop.
The i7 model takes the lead in system performance with 13%, benefiting from the fast 1 TB Samsung SSD. Dell equipped the Plus i5 model with a slower 512 GB Micron SSD. Customers can't choose the SSD manufacturer when placing an order.
In short: The Core i7 in combination with the one-terabyte SSD from Samsung is just the right product for performance fans. Read our detailed review to find out why it still doesn't offer a good price-performance ratio compared with the competition: Dell XPS 13 Plus in laptop review - Alder Lake P entry-level model.