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We compare the Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9. Which is the better buy?

We compare the XPS 15 9570 Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9. Which is the better buy?
We compare the XPS 15 9570 Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9. Which is the better buy?
The Core i9-8950HK is faster than the Core i7-8750H configuration, but how much faster is it when compared to the Core i5-8300H? Our direct benchmark comparisons show the Core i7 configuration performing closer than we initially anticipated to the pricier Core i9 option.

The 2018 XPS 15 9570 may be visually identical to the 2017 XPS 15 9560, but it has new GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q and Core i9 options not found on last year's model. The faster specifications look awesome on paper and they offer a compelling reason to purchase a newer 9570 SKU over the 9560 SKU.

In practice, however, the story is a bit more complicated. Jumping from the hexa-core Core i7-8750H to the hexa-core Core i9-8950HK brings a significantly smaller performance boost than jumping from the quad-core Core i5-8300H to the Core i7. The marginal return hits hard for users who want to go the Core i9 route.

Our graph below compares the stock CPU performance over time of the latest i9 XPS 15, i7 XPS 15, and i5 XPS 15 SKUs. The i7 SKU offers 45 to 50 percent faster multi-thread performance over the i5 SKU while the i9 SKU is essentially on par with the i7 SKU. It's not until after long periods of sustained processing stress that the i9 SKU begins to outperform the i7 SKU, but the delta is still only about 10 percent at best. In other words, the Core i9 in the XPS 15 is just slightly better at sustaining faster Turbo Boost clock rates than the Core i7 version.

We also experienced more system instability on our i9 XPS 15 test unit. When attempting to run Intel XTU, for example, the system would crash each time whereas we had no such issues on the i7 XPS 15. In fact, undervolting our i7 configuration can even boost Turbo Boost performance to be above that of the stock Core i9.

So, what about GPU performance? The new GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q option is about 20 percent faster than the GTX 1050. It's overkill for streaming, browsing, and word processing purposes where the Nvidia GPU could actually be detrimental to battery life over the baseline integrated Intel UHD option, but heavy editors or gamers may welcome the extra graphics power.

Users who want the best performance that the XPS 15 9570 series can offer might find a lot to like about the Core i9 and GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q SKU. For significantly better performance-per-dollar, however, we recommend going with the Core i7 option. The Core i9 advantage is relatively minor for most scenarios.

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Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, 8950HK, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1095 (1008.45-1230.43)
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G; CPU Multi 64Bit; Undervolting: Ø1168 (1123.47-1219.85)
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1012 (980.27-1215.12)
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø812 (765.87-840.02)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
Intel Core i9-8950HK
190 Points ∼87%
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼80%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Intel Core i5-8300H
167 Points ∼77%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8750H
1251 Points ∼29%
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8750H
1215 Points ∼28%
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1163 Points ∼27%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Intel Core i5-8300H
840 Points ∼19%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Combined
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8750H
2643 Points ∼22%
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
Intel Core i9-8950HK
2621 Points ∼21%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8750H
16200 Points ∼56%
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
Intel Core i9-8950HK
15538 Points ∼54%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Intel Core i5-8300H
11971 Points ∼42%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8750H
7428 Points ∼18%
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
Intel Core i9-8950HK
7374 Points ∼18%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Intel Core i5-8300H
6216 Points ∼15%
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8750H
5605 Points ∼47%
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
Intel Core i9-8950HK
5444 Points ∼45%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Intel Core i5-8300H
4672 Points ∼39%
Productivity
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
Intel Core i9-8950HK
7212 Points ∼74%
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8750H
7037 Points ∼73%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Intel Core i5-8300H
6592 Points ∼68%
Essentials
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
Intel Core i9-8950HK
8951 Points ∼81%
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8750H
8429 Points ∼77%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Intel Core i5-8300H
7922 Points ∼72%
Score
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
Intel Core i9-8950HK
5059 Points ∼65%
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8750H
4966 Points ∼64%
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Intel Core i5-8300H
4479 Points ∼58%

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 11 > We compare the Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9. Which is the better buy?
Allen Ngo, 2018-11-14 (Update: 2018-11-14)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.