The XPS series is Dell’s most premium, drool-worthy line, making some of the best laptops on the market, and the XPS 17 is the model with the most room for juicy high-end parts. So how much performance can you get out of a super-thin laptop if you throw in the latest Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia RTX graphics card? Gordon’s here to answer that question on the PCWorld YouTube channel.
Our review unit of the XPS 17 (9720 model) comes with a 12th-gen Core i7 12700H processor and an RTX 3060 GPU running at 65 watts, all crammed into a beautiful .77-inch chassis. While it’s no “gaming laptop,” instead focusing on productivity and media creation with its gorgeous 4K display, it’s certainly got the chops to run some of the latest high-end titles. But since this is a media creation machine, Gordon focused on more practical tests.
And practical is certainly an apt description of the XPS 17. In tests including Cinebench, PugetBench Photoshop, and PugetBench Premiere Pro, the XPS 17 holds its own against laptops equipped with the same CPU and GPU, sometimes even besting bigger machines with faster graphics cards. Chalk that up to the XPS 17’s more advanced active cooling system, perhaps. With faster DDR5 RAM, the XPS 17 can even beat chunkier designs like the Gigabyte Aero 16 with an RTX 3070 Ti for some intense Adobe applications.
As Gordon explains, the XPS 17 really isn’t designed to be a gaming machine, especially if you’re looking to play in 4K. In 3Dmark Timespy its GPU-focused scores are near the bottom of the pack for similar high-end machines. Even so, it’s an amazing laptop for creating with programs like Photoshop and Premiere, well worth considering if you don’t want to lug around a heavy “gaming” model. For more deep dives into the best laptops around, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and stay tuned to PCWorld.com for a full review of the XPS 17 next week.
Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.