Laptop announced date: 1st May 2020
Last reviewed: 24th August 2020
There are so many variables influencing gaming laptop prices. The hardware they have in them can be adjusted and as soon as we change it it becomes hard to know how one laptop compares to another. This laptop review will take a look at how well the Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 512GB M.2 can run today’s latest games and what sort of frame rates this Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 512GB M.2 might achieve. Then we will look at its release price and summarise how good its price in regards to its gaming performance. From there you can compare this laptop and get a good idea of whether this is a good value choice for your gaming needs today and into the future.
Is the Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 512GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Not for gaming
Processor - This laptop’s Core i5-1035G1 4-Core 1.00GHz processor is incapable of meeting 2020 AAA requirements and is not suitable for gaming. AAA games are increasing the number of cores that they can use during the running of a game. This laptop processor has 4 cores, which is a good number of cores for modern gaming.
Graphics Card - The graphics solution found in this laptop is not for 2020 gaming. Most of today’s games will not run on it. Perhaps some casual gaming could be found with it, but check our graphs below. There is a very low amount of VRAM in this laptop, which makes it a poor choice for gaming.
System Memory - Today’s 2020 games are well catered for by the 8GB system memory found in this laptop. While you could find a machine with more RAM, this is a good gamer laptop choice.
Screen Size - This laptop is an OK choice of laptop panel size. Gaming and running modern titles during 2020 on this 13.4" laptop screen size is not ideal. A gaming laptop screen size, in our eyes, would be 17 inches. We would certainly consider the more portable 15inch, but value gaming viewability and user experience over the slightly improved portability with the smaller screen sizes. A bigger laptop means heavier and harder to move around but more screen space to view games with.
Refresh Rate - Refresh rates can be hard to see, when the laptop reseller doesn't make it clear. Assume 60Hz if this is the case. Ideally for a gaming laptop you want 120Hz. This means the games you run can get up to 120 frames per second, assuming the hardware inside them is powerful enough to deliver that FPS. The refresh rate caps a games deliverable FPS even if the hardware can deliver more FPS than the Hz. The refresh rate on this laptop panel is ok for gaming, at 60Hz, but a decent gaming laptop would have a higher rate, to help deliver better FPS, if the hardware was capable of that in game.
With this gaming laptop we will be exploring how well it can run modern, demanding and popular games that are out now or will be coming out over the coming months. Currently we will want to understand its gaming performance compared to its overall laptop cost and we can do this by looking at how it could run popular games like, Cyberpunk 2077 or Assassins Creed: Valhalla. We will be seeing how it deals with these games in ultra graphics settings on its laptop screen resolution of 1080p. This laptop has the G1 1050MHz in it. Of the 500 most demanding games around today this graphics card is capable of running 0 games at minimum system requirements and 0 games at their recommended system requirements.
Have you been looking for the best gaming laptop for your buck? Well you have probably encountered what we have, which is that, only certain laptops are normally reviewed and even then the review is often using games that are now getting out of date. So we decided to factor in all permutations of the XPS 13 (2020) model range and compare them against the price adjustments those hardware variations incur when you change a GPU, for example. And so we have created this Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop price to performance review with a P2P rating to help standardise our comparisons.
A 0 P2P score rating out of 10 has been allocated today to the Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 512GB M.2. This value will adjust automatically as hardware and modern performance requirements from laptops improve over time. With a number of XPS 13 (2020) laptops in the model lineup this particular variant places at the 5th position for Price to Performance value. Laptops closer to the top place (1st) are value gaming laptop options that deliver the best performance for the laptop price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i5-1035G1 4-Core 1.00GHz|
|Graphics Card||G1 1050MHz|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 3773MHz|
13.4" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 60Hz
Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 512GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-1065G7 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,679.98||100%|
|i7-1065G7 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,599.99||100%|
|i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1099.99||100%|
|i7-1065G7 8GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1399.99||100%|
|i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 512GB M.2||Price Unknown|
|i7-1065G7 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||Price Unknown|
|i7-1065G7 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||Price Unknown|
We will now check against leading Price 2 Performance laptops outside of this model range to see how the Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 512GB M.2 compares. Looking at the best gaming laptop on price to performance, our laptop has 100% worse rating between its price to performance rating and today's best valued laptop, which is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 that is currently priced at $986.99. Again only comparing against Price to Performance we can see that the second best model in today’s P2P ranking list is the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop, and our laptop is 100% worse when compared against this price to performance rating. The price of the 2nd best laptop is listed as $858.54.
CPU performance is always going to be something we are interested in, when looking to buy a new laptop. So if we compare this XPS 13 (2020) laptop to a CPU focused laptop, we will pick today’s top CPU performing laptop at the cheapest price point, then we can use this as a good measuring point for our laptop in question. We have chosen our comparison CPU focused laptop today as the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p, which comes armed with the Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz laptop CPU. This top tier CPU is currently delivering 145% better performance when benched against our own review laptop’s Core i5-1035G1 4-Core 1.00GHz.
Our laptop’s CPU can currently run 0 of today’s top 500 demanding games meeting their recommended processor requirements. This figure is 263 for the top 500 minimum requirement games that can be run by the Core i5-1035G1 4-Core 1.00GHz.
Recommended processor requirements for modern games increase all the time, so we thought we would compare the performance of our laptop CPU to some popular games of today. First off there is Watch Dogs Legion and our laptop CPU delivers 30% worse performance compared to that game’s requirement. Next we have Assassins Creed: Valhalla in which we see our laptop processor has 30% worse performance compared to the game's CPU specs. And then there is 30% worse performance when we put our laptop cpu against Cyberpunk 2077 recommended specs.
You will likely be considering buying a graphics and pixel crunching laptop perhaps to meet the latest and future game requirements. We will therefore be wondering how our XPS 13 (2020) review laptop competes against other GPU centric laptops in the gaming laptop market. To give us a bit of insight we will compare our laptop with a leading GPU performance laptop and see how its graphics capability performs against it. We have chosen this next laptop for its GPU power, which is the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K, and comes packing a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB video card. That graphics card performs 803% better when compared to our review laptop’s G1 1050MHz.
A snapshot today of performance for our Graphics Card, we can currently see it beating 0 of the 500 most demanding games available right now. This is considering their recommended system requirements. For a the top 500 Minimum system specs this is 0 games.
Games these days have a range of graphics requirements so let's look at a few popular games of today, and check our laptop GPU against the games recommended requirement. First off, Cyberpunk 2077 and our laptop graphics gets 100% better performance rating. Next we have Watch Dogs Legion where our graphics card gets 100% better performance and finally another popular title at the moment is Assassins Creed: Valhalla, which has a performance difference of : 100% better, when put against our laptop’s G1 1050MHz.
With 4K monitors being ever present and often talked about in the same breath as the term ‘future proof’, its always worth exploring the idea that you should be looking at 4K instead of this 1080p laptop. Our Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 512GB M.2’s physical 13.4" panel delivers 1920 pixels across its width and 1080 pixels tall. With 60Hz being the usual screen refresh rate on 4K laptop panels this would cap a game to run at no more than 60 frames per second, even if the 4K laptop hardware could deliver more. And then most AAA games require more powerful hardware than a laptop houses to play stable 4K Ultra graphics setting games, even at a passable but, some would consider, a bit low, 60FPS. This particular laptop refresh rate options are 60Hz.
Dropping a game’s screen resolution down below the native 4K resolution to 1080p or 1440p, would possibly deliver the much needed FPS for stable modern AAA gaming. Down scaling that native resolution comes at a price, though. As soon as you step away from the native resolution of any monitor/ panel it lowers the clean definition of a game as the physical number of screen pixels don't match those being sent by the game. The game starts to look blurry. But if the laptop does have the hardware to run today's AAA titles at 4K resolution, a normal sized portable PC comes with a 15 or 17 inch panel. This might not be physically big enough to make the most of the splendors of your game. It would of course look great still, but perhaps a dedicated monitor for your desk, one that isnt 60Hz restricted would accommodate that gaming scenario.
Possibly a suitable purpose for a 4K laptop would be if you were keen to watch 4K streaming services like Netflix. At which point perhaps it's enough of a selling point for you to consider a 4K laptop?
As you can probably gather from the information above, its probably not worth the extra cash for a 4K laptop if gaming is your Laptop purpose. 1080p is likely plenty and has enough alternative gaming options for when you want better resolution. It feels like you might not get what you were after if you picked up a shiny new 4K laptop, then was needing to lower game resolution, while getting blurry in-game experience and achieving a max 60FPS when you could push the hardware into better frame rates.
If you wanted a desktop monitor to go with the Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop then this ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS would go well and has 75Hz and today’s price of $294.99. We like to review tracked prices for our suggested hardware and this 1440p monitor is no different. We spotted its lowest price, recorded on 5th Aug 2020, where it cost $272.99.
Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz is a good value, high performing desktop display that might work well with this laptop. It's currently priced up at $829.99 and also has a 144Hz refresh rate. During these past 2 weeks, this 4K monitor’s price has gone up by $799. Interestingly we spotted this 4k monitor at its lowest recorded price on 11th Aug 2020, where it was priced up as $797.05.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
The primary use we can think of is for streaming 4K movie and TV content, assuming you have access to these services. If this is your primary use for the laptop, rather than gaming then it certainly might be worth considering this.
At the moment our advice would be, stick to the 1080p laptop panels for now. Your laptop remains portable and 4K laptop’s just aren't quite there yet. The 4K needs to be a no brainer but at the moment you will still have to lower resolution in game to get playable but sub par visuals that still can't raise above 60FPS.
The gaming mouse with today’s best price to value that would go well with the Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. Its current price is $11.99. This mouse has also dropped its price by $19 during the past two weeks, which is a solid reason for us to select it with this laptop. Another point of reference for this mouse, is that our lowest recorded price for this mouse was on 15th Aug 2020 where it was costing $11.99.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|*||Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons||$11.99|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$16.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$44.99|
|***||Logitech G502 SE Hero||$55.99|
A headset that is well priced at the moment and could accompany the Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. Of the headsets we price track, it is one of the best valued headsets today and currently priced at $47.14. For reference, the lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $25.98 on 12th Mar 2020.