Laptop announced date: 1st May 2020
Last reviewed: 18th 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 256GB M.2 can run today’s latest games and what sort of frame rates this Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 256GB 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 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Not for gaming
Processor - This laptop processor is not a gaming laptop processor for 2021. Gamers look elsewhere. This laptop has 4 processor cores, which can really help towards modern games to avoid processor bottlenecks. This CPU core count is good, considering the modern multithreaded activity games can utilise with today’s hardware.
Graphics Card - This laptop graphics solution will struggle to run 2021 game releases making it a poor laptop GPU choice for gamers today. With such a low amount of VRAM available to this graphics solution, this makes this laptop not a suitable gamers choice for modern gaming.
System Memory - A good amount of RAM for gamers, this laptop has 8GB and is capable of running plenty of new release titles during the 2021 gaming year.
Screen Size - This laptop’s 13.4" has an OK screen size for modern 2021 AAA gaming. Although we would certainly encourage a gaming laptop to have a larger physical footprint, to ensure you could see the game text and menu systems adequately. 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. With just 60Hz refresh rate this is ok and passable for gaming, but ideally you are looking for a screen with a higher rate.
While it can be tricky to work out the best price to performance hardware for a gaming laptop, we will be looking at how well this mobile graphics card can run demanding games that are available today or coming out over the coming months.We will consider how well it can perform while gaming at Ultra graphics setting on a 1080p resolution, which is the native resolution for this laptop. We will also look at a few of the more popular games like, Grand Theft Auto VI or Battlefield 6. A first point of reference is seeing how many the mobile gpu, a G1 1050MHz found in this laptop, can run of today's 500 most demanding games. In particular it would seem that it can currently run 0 at recommended graphics requirements and then 0 games at their min specs.
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 256GB M.2 laptop price to performance review with a P2P rating to help standardise our comparisons.
We review performance and allocate a P2P rating out of 10 that will adjust over time as the prices for hardware adjust. This laptop is currently given a 4.8 for P2P. As not all laptops and their prices are of course valued equally we can see that this version of the XPS 13 (2020) laptop is in 3rd position on the best Price to Performance value rating. Those closer to 1st place are simply better gaming laptop options regarding the gaming performance they deliver for their 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 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-1065G7 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,519.99||27%|
|i7-1065G7 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1,627.08||11%|
|i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1099.99||0%|
|i7-1065G7 8GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1399.99||20%|
|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|
The best performing laptop for Price to Performance is currently the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop. So if we compare this Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop to that laptop we can see that it performs 230% worse on Price to Performance rating. Out of interest, the top P2P laptop currently has a recorded price of $999.00. The next best model is Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which costs $853.00. Our XPS 13 (2020) review laptop is 212% worse when comparing Price/Performance against the next top P2P laptop. Again this is purely a value for performance comparison, and many things go into helping us choose the right laptop for us. This is a good indicator but it's certainly then worth looking through the range for other configurations of a laptop you are interested in to find the right price point for you.
To get a good comparison when considering how well this laptop performs in terms of processing power, we will compare it to today’s most powerful CPU focused laptop. This will at least show us what other sorts of processor-centric laptops exist and give us a relative point of laptop processor cost comparison. Selecting todays ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733 (2021) R9 5900HX RTX 3080 8GB Max-Q 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 1080p 165Hz laptop, we will use its mighty Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz to compare against our Core i5-1035G1 4-Core 1.00GHz processor from our review laptop. We can see that the top end CPU currently delivers 162% better performance when benched against our own review laptop’s Core i5-1035G1 4-Core 1.00GHz.
A snapshot today of performance for our processor, 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 231 games.
But the real test is seeing how well the laptop CPU performs against today's popular games. Our Core i5-1035G1 4-Core 1.00GHz compared against recommended processor requirements for Grand Theft Auto VI delivers 66% worse performance while against Battlefield 6 it’s 66% worse and finally compared to Resident Evil 8 it has a performance difference : 86% worse.
A good comparison in terms of graphical power for our review model would be to compare it to one of the most powerful GPU focused laptop’s around today. This type of comparison can show us what another laptop, with a top end graphics hardware solution, can deliver and in turn provide us a relative point of laptop Graphics Card cost comparison. Lets grab a graphics focused laptop for comparison then. We have chosen the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop for its graphical performance. This big hitting GPU laptop comes with a GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile video card in it that performs 837% better if we bench it against our laptop’s G1 1050MHz graphics hardware.
Today there are 0 games recommended system requirements that are worse than our GPU’s performance capability, this is when we look at the top 500 most demanding games right now. This figure becomes 0 games, when we look at the 500 demanding games for minimum Graphics Card system requirements.
But the real test is seeing how well the laptop GPU performs against today's popular games. Our G1 1050MHz compared against recommended graphics requirements for Grand Theft Auto VI delivers 100% better performance while against Battlefield 6 it’s 100% better and finally compared to Resident Evil 8 it has a performance difference : 100% better.
If you are looking for future proof laptops it doesnt take long before people are exploring the 4K panel laptops, but are they really the right choice or should you be focusing on a top end laptop that has the hardware to deliver 1080p gaming. The Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 256GB M.2’s 13.4" physical panel produces a native 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall. We normally see a 60Hz screen refresh rate accompanying most 4K laptop panels. Which means a game would reach a top 60 FPS before it maxed out, even if the laptop’s hardware was powerful enough to deliver frame rates that were better than that. Today’s AAA games are usually too demanding for a 4K resolution anyway. With a bigger refresh rate helping your FPS this Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 has 60Hz screen refresh rate variants available.
So lowering a game’s screen resolution down to 1080p or 1440p during your gaming of modern AAA games will help get more frames per second. But in doing so, by down scaling the game resolution will then make the game look blurry on a native 4K laptop panel. So the purpose of getting a 4K laptop monitor for gaming maybe lost at this point. If the following is the case, where the 1080p gaming laptop could run games you love at a higher 4K resolution then you could always hook up the PC laptop to a desktop monitor. One that was much bigger than the laptop screen size, like a 31inch with 144Hz refresh rate to enjoy 1440p or 4K resolution when gaming at home. Then still have your laptop for mobile gaming as well.
4K streaming could be a viable reason to consider 4K over 1080p laptop panels.
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.
A well priced 1440p gaming monitor with 75Hz, is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS, which is currently priced at $307.73 and would work well with our Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. We like to price track our favourite laptop hardware and peripherals. And as a point of note the lowest tracked price for this 1440p monitor was recorded on 9th Mar 2021, which was priced at $229.99.
Here is a 4K monitor to compliment any laptop - Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz. We watch a handful and it is currently the best priced at $629.99. It has a 144Hz refresh rate as well. This 4K monitor, during these past couple of weeks, has increased its price by $580. It’s still a solid purchase to accompany this laptop but it means you may find it for even cheaper at the moment, if you look around. For some extra info about this 4k monitor, during our price tracking we can see the lowest price recorded by us was $549.99, which was on 13th Nov 2020.
[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.
We price track a number of good value gaming mice and the one that currently stands out is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons, which is currently available for $12.99. This mouse has also dropped its price by $37 during the past two weeks, which is a solid reason for us to select it with this laptop. Looking over our tracked prices for this mouse, it was at its lowest price on 15th Aug 2020, which had it priced at $11.99.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$15.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$49.22|
|***||Razer DeathAdder Elite||$59.99|
A good value gaming headset available at the moment, one that should go well with the Dell XPS 13 (2020) i5-1035G1 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 is, Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround with a price of $39.99. For reference, our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 28th Nov 2019 and it was priced at $34.99.