Help me Choose an Ultrabook

Rafael10

Commendable
Feb 24, 2016
4
0
1,510
0
Hi. I'm traveling to the US and will be buying a laptop. My max budget is $1000.

I need to be able to run MATLAB comfortably and I would love to be able to play a few games, though I don't mind not being able to run the latest ones. GTA V would be absolutely ideal if I could run it at least at minimum, to give you an idea.

It could be a regular ultrabook or a 2-in-1 in the 13 inch range, but I could go for a 14 inch. 2-in-1s are interesting to me because I could watch Netflix on it comfortably while on tent mode, but they are not a necessity.

These are my choices so far. They are all Skylake laptops.

First the Spectre and XPS, which are my top choices.

HP Spectre 13 x360
This would be my go-to choice had I not read so many reports about heat problems and CPU throttling. Have any of you had this kind of problem?

Dell XPS 13 9350
I can work with the 128 SSD if need be and will probably choose this one if the heat problems in the Spectre are confirmed.

I'm also considering a few more, though I'm not totally convinced.

Dell Inspiron i7359-8404SLV
Similar specs to the Spectre with a bit more weight and cheaper.

Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 14
Dedicated graphics is great, but the extra weight and bulk is something I don't like too much.

Thanks!
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
The following video shows GTA 5 being played on a Surface Pro 4 with a Core i5-6300 and the Intel HD 520 graphics core at various resolution. A core i7-6500u might get you a couple of extra FPS, but both have the same Intel HD 520 graphics core.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHtSmNdcEzs


If you want to play games then the ThinkPad Yoga 14 is better suited because of the nVidia 940m. While heavier and bulkier, it is a bit more versatile since it comes with a digital pen which may or may not be useful to you.
 

Rafael10

Commendable
Feb 24, 2016
4
0
1,510
0


Nice! The Surface line looks great but any comparable configuration to the ones I'm posting here is beyond my budget.

Here's a video of GTA V on a Dell XPS (Broadwell): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvv_QeyoUoo

 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
I wasn't pushing you to buy a Surface Pro 4. The video was merely used to demonstrate the performance you would get with an Intel HD 520 graphics core.

Ultimately, it is your decision if you want a laptop with integrated or dedicated graphics. For certain games integrated graphics can provide a "fun enough" experience based on your expectations.
 

Rafael10

Commendable
Feb 24, 2016
4
0
1,510
0


Oh no, I didn't mean to imply you were pushing me or anything.

Based on the video you posted and the ones I've seen based on that, it seems that the Intel HD Graphics 520 is quite capable of running some newer (though not newest) games, so I think I prefer the size and portability of the 13.3 inch laptops over the Thinkpad.

I'm leaning towards the Spectre, but heat and throttling still has me worried. Unfortunately, most heat reports refer to the Broadwell version, so I'm not sure if the issue persisted in the Skylake model.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Based on the following review, heat should generally not be a problem. In the "Temperature" section of the review the laptop only gets slightly warm under normal use. Furmark and Prime95 were used to stress the CPU and graphics core. Furmark is extremely stressful; it is more stressful than an actual game that is very graphically intensive.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/HP-Spectre-x360-13-i5-6200U-Convertible-Review.153933.0.html
 

Rafael10

Commendable
Feb 24, 2016
4
0
1,510
0


I'm not acquainted with these tests and CPU clock speeds in general. However, that i5 is a 2.3GHz, 2.7GHz turbo processor, so doesn't the average speed being 2.1GHz show that there's some throttling? Or is that normal with the Furmark test?
 
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