Performance shootout: Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro (2018) vs. Dell’s XPS 15

“The 15-inch MacBook Pro’s Core i9 processor is fast, but how does it stand up against another notebook packing the same chip?” Vadim Yuryev writes for AppleInsider. “In this test, we’ve used a 15-inch MacBook Pro and a Dell XPS 15 notebook. Both are upgraded as far as they can go, except for the SSDs, with the Dell notably costing a fraction of the MacBook Pro’s price.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apropros, as the Dell offers a fraction of the MacBook Pro’s native operating system. Dell ought to be paying their sufferers for having to deal with Windows.

“Both notebooks have the same model of Core i9 processor,” Yuryev writes. “Starting with Geekbench 4, the MacBook Pro appeared to score way higher in the multi-core test, despite scoring lower in single-core, for the same exact chip. This result seemed a bit odd, but then we discovered that the Core i9 in the XPS 15 won’t run at full power unless you plug in the charger. On the retest, both machines were connected to their power adaptors, which allowed the XPS to run at a performance comparable to the MacBook Pro.”

MacDailyNews Take: Dell’s flagshop portable doesn’t perform full yunless it’s plugged in. There’s some classic Wintel logic for ya.

Yuryev writes, “Unsurprisingly, there is no change at all to the results on the MacBook Pro, regardless of whether it’s plugged in or not.”

“Based off these results, the XPS loses enough processor performance while on battery power that it’s actually slower than the MacBook Pro, despite having the exact same processor. The battery is just not able to provide enough power to keep up,” Yuryev writes. “The Dell also loses graphics performance while on battery, but it’s still way faster [1050 TI graphics] than the MacBook Pro’s graphics [Radeon Pro 560X] despite the power reduction.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: One one of these notebooks is a true portable computer, with an unmatched battery system, that runs all the world’s software, not a mere subset.


  1. MDN take is perfect example of selective reading. Everyone else will see that Dell offers equal or far superior (GPU) performance and quality for a lower price.

    There was a time that MacOS was the more efficient OS to use. Not so much anymore. The sole advantage Apple has is a secure UNIX kernel.

    But so does LINUX.

    Apple had better stop mailing it in if it wants formerly loyal Mac owners to remain in the fold. Premium prices need to come with premium performance.

  2. So the findings are that the Dell is generally faster than the Mac, just not as MUCH faster if unplugged.

    When both machines are plugged in, all things being equal, the Dell handily outperforms the MacBook Pro particularly in GPU performance where the difference is horrendously large.

    This confirms what people already know. You don’t buy a Mac if you NEED heavy graphics performance in areas like gaming, VR, CAD, etc. If you need the most powerful computer you can get, look at a Dell or other PCs, or (and especially) roll your own.

    If you need to be as productive as you can be, constantly interacting with you computer, multitasking, having multiple operating systems running simultaneously, Skype popping up, FaceTime popping up, doing network related work, app development, and so on, my experience is that this is where the macOS shines in comparison to Windows, though Windows is nowhere near as bad as MDN makes it sound. It’s not 1995 anymore. Windows 10 is a good OS.

    Still.. I don’t have a registry on my Mac… I WIN!

    I also wonder if Automatic Graphics Switching on the Mac was off or on during the tests.

  3. -XPS has the video conferencing camera down by the hinge. Horrible design choice.

    -Apple should be incorporating better graphics. The Nvidia 1050 was ~25% faster than the Radeon. That’s pretty substantial. It’s sad that you have to go eGPU – and the eGPU solution they provide is very weak!

    -Color calibration, speakers, trackpad, keyboard, Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, Industrial design, OS/exclusive software; these factors all favor the MBP.

  4. Remember when a selling point was the most world’s software could run on Windows?

    We’re essentially making the same argument for Mac as MS made for Windows 20 years ago.

    Is that all we got?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.