Dell XPS 15z vs. Macbook Pro 15"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Android 007, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Android 007 macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2011
    Right now I am deciding on whether to buy the Dell XPS 15z or the Macbook Pro 15".

    I will be studying engineering in college, and need a laptop that will be able to run and handle all my engineering programs. Also, I will be using programs such as Eclipse, Photoshop, Microsoft Visual C++, and Autodesk 3dsMax.

    Here are the specs for the laptops:

    Dell XPS 15z - $1500

    -750GB 7200rpm HD.
    -i7 2620M 2.7GHz turbo boost up to 3.40GHz
    -8GB RAM DDR3 133MHz
    -15.6" 1080p display
    -NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 2GB graphics with Optimus
    -Battery life at least 4 hours?

    Macbook Pro 15" - $1924

    -500GB 7200rpm HD
    -i7 2.0GHz quad core
    -Intel HD Graphics 3000
    AMD Radeon HD 6490M with 256MB GDDR5
    -15.4" 1680x1050 Antiglare display
    -4GB RAM 1333MHz DDR3
    -At least 6 hours battery life

    I was about to pull the trigger on the MBP 15" until I saw the Dell XPS 15z. I currently can't decide so someone please convince me :D.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
  3. scrapple macrumors regular


    Sep 23, 2004
    Dell obviously has better specs and cheaper.... its more a preference thing after that...
    osx or windows 7.. both great os's...
  4. crush500 macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2011
    The only reason I would choose the MBP over the Dell is if you don't care for Windows and would prefer OS X. Other than that I'd go Dell all the way. The battery isn't nearly as good as the MBP but everything else is superior on the Dell. It will really come down to personal preference. If you don't mind Windows get the Dell. If you don't care for Windows get the MBP.
  5. Android 007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2011
    This is true. Therefore the MBP is faster, correct?
    I like them equally :D.
    I don't mind Windows, but I also love OS X, lol.

    One thing I'm worried about is the Dell build quality. Apple is known to have amazing hardware quality in their computers, so if I purchased a MBP I wouldn't be afraid of anything breaking or whatever the case may be.
  6. crush500 macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2011
    From the reviews I've read it seems that the Dell's build quality isn't as good as Apple's. If you like the MBP and don't mind paying more for less specs than I'd go with the MBP. I don't mind Windows either but I really do like OS X.

    For what it's worth I'd personally go for the MBP just because I think it is of better quality and will last longer. I've had bad experiences with Dell in the past.
  7. Android 007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2011
    Thanks again. I was reading up on the build quality also of the Dell and read that the little metal trim comes off very easily and is made out of plastic. Yikes... lol.

    Also, the fans on the Dell XPS 15z get really loud during gaming. Anyone know where I can read a nice review on the Macbook Pro 15" when it comes to gaming? I'd like to know if the fans get noisy as well.
  8. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    I have the XPS 15 (not 15z) so I can comment a little.

    Its a good system and battery life is decent 4 hours on internet (this will be higher on the 15z as it is a dual core and has a 64 watt battery vs my 55 watt battery). For some reason MUCH longer with wireless off (like 6 with speakers disabled) Build quality is decent, not great, but decent. It took me 15 minutes to take the bottom panel off the computer as the plastic felt flimsy and I was afraid of breaking something, the screws would not come out. Speakers are amazing but the 15z is not as great as it does not have a subwoofer. Keyboard is okay, trackpad is very good (two finger scroll annoying). Its a good computer and worth the $900 I put in. I don't know what metal trim this is.

    Fans. This is what pisses me off. If my quad-core cpu goes over 20% the fans kick in high. They have three modes, low, high, and really high. They are very noisy but the good thing is that they keep the system very cool. When they kick in high the bottom of my case actually becomes cold. If I could compare it to my friend's MBP 15 inch I would say that the XPS 15 is a hairdryer and his MBP is a toaster (much hotter).

    That said there are two minor things that I hate. Mcaffe has an annoying habit of running a scan whenever I am on battery destroying battery life and windows update is always trying to download something when the wireless speed is 11 mbps (such as a crowded area). The macbook will not have these issues.

    It is fallacy that you will have less problems with build quality with a mac. Apple (as ranked by Squaretrade) is just average. This reputation arises from the fact that they are VERY good at replacing products (probably cause they cost so much and the profit margins cover everything) and they have very good customer service. Thus the consumer does not remember nor care that their computer broke as they got it fixed much easier than sending it in for 3 weeks to be repaired and paying shipping. There are four people in my class with macs, all are 2-3 years old and none of them get more than 3.5 hours of battery (I don't know if this is random or what. I get 4-5 hours on my 4 year old dell laptop). Hooking up one of their macs to a projector has about a 10% chance of success (on one the track pad goes berserk when hooked up to the projector). They are all completely clueless with computers, go figure this might be the reason. I am telling this a truthfully as I can. I am not an apple hater. I just have not had a stellar experience with Apple (chance?). My ipod and iphone work great and are amazing but battery life on these one year old products is down by 20-30%.
  9. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    What kind of engineering, exactly, that's quite a broad field.

    I use both a PC laptop and my MBP for mechanical engineering. I mostly use the MBP though.
  10. Android 007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2011
    Computer engineering.
    Thanks for the reply!

    As for fan noise, when do the fans turn on and start making noise that's easily heard? Is it during gaming or other times such as watching videos / surfing the web?

    Also, it's a given that overtime battery life decreases :(
  11. emiljan macrumors 6502


    Jan 25, 2010
    For that amount of money stay away from both of those and get a Lenovo thinkpad or an Dell Precision or HP ProBook.
  12. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    Kinda constant on off. What I hate is that there is no low setting. It's like 10% or 100%. Gaming would definitely turn the fans on. There should be a setting to change fan speed but I am too lazy to figure it out especially as many have said that it is difficult to do. However, the fans are good and the bottom (certain places actually feel cool). Generally, the fans can only be heard when you are alone in a quiet place, at a normal conversational level they can barely be heard. Surfing or videos will rarely turn the fans on.

    I have the XPS 15 and not the XPS 15z so there will be differences.
    I had trouble connecting to a projector, The system repeatedly crashed. I need to download the correct driver.
  13. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Another thing to remember is that the Dell can be purchased with next-day on-site repair service, where as with Apple you are at the mercy of the nearest Apple store, or have to wait a few days to weeks for service.
  14. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I would get the MBP. Why?
    1) Even if you were gaming, most modern games (Black Ops xD) only run well on quad core.
    2) You can't beat that build quality.
    3) The GPU on the Dell is better, but for non-gaming purposes the MBP's card is more than enough.
    4) Dell conducts battery testing with the display on minimum and everything über underclocked. Apple does more realistic testing with medium-low display brightness and no changes to the default settings of the OS. I can tell you for sure that I got 14 hours when I turned my display down to minimum and turned off 3 physical cores and hyperthreading/virtual cores.
    5) Which OS do you like better? You choose.
  15. Android 007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2011
    I've looked at Lenovo, particulary the T420s, X1, X220, and W series.

    The T420s has a very grainy screen.
    The X1 has only a 13".
    X220 only 12.5", but amazing screen.
    And the W series is too thick to carry around.

    The Probooks don't have many reviews, plus they are also built like a brick (very thick and heavy).

    When would you say the fans start to really rev up? When doing what types of tasks?
    Thanks! You have some convincing points here. Will keep them all into consideration.
  16. oneofthesedaves macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2011
    The build quality on the last Dell laptop I bought was utter crap. Keys kept falling off the keyboard, the fan sounded like a jet engine, the exterior emblem faded badly where rubbed. The top of the clam shell absorbed skin oils when touched and would not wipe off without using some kind of liquid. The customer service was not bad if you don't mind sitting on hold for an hour just to be "helped" by a guy in India who calls himself "Ace Clinton" and can't speak adequate English to converse with a customer. The battery life was about 30 minutes to 1 hour within 2 months. May the turds of a thousand camels crap all over Michael Dell and his crappy computers.:D
  17. TheFarmer macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2011
    Have you had hands on with either? What are your thoughts? Because when I start typing on the XPS 15z and think WTF.
  18. oneofthesedaves, Jun 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

    oneofthesedaves macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2011
    You can put a turd in an aluminum case, but inside the aluminum lies an unpolished turd. Open up the case and try to polish it and you will only end up with crap all over yourself. My Macbook Pro cost twice as much as the Dell, but I get more than twice the user experience. Worth. Every. Penny.
  19. Android 007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2011
    Was this the 15z??? What Dell was this? Because the 15z is their "latest" laptop.
    I've tested out the MBP's at an Apple store and love the build quality. Have not seen the Dell XPS 15z in stores yet.
    I really believe this too. I think MBP's cost so much for a reason, and that reason is mainly quality.
  20. TheFarmer macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2011
    That's what she said.
  21. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    No. The dell does not have better specs.
  22. macjacky11 macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2011
    I personally have used Dell's next-day on-site repair service, and it is very good.

    I had 13 inch xps before, and its dvd player stopped working one day. So I phoned Dell up and told them about this. The next day morning, they arranged an engineer to came to my place with a brand new dvd player. I have to say their service is wonderful and nothing to complain about.
  23. arcite macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2009
    Cairo, trapped in a pyramid with my iphone
    Built quality, battery life, other features are all pretty much negligible. BUY the mac only if you want a Mac. If you don't want OS X with hardware built and tweaked to run to perfection, then go with the PC. That's all there is too it.

    Apple charges a premium; if you are the type that works more efficiently with OS X and appreciate Apple's unique alchemy of hardware and software, you can't go wrong with a Macbook Pro.

    OH and don't forget the extra $300 for Applecare ;)
  24. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    This has not been my experience. Build quality is good. My dimension desktop from 2001 still works fine. Customer support phoned me and asked me how I liked the laptop, offered to send a tech over if there was anything wrong. She had no detectable accent and her english was fairly good.

    My dell computers have always worked well (but then the ones I buy are $800-1200) and battery life is very good. However, my classmate bought a $399 celeron inspiron which was a horrible piece of crap. Went through 3 batteries, two hard drives, and 3 ac adapters. But then she treated it like a piece of crap, dropped it multiple times (I think the actual number was around 5 or 6 times) and subjected it to high temps and shock/vibration. No wonder it broke. She would put the laptop in her backpack and chuck her backpack around, throw it down, etc.

    Fans rev when cpu is over 20% or when dedicated gpu turns on for games.

    Have you asked this question on other forums? Ask it one a pro pc forum and see what they say. It is important to know the two sides to every story.
  25. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Recently switching from a high end windows system to a MBP, I would recommend MBP easily.

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