Best answer: If you want an XPS laptop that's capable of gaming when you're done working for the day, you'll be much better off with the XPS 15 instead. Alternatively, you can hook up an eGPU to the XPS 13, but this is tough to pull off on the go.

Intel integrated graphics can't cut it

Gaming is an intensive business. The processor in the XPS 13 goes up to a Core i7-8565U, which while not quite on par with a desktop equivalent, is still perfectly OK for most tasks. It has four cores and eight threads, which is all generally alright for gaming. It's the lack of dedicated graphics that hurts the XPS 13.

For gaming, Intel graphics just doesn't cut it. There are some games you can play — less intensive titles like Rocket League, Fortnite, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for example, along with some of the more casual titles in the Microsoft Store — but for any kind of decent PC gaming, you'll be left wanting. Even highly optimized titles will have to run at reduced resolution and graphics, and you probably won't enjoy yourself.

Want to game? Get the XPS 15

Dell XPS 15

The XPS 15 is a lot like the XPS 13 just a little bigger. And importantly, you can buy it with a decent GPU for gaming.

Starting at $1,499, you can get a GTX 1050 Ti paired with an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor and 16GB of RAM. The XPS 15 is more expensive than the XPS 13, but in some cases not that much more expensive, and it's money well spent if gaming is important.

The GTX 1050 Ti is actually a very capable for laptop gaming, and you'll be able to enjoy good frame rates in current titles at 1080p.

Use an eGPU at home

Razer Core X

If you want to game on the go, the XPS 15 is definitely a better option, but if you're wondering if you can use an XPS 13 to game when you're at home, there is a way.

The problem with the XPS 13 is the lack of a decent GPU, and with an eGPU like the Razer Core X you can make that problem go away. Thanks to the Thunderbolt 3 connection on the XPS 13, you can hook up one of these with a full desktop GPU inside and use it to game away to your hearts content.

The XPS 15 is certainly better value overall when you factor in the additional cost, but the eGPU is certainly an option if you already have the XPS 13. It all depends how serious you want to get with your gaming.

Our pick

Dell XPS 15

Go for the Intel Core i7 and the NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti

If you want to do any form of PC gaming then you really need dedicated graphics. In this case, the GTX 1050 Ti available on the XPS 15 models starting at $1,400 will do a good job.

Magic box

Razer Core X

Add desktop graphics to an XPS 13

If you're still more interested in an XPS 13, you can game on it if you hook up an eGPU to it over Thunderbolt 3, removing the problem no internal dedicated graphics presents.

Get a Core i5 or Core i7 XPS 13

Whether you're interested in gaming or not, the Core i5 or Core i7 versions of the XPS 13 are definitely the ones to go for. For gaming with an eGPU, the additional power will be welcome, but even in every day use you'll appreciate it.

The Core i5 models start at $1,100, which is $200 more than the entry-level version, but besides a better processor you also get more storage and RAM, representing great value.

Dell XPS 13 9380 (From $900 at Dell)

The Dell XPS 13 continues to be a class leading Ultrabook, even without significant updates in recent years. It ticks almost every single box and if you want to game with it, maybe throw on an eGPU.

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