Is Dell XPS 17 good for gaming?

Dell XPS 17 9700 2020
Dell XPS 17 9700 2020 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Is Dell XPS 17 good for gaming?

Best answer: The Dell XPS 17 is a powerful laptop that can handle games well, but there are better options if you're looking for a dedicated gaming device.

Avoid the entry-level model

The Dell XPS 17 is one of the best Windows laptops available right now, offering buyers a wide range of powerful configurations that will be suitable for a variety of different budgets. If you're a gamer, though, it's important to avoid buying the entry-level model of the Dell XPS 17 that only comes with an i5-11400H CPU, Intel UHD Graphics, and 8GB of RAM. With specs like this, the Dell XPS 17 will only be able to handle light gaming and will struggle to run anything that's more demanding than simple titles like Minecraft.

We recommend upgrading the CPU to at least an i7-11800H for better gaming performance (the i9-11900H and i9-11980HK are also available if you want the best of the best). For the GPU, opting for an NVIDIA RTX 3050 or 3060 is a must, as Intel UHD Graphics simply doesn't have enough power for a comfortable gaming experience. Finally, you should at least get 16GB of RAM, though opting for 32GB or 64GB certainly won't hurt.

While the basic 512GB SSD is serviceable for gaming, you won't be able to install too many games with a drive that small. Therefore, we also recommend upgrading to at least 1TB of storage (2TB, 4TB, and 8TB are also available options if you want more space). You can also upgrade the FHD 1920x1200 display to a 4K 3840x2400 if you want to make your games look as good as possible, though it's important to note that a 4K display will drain the 97Wr battery much faster.

The Dell XPS 17 is good for gaming, but ...

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Overall, with a model that has the specs we recommend above, the Dell XPS 17 is a good laptop for gaming. It can handle most modern titles well with respectable frame rates, though you may find that you'll need to turn some settings down a bit to maintain a perfect 60 FPS gaming experience. Even so, it's still a powerful laptop that's available at competitive prices, making it a strong choice for someone who wants to PC game on a clamshell.

However, just because the Dell XPS 17 is good doesn't mean that there aren't other options that are better. If your heart is set on a 17-inch laptop that will deliver strong gaming performance, the Razer Blade Pro may be a better option for you. It can be outfitted with a wide range of powerful CPUs and GPUs that outperform the Dell XPS 17's hardware such as the i9-11900H and NVIDIA RTX 3080, and it also comes with options for FHD displays that have up to 360Hz refresh rate or 4K ones that max out at 120Hz (the Dell XPS 17's display is 60Hz regardless of configuration). This means that you'll be able to enjoy 100+ FPS on the Razer Blade Pro, as opposed to the Dell XPS 17's 60 FPS maximum.

The Razer Blade Pro is considerably more expensive than the Dell XPS 17 across the board, which will no doubt be a dealbreaker for some. If you have the money to spend, though, the Razer Blade Pro is worth it since it will deliver much stronger performance — especially if you kit it out with some of the best hardware specs that money can buy. Ultimately, the Dell XPS 17 is a good choice for gaming, but the Razer Blade Pro is one of the best gaming laptops available and is a better buy if you're looking for a dedicated 17-inch gaming machine.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.