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Hot tips: Dell XPS 15 9570
Build is solid. Good physical construction. Chuck it into a backpack and don't worry about heavy textbooks (or other rugged gear) causing screen flex damage.
Performance is great. 6-cores is amazing, coming from a 2-core U-series laptop.
Display is really good. Bright LED backlight, crisp 1080. Love it!
Keyboard is a bit shallow. As a previous Thinkpad owner, I
still have not fully eventually did get used to the XPS keyboard.
Noise level is good. Silent or near silent most of the time when idle. The fan does constantly spin with my USB-C dock connected, but at minimum speed.
Touchpad is great. It's big and clicky.
Audio is good. See tweak section below. Needs a further tweaking for realtime audio production.
Weight at ~2kg is good.
Battery/Storage I recommend getting the bigger 97 Whr battery as the battery life becomes a lot longer. SSD's are REALLY affordable nowadays if you're concerned about needing the extra storage bay.
Quality control from factory is bad
- My unit came with 3 dead pixels and major ghosting on the display panel right out of the factory. Immediately got the screen replaced.
- The battery also stopped working entirely for a few weeks - but then started working again. (I don't understand but am pleasantly surprised!). This original battery is worn out badly BUT still works.
Update to my favourite version 1.15.0 * Later BIOS versions slow things down
1. Use Dell's drivers. It's 2021 and they're stable now.
- Audio (Realtek UAD)
- Dell's OEM Realtek audio drivers are much better now than they initially were back in 2018.
- This includes MaxxAudioPro which is objectively garbage. Whilst it does improve the audio level on the XPS's tiny speakers, it does noticeably affect quality - for example distortion and unequal volume levels for music which I do find annoying.
- Alternatively you can use an unofficially-repackaged Realtek UAD drivers.
- The jack detection ONLY WORKS IF the Realtek Audio Console app is open.
- I'm not smart enough to fix this
- Option #2 AAF DCH Optimus Sound
- I used the “OnlyRTK” download from GitHub. I think the guy packages other APO's in the normal passage, but I don't really need that. (I do think Dolby APO is very nice though)
- Unlike pal1000's package, the jack detection 'just works'. Still testing.
- Intel Graphics If you want the VERY latest Intel Display drivers (If you get “The driver being installed is not validated for this computer. Please obtain the appropriate driver from the computer manufacturer.”, uninstall the existing Dell provided ones using DDU, then install directly from Intel Thanks andresandiah for the tip!)
- Latest NVIDIA drivers work.
- Don't have Intel XTU installed
2. ThrottleStop to undervolt.
- First, unlock BIOS undervolting restriction using this hack source:
- setup_var_3 0x659 0x00
- setup_var_3 0x5BD 0x00
- I'm stable at around
3. Repaste the CPU
- Technicians/factory do a simple not-so-great job as they just get given a pre-cut strip of paste to 'plonk' on.
4. Optional mods
- If you feel creative, apply some additional thermal pads (google it) and tape mod near the vents (google it) which is easy.
- Or for some extra $$ to buy some small parts, follow this awesome mod (!!) http://robwillis.info/2019/08/dell-xps-15-9570-thermal-mods/
- I went ALL the way and paid $76 AUD for a custom-manufactured double heatpipe heatsink from China https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=574377546102
Sleep mode on the XPS (and Windows 10 in general) is absolutely terrible. There have been times when I've returned to my laptop only to find it BURNING HOT with the lid closed.
My recommendation is to turn off Modern Standby.
- Method 1 is to use this registry for Windows 10 versions from 20H2
reg add HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power /v PlatformAoAcOverride /t REG_DWORD /d 0
- Method 2 use this bootloader hack for Windows 10 versions prior to 20H2 (rEFInd is a bootloader. I was already using it as a boot menu between Windows and macOS)https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/h0r56s/getting_back_s3_sleep_and_disabling_modern/
Alternatively if you do NOT want to turn off Modern Standby (but why?), here are some mitigations:
1. Shut down when you can.
2. Set your power plan to hiberate after a few hours of idle. Better to wear the SSD than the laptop heat up to crazy temperatures in a backpack (or the fans going crazy in the dead of the night).
3. Windows 10 Settings > Power & Sleep > Network Connection > 'Always' disconnect from the network.
4. Dell's Modern Standby Performance Improvement Package for this model claims to improve sleep mode. Whatever it does, just install it and move on.
5. PowerCfg.zip attached to this support article is supposed to force disable connected standby, if the above didn't help you.
You will need to turn off a bunch of power management settings to get acceptable DPC latency. It's acceptable for me now mostly thanks to Dell's BIOS fixes early on
(and BOOTICE to insert the EFI boot menu entry)
setup_var 0x5BD 0x0 #Disable CFG Lock setup_var 0x659 0x0 #Disable Overclocking Lock setup_var 0x725 0x1 #Enable Overclocking Feature setup_var 0x72B 0x50 #Set Core Voltage Offset (0x88 = 136 = 135.7mV) setup_var 0x72D 0x1 #Set Core Voltage Offset Prefix (1 = minus)
Credit to Alibloke and NoFocus8054 (via reddit)