Dell Precision 5540 one-month review

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by HardAce, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. fmantek

    fmantek Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    10
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ok, found it. Silly me, i was playing with the Windows Power plan settings. I should have known that there is a corresponding Dell application that pretty much hooks itself into the OS and overrides it.

    Dell Power Manager, for some reason, was set to quiet. Setting it to optimal results now in decent benchmark scores:

    https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/19477698

    the SSD performance is still bad, and i find this warning:

    " Performing below potential (30th percentile) - ensure that a dual+ channel XMP BIOS profile is enabled"

    something to investigate, although i saw nothing like that in the bios so far.

    Frank
     
  2. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    741
    Messages:
    4,204
    Likes Received:
    1,197
    Trophy Points:
    231
    Before I saw the second page I was just going to post and say check Dell Power Manager and make sure that it is set to "Optimized" (default).

    The power profiles in Windows are sort of deprecated now which is why everything other than Balanced is hidden by default. You're "supposed" to use Balanced and then hit the power icon in the system tray, which has a slider to adjust between "Best performance" and "Best battery life".
     
  3. fmantek

    fmantek Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    10
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Update on the LaCie Raid array not going into power safe when sleeping, but hibernating.

    The main problem I had with this (I prefer hibernation anyway, it's so fast on the 5540, there is no real difference to me), was that to get out of hibernation, I had to open the lid and press the power button.

    Silly me. When I connected everything, I put the 19TB dock behind the monitor, far away. Never noticed that there was a power button that mirrors the effect of the Precision power button.

    So while the "go to sleep - array stays awake" issue is not solved, I have an acceptable workaround by just placing the dock in a way that I can reach it's power button easily.

    Low tech solutions, gotta love them.

    Now the only left over issues are the really bad SSD and MultiCore performance for a "workstation" class laptop. Comparing the Geekbench, Cinebench and CrystalMark numbers between the 5540 and the MacBookPro I have access to with the same processor, the Macbook is considerable faster in the SSD department and also in CPU. And the MacBook is dead quiet while delivering more performance :). So the main benefit of the 5540 is the T2000 and more RAM, which is important enough to my use cases.

    Question to the readers: are those typical "just released" issues that get better with firmware/driver updates automatically? Or does this require enough "support tickets" to get attention?

    Frank
     
  4. virtualeyes

    virtualeyes Notebook Geek

    Reputations:
    6
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    16
    So, as in the Reddit thread the maximum sustained speed you'll get in the 5540 with the 8-core CPU is 4ghz, leaving basically a full 1ghz of processing power off the table.

    For the 7740 with same CPU I'm seeing benchmarks with 4.6ghz average turbo speed, so much closer to advertised max clock.

    Compared to the 6-core you get a couple more cores (definite nice-to-have for parallel tasks), while running at slightly slower max clock.

    Perhaps undervolting the CPU could help boost clock speed a bit. At any rate, underwhelmed with CPU performance in the 5540 so far, particularly if heat/fan noise is the same as it ever was in 15" Precision line.
     
  5. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    741
    Messages:
    4,204
    Likes Received:
    1,197
    Trophy Points:
    231
    I've had decent luck getting someone involved who is close to the engineers by submitting a ticket with clear, reproducible steps for a problem. I was involved in testing fixes for the TB18DC dock last year because of this. I also got them to take a serious look at the NVIDIA GPU driver behavior when the auto-contrast-on-battery issue was going on (unfortunately they wouldn't engage NVIDIA to get it fixed; NVIDIA ended up fixing it on their own later).

    Anyway, if the CPU is downclocking because it is hitting the thermal limit (I believe this starts happening when it hits the upper 80's °C) then there isn't a whole lot that can be done, outside of physical stuff like repasting and undervolting to get the temperature down. It is expected that max sustained clock speed in the 5540 will be lower than in the 7540 because of more tight thermal constraints.
     
  6. fmantek

    fmantek Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    10
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Agreed and understood. But, the performance should not be worse than the Dell Inspiron with the same CPU. That makes the whole "Workstation" argument a tad silly.
     
  7. virtualeyes

    virtualeyes Notebook Geek

    Reputations:
    6
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    16
    How are the cold boot/no apps running, idle temps in the 5540?

    Over on Dell Reddit there's a report of same spec'd laptop running 80C idle, which I find hard to believe, the laptop fans would be running high speed, non-stop if that were the case.
     
  8. fmantek

    fmantek Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    10
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Right now, just browsing the net and reading articles, the CPU is at 53´-55 C and the T2000 runs at 40-45. I was playing an older 3D game for a few hours today, temps went to 65-70C for most of the time.

    F.
     
  9. virtualeyes

    virtualeyes Notebook Geek

    Reputations:
    6
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    16
    That's more like it, have around the same temps with old i7 M4700 that I'm looking to upgrade from.

    How's the fan noise? Do they cycle on/off (i.e. CPU reaches 60C or so; fans kick on, cool CPU down to 40C; rinse repeat), or are the fans constantly running?
     
  10. fmantek

    fmantek Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    10
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Fan noise depends heavily on workload. With the "quiet" power scheme, even doing 3D stuff fans never really kick in, but you are giving up 20-30% of performance. But the fans do go on and off when doing the balanced scheme, and the noise can be kind of high when the CPUs approach > 80 C.

    But in general, it is working as intended, I am just spoiled by using Macs for the last 15 years....

    Frank
     
Loading...

Share This Page