Dell XPS 15 R2 - L502x - Owners Lounge

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by zygotic, Mar 23, 2011.

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  1. AZMedia

    AZMedia Newbie

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    SSD Install, Fan, & Thermal Paste Tips:
    L502X Complete Updated Driver List at bottom of previous page.


    NEW SSD & WIN7 INSTALL:
    This is just some info I learned from replacing my HDD with a Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD. There is a lot of info out, much can be confusing, and a lot that I read wasn't necessary with the XPS15. I really found only one step that must be added during a clean install of Windows 7 when using a new SSD. After the OS install it was just a couple other settings. I can't believe how snappy my L502X is now, it boots to a usable windows screen in about 10 seconds, just freaky with this SSD, in a good way.

    ACHI
    – Our laptops already have this setting turned on in the BIOS, which is recommended for an SSD for performance reasons. You will see this ACHI controller listed in Device Manager under IDE ATAPI controller dropdown, show as version 1.0 I believe.

    No OS or NO DRIVE Found
    – Many have run into this issue. After you first install your SSD, insert your Win7 OS dic, then power up, you must stop at the first “Install Windows 7” screen and “clean” your drive. Otherwise, the BIOS will not recognize there is a drive connected. I read tons of frustrated forum posts about this. After doing 4-5 steps with the CMD prompt your back to a regular Win7 install. The best instruction for a clean install of Win7 using a new SSD are from Sean at Overclock. The clean drive step is about 1/3rd down the webpage under: Configure a drive using a BIOS/UEFI motherboard and MBR. Make sure to “Click To Show” the hidden text area of his steps.

    Intel Rapid Storage Technology – This driver and software is typically associated with running a RAID setup. It also does some things for SSD drives even if they are the only drive installed. You should definitely install this driver offered by Dell in our L502X support section. You can disable the software GUI from at startup using MSCONFIG (IAStorIcon.exe) but leave (IAStorDataMgrSvc.exe) running in the background processes. Intel RST basically replaces the old Microsoft ACHI controller with a more advanced driver for SSD’s. Basically it provides up to 15% more performance.

    From Intel website ….provides benefits to users of single drives as well. Through AHCI, storage performance is improved with Native Command Queuing (NCQ). AHCI also delivers longer battery life with Link Power Management (LPM), which can reduce the power consumption of the chipset and Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive.

    HIBERNATE/SLEEP
    You should disable any Hibernate functions in Power Management. If you use Sleep you must turn off the “Hybrid” option, which would store data in RAM and drive. When my XPS went to Sleep it would not wake up, stayed on a black screen until I learned about this setting.
    SLEEP - Power Options>Change Plan Settings>Change Advanced Power Settings>Sleep>Allow Hybrid Sleep to OFF on both battery and plugged in. Also open the + for Hibernate After, its in the same area and select “Never”. Same thing for Hard Disk>Turn Off Hard Disk After>Never.​

    USELESS TWEAKS
    I think many of the tweaks I read were written years ago when people were installing tiny GB SSD drives. The tweaks appear to be designed to save space and such. If you install a larger SDD, then there is no need to apply many suggested. There was one organization that tested all these tweaks one at a time and found many of them provided no real gains… some of them actually made things worse when piled on top of each other.

    I DID NOT DISABLE……
    Window Indexing – I left Windows to index searches like it always does for my email, files, folders.
    Superfetch /Prefetch - stores drivers and applications in memory to improve access performance.
    System Restore – I want my restore points in case installing one app screws something up.
    Page File – It improves system reliability. With plenty of RAM and drive why move or disable this!
    Drive Compression – nor messed with any other compression for that matter
    Write Caching – It’s enabled by default in Win 7 so I’m leaving it alone.
    TRIM – Is enabled by default in Window 7, apparently the most useful of all Tweaks.

    I DID DISABLE:

    Drive Defragmentation
    Hibernate Mode
    , and turned off Hybrid Sleep setting

    BOOT DRIVE Order – I did move the SSD to the top of the list for boot devices. The CD/DVD , USB, etc are now below it.

    NEW FANS:
    The replacement fan with the yellow Forcecon label that is currently pictured for sale by many vendors is not the most current and reliable fan available for the L502X.
    Click to Enlarge:
    [​IMG]

    Dell started replacing the Forcecon fans in 2011 with the black label Delta Electronics fan. The one pictured below was replaced by Dell Tech Support in mid 2011 when they put in a new Samsung hard drive. I don't remember if they took out a Forcecon fan. This Delta fan was built on 2-25-2011.
    Click to Enlarge:
    [​IMG]

    Not that it needed it, but I put in this new fan below while installing the new SSD drive this past week. The fan was built on 2-3-2015 as per its code. It is an identical match for the old fan, including the black plastic sticky flap that creates a seal to the heat sink radiator. This fits next to the side grill on the left of the laptop.
    Click to Enlarge:
    [​IMG]


    THERMAL PASTE RESULTS:
    Holy Cow, I could not believe it. I used the highly rated Gelid GC Extreme paste. It's not full of metal so you don't have to worry if some leaks onto the CPU area like Artic Silver 5. It dropped temps 10-25 degrees. I know this is old news but I'm an old guy, was easily impressed. I pushed a Bluray disc movie via HDMI cable to a Samsung TV and while running dual screens, could not get it over 159 degrees F. I'm not a gamer so now way to test that.

    Nvidia chip stayed consistently between 110-125 degrees F.
    CPU chip stayed between 125-159 degrees F.
    Click to Enlarge:
    [​IMG]


    DISASSEMBLY OF L502X
    To replace the fan and thermal paste, the best L502X specific disassembly instructions I found were from Daniel on Youtube. It's a 35 min video but he puts it all back together too. However, do not take out the CMOS coin cell battery as he does in the video. No need to take out the wireless card or disconnect the strap/cord that connects to the bottom of the Nvidia chipset. These steps are only necessary if you are taking out the motherboard. He does forget to mention you must remove the plastic insert/cover of the optional card reader in the front. That middle layer will not separate unless you take that out.

    There is a descent text/pic guide available here at MyFixGuide too! That's it for now...see you in another 4 years....
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  2. gilipollas

    gilipollas Notebook Geek

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    Is the L502x able to use UASP?
     
  3. xooper

    xooper Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have a extra unit i7 2920XM CPU, I plan to install it in the L502X, can someone tell me is it gonna work?
     
  4. capitankasar

    capitankasar Notebook Deity

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    someone already tested it with the L702X, and both machines are almost identical, you will not have probably any issue with it, anyway keep an eye at the temps, you may need to mod the cooling system if you plan to use the full power of that CPU without suffering overheating and slowdowns.
     
  5. subzero788

    subzero788 Newbie

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    Earlier in the year I was having overheating problems and gaming performance was terrible (on pretty old, non-demanding games) so I decided to take a chance and open her up to reapply thermal paste (never done before). The amount of dust in there was incredible, and I'm not sure whether it was the dust or the fresh thermal paster (prob both) but now it's working like a new machine. Stays cool and i can play counter strike and civ 5 without lag. Totally worth doing and not too difficult, with all the guides available.
     
  6. xooper

    xooper Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for your advise. I have few concern about the cpu swap, would you mind to advise me further?

    1. Power supply
    If I proceed the 2920xm installation, can the power supply become issue? My current setup is 2410m and the maximum power it draw was 35w compare to 2920xm 55w. Can the power module (the chip inside the motherboard (I forgot what they call) sustain it? My power adapter is 130w.

    2. Bios
    I currently using A12 mod bios (no voltage moded) that create by you (which is awesome), do I need to flash to the original A12 by dell before I proceed the swap? Is it safe to flash back to the original A12 by straight download it from dell and run it? Any risk of bricking my L502X?

    3.Heat
    I know this could be the serious issue. I will use this trick (http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/xps-l502x-turbo-boost-2-0.590543/) to limit the CPU usage by adjusting the power option (disable the boost). I will limit the CPU to work in 80% if 99% not gonna work.

    Do you think this gonna work?

    By the way, is anyone here know how to switch off the discrete graphic card nvidia 525m in win7( I dont want optimus and I just need running iGPU (HD3000) when I surfing the internet), the fan is so annoying. I cannot disable the 525m in bios.


    Thanks
     
  7. ivanox1972

    ivanox1972 Notebook Consultant

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    Hi, I have some confusion, I need help.
    I have l502x with original win 7 home premium. In past I always installed win7 pro from company, but now I want this home premium and then to upgrade free to win 10. Is it possible?
    Also I have changed configuration, I bought some ram and SSD put on hd place and hd in dvd rom upgrade bay position. Will my original key work? I do not have any backup or system restore...
    Which .iso to use?
    Also I have problem with installing from usb (I have no dvd rom now)- afrer first restart it goes again in 1. stage of install, and if put out usb stick nothing happens...
    please help
     
  8. Nsan

    Nsan Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey guys,

    I can't go through 400+ pages of this thread, so i did a general search, but i can't find a solution.

    I changed my HD to a 120go SSD. I reinstalled win7 with restore CD. Everything is fine, but i have only one issue : Dell Quickset !!
    I tried to install it, with loooooads of different exe files, but everytime i find one compatible with Win7, my laptop freezes and i cannot install it !

    The thing is, i only want it to use the battery power stuff (like stop charging option and such). So have you had this problem before ? is their a 3rd party software i could use instead ?

    Thanks for your time.
     
  9. Nsan

    Nsan Notebook Enthusiast

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    Did you actually install win7 and then drivers directly ? did you install bios at some point ? what about windows updates ?
     
  10. Jazz365

    Jazz365 Newbie

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    I came to know that the Full HD 1080P screen AUO B156HW01 V7 has been discontinued. But still there are some sellers over aliexpress which are selling the same model. Is it fake or they really might be having it in stock? I conformed with one of the sellers and he said he has it in stock. I really need this screen. Any suggestions?
    Thanks.
     
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