I want to upgrade my Dell XPS 15 9530 (i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD,...)

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by zakazak, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. zakazak

    zakazak www.whymacsucks.com

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    Hello everyone,
    I currently get 10% for nearly any Laptop brand (thanks to my company). I am also able to get back some of the taxes (tax equalization). This is why I am thinking of upgrading my Dell XPS 15 9530 with max specs (see my signature). I have some "special requirements", so here I go:

    General Questions


    1) What is your budget?
    Max. of 2500€ but I will happily take smth for 1500€.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    15.6"
    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
    Europe (from Austria)

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: Thinkpads
    b. Dislike: HP, Acer, AMD (Linux compatibility)
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    No

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Working on the couch, being mobile.
    Hooking up an external 144Hz display to do some gaming (Quakelive, Overwatch, Wolfenstein,..).
    I don't play the newst games and I don't need to run them on highest settings.
    General multimedia, office, skype,...
    Multitasking: Usually ~100 firefox tabs, office, photoshop, music,....

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Both. I guess 70% desk and 30% mobile.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
    Hooking up an external 144Hz display to do some gaming (Quakelive, Overwatch, Wolfenstein,..).
    I don't play the newst games and I don't need to run them on highest settings.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    Minimum 4-5 hours. My Dell XPS 15 9530 is the minimum I guess.
    Due to my heavy multitasking I would always go for the biggest battery possible for each model (e.g. Dell XPS 15 9560 with 97WH).

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
    Online, without seeing is okay.

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    Arch Linux

    Screen Specifics

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer? Keep in mind screen size in conjunction with resolution will play a large role in overall viewing comfort level. Everyone is different. Some like really small text, while others like their text big and easy to read. (Scroll down to see screen resolution information.)
    15.6" with FHD.
    I like Touchscreen but its not a must.
    I like 4K but its not a must due to scaling issues on Linux.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (Scroll down to see explanations.)
    Both are fine.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    I don't want a colour bomb. Sleek and decent is what I would prefer.

    15) When are you buying this laptop?
    WIthin the next few months.

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
    As long as possible. 4-6 years minimum.

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?
    1TB SSD.

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
    Nope :)

    --------------------

    So the best for the buck would probably be the cheapest Dell XPS 15 9560 with the 16GB RAM and FHD display. I would upgrade the SSD myself to 1TB. How ever, given the horrible Dell QC (for the last 6 years) I am also looking for other possibilities.

    I was always a real fanboy of Thinkpads but their hardware seems to be way slower/weaker. Especially for their price?

    Thanks in advance :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  2. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    Generally, ThinkPads, Latitudes and EliteBooks are not meant for gaming or heavy workstation and are instead geared towards maximum durability and battery performance. Hence opting for a weaker Quadro GPU in favour of quiet and cool operation. If you really want a ThinkPad that can run games, the ThinkPad P51 or P71 are options I guess but they are quite expensive.

    Alternatively, if you need a lot of CPU horsepower, the Asus GL702ZC with a Ryzen 5 1600 or Ryzen 7 1700 is the laptop with the fastest CPU on the market.
     
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  3. zakazak

    zakazak www.whymacsucks.com

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    I am not a gaming powerhorse anymore so a non-high-performance-GPU is fine how ever:
    - On Linux I will run everything on the iGPU for 99%. I will only run smth on the dGPU if I exclusively run that program with the "dGPU" command. E.g. games or photoshop or maybe a converter or so. So I would prefer to have the latest iGPU (Intel HD 630).
    - Also I forgot to mention that I don't want a AMD GPU due to Linux compatibility issues.

    A weaker CPU often means a weaker iGPU. The i7 CPU is a lot weaker in those Thinkpads compared to the Dell XPS 15 9560?
     
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  4. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    In terms of iGPUs, all of Intel's offerings are extremely weak. The difference between the HD530 and HD630 is not worth worrying about - you're looking at a minimal performance difference. If you need a proper iGPU, the only option is Ryzen mobile (even the entry-level R5 2500U's Vega 8 iGPU offers double the performance of Intel's best iGPU which is the UHD 630 IIRC)
     
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  5. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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  6. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    Even the old 2013 Kaveri R7 APUs provide 50% better performance than the 2017 Coffee Lake iGPUs
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Prophet

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    Did you not read his post where he says he doesn't want an AMD GPU because of Linux compatibility?
     
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  8. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    Hence why I mentioned that the difference between most modern Intel iGPUs is not big and not worth losing sleep over.
     
  9. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Prophet

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    Actually Linux needs no extra config at all on AMD GPUs. Out of the box supports EFI whereas Nvidia needs secure boot to be disabled and needs extra config.
    EDIT:
    You can enable or download newer mainline kernel 4.14 and get an hour or two extra battery life.
    I can only tell about my experience on ubuntu. Battery life on my PCs was worse than windows on 4.4 kernel because battery lasted only 2-3 hrs on 92Wh battery.
    4.8 gave me 3 hrs and 4.10 gave me huge boost in battery life (just like Windows) of 8hrs. Same hardware but upgraded to 4.13 and I get consistently 8-10hrs(Just 2 hrs lower than Win 10). Battery runtimes were done using Intel iGPU and activating nvidia 980 dGPU will lower that amazing battery life to just 3-4hrs.
    The same is true for my old laptop with 42Wh Lenovo. 4.4 just lasted 1.5 hrs and now on 4.13 battery life is 4hrs, with a bit of stretch I can gain 30-60 mins on 4 yr. battery with 12% wear level.
    I used Powertop, TLP and other tweaks to gain that amazing battery runtime.
    I suggest you calibrate the power measurements using powertop on both AC and battery. TLP will do great job of keeping your PC cool and quiet. If you're an advanced user you can use Intel DPTF driver on Linux as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  10. zakazak

    zakazak www.whymacsucks.com

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    According to this the HD630 has some noticeable benefit over the HD620:
    https://www.notebookcheck.net/HD-Graphics-630-vs-HD-Graphics-620_7652_7435.247598.0.html#

    How ever, given the fact that I am still on a HD4600 which is twice as slow as the HD630.. well I guess the HD620 is going to be fine.

    My major problem with AMD on Linux (or on Archlinux) is that there is no good method to use "Dynamic switchable graphics" for AMD.
    With NVIDIA you have "NVIDIA Optimus" which you can get to work with "bumblebee". I don't think there is an AMD equivalent?
     
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