Old XPS 9550 needs replacement .. or not ?

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by ahmadka, Nov 8, 2020.

  1. ahmadka

    ahmadka Notebook Consultant

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    I have two laptops, both of which perform differently under same loads and I'm trying to figure out why. The CPU load in question here is just light stuff such as web browsing, document editing etc., so in my opinion neither laptop should show any signs of age, since both have a Core i7, SSDs, dedicated GPUs, and 16GB RAM.

    First laptop is a 4 year old Dell XPS 9550, and second one is Surface Book 2 from last year which I have through work. The Dell XPS 9550 starts getting warmer (hovers in 60 C - 70 C range) even when doing web browsing or something, and it's fan gets moderately loud after 10-15 minutes just from this. But the Surface Book 2 doesn't show either of these traits. It runs smoothly without the fan getting loud at all or any temps rising much high.

    So my question is, is the Dell XPS 9550 I have just showing its age now, or is there some other reason why its temps might be rising and why its fan gets louder sooner ?

    A few things to note about the XPS 9550:

    1) When sitting completely idle, the temps are around 35 C - 45 C with no noticeable fan sound.

    2) I refreshed the thermal paste of the XPS 9550's CPU and GPU about a year ago, but I remember doing that it didn't really have any noticeable change in the temps I was getting then under normal loads.

    3) I also formatted the XPS 9550 last month and installed just the crucial stuff since then. I let Windows 10 install all the needed drivers without any bloatware from Dell's website.

    Looking for advice on what's the issue with the Dell XPS 9550, if any ..
     
  2. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    Even the laptop engineers will try repasting a few times to get it right. So your repaste might not be optimal. You can look at individual core temps under stress tests and ideally no cores deviate more than say 4*c; if so, maybe the repaste can be improved or the heatsink is warped. The temps you see at idle are not helpful when evaluating thermal paste. Also, did you clean the fans and radiators?

    Install ThrottleStop. Undervolt the CPU core and cache. Select SpeedShift and set EPP at a reasonable figure, like 79. Lower EPP for cooler operations but slower also.

    You can set Windows power options to balanced.

    You can install Dell Command | Power Manager. Select thermal management - cool

    You might also look on ThrottleStop C0% when idle. That should be less than say 1%. Else you have a lot of background processes to eliminate. You can search the ThrottleStop thread for example cases.

    Caution - If you have the newest BIOS installed, then you will be prevented from undervolting. You might be able to roll back.

    My 9550 runs fine. I can't say it is any different from new (well I added 32GB of RAM and a good nvme drive).
     
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  3. Schmoo2k

    Schmoo2k Notebook Consultant

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    3 - You might actually want to take "some" of Dells drivers, in this case "Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework Driver"?
     
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  4. kojack

    kojack Notebook Virtuoso

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    I was going to say the same thing shmoo. Use dell drivers, ditch the software.
     
  5. ahmadka

    ahmadka Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    So based on the above, I installed all of the drivers (no apps) that Dell was providing for my laptop. Then I restarted the laptop.

    Now I still feel the system being warm like before and the fan spinning loudly, even though the temp is around 43 C as I'm typing this.

    Also I tried stress testing using Prime 95 but I think the CPU is getting throttled by Windows because the CPU temp crosses 90 C after which I see a dropping in CPU utilization in task manager. This means the cooling and/or the thermal paste isn't keeping the system cool enough even under max load, right ?
     
  6. parawizard

    parawizard Notebook Consultant

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    Age isn't a thing really. Someone else mentioned cleaning out the fans. Have you done that? Usually a carpet of dust forms between the fan and the finstack.

    The thermal paste could need replacement too as mentioned.

    Maybe try to use hwinfo and look at all the temperatures. Something should be hot and maybe not the cpu.
     
  7. kojack

    kojack Notebook Virtuoso

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    I would do a thorough cleaning of fans, heatsinks, ports etc and repaste the laptop again. Use something good for paste, many good recommendations abound on this forum for that. Both my devices are still running cool after 4 years of use. As for age? has nothing to do with it, my 2007 acer 7720 still works and runs as it did brand new with same paste and all. I do update it regularly when I use it, and keep ports fans and the like clean as well. Speaking of which, I am going to fire it up today and update to 20H2.
     
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