Upgrading old Dell XPS 9550

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by pressing, Nov 6, 2021.

  1. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    My 5-year old Dell XPS 9550 (i5-6300HQ) still runs like a clock. For my purposes, laptop runs significantly better than new. Screen still is awesome, carbon deck and aluminum case are nearly perfect, just installed new OEM keyboard.

    I thought I would summarize the upgrades and repairs over the years:

    - Dell had some serious BIOS & Driver issues but those were largely ironed out after about one year. Have done several clean installs of Windows and non-Dell drivers.

    - Throttlestop was very helpful to nail the undervolt and easily enable SpeedShift (plus quickly adjust performance via the nifty EPP selector). These Skylake CPUs were happy with large undervolts, cooling things significantly.

    COMPONENT UPGRADES
    - SSD 1TB nvme (ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro - caution as ADATA downgraded some chipsets, reportedly lol)
    - RAM 32GB (HyperX 2400, 14CL)
    - Keyboard (Parts-People OEM with nice typing feel. A few keys on original were dying)
    - Wifi (Intel AX200, faster and more stable than original, which suffered a broken coax pad when we replaced keyboard)

    REPAIRS
    - DC jack internal cable (64TM0, original jack became intermittent from physical wear)
    - Audio board and speakers (warranty but originals were fine)
    - Screen hinge broke, repaired with glue
    - Cleaned fans, cleaned radiators & repasted heatsink
    - 3M tape (Super 88 electrical tape to seal duct between fans & radiators)
    - Thermal pads Fujipoly Fujipoly XR-m (17 W/mk) for VRAM & PCH
    - Repaired 2 standoffs on motherboard for heatsink screws (maybe dense Fujipoly pads and/or repasting several times were factors)
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2021
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  2. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    "Dell TPM 2.0 Firmware Update Utility" from 2017 should permit easy upgrading to Windoze 11. I won't beta test for M$ so will probably stick with Windoze 10 until support disappears. . .
     
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  3. othonda

    othonda Notebook Deity

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    Now that's a laptop that been through the ringer and still keeps running.

    Good job keeping it up and running.
     
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  4. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    Funny it rarely leaves the house. But does get a ton of use.

    The XPS was a dog the first year but once Dell got its firmware sorted out I have really enjoyed this laptop. The new XPS models look about the same to boot. . .
     
  5. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    Your laptop will probably stay relevant for several more years the way you've upgraded it. I did similar upgrades - 32GB HyperX (nice low latency) and an ADATA SX8200 Pro - and am pleased with the responsiveness. The clean Windows installs always do wonders, too.

    Charles
     
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  6. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    Agreed! The RAM and SSD are fantastic on the benchmarks and in real world use.

    Buying RAM and SSDs is a bit more complex these days; the forums help disclose minefields and avoid some marketing tricks. NotebookReview forums helped me boost the XPS performance significantly & repair issues. That is a lot of value...for free.
     
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