XPS 15 (Haswell) Owner's Lounge

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by mark_pozzi, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. jphughan

    jphughan Notebook Deity

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    Hmm, I'd be inclined to agree, but if you've still got yours it couldn't hurt to test and report back.
     
  2. moda

    moda Notebook Geek

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    Can confirm this works

    For whatever reason, either dells drivers or the windows 8 power management logic decides to turn the touchscreen input off in order to save power.

    I've left the switch on, because i'd rather some power saving over having the touchscreen on all the time *shrugs*
     
  3. rplst8

    rplst8 Notebook Guru

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    Yes, I tried listening to music and it was still stereo.
     
  4. ajax-jp

    ajax-jp Notebook Guru

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    It's UEFI. I don't think Dell builds any BIOS devices anymore.
     
  5. ajax-jp

    ajax-jp Notebook Guru

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    I made the guess at power management based on an issue I was having with my SSDs on my desktop. Intel's Link Power Management driver on Win 8 would put my SSDs into a low power state. Unfortunately, they're RAID 0'd so when one of them would go into a low power state, the whole system would freeze on the next write and I would have to power the whole machine off to get it out of LPM.

    I'm glad this worked. I'll give it a shot myself when I get home.
     
  6. rplst8

    rplst8 Notebook Guru

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    Let me clarify. This was a stereo headset with mic that I used. Etymotic model hf3 headset + earphones.
    Etymotic Research, Inc. - hf3™ headset + earphones It has a 4 pin 3.5mm headphone connector.

    When I plugged them in, the Dell audio driver popped up a dialog that asked me "What did you plug in?" There were several options, one of which was "headset" another was "headphones". I selected "headset" first. Then I tested Skype and checked that the internal mic was dead, but tha the mic on the wire of the headset/headphones worked when I ran my finger over it. I also tested some music with some instruments I knew were hard panned left and right. I confirmed that stereo imaging was working correctly.

    Then I unplugged and replugged, but I selected "headphones". This time the mic was not active on the headset - but they still worked as a set of stereo headphones. When I used Skype it used the laptop's built-in internal microphone.
     
  7. jphughan

    jphughan Notebook Deity

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    NICE! So you CAN use a headset and have both stereo audio and the inline mic active at the same time, or disable the inline mic if you want to keep using the mic on the laptop itself. Way to go Dell!!

    I wonder if the Apple headphone+mic kit and others designed to work in Apple products will work since they Apple apparently reversed the mic and ground pins on their devices (unbelievable....) Maybe the driver and hardware are actually capable and clever enough to detect that and reverse the pin mapping? Otherwise at any rate it looks like headsets wired to the standard will work.
     
  8. zakazak

    zakazak www.whymacsucks.com

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    But what if I want to use headphones + mic and not a headset ?
     
  9. jphughan

    jphughan Notebook Deity

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    That would appear to require some sort of breakout adapter that will split a 3-connector jack into a 2-connector jack for stereo audio and a 1-conncetor jack for a mic. I don't see one on Dell's page anywhere, but I'd imagine they'd have to exist and could probably be found at Monoprice or Amazon. At that point you'd plug your equipment into the adapter, plug the adapter into the laptop, and then select headset so it enables both audio and mic input, I'd imagine.

    EDIT: Found one! Can't guarantee it will work, but for $7, http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-...dapter/dp/B004SP0WAQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
     
  10. Mickeypups

    Mickeypups Newbie

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    I've recently order an XPS 15 after purchasing and returning a late 2013 rMBP with a 4960HQ Haswell quad core and the 512GB PCI ssd and I thought I'd share my experiences for those deciding between the two.

    I returned the macbook because I found it too hot to actually use as a laptop. Normal use for me is rather light multitasking using the 15" laptop display and an external monitor connected via HDMI. Under Bootcamp, running Windows 7 the dedicated graphics in the macbook are always on and the laptop got far too hot to use as a laptop in short order... e.g., ten minutes and the keyboard area would be 80C. That was obviously untenable. Windows 7 and Windows 8 in Parallels 9 worked very well, and would not use the Nvidia card unless an external monitor was plugged in, then again, the temperatures would sky rocket. Windows via Parallels without an external monitor didn't heat the machine up to the same extent, and was similar to running OSX Mavericks natively. When it got hot, the fans would cool it back down quite aggressively, but they would not spin up until the processor passed 100C. It would spike to 100C, the fans would roar, it would drop temperatures down at the processor to 60C then ignore it again until it passed 100C. So, if you were working it, the keyboard area would sit at 80C all day while the fans would keep the processor from killing itself but would not try in anyway to keep the laptop itself cool. I did try third party software to run the fans manually, but under a moderate workload, to keep the keyboard deck cool enough to use, i.e., under 45C, the fans had to be run at a steady state around 3800/4000 rpm which I found quite a bit to loud for office use. I considered keeping it, adding an active cooling pad and living with the fan noise when using an external monitor in the office, but it was also not usable as a laptop for watching YouTube videos and general web browsing. I'd already abandoned the thought of using Windows, so I only attempted to use it running Mavericks natively, but siting at home, with the laptop on a table, or on the armrest of a couch with no obstructions to the ventilation intakes, it would still get too hot to use comfortably after approximately 15 minutes.

    I took it to the Apple Store and had it checked out and it passed their thermal test regime and I was told the heat was just something I would have to put up with. The fellow at the genius bar said he gets several people a day complaining about the heat, and they are simply told they have to put up with it.

    I bought the macbook for it's processing horsepower, and it was my first Apple product purchase. There were several things I rather liked about it, chief among them the display and the track pad, but the laptops heat issues I could not accept. I come from a history of owning nothing but Thinkpads where heat has never been an issue, and perhaps that colors my perspective, but I could not deal with the severe usability limits imposed by what appears to be an inadequate cooling solution in the macbook.

    Everything I've read on this forum has lead me to conclude the XPS 15 has no cooling issues and only suffers from a mild performance loss relative to the rMBP (~ 14,000 versus ~11,000 in Geekbench scores) so I've ordered one and will now have to wait patiently for an early December delivery.

    Cheers,
     
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