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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    Well the base spec doesn't get you an i7 -- or NVIDIA graphics or the QHD+ panel, for that matter -- so I think it was entirely right not to use the base spec price. Dell was being honest and quoting the starting price of the spec that you'd have to buy to get the features they mentioned. I strongly prefer that approach over what you see in car ads where they show you all kinds of cool features and say "Starting at just $20K!" with fine print on the bottom like, "Optional features shown in ad, not included in base price".

    I think the base spec is fine for people who just want a slim, light, sexy machine with adequate horsepower for more casual workloads; the nature of the XPS brand has fluctuated between high performance and merely high-end in terms of design, build quality, etc (remember the Studio XPS line?), so it's tough to say what's "XPS" and what isn't. But the fact is that most people aren't bottlenecked by the CPU or RAM (especially when they have 8GB of the latter), and if you don't game or have graphics-intensive work, you wouldn't need the NVIDIA GPU either. In fact given that this machine is upgradeable, I'd actually have considered the base spec plus an aftermarket SSD had I not decided I wanted the quad-core CPU for futureproofing (I buy fairly maxed-out laptops so that I don't have to buy laptops very often) and more importantly wanted the QHD+ panel. The one thing that would be nice to have in the base spec would be a full SSD, since storage usually IS the performance bottleneck on average workloads, but I think casual users are still skeptical that SSDs are worth their substantial per-GB premium over spinning drives. Of course that would change if they ever actually used one. :D
     
  2. jphughan

    jphughan Notebook Deity

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    No that can still make sense. Windows can't allocate more than 2GB to a 32-bit process, or sometimes 4GB with a couple of tricks. So Windows could definitely have seen that Dota had chewed through all of the RAM that could be allocated to it and thrown an error. Windows is the memory manager, not individual applications, so it's not unreasonable for Windows to throw an out-of-memory warning rather than Dota itself.

    Of course that begs the question why your Dota ran out of RAM when others are running it fine even on this system, for which I unfortunately don't have an answer.
     
  3. Allen_Akin

    Allen_Akin Newbie

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    Hi, all. I've been experimenting with Fedora 20 on my 9530. Most things seem fine, though occasionally the touchpad stops working after booting. (The touchscreen still works.) Have any of you Linux users out there seen something similar?

    Thanks!
    Allen
     
  4. blueduke19

    blueduke19 Newbie

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    Did you manage to get a 91 WHr battery from Dell? I tried but they said they could only replace the type I bought (the 61 WHr version)
     
  5. jphughan

    jphughan Notebook Deity

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    By your mention of "replace", it sounds like you were working with Dell Service; of course they'll only "replace" (under warranty) what you currently have. You need to ask to be transferred to Dell Spare Parts. ;)

    Try to find the part number before calling to reduce time and confusion. It was posted a long way back in this thread.
     
  6. teh_crab

    teh_crab Notebook Enthusiast

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    So just got my Laptop :) :) :) - and have gotten to the stage we were discussing last night in regards to a reformat. I have a mate who has given me his retail CDKey for Windows 8.0 (Pro) - it is my understanding that all our XPS 15 Haswell's come with an OEM copy of simply Windows 8.0 64bit Core is that correct? So what I have discovered is a guide (Solved How to Download a Windows 8.1 and Clean Install) which has me assuming these steps are correct:

    1. Download a copy Windows 8.0 Pro (using mates Retail CDKey);
    2. Make ISO bootable via USB;
    2. Install above ISO with a generic Core key (even though its Pro, it will install Core I BELIEVE?);
    4. Activate via our OEM (found via Keyfinder);
    5. Upgrade to Windows 8.1.

    Does that sound correct? It would be much easier if our OEM could just let us download the ISO in the first instance, or better yet download 8.1 Core directly...


    I have not yet, battling with Dell AU - their latest correspondence is that they have FOUND the Part Number, but being so new is not in there 'Sales Backend' and is being added shortly (allowing me to buy it). This was after three tries, in which they tried to sell me a 9-Cell Battery lol... You (assuming your in US) will have a much easier time. Let me know!

    Part # was 7D1WJ if that helps :).
     
  7. jphughan

    jphughan Notebook Deity

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    MOST XPS 15s come with 8.1 Core, but at least in the US, if you order it from the Business store, it will come with 8.1 Pro (and cost $100 more) -- but they never come with 8.0, which uses different product keys from 8.1. But if you have an embedded Core license, sadly, your above solution won't work. And the only reason is because Microsoft, again in their infinite wisdom, decided to make the ISOs downloaded from their retail portal edition-specific, i.e. if you enter a Pro key, you get a Pro-only ISO, which can't be used to install Core. They did that even though they provide an ISO on MSDN that includes both Core and Pro in the same file.

    However, if you could get your hands on a retail CORE key (either 8.1 for simplicity or 8.0 if you use the 8.1 download trick described in the linked article), your plan would work, and in a MUCH simpler form than you're describing. First, since you listed "Upgrade to 8.1" at the end of your plan, it appears that you're missing a major convenience described in the article you linked, which is that you can use an 8.0 key plus some trickery to download an 8.1 ISO, allowing you to do a direct clean install of 8.1 without having to download and install 8.0 first only to have to download and upgrade to 8.1 immediately thereafter. Additionally, an 8.1 ISO would mean you wouldn't need a generic key at all, since the installer would detect your laptop's embedded 8.1 key -- and come to think of it, I'm not sure you even COULD use an 8.0 ISO since your embedded 8.1 key wouldn't work, and I don't believe generic keys exist for 8.0. The whole reason generic keys came about for 8.1 was to allow clean 8.1 installs for people who had 8.0 keys, but there's no equivalent requirement scenario for clean 8.0 installs. And in any case, starting with an 8.1 ISO is also a huge time saver and saves you a bunch of clutter on your hard drive -- but again, for your purposes you'd need a retail Core key to start with in order to download the right ISO in the first place.

    And all of this nonsense (plus not having access to a retail key to use on that portal in the first place) is what drove me to torrents for a solution, where I found a single ISO that has Core, Pro, and even Enterprise, plus the K and N versions of all of them -- not that I need those last ones, but I was more than a little bemused that torrenters are delivering a better product than Microsoft. :rolleyes:

    With respect to Keyfinder, it only looks for the product key that's in the registry, which at the time you list that step in your plan would be a generic install key (assuming generic 8.0 keys existed); Keyfinder does NOT look in the BIOS. To pull a key from the BIOS, scroll down a bit on this page to the post mentioning RW Everything: http://superuser.com/questions/513904/how-to-extract-win-8-oem-key-embedded-in-the-bios. Chances are you'd never actually need to back that key up since your BIOS isn't going anywhere (and if you get a replacement motherboard, Dell will give you a card with the new embedded product key), but I like to have mine backed up for peace of mind anyway.

    But your correct course of action would be:

    1. Get a retail CORE key.
    2. If it's an 8.0 key, use the download trickery described in the article to download an 8.1 ISO. If it's an 8.1 key, use the regular 8.1 downloader.
    3. Make a bootable USB drive based on the downloaded 8.1 Core ISO.
    4. The installer will detect your key automatically and install pre-activated.
    5. Optionally use Keyfinder to retrieve your key (which will work now because the 8.1 installer will have found and used your BIOS-embedded key).
     
  8. GNUDell

    GNUDell Notebook Enthusiast

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  9. [-Mac-]

    [-Mac-] Notebook Deity

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    Pictures of internal are already in this thread and M3800 thread...
     
  10. teh_crab

    teh_crab Notebook Enthusiast

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