XPS 15 (Haswell) Owner's Lounge

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

  1. rotraspher1986

    rotraspher1986 Notebook Guru

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    Yes u can do both.you can get an msata 512 ssd and clone the OS on it from the HDD and then use it as a primary hard and the 1 tb HDD as storage....also u can get a Samsung evo SATA and clone the OS on it and replace it with a HDD..both situations work.but the msata ssd method is a bit complicated I have read many ppl here having difficulties....and trust me an SSd is totally worth it.go for it.
     
  2. GoNz0

    GoNz0 Notebook Virtuoso

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    well some parts arrived today, new keyboard, new screen and a touchpad instead of a palmrest... waiting for a call back tomorrow to see if they will ship the palmrest to let me fit as I can't take time & don't fancy waiting for a workshop repair. well unless they are going to let me keep the original unit during that time, or 3rd options build me a 3rd laptop maybe.

    new panels got a couple of dead pixels in the taskbar area so I am waiting to see what they want to do. QC is poor.

    I have paid for 1 laptop, as of today I have 2 sat here, an additional trackpad and keyboard with do not return wrote on the box and a screen with we will collect tomorrow wrote on it (wont be in for that like i wasn't in yesterday to collect the original laptop)
     
  3. jphughan

    jphughan Notebook Deity

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    1. Update your touchpad drivers and also install the touchscreen firmware update, which apparently improves the touchpad. But yes, I've noticed that clicking in the absolute corner isn't as reliable as clicking just slightly inward but still along the bottom edge.

    2. Multi-touch does not mean you can leave one finger on your touchpad doing nothing while mousing around with another finger. It means that you can perform gestures that involve more than one finger, such as two-finger scrolling or pinch to zoom. It sounds like you just need to adjust your previous mousing habits, because you'll frustrate yourself if you constantly keep a second finger on the touchpad just waiting to click. I just kind of suspend my thumb in the air in front of the machine. and rotate it inward when I need to reach the click area.

    3. If you don't want to spend the money on an SSD, don't -- but an SSD is an absolute paradigm shift for computers, and you will never be able to stand using a regular hard drive again. If you've never experienced one, they will make your machine literally 3-4x faster -- I'm not exaggerating at all. For general usage (as opposed to specialized tasks), it is hands-down the single best performance bang for the buck upgrade, far more than adding a bunch more RAM or getting a faster CPU. For everyday computing, storage is almost always the bottleneck in system performance. To give you an idea, I got my first SSD back in early 2010. I originally had a 160GB 7200RPM drive that booted Windows 7 in 38 seconds. I cloned that disk to my new SSD (I purposely did not do a clean install because I wanted a fair comparison), and the SSD booted in 13 seconds. That was 4 years ago in the earlier days of SSDs. My XPS 15 with the 512GB SSD boots Windows in about 5 seconds. Applications don't really load anymore; they just sort of appear when you click on them.

    Just to beat a dead horse a bit more, my first SSD was installed into an ancient Precision M6300 and easily gave it an extra 2 years of useful life. When my work gave me a brand new Latitude E6430 last year with more RAM and a much faster processor than my 6-year-old M6300, but a regular spinning drive, I couldn't stand using it. I actually ended up installing a personally owned SSD into my work system since they wouldn't pay for the upgrade and I got too frustrated using that system otherwise. SSDs really do spoil you. And since I work as an IT consultant in my spare time, I'll also tell you that every single family member/friend/client who I've convinced to get an SSD has come back to me basically saying, "I had no idea computers could be this fast and I can't believe I didn't do this sooner." Not a single one of them has felt that they weren't worth the price.

    The 32GB cache unit helps narrow the performance gap somewhat, especially with routine tasks like booting Windows since those files will always be in the cache, but the cache is relatively slow by SSD standards and of course can't cache your entire hard drive.

    As for upgrading, yes you can install an SSD into the mSATA slot to replace the cache. You'll need to go into your BIOS and switch the SATA mode to AHCI rather than Intel Smart Response. If you replace the 2.5" drive with an SSD, you should remove the mSATA cache entirely since otherwise you'd be using a slow SSD to perform caching for a fast SSD, which makes no sense. You should also then perform a clean install of Windows. If you don't know how or aren't willing to do so, there are a few extra hoops you need to go through to keep your existing Windows environment bootable after making that BIOS change. But either way, I would make sure you've got access to someone more tech-savvy if you really are a total noob before attempting this. It's totally worth the end result, but of course you have to be able to achieve that result.

    And fyi, if you ultimately decide not to upgrade to an SSD for now, there are still some tweaks you can perform to get the most out of your cache. I put two pages on the XPS 15 Wiki on the subject, links below. :)

    http://xps-15.wikia.com/wiki/Allocate_the_full_mSATA_cache_capacity_to_Smart_Response

    http://xps-15.wikia.com/wiki/Increasing_caching_(aka_Intel_Smart_Response)_performance
     
  4. 227

    227 Notebook Consultant

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    Just curious - why 1366x768 instead of 1600x900? that should give you a fluid frame rate as well.

    Yes - the only thing stopping me from Lenovo is that I'm waiting for the reviews of the screen and perhaps the weight. The one with touchscreen I like is 5.7lbs instead of 4.4lbs of XPS - thats a big difference. Still thinking about Razer - checked it out today, its a nice machine - the screen is not as nice as XPS (colours), the battery life not as great, and the screen is smaller - but its amazing piece of machinery. Oh and the warranty - you can't really beat Dell on that.
     
  5. 227

    227 Notebook Consultant

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    Yes - depends on primary use case. Gaming? Go for Lenovo/Razer (or others if you dont care about touch/looks). Work? XPS all the way. I think the build quality is nice - but not as great as XPS, the display is a big "if" - it's confirmed to be a TN panel which brings advantages (no ghosting, no glare) and disadvantages (colors, touch, viewing angles). The battery is going to be a lot worse and the weight is a big factor for me as well - 5.7lbs vs 4.4lbs is quite a difference.

    I just wish Dell had 850m inside - there would be no discussion after that :).
     
  6. GoNz0

    GoNz0 Notebook Virtuoso

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    30% off the mid tier models via the VIP UK/IE club at the moment, a rather large saving to be had!

    You have to click via the VIP link or the discount will not kick in & use the code listed that is 3MZ26CR?VCC5VX http://www.dell.com/learn/uk/en/ukdhs1/campaigns/dell-vip-home-page#campaignTabs-4

    the 1tb model works out at £1000.30 without extra's

    I am tempted to take dell up on the refund offer considering I already have a 1tb mSata drive sat here, pocket the £350 change toward another 1tb sata drive and take the battery hit after adding 3 years nbd and full theft and accidental damage warranty
     
  7. Caucasian_Fury

    Caucasian_Fury Notebook Enthusiast

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    Eh, I'm trying to minimize the load on the CPU/GPU to keep the heat down and therefore extend the hardware life. I intend to keep this thing for a good 4 to 5 years. I have only purchased two laptops in the past 10 years so I am averaging 5 years each and would like to keep it that way :)

    As for the Razer, I am disappointed they decided to only include 8GB of memory on board, which I do feel is enough. Again, as I stated, I do a lot of photo editing/processing of very large sized files so 16GB was a minimum requirement for me. I'm not sure if the memory is expandable on the Razer or not but I didn't want the hassle to manually upgrade.

    Agreed, my main concern with the Lenovos are the screens... they're mostly poor to crap for graphics purposes. With the exception of the QHD+ Samsung panel they used for the Yoga 2 Pro, all their panels have a reputation for having relatively low colour gamut. Also, for the no glare matt panel on the 2014 X1 Carbon, they're simply sticking a cheap matt screen protector on it to eliminate the glare, most people have complained about the low quality of the film in that it actually deteriorates image quality significantly and most have taken to removing it, I'm wondering if they're taking the same avenue for the matt Y50 screens.
     
  8. dragontas

    dragontas Notebook Enthusiast

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    from DELL-Terry B's Profile - Dell Community
    DELL-Terry B in Laptop
    ATSUKOP, If you are willing to wait until the re modeled system boards become available then your system should automatically have ship with the updated system board. If you do order one before they become available and the system has the "coil whine" you can contact tech support in your area and request a service to have the system board swapped out with the updated one, the type of service would depend on what service contract that you ordered with the notebook. TB
    in reply to kuqiki in Laptop General Hardware Forum View original post
    1 day ago
    DELL-Terry B
    DELL-Terry B in Laptop
    Captain Colossus, thank you for asking. All, without having the remodeled system boards I can’t really suggest having a service now. If you do contact technical support please request the case number from your technician and keep it in your notes. As I have mentioned I am expecting further news when the remodeled boards will become available in the next week or so. I will post here as soon as I have any updates. I know that this must be frustrating, and I thank all of you for your patience...
     
    adlerhn likes this.
  9. GoNz0

    GoNz0 Notebook Virtuoso

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    I have just had it confirmed by dell that any swap out LCD panels are 2nd hand. They class them as refurbished. Considering that they are sealed units it is impossible for them to be refurbished. They are nothing more than cleaned and tested after a visual inspection, they can not physically do anything else to them!

    Pissed me right off, my replacement panels back in the box dead pixels and all as its 4 months older than the one the laptop shipped with, the stickers on the labels are ripped off and it has marks on it.

    nice one dell.

    Has anyone gone down the refund path?
    How long does the process take, as in how long does it take for dell to collect the laptop, then how long for the refund to go back on your credit card?

    I may as well got for the mid tier model next and hope I get a better system followed by a mobo swap when the new boards come out as waiting may make me miss the 30% off code.
     
  10. nMIK-3

    nMIK-3 Notebook Evangelist

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    This is disgusting. Paying a premium price of $2500, to end up with a second hand, meaning used, materials.
    Is not about the money, is about loosing the meaning and the main principles of paying premium basically to end up with used items.
     
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