I have just recently received a new XPS 13 with the new haswell i7 processor, 8gb RAM, 256gb ssd, and windows 8.1.
I really like this laptop, but it makes a really bizarre noise. It happens constantly as soon as its powered on, like a high pitched whirring sound from somewhere beneath the keyboard. It also seems pretty inconsistent, like it flickers in frequency, and when you use programs (e.g scroll through webpages) it gets louder.
Can anyone help me with what the issue is here? Any help appreciated.
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I have the same model and exactly the same issue. High frequency makes it difficult to record.
One of the very few flaws in an otherwise superb unit.
I'm hoping there will be a BIOS fix for this. I've noticed similar complaints with many different brands and models in my searches online.
Consensus appears to be a coil whine of some sort. it is not harmful but annoying.
I have the same problem albeit with the Ubuntu Developer edition of the XPS 13 9333.
The noise seems to disappear when the fan kicks.
Dell is this a known issue you're working on?
Further to my reply below, I emailed Dell about this problem who are sending a tech to check it out. I was hoping for a BIOS fix and the thought of my notebook being apart is kind of tragic!
But if it gets fixed, then all good :-)
Tech guy is coming Friday. I'll report back on progress.
If i connect a headset the noise is louder...can you confirm?
I disable the sound card alsa driver and it is better. Can you confirm this?
I tried the steps above in Windows and noticed no change.
Strangely enough the last 2 days, it seems a little quieter. It's probably due to the tech coming to investigate tomorrow. I'll end up looking silly. I'll run it for a bit to ensure the noise is there.
The pattern seems to be it occurs after running for some time. That is consistent with coil whine where the coil heats up, expands and the noise is generated.
I thank all of you for posting about this here. Dell engineering is aware of this thread and are investigating your claims.
Heldenhaft has some good questions regarding if the noise is originating from the on board sound system or seems to be coming from some other source. Do any of you notice if disabling the sound card makes the problem better or worse?
If the sound card doesn’t seem to be the problem, does the noise seem to be cooling fan related? Does the noise only occur after prolonged use of the notebook, or when the notebook is running under a heavy load?
Kuqiki posted that the sound is coming from under the keyboard, have all of you noticed this as well?
I will likely be sending out friend requests to you shortly so that I can get the service tags for the systems. Engineering may also wish to capture a system for testing at the lab. Please let me know if possible where the noise is coming from and if it is fan, sound card related or something else.
Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices
Cheers for letting us know terry. The steps Heldenhaft suggested didn't have an effect on the noise my system is making.
I am pretty certain it is not sound system related, it is also pretty distinct from the cooling fan sound. As far as loads, mine makes noise as soon as the system is powered up though it does fluctuate with use as I highlighted originally.
Blacklisting the sound card didn't work for me, but turning off the keyboard backlight does!!
The "note" of the noise changes when I hit Fn+F6 and completely disappears when the backlight is off.
Please can someone else give it a go?