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imre0
1 Copper

XPS 13 (9630) BIOS update & eGPU support

Hi,

I recently purchased an XPS 13 (9360) with Windows 10 preinstalled, and today I wanted to install Arch Linux as a dual boot option. I discovered that Arch Linux does not recognize the NVMe PCIe SSD if the SATA conroller is set to Raid On mode in the BIOS. After browsing some forums, I found out that it is completely fine if I switch off the SATA controller (set to Disabled in the BIOS). So I did this, reinstalled Windows 10 first and everything was alright. This happened under BIOS version 1.0.7. But just after the fresh Windows install, I noticed that a new update for the BIOS was released (version 1.2.3), so I went ahead and updated the BIOS. The update completed without an error but at boot, no operating system could be detected. 

I went into the BIOS, and under System Information as well, it was written that no hard drive at all was present (no NVMe PCIe nor SATA of course). If I switched the SATA controller to AHCI mode, the problem resolved itself, the BIOS reported the SSD and Windows 10 booted without a problem. So this is more like a question than a problem, but is this the intended behaviour? As far as I understand, if I have an NVMe PCIe SSD drive (CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe LITEON 512 GB), there is no need for the SATA controller to be enabled, and this was indeed the case with the previous BIOS version (1.0.7). So is this a bug or am I not right somewhere?

My second question concerns External GPU support. The Thunderbolt firmware in the XPS 13 (9360) in principle should fully support eGPU-s (such as the Razer Core for example). I am considering investing in one in the future, but I have to be sure that eGPU support is indeed there. The Thunderbolt(TM) Software currently reports (Settings > Details) that this is not the case. So what is the real situation?

Hopefully my questions are clear, and thanks to anybody in advance who could help me out with these.

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2 Replies
8 Krypton

RE: XPS 13 (9630) BIOS update & eGPU support

On the first question, was Windows reinstalled in SATA mode or NVMe?

On the second -- no, this system does not have any eGPU support -- so far, Dell has released that ONLY for some Alienware systems.  That doesn't definitively mean an eGPU won't work - but it does mean there's no support for one from Dell, and that it is more likely one won't work than that it will.

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imre0
1 Copper

RE: XPS 13 (9630) BIOS update & eGPU support

Thank you for the quick reply. I reinstalled Windows with the SATA controller set to Disabled on the 1.0.7 BIOS. The Device Manager showed "Standard NVM Express Controller" under Storage controllers. Everything worked fine (rebooted multiple times), then did the BIOS update to 1.2.3 and Windows could not boot, and the BIOS also said "(none)" under System Information next to both at the SATA and the PCIe SSD entries. This resolved itself when I set the SATA controller to AHCI, and rebooted (Device Manager still shows the Standard NVMe Controller), but the problem occurs again if I disable the SATA controller.

So technically everything works with booting with AHCI setting, but I am a bit puzzled by this behavior after the BIOS update, so I thought I would inquire about it.

One more thing actually that I just noticed. After this BIOS update, Windows refuses to sleep neither when I close the lid, nor when I explicitly tell it to sleep. The screen just goes blank and locks.

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