Dear Dell and community members,
With this post, I would like to express my displeasure about Dell's handling of the XPS 15's coil whine issue. I would like to start a conversation about this persisting problem and I truly hope that Dell will engage in the discussion as well. My goal is to really urge Dell to find a real solution for its customers.
I have bought the new XPS 15 9560 (512GB SSD, 16GB memory, 4K) and I have been using it for some weeks now. I like the machine as the screen is great, the touchpad is really good for a Windows laptop, it is quiet on idle, and most importantly it handles all tasks well. However, I have noticed the common problem that when the AC adapter is plugged in and the battery is fully charged, there is an annoying high pitched noise (coil whine) coming from the upper left area of the keyboard. I found out on the internet that many other people have the same problem and that it even exists for a few years meaning that the issue hasn't been tackled with the introduction of new models.
It also became clear to me that none of the threads I read contained solutions that worked for a majority of the XPS owners who also had the coil whine issue. Therefore, I decided to contact Dell Netherlands (as I bought my laptop there) in the hope that there would still be a solution to the problem. A really nice and friendly guy tried to help me but also he admitted that it is a common problem and that no true solution exists. Some customers decide to replace the motherboards or power plug, however, many times the problem persists. He explained that it is normal in the case of the XPS 15 to hear the coil whine as an "electric signal" is traveling through the motherboard. I would say that the design of the motherboard is therefore deficient as it allows the coil whine to be, in some cases, loud enough for the users to be heard. Replacing the motherboard wouldn't therefore guarantee that the issue would be solved.
I find it hard to accept this conclusion. Of course I realize that this product is mass produced and that therefore some machines might be faulty and that they can be replaced or fixed through warranty. And I also know that complaints on the internet don't necessarily represent the experiences of most users. However, this issue really seems to be caused by a lack of dedication from Dell's side to listen to its customers and actively search for a solution.
As you perhaps know VP General Manager of the XPS Frank Azor frequently replies to tweets from users who have questions or complaints which I really appreciate. Recently, a guy called Mike asked him on Twitter: "Hi Frank, could you please tell me if your guys are really working on the widespread xps coil whine issue as I have been told?" Frank then answered: "Yes, we recognize some systems suffer from this, we will fix and/or replace and new designs are addressing to prevent” (see here: https://twitter.com/AzorFrank/status/832235472067948546). Apparently, the issue is so serious that new designs address the issue which is of course a good thing. While Frank might be really speaking the truth, to me it sounded very familiar. The same issue people experience today was already reported in 2013 by the Dell Community concerning the XPS 9530 (see here: http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/p/19536279/20581724). In 2014, Patrick Leimbert kept asking Dell on Twitter whether they already fixed the issue as Dell responded every time by saying that the engineering team is looking into it (see here: https://twitter.com/pleimb/status/446253568627326976). Now it is 2017 and it seems that the engineering team hasn’t been very successful as the latest model of the XPS 15 still has the issue.
Therefore, I very much doubt whether there is any truth to the story that there will be new designs that will address the coil whine issue. In fact, it sometimes seems that Dell says things to its customers to try and keep them happy without really searching for a solution. For example, someone said on Reddit: “They're sending an engineer to my house to replace it with "a new design of motherboard that will solve the problem"” (see here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/5styjq/xps_15_9560_high_pitch_noise_coil_whine/), which would be strange as the laptop has only be launched one/ two months ago meaning the engineering team has been working on a new design in the past weeks while it didn’t succeed in finding a solution in 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016 when the issue was also known.
I merely would like to hear a sincere response from Dell, are you really going to address the issue by making new motherboards or are you still replacing motherboards with the same ones in the hope that it will solve the coil whine issue? What can I expect as a customer? If there are really new motherboards being designed, when can I expect them?
I can understand your frustration and we regret the inconvenience caused to you. Some of the XPS model's have Coil whine issue. This particular model Dell XPS 9560 does not have this problem. However, please private message us the system service tag along with regitsered owner's name, BIOS version (F2 during startup), a small video, any troubleshooting performed and email address so that we can have it reviewed it.To send a private message, click on my name and send private message.
I am having exactly the same problem.
Today i received, already second time, replacement - and this new one has also this issue.
So it's 3 out of 3 for me with coil whine issue.
It's XPS 15 9560 with 1Tb SSD, i7-770, 16Gb RAM, 4K
"This particular model Dell XPS 9560 does not have this problem."
That's nonsense. My laptop has coil whine, the other users posting in here have coil whine, many users on Reddit have reported coil whine, many users on Notebookreview have reported coil whine and the review on Notebookcheck's website notes coil whine.
Dell 9560: 7700HQ / 32 GB RAM / 1 TB Drive / 4k screen with flicker and browser/Excel stutter lag / wifi with regular signal loss
@DaanQ What about informing the engineers on the issue instead of avoiding the issue? Either the engineers or the managers are deaf or simply Dell's only motivation is greed.
We are paying premium prices and with our valuable time to get treated like we are buffoons.
Thank you for bringing your concern to Social Media support team. We regret the inconvenience caused to you. Please let us know the BIOS version updated on the system (Can be found on BIOS Main page by booting into it F2 during startup)
Also, private message us the system service tag along with registered owner's name and email address.To send a private message, click on my name and send private message.
It doesn't really matter which BIOS version i have.
Issue was "out of the box" with 1.0.3 BIOS and still continued after i upgraded to 1.1.3 for all three laptops i had.
Thank you Ravi for your reply on behalf of Dell although you didn't address my questions at all. I understand that you're trying to offer me support by looking into my individual issue, however, this isn't necessary as I'm already receiving assistance from Dell Netherlands (where I bought the laptop) and Dell Hungary (where I currently live). The people from the support really try to help me but I'm still sharing my displeasure on this forum as I'm convinced that the coil whine issue will not simply be solved through some component replacements. The problem is in the laptop's design, which is the responsibility of the engineering team from Dell US (I assume?) and therefore something that isn't controlled by the regional Dell support services that can only offer component replacements and unit replacements.
I've started the whole support journey two weeks ago and my XPS 15 9560 is currently at a Dell repair service. I have spoken to several support assistants from Dell and I will summarize what I experienced and found out in a few bullet points:
- Two employees from Dell Netherlands and one employee from Dell Hungary admitted that there isn't a solution for the coil whine issue. One person from Dell Netherlands even told me that they're constantly replacing motherboards for customers with the XPS 15 but without much success. He also explained that they depend on Dell US for new motherboard designs. So far, they haven't received any possible updates on new motherboard designs coming to the Netherlands. My contact person at Dell Hungary also referred to the Dell Community Forum as evidence for the fact that many people have the same issue and that there isn't a solution so far. The engineer to whom I talked at the Dell repair service even said that it probably won't be possible to fix the issue as the design of the motherboard causes the problem. He believes that the capacitors are too close to each other.
- Before I brought my XPS 15 to the Dell repair service, Dell Hungary sent a guy to my home. He replaced the motherboard but of course it didn't solve the issue.
- After the motherboard replacement I talked with both Dell Netherlands and Dell Hungary (as you can imagine I have wasted quite some time and money on phone calls). Dell Hungary told me that they can only offer an investigation of my XPS 15 at a Dell repair service point in order to identify the problem and replace additional components if needed. He also explained that Dell Hungary can't unfortunately offer a full replacement as I would need to go back to the Netherlands for that (only component replacements are covered under global warranty). Hence, I contacted Dell Netherlands again. They explained that they can only offer a full replacement after having replaced the motherboard three times (!). The person from Dell Netherlands was honest and told me that (as he was experienced in the support services sector) vague future solutions will often be promised to customers, however, you can never really count on those promises. A perfect example is an email from another person within Dell Netherlands who responded to my question about the new motherboard designs: "The motherboards for your system are still in the making, if I were you I would inquire about their availability once in while (let's say once a month)." I hope there is no need to explain that this is ridiculous.
- I asked the honest person from Dell Netherlands if there are any possibilities to get my money back. Unfortunately, it's too late now to easily get a refund. I will have to write an official letter with my complaint to Dell's address in Amsterdam after which people at "higher levels" within Dell can decide about it.
- As I mentioned my XPS 15 is currently being repaired. They have decided to change the two fans.... because a new motherboard wouldn't fix it they said.
I hope my experience shows that Dell needs to come up with real solutions. I don't easily complain on forums and I hope my elaborate posts demonstrate that I take the time to investigate the issue, talk with the Dell support, and give them the change to help. However, I have learned by now that the Dell support services do everything they can, but it seems that they don't have the solution that will work for a majority of the XPS 15 users who also experience the annoying coil whine. The people "higher up" within Dell should take responsibility and arrange a fix for the flawed design of the XPS 15. Customers are now being directed to support agents who are limited in their options to help.
@Pithikos Good point, but I wouldn't know how to get into contact with the engineers who actually design the motherboards. The engineers of the Dell support service merely do what they can as they depend on the components that are sent to them.
@DaanQ Sorry, the message was aimed at DELL-Ravi CH.
Regarding the engineers, I understand that they get to work on the components they sent. If they though report the issues and then a sales person tells me that the coil whine has been solved, then there really is a communication issue in the company.
If the company really cares, then instead of sending 100 replacements they could be humble and accept that the laptop has issues. They are just wasting the customer's time and patience by lying in their face.