Apology absolutely accepted - as aqal says, it's both unusual and welcome to find a staffer helping out in support forums so frequently.
I can't check driver version until this evening, but my machine was factory fresh delivered 2 weeks ago. The audio stuttering issue was evident out of the box before I installed anything (even the Windows start up sound stuttered a few times!).
Since disabling the wired adapter I have had no problems with the audio at all. I've had other problems, such as the one I posted about the SD card reader elsewhere in the forums, but the audio has been good.
Has there been any progress on this?
It's now almost a month since the last post in this thread.
I, and others, have confirmed that the audio stuttering can be re-produced EVERY TIME by enabling the wired ethernet port on the 15z. Disabling stops the stuttering EVERY TIME.
Theer may well be other problems related to nVidia, and others related to power supply/grounding, but the wired ethernet port problem is reproducable by a number of people in this thread.
It's a bit frustrating to have spent the best part of a grand on a machine only to find it has some pretty fundamental driver support issues.
I've never had a machine that has felt so 'fragile'!
Come on Dell, a month on can we have an update please?
Confirmed for me. Disabling the Atheros AR8151 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller makes the audio stuttering go away for me. People are reporting at the Notebook Review Forums: XPS 15z Crackling Audio with Network Traffic as well.
That is my thread on Notebook Review Forums.
NB: I do not have any noticeable issue with the *wired Ethernet* although I haven't used it that much since I've had the machine..
My problem is related to the Wifi. Significant *Wifi* traffic cause glitching and crackling whilst playing any audio (only while the system is playing something not when the audio is "idle").
Disabling the Ethernet in Device Manager doesn't make a difference.
PROBLEM SOLVED !!!!!!!
Thanks to egis_core_i7 who posted this solution in another thread, I have been listening to audio on my Inspiron 1545 for over an hour without a single stutter! The problem is a faulty or outdated Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver. To solve the problem you must get the updated driver directly from the Intel site. Both the Dell Support Center and Windows Update are currently supplying outdated versions. Here is the direct link to the driver, please make sure that it is compatible with your operating system.