gardiner.d
1 Copper

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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I have the FHD model, so I can't comment on the QHD model. Actually, here is my configuration:

  • FHD
  • i7 7th gen
  • 8 Gb ram
  • 256 Gb ssd

Now, coil whine depends on the excitation of the inductor, and thus, the power state. The power state can be influenced by the firmware of different components. In my opinion, its an impractical solution because coil whine is not exclusive to a single one. Developing a software fix is probably like hitting a baseball in the dark.

On this model, the backlight doesn't seem to have an impact.

From what I read, uninstalling/disabling the Intel integrated graphics driver fixes the coil whine completely. Down side... no integrated GPU. If it is indeed isolated to the GPU, a driver update could fix the issue.

The best solution is to have inductors that have a natural frequency well over the operating range, which implies a re-design.

My opinion.

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gardiner.d
1 Copper

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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I'm not sure I'm allowed to post external links and suggest you to install stuff... anyways. While the version number don't really add-up, the release date of the driver is ''Newer'' on the Intel's website. Maybe you should try this and let us know if it fixes it. Why is the version number lower? I don't know XD.

HD graphics 620 driver (Intel's Website):

Release date: 11/9/2016

Version: 15.45.10.4542

downloadcenter.intel.com/.../96551

HD graphics 620 driver (Dell's website):

Release date: 6/8/2016

version: 21.20.16.4475

http://www.dell.com/support/home/ca/en/cabsdt1/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=HJ5YR&fileId=35654550...

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Moderator
Moderator

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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@Community,

 I wanted to give you an update with regards to where we are in our investigation.

We have initiated system captures to investigate the issue and so far we have had one volunteer and have recently received the system. To make sure that we can properly diagnose the issue however we still need more captures. I’d like at least 5 units total.

If you’re interested in helping, please send me a friend request with your information. We can discuss the process privately. Alternatively, please feel free to contact Dell Technical Support or Customer Service for additional assistance. I will be coordinating with Dell engineering and sharing any solutions that I can with the Community when I receive them.

Justin C Dell Technical Support | Project Sputnik


Dell Support is also on Twitter! https://twitter.com/DellCaresPRO


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alice11111
1 Copper

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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I just received my 9360 two days ago. The coil whine can be heard clearly from sitting position (in normal home office environment) even when the laptop is idle. The noise is more prominent when scrolling on web pages. I even took a video since I intend to return it.

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Moderator
Moderator

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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@Alice1111,

I sent you a friend request asking for information. I hope to work with you as I still need more captures.

Justin C Dell Technical Support | Project Sputnik


Dell Support is also on Twitter! https://twitter.com/DellCaresPRO


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Highlighted
alice11111
1 Copper

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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Hi Justin,

Thanks. I've accepted the friend request and also sent you detail that i had provided to Dell Support Engineer.

I do hope this problem can be fixed and I don't need to return the laptop since I like the laptop apart from this very annoying noise.

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Greg_FR
2 Bronze

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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Hello gardiner.d,

The information you give are very interesting. I have a brand new 9360 QHD+ and I notice the same things as you regarding how situational the coil whine noise is : I get the same kind of results in the same situations.

I have nevertheless an important question : as you went though three different 9360 (including the motherboard swap), can you tell me if the level of coil whine was different on every unit in the same situations ? I mean, is the "absolute" level of coil whine a kind of hardware lottery ?

As the coil whine in my unit is not so high, the answer to that question is important as I wouldn't like to get a noisier one when swapping it...

Thank you very much

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gardiner.d
1 Copper

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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Hello GREG_FR,

All three computers, including that with the motherboard swap have coil whine. The loudness is quite similar in every case. The motherboard swap might have had a quieter whine, but not by a margin large enough for me to be certain. What seemed to change was the coil whine bleed into the headphone jack. All models have a slight hiss (you can't hear it at minimum volume - non issue). Some had chirps, that seemed to match the coil whine sounds (this was audible at low volumes). The laptop I'm keeping doesn't have those chirps... or at least, they are very faint. ***The hiss is pretty common. Out of the 4 laptops in my household, 3 of them have it. The laptops are Dell, Lenovo, Asus, Apple. The MBA didn't have.***

In my opinion, it is not a lottery. Unless Dell produces a fix, it will be characteristic of the machine.

Hear me out, all laptops, from every manufacturers have downsides. Some batteries wear out quickly. Some screens bleed light. Some hinges crack. Some laptops will cost you an arm & leg (apple). Some computers have coil whine. Pick your poison lol.

I decided to keep my XPS 13. It has some coil whine, but honestly, I got used to it. And, at $1 500 CAD, it is great value compared to the other high end ultra books. It is fast, light, small and sports an epic battery life.

Oh, and if you are using headphones, disable the ''dimension'' option in MaxxAudioPro. Thank me later!

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Greg_FR
2 Bronze

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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Thank you very much for your answer Gardiner.d., it's again very useful for me (and others I guess).

I think we can say the vast majority of XPS 13 units have a faint coil whine and it's at roughly at the same loudness on all of them. There may be rare exceptions with a very abnormally loud coil whine but it's most probably very uncommon and these units are really faulty ones (to be confirmed by DELL).

On my side, I have compared the coil whine on an HP spectre x360 kaby lake and the XPS 13 9360. There is coil whine on both but the coil whine loudness is significantly lower on the x360 (it's a very very faint one on this model). What is interesting is that the coil whine on the x360 follows the same "pattern" as on the XPS 13 9360 : the noises are exaclty the same kind of noises, they are louder in the same situations (with power supply connected, with netflix, ...), they are just muffled compared to the XPS 13. I wonder if the "problem" on the XPS 13 may be due to less effective shielding of the noise generated by Intel hardware.

Anyway, I confirm that the level of coil whine I can hear on the XPS 13 unit I have is a not a deal breaker. I still love the XPS 13 better than the HP spectre X360 : the fan is far less noisy and the QHD+ screen is gorgeous, not to mention how compact the XPS 13 is compared to anything else.

I will test another unit of XPS 13 in a few weeks, I'll compare my two units and report here (I guess I'll confirm your findings).

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alice11111
1 Copper

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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Hi Gardiner,

You are right. I have a SR ticket with Dell currently and they changed motherboard and DC in since the noise is loudest when laptop is plugged in. The noise level came down however it's still present.

Dell will make another swap (probably another motherboard) and see if they can eliminate the coil whine. I'm not very hopeful. The Engineer who came to my house acknowledged the noise is something abnormal and we shouldn't experience it. However they don't seem to be able pinpoint what's causing it.

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