Stochos
1 Nickel

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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Hi Justin


Please update us on the status on the XPS 13 Coil Whine issue?

When will a hardware fix/update be available?

Should prospective XPS 13 buyers wait?

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AlxMedia
1 Copper

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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I have the same question to Justin.

arekm
1 Nickel

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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Dell is known for ignoring this issue. It happened to previous generation XPSes, 13" and 15".

See this very long thread as example:

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/t/19536279

(59 pages, 881 posts at this moment!)

The summary was always like this "coil-like whine is not a bug, not a hardware problem, works ok, whine is to be expected".

So if you can return laptop and buy something then do so because coil-whine is very frustrating and making people go crazy thing.


If you are not convinced then please read thread mentioned above. You will see that Dell simply doesn't care.

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Stochos
1 Nickel

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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This is pretty pathetic.

I've been using Latitudes since D620 onwards and didn't expect this lack of transparency from Dell.


If the coil whine noise is a feature of the product why not admit it?

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John 1GHz
1 Nickel

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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If Dell cannot fix it, they should explain why.

There seems to be different causes of this noise. AC adapter, keyboard back lighting, speakers, etc.

If this noise is caused by poor power management of the motherboard, it may need a new motherboard design.

A thin design is nice, but it needs more work.

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beurle
1 Nickel

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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I have the 9360 with FHD display (not touch) and coil whine is imperceptible, I can only hear this if I put my ear up to the machine.

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Stochos
1 Nickel

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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Thanks for the information Beurle. This gives me hope. I would really like to buy one; but the numerous threads/posts about the coil whine issue gives me pause.

From your and other owner's experience it seems that not all units are equally affected.

It would help if Dell could

  • be more transparent with the issue;
  • inform us of what is being done and
  • tell us when the next guaranteed coil-whine free version will be available for purchase.

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gardiner.d
1 Nickel

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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Hello,

I've been through  two 9360s and a motherboard exchange; they all have coil whine. Don't get me wrong, the loudness will vary. A fool proof way of obtaining coil whine (on all of them) was to run Prime 95. The AC adapter must be unplugged and the battery mustn't be at 100%.

a) It was never very loud. Younger folks like myself can hear the chirps a lot easier than older folks. For instance, a 40 years old may not hear it at all.

b) The coil whine is very situational.

- AC plugged it = way louder than AC not plugged in.

- Scrolling a web page: your ear needs to be against the keyboard to hear - non issue

- Productivity work: non issue

- Netflix/YouTube: I could hear the chirps with the volume set to about 4. The coil whine is more present at the beginning of a video. It tends to tone down after a minute or so.

- While gaming, there is coil whine. The fans, typically, will drown that out. - non issue

c) The coil whine tends to create interference with the headphone jack & speakers. While it is practically inaudible through the speakers, in some instances, at low volumes, you can hear it through headphones.

d) The coil whine does NOT originate near the power button.

e) The coil whine comes from the top left, near the where you plug the AC adapter.

f) Deal breaker? It sure ***, but I'm getting used to it. If I don't pay attention, I stop hearing it.

g) If you have OCD gtfo, it will drive you nuts.

Cheers

gardiner.d
1 Nickel

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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From my experience, the AC adapter coil whine is no more. I read that they came up with a new version for the XPS 9350 to fix this issue. I cannot hear coil whine from the AC adaptor of my 9360.

Coil whine is a physical thing. On the motherboard, coils act as inductors. Basically, they are there to resist changes in the current. To my understanding, two things can create the noise we hear:

1. Coil vibration. It gets excited and vibrates. This is a design flaw. The coil should be designed so that is natural frequency is far from its operating range.

2. The changes in magnetic field make something else vibrate. While I doubt it because it is very weak, it would also be a design flaw.

Coil  whine can be fixed in two ways. The first, is a change in motherboard design. The second is power management. Software can stop the computer from using the power states causing the coil whine. This could, however, affect the performance??? I think.

A closing thought. Coil whine is very common in ''cheap'' plastic computers and rather uncommon in expensive CNC machined laptops. Why is that? Better motherboards? I doubt it. Sound travels easier through plastic than metal. Coil whine in a mac will be more difficult to detect than in an XPS 13 because of the ''carbon fiber''. (Btw, carbon fiber is glorified plastic)

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John 1GHz
1 Nickel

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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gardiner.d,

So using the correct combination of firmware can reduce/eliminate the coil whine?

Some have complained about the touch screen possibly being an issue. Keyboard back lighting another complaint. The power adapter seems mixed.

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