expert1
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RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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Just got my top of the line XPS 13 9360 (16GB i7 QHD LCD with Ubuntu). I can also hear coil whine. I can also hear noise in headphones when plugged directly to laptop's mini jack.

Is there chance of getting normal unit or should I just return it and get the refund ?

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chankoedo
1 Nickel

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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just read through this tread. Almost every XPS 13 is suffering from this issue. there is i would say no chance to get a coil-whine-free XPS 13 as for now. I myself had two of them, each came with this for me unbearable whine.

If you can not get used to this sort of noise then I would recommend to return it and go for another ultrabook.

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Moderator
Moderator

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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@Community,

Status update for you.

I've received one capture so far and I do hear a noise while the system is under stress. It's the same noise gardiner.d has pointed out in his video here.

I'm working on getting more captures and will be presenting this noise to Dell engineering in the near future to get their take on it.

I'll be in touch with more updates.

Justin C

Dell Technical Support L3 | Project Sputnik

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

 

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mash_ine
1 Copper

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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That's very good to hear!

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Moderator
Moderator

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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@Community,

I can now confirm for you that Dell is working towards are hardware solution for the coil noise. I will be in touch with more detail in the near future.

Justin C

Dell Technical Support L3 | Project Sputnik

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

 

gardiner.d
1 Nickel

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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Awsome. Looking forward to that.

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hvbakel
1 Nickel

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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I have the Skylake version of the XPS 13 (9350) and have had issues with coil whine as well. In my case the degree of noise is very dependent on the frequency state the processor is in, with maximum noise levels when in low frequencies (<1.2 GHz) and when in 'turbo mode' (3.1 GHz). The the extent of the noise also depends on what operations were run on the processor. Scrolling in the browser while on battery would drive me (and the cat) nuts.

After a lot of trial-and-error I figured out that using the intel pstate 'powersave' scaling governor (the default on most recent kernel/ubuntu versions) and setting the "min_perf_pct" to a level between 50-80 percent minimizes coil-whine during normal usage.

To give it a shot, first check that you're using the p_state 'powersave'  governor by verifying that the following command returns 'powersave' for each CPU core:

   cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_governor

Then run the following as root:

   echo -n 80 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/intel_pstate/min_perf_pct

You can vary the minimum performance percentage from 0 to 100. In my case 80 worked best but results may be very CPU/board dependent.

Note that setting a minimum performance percentage means that the core frequency never drops below a certain value. In my case all cores idle around 2.5 GHz (without the performance threshold they would go as low as 800 MHz). In theory this could affect battery life, though in practice I haven't noticed any reductions - probably because the processor is still using all its powersaving C-states.

Off course it would be better if this problem is fixed at the hardware level, but in the mean time I hope these tips may be useful for others. I'm not an engineer but I suspect that coil whine is a difficult problem to solve completely because there are many components involved. The increasing number of frequency/power states of modern processors might also be increasing the likelihood of resonance occurring, potentially explaining why later XPS models are more affected.

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Zuhrik
1 Copper

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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I got my 9360 7500u, 16GB, 1TB a few days ago. I'm in situation 0. There is some coil whine, but I cannot notice it at a normal working distance (~40-60cm). You can hear it at 2cm on the back near the vents, but it's a laptop, not a phone. Under full load, not much coil whine at 10 cm, under no load, neither (in linux and windows). When charging, there is a little bit of coil whine that you can year at 10cm distance on the left side. In case you wonder, I am young, I can hear very high frequencies normally and in general coil whine drives me crazy. In a very silent room, I cannot hear any coil whine at a normal working distance! And since we are on the acoustics, when the fan is on at full speed, it is much more silent than my macbook pro retina 15. In bios, I did not disable any C-state..., only the drive is in AHCI for linux and the battery charge level is set to 90% max.
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lpParis
1 Copper

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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Hi,

If that can help... I bought my XPS 13 (9350, not 9360) in April 2016 and this issue appeared within the last weeks only (never heard such a noise before and I've also been using it in the evening with no ambient noise). Unless an IC component got damaged, it really looks like a regression issue due to a driver update (OS=Win10).

To me, when the noise appears, it is unbearable. This can be reproduced especially on web pages with scrolling areas. Could it be due to an agressive change in the video driver?

@Justin

To Dell engineers, is that a hardware or software issue?

If it's a hardware issue, does it need to be returned for repair?

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gallantus
1 Nickel

RE: New Kaby Lake XPS 13: coil whine

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Hi Justin,

What's is the latest status with this coil whine issue?  I can hear the coil whine when the TV is on.  I got it about 2 months ago, but I thought it was the driver and I kept messing around with it for a long time and can't get it fixed, than I did some research and came across this thread.

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