archenroot
1 Nickel

Audio CHIP ALC3266 support on Linux - Dell XPS 15 9550 - Disaster

First Dell XPS is great product, I have my second one upgrading from 9530 to 9550 with 32GB RAM. They are worth the money. I am Gentoo linux user, so working in dual boot configuration with Windows, but mostly work on Linux.

I am really quite happy with every aspect of the hardware design (the thin border screen is unbeatable), I understand some minor issues with camera placement.

BUT AUDIO chip selection => COMPLETE DISASTER. I believe who ever pickup the  ALC3266 chip was either:

- insane out of the box

- having serious family issues, so he drinks a lot or is regularly on drugs

I understand you don't support Linux primarily, but it causes serious issues on Windows as well. On Linux unfortunately there are different scenarios where internal speakers works, but no output to headphones. Or vice versa. Or headphones only one ear works. And after quite long time, it is not fixed on community level and probably won't be easily fixed.

I think this is really responsibility and sanity of the hardware architect to not only pickup hardware by price/features, but how it really works.

Maybe it will help to design for next XPS versions the audio board to be replaceable in similar way as Wireless card is, what do you think guys?

0 Kudos
Jim Coates
5 Osmium

RE: Audio CHIP ALC3266 support on Linux - Dell XPS 15 9550 - Disaster

I think this is really responsibility and sanity of the hardware architect to not only pickup hardware by price/features, but how it really works.

I won't comment about the specific Realtek Alc3266 chip, as I have no information about it one way or the other, but I agree whole-heartedly with the sentiment. For as long as I have been doing this, Dell laptop owners have had to come up with workaround fixes for audio issues that should have never left the factory.

Maybe it will help to design for next XPS versions the audio board to be replaceable in similar way as Wireless card is, what do you think guys?

I like the idea, but that would be a major audio feature addition. For years the trend has been in the opposite direction, to eliminate hardware audio features, and to try to make up for it with software like the Realtek/Waves software. The thinking seems to be that fewer people are serious about audio now, not enough to cater to, in my opinion.

This might not be relevant, but one poster mentioned using Linux Mint with an XPS 9350 but didn't say anything about headphones problems like what you are having with your 9550. They should be similar models except for the screen size. A lot of 9550 owners have had to get the audio jack circuit board replaced to resolve headphone issues (in Windows).

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

0 Kudos
archenroot
1 Nickel

RE: Audio CHIP ALC3266 support on Linux - Dell XPS 15 9550 - Disaster

Jimco

I won't comment about the specific Realtek Alc3266 chip, as I have no information about it one way or the other, but I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment. For as long as I have been doing this, Dell laptop owners have had to come up with workaround fixes for audio issues that should have never left the factory.

This chip is actually available on other than Dell XPS series, but Alienware, etc. But even Windows users are having continuous problems with this ***. When you put into google this chip code name you will find mostly Dell XPS problems reported :-))) 

I like this article about it:

en.community.dell.com/.../20005054

I like the idea, but that would be a major audio feature addition. For years the trend has been in the opposite direction, to eliminate hardware audio features, and to try to make up for it with software like the Realtek/Waves software. The thinking seems to be that fewer people are serious about audio now, not enough to cater to, in my opinion.
You are right, this could be seen as step beck. On the other hand, even in XPS 15 is the sound card installed as isolated special board, but unlike Wifi, not in standardized form. So actually Dell still uses sound card like special physical card which could be unmounted.
This might not be relevant, but one poster mentioned using Linux Mint with an XPS 9350 but didn't say anything about headphones problems like what you are having with your 9550. They should be similar models except for the screen size. A lot of 9550 owners have had to get the audio jack circuit board replaced to resolve headphone issues (in Windows).
 
Yes, 9350 had its own issue as well, but to me 9550 looks is even worse ( I have it already for 12 months)
 
After spending lots of time to resolve all issues, I failover to USB external audio card...
0 Kudos
Jim Coates
5 Osmium

RE: Audio CHIP ALC3266 support on Linux - Dell XPS 15 9550 - Disaster

So actually Dell still uses sound card like special physical card which could be unmounted.

Hi. The parts-people clip is about removing the speakers.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

0 Kudos
archenroot
1 Nickel

RE: Audio CHIP ALC3266 support on Linux - Dell XPS 15 9550 - Disaster

Yes, you are right, wrong URL, it is easy to find on Youtube that there were actually XPS (older revisions) which were having audio board separately connected via USB.

But you are right, the link I shared is not related to board. Sorry and thanks for your answers.

Actual XPS doesn't support replacement and that is end of story then.

Here is correct link about history of XPS audio board:

www.youtube.com/watch

0 Kudos