Ken PC's Posts

Ken PC's Posts

This is a great summary! Very Nice. Informal testing I have done also shows little if any difference in performance with AHCI or RAID for NVME drives. However...... power consumption is a very di... See more...
This is a great summary! Very Nice. Informal testing I have done also shows little if any difference in performance with AHCI or RAID for NVME drives. However...... power consumption is a very different story. For uses such as playing media files from the NVME drive, battery life is increased by 30% when using the RAID mode. The power penalty observed under NVME/AHCI does not apply if the drive is M2/SATA, either in AHCI or RAID. (Tested on 9560 bios 1.3.3; 960ProNVME or 850EVO M.2.)
Are there plans for Dell to enable class0 (HDD password) hardware security for M2 NVME drives in the BIOS screen options, as there is already for the M2 sata drives? (Such as Dell 9560, 9550, and s... See more...
Are there plans for Dell to enable class0 (HDD password) hardware security for M2 NVME drives in the BIOS screen options, as there is already for the M2 sata drives? (Such as Dell 9560, 9550, and similar system) It appears that only software based security is available for most or all NVME drives on a dell system, which does slow down the system, increases the power consumption, and is not as good as hardware security.
SpeedShift may be helpful for improved battery life under light load conditions. This would be a great system to support in an updated Dell BIOS
i7 for each 750m in the 9530, and 960m in the 9550
The XPS 9550 gets about 9hrs battery life while TOTALLY idle, with minimum screen brightness (always on), and about 5hrs battery life with max screen brightness (always on). (CPU usage checked and is... See more...
The XPS 9550 gets about 9hrs battery life while TOTALLY idle, with minimum screen brightness (always on), and about 5hrs battery life with max screen brightness (always on). (CPU usage checked and is essentially zero during this test.) Yet Dell claims '10 to 17hrs' of battery life while actually doing something. For comparison, my Dell XPS 9530/3200x1800/SSD/91WH laptop runs 17hrs and 11-12hrs under the same conditions. Is this normal? And is it the screen with such a huge battery drain or something else? And the 9550 has much lower battery life in side by side comparisons for video playback, surfing identical web pages, etc. Seems there is a penalty for skylake CPU's in actual practice, or something is drowning out the advantages. FYI - I use this easy idle test as a measure of 'best case battery life'. I do understand it will be less in actual use, but the 9550 battery life drops like a lead balloon.
Here are some screen shots of HDtune -  Dell 851 drive after 4 months (bad, but not as bad as many examples)   dell 851 drive after full factory image refresh using Dell image written to ... See more...
Here are some screen shots of HDtune -  Dell 851 drive after 4 months (bad, but not as bad as many examples)   dell 851 drive after full factory image refresh using Dell image written to a USB. Note how access times improved overall and the access time scale changed due to the lower variability in this 'freshened' state 850 EVO after full system re-image from that same USB with the dell factory image. Note how low and consistent the access time is compared to the 851 drive - even with the 851 in a 'freshened' state.. And how comparatively steady the read throughput is.
A further note to my post.. If you have Maxxsense as installed on the Dell factory image, and then merely update the drivers (even those from the Dell site), you will very likely 'downgrade' the ma... See more...
A further note to my post.. If you have Maxxsense as installed on the Dell factory image, and then merely update the drivers (even those from the Dell site), you will very likely 'downgrade' the maxxsense options too.
Thanks for the responses. This confirms my suspicions. The HDtune pic posted looks very much like my experience. Erratic, bouncy  overall read speeds and very very slow in spots. Note the access ti... See more...
Thanks for the responses. This confirms my suspicions. The HDtune pic posted looks very much like my experience. Erratic, bouncy  overall read speeds and very very slow in spots. Note the access time scale on that posted chart....will mention again a bit later...   As far as 840EVO's, it is a very good assumption that they ALL have the slowdown problem and the Dell drive is a derivative of that one. Again, benchmarks such as ATTO will not find the problem. So I picked up an 850EVOmsata 500G and replaced the Dell drive. With the 850,HD tune essentially flat lines around 500-520 MB/s, and essentially ALL of the read access times are in the .03ms range - not a typo. The HDtune chart for access time for the 850EVO only goes up to 0.55ms on the scale. Some 10x or better faster access times than the 851! Samsung led Dell down the rosy path with this one. Can't blame Dell - they had no idea at the time. But Samsung may take their own sweet time issuing a firmware for the Dell OEM'd drive, and keep in mind, the 840EVO's may have this problem permanently built in, and only a monthly drive re-write will be a fix for it.
I noticed the 9530 XPS 15 laptop with the PM851 512GB SSD getting slower. Knowing it is a Samsung supplied msata drive, I was suspecting it had the same slowdown problem as the 840 EVO. I ran HD tu... See more...
I noticed the 9530 XPS 15 laptop with the PM851 512GB SSD getting slower. Knowing it is a Samsung supplied msata drive, I was suspecting it had the same slowdown problem as the 840 EVO. I ran HD tune and found several areas of the drive that had about 30MB/s read speed - less than about 10% of the rest of the drive. Note that benchmarks such as ATTO only read/write very small parts of the drive and will NOT find this problem. HD tune (and HD tach) actually measure across the entire drive. So I re-installed the factory OS from a USB image made from Dell Backup and recovery - which completely reformats and re-writes to the drive. I found those really slow spots were gone, and the average access time of the reads dropped by a factor of about 3, and the maximum access time observed dropped by a factor of 10. Anyone else seen this, or know of a firmware update to fix this? (The documented problem with the Samsung 840evo is that when data is 'old' (about a month or so), the read speed of that old data drops like a lead balloon.) So unless a fix is found, the drive will again become just as slow in a month or so.
Please post if you find a successful install process. This has been brought up before in the forums and affects a number of dell laptop products. The only way I know to keep the higher optioned max... See more...
Please post if you find a successful install process. This has been brought up before in the forums and affects a number of dell laptop products. The only way I know to keep the higher optioned maxsense version is to use the factory dell install, or re-image the dell factory OS from the disk image written to a USB stick that is generated by the dell Backup and recovery program. I learned the hard way that losing that image means a clean install via a windows disk and some features are just not included. (This applies even to the windows disks provided by Dell as backups.) Dell provided Realtek drivers installed over clean installs do NOT result in the same capability in maxxsense compared to the Dell factory OS install. So keep that factory image generated by Dell backup and recovery - you will need it. I suggest making more than one copy - in case one of the USB sticks fails or is mistakenly overwritten.
The 15z has a hardware problem as I have since discovered. Tried win8, win7, various drivers and OS settings. The screen distortion tends to kick in with USB activity. It can be stopped for a sho... See more...
The 15z has a hardware problem as I have since discovered. Tried win8, win7, various drivers and OS settings. The screen distortion tends to kick in with USB activity. It can be stopped for a short while by gently twisting the framework of the keyboard/case assembly. So I think a cable, or solder joint has let loose. I have had it apart several times checking various components and cable connections, but can find nothing so far. It may be something to do with the power supply - when it is likely to go in and out of the distortion mode, I see various low level variations in backlight intensity seemingly moving up and down the screen. When its working ok, the backlight is steady. Bummer, it is (was) a nice machine,
If you had GPU switching problems, then perhaps a windows restore to a much earlier point or a clean install is in order. I know this can be laborious, but it will set all the files and system 'in ord... See more...
If you had GPU switching problems, then perhaps a windows restore to a much earlier point or a clean install is in order. I know this can be laborious, but it will set all the files and system 'in order' again. It might be possible that some of the deleted files were 'windows' files and not 'driver' files, or the windows registry is now somewhat scrambled. But to check the video chip power management, try this test - fully charge the battery, put the screen on Min brightness when on battery power, and set power saver to allow the screen to stay on for at least 30 mins. Restart on battery power, go to desktop and do NOTHING except monitor the battery indicator at the lower right every 5 to 10 mins. You should get about 7 or more hours per the battery icon. If so, then the video chip IS getting turned off properly and the battery life problem is elsewhere. For instance, the screen takes a lot of power - running at full or near full bright will bring that battery life number down a lot. And, if you do a clean install, I would recommend using the DELL drivers from the website, except it seems OK to update to the Nvidia driver from Nvidia, the Intel Graphics driver from Intel, and the 7260 wireless drivers from Intel.
I have been working on the same problem for a bit now and,, MIGHT have found the problem. I have been installing chipset drivers 'newer' than the ones Dell released for the 15z in the installs. But I ... See more...
I have been working on the same problem for a bit now and,, MIGHT have found the problem. I have been installing chipset drivers 'newer' than the ones Dell released for the 15z in the installs. But I changed that and installed the Dell released Win8/15z chipset drivers, and the system has been working without any screen problem for some days now! Specifically, the install program asked whether to overwrite with the 'older' drivers, and that was done. The Non-Dell win8/15z drivers installed (for an 8.1 install) are the 525M driver from Nvida, and HD3000 graphics driver from Intel. I did updgrade to the 7260 wireless card in this unit, and the 7260 drivers from intel are installed. 'System level' drivers such as chipset, accelerometer, etc are ALL from the Dell W8/15z website. The change that seemed to solve the problem for me was the Dell provided chipset and basic hardware drivers. Still monitoring the results, but this has by far been the longest run without any screen hiccups.
UPDATE>....... I swapped out the wireless card, and the 15z worked find for a few days and I thought I found the culprit. But then, the flickering screen re-appeared...... It is NOT the wireless card ... See more...
UPDATE>....... I swapped out the wireless card, and the 15z worked find for a few days and I thought I found the culprit. But then, the flickering screen re-appeared...... It is NOT the wireless card that is the culprit causing the screen flicker.
UPDATE....... It is NOT the wireless card. The 15z did work a few days in a row,, and I thought I had it fixed!!.. But nooooo... So I am still trying to find out what is the problem......
Doing a manual install isn't needed - use the touchpad drivers for the dell 321x version A05 - they work on the 15z, install without drama, and I have had them work fine on Win7, Win8, and Win 8.1
Note to my post - to clarify, the distorted screen in my case ALSO often occurred with moving the mouse cursor and resume.
I had a very similar problem with my 15z, and discovered it was a bad wireless card. The screen looked nearly identical to the video in the post. Try disabling the wireless card via device manager f... See more...
I had a very similar problem with my 15z, and discovered it was a bad wireless card. The screen looked nearly identical to the video in the post. Try disabling the wireless card via device manager first, or to make sure, remove the wireless card from the motherboard. (It is likely an intel 6230N card, though could be a 7260.). In my case, I swapped RAM, Hard drive, and battery as well as clean OS installs, but with no success. It was changing out the wireless card that solved the problem! If disabling the wireless card solves the problem, replace it with another wireless card. Fortunately, they are readily available and not too expensive (about 25-30 USD)
A long shot, but,, I just had a display problem on a Dell 15z (no, not the 9530 I know) but, the display would go quite 'fuzzy', nearly unreadable, then 'come back' to normal. It seemed to occur at ra... See more...
A long shot, but,, I just had a display problem on a Dell 15z (no, not the 9530 I know) but, the display would go quite 'fuzzy', nearly unreadable, then 'come back' to normal. It seemed to occur at random times, but also seemed to be correlated to using either a BT or USB mouse after it sat idle for a few minutes. The unit was upgraded to a 7260AC wireless card some time ago, and after a string of attempts to fix the display problem, it was changed back to the original 6230N wireless card - and the display no longer went 'weird'! I don't think it is a 7260/6230 problem since the computer worked well for months with the 7260 card. But it might be a wireless card that went bad. How it affects the display I don't understand, but changing the wireless card did 'fix' the display erratic behavior. Before that, I had changed out the RAM, the SSD, and the battery, but all those had no effect. You could try perhaps disabling the 7260AC wireless card for a while via device manager and see if the display problem changes.
FWIW, I also do clean installs on new computers for similar reasons. In my case, I used the Win8.1 disk that I received after requesting it from Dell. The touchscreen is enabled and working with no sp... See more...
FWIW, I also do clean installs on new computers for similar reasons. In my case, I used the Win8.1 disk that I received after requesting it from Dell. The touchscreen is enabled and working with no specific driver or action needed. But, I did do the firmware update from Dell for the touchscreen before the clean install.