After a ton of research and having damaged my ThinkPad in several unfortunate ways (it served me a good 3.5+ years) I have finally bought myself a new laptop. I have here the XPS 15 9570, with 3 Year Onsite Warranty for good measure. TBH my expectations were lowered given my research - good thing too…

Purchased from Dell eBay Store with a 20% Off code. You should definately wait for the 20% sale as it comes around quite frequently.

General impressions

The lid and base are physically constructed well and are very solid. I can chuck this into my backpack and not worry that too much pressure will damage the screen. Unlike my old ThinkPad T450s which lid would flex in my backpack (seriously, I had gotten Lenovo to exchange my LCD panel numerous times)

The CPU upgrade is MASSIVE. 6-cores is way faster than the 2-core CPU that I had been living on for the past 4 years. I actually don’t own a desktop PC and won’t be needing to.

Weight is good. Lighter than my rMBP 2015 from work.

Servicability is good. It was quite easy to open up to upgrade the RAM and repaste. The base lid screws are poor quaility (think: ‘soft metal’ screws), so take care to find a proper fit screw driver. I’m considering buying some replacement screws which will fit / XPS 15 9560. Much better servicability than Surface products - would not buy.


Mine had 3 dead pixels right out of the box, and major ghosting on the right side. An extremely bad first impression!!! Reflects upon Dell’s poor QA processes. Honestly, how did they let this out of the factory!?

[Also, over the phone Dell tech support said to contact Dell eBay support, who replied back and told me to phone Dell tech support… once again reflecting how isolated each department operates within Dell.]

No problems once Dell replaced the FHD display assembly with a new one. Display is now good - clear (no grainy coating but still anti-glare), bright (400 nits), and sharp.

To turn off Intel adaptive contrast, head to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Class\{4d36e968-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}\0000] (or 0001, 0002 - whichever corresponds to the intel gpu)

Replace the dword value for FeatureTestControl:

Original value New value
9240 9250
c200 cff0
8200 8210

Scripted method:


Coming from a ThinkPad, the keyboard travel is not as pleasant on the XPS 15. If you’re a Macbook person you’d be okay. Because I don’t appreciate the Macbook keyboard either. I just find it not a ‘clicky’ as the current generation Latitude keyboards either. But hey, it’s still an okay keyboard which does work. Update: After a few months, I’ve gotten used to the keyboard for the most part.

No dedicated Page Up and Page Down keys - I find them quite handy - but the touchpad makes up for this. Well, mostly - I could really do with a Page Down key when I have the laptop on the kitchen counter for following online recipes… ya’ know?

I wouldn’t want to type on this keyboard for long periods at my desk - I have a pretty nice wireless keyboard! (Microsoft sculpt keyboard, bought for my day job).

No defects or key skipping issues on mine, yay. This had been one of my negatives during pre-purchase research.


No complaints! Great.

Sleep mode

The battery drains during sleep mode as the laptop does not use S3 mode but Modern Standby (C0). The drain is noticable but acceptable, unless there Modern Standby goes rougue and drains the entire battery (it happened to me a few times now).

Modern Standby is dumb. This ‘fake’ sleep mode does cause the laptop to sometimes heat up in a e.g. backpack during sleep mode!!! And it’s not just this XPS 9570 but a heap of other recent Dell, Lenovo and Microsoft Surface products too. (If I really want push notifications, I have a smartphone and smart band for that. Or whatever Modern Standby is supposed to accomplish)

There have been occaisons where the fan would run/spin up and then down during sleep mode - I can even hear it when I am trying to sleep at night! And there was one morning when the laptop went really loud in sleep mode and WOKE ME UP FROM MY SLEEP!

Setting CsEnabled to 0 in the registry disabled Modern Standby but causes intermittent display flickering after waking (specific to XPS 9570), so I’ve just left it to the defaults and living with the slight drain. Although with recent BIOS updates it may be worth trying this again.


A. The best mitigation is to set Windows to hibernate after a timeout: - most important!

B. Install Dell’s Modern Standby Performance Improvement Package Application, whatever it does.

C. Set Modern Standby to ‘Disconnected’ - this script from a Lenovo ThinkPad support article may help.

D. Troubleshoot Modern Standby battery drain using Sleep Study using Scott Hanselman’s article on using powercfg /energy and /sleepstudy link. I found that one of my paired Bluetooth devices was keeping my PC awake.

The rest of my tips are NOT proven to help, but I do this anyway:

  • Reduce as many sync-related Windows 10 functions as possible, which could potentially keep Modern Standby. e.g. Possibly removing status items from the lock screen. It should be network ‘disconnected’ anyway but who knows.

  • Disable unneccessary Windows 10 functions. shutup10 is great for this. Disable Cortana using Winareo Tweaker. Reduce the number of folders indexed in Search.

  • Disable as many background-running apps too. Tragically, because Modern Standby isn’t a true S3 sleep, regular desktop(?)/UWP apps still get to run in short throttled bursts (as I understand) but can cause the CPU to stay unnecessarily active for longer.


Mine is mostly (?) stable at -155.3mV. I get near instant BSODs/freezes after setting my undervolt to -160mV.

Update: Not actually stable for me. So I’ve now gone for a more conservative CPU Core & CPU Cache -120.1mV and iGPU & System Agent -45.9mV

Of course I Repasted the CPU and chucked thermal pads somewhere near the VRMs for fun. Also applied the ‘tape mod’ (I have a big box of different duct/electrical/adhesive tape in my room). I didn’t measure how effective these mods are 🤷



My unit has hardly any coil whine (Or, my hearing is getting worse eek 😬)

No crazy fan noise problems. Noise sounds fine to me whilst ramping up speed, and also fine at both low and high speeds. Nothing unusual or particularly irritating. 100% better than the fan noise from the ThinkPad T430 days, that’s for sure!

Quirk: When a USB-C dock (Dell DA300) is connected, the laptop’s fan always run, but the noise level is at minimum and thus acceptable to me. I also find that the laptop is noisier with the lid closed during ‘sleep’, if the USB-C dock is connected. (?)

BIOS updates have made the XPS really quiet now, good job firmware engineers :) I’ve done some embedded systems work and I RESPECT those people.

SSD causes BSODs [Update: Non-issue as this fixed itself]

I bought the SATA cable for the XPS 15 because mine didn’t come with one, thinking that I’ll just chuck in my trusty 850 EVO 500GB 2.5” SSD.

Turns out that the XPS did not ‘like’ the SSD I put in. Symptoms were system-wide stuttering (system freezes of ~2 seconds) and a Driver_Power_State_Failure BSOD!

See comments in

Removing the SSD immediately fixed the stuttering and BSOD occurances. I was really looking forward to making use of the extra storage and empty space since my configuration only has the smaller 56Whr battery :/

(This particular issue is not well documented. Perhaps I should make some noise about this as its firmware/hardware.)

Update - this fixed itself. I blame bad drivers/Windows 10 install:

Everyone says the Wi-Fi chip needs replacing. They were right.

Killer networks… more like Killer notworks :>

I initially had troubles with the Killer Wi-Fi chip. When the chip stops working, not even pinging e.g. will work. Reconnecting to the Wi-Fi network immediately fixes this. This sometimes happened twice within an hour.

Fix: Buy a replacement Intel 9260 which costs $15.

Update: I create a ticket in SupportAssist but they NEVER replied. Fortunately dropouts have stopped happening - maybe because I upgraded my home to UniFi APs?

Update: On the phone, I tried to ask for the Intel chip as a replacement. Tech support effectively said “Nah, go bother the Dell Spare Parts team”. Haha good joke I won’t be wasting my time with that department again. I also talked to 5 different Dell support agents until someone gave me the correct contact details for Spare Parts:

        Dell Spare Parts (ANZ)

        Consumer : (1800 505 180)

Everyone complains about audio crackling. It is real.

May 2019 update: Dell released BIOS 1.10.1 to improve the high DPC latency issues. Hallelujah! As you can see below, the lag spikes are much more rare - but still present, as is to be expected for any Windows system TBH. Further optimisation on the Windows/software/driver side of things is required for serious realtime audio work e.g., disabling networking services.

FYI testing info: I have already swapped to Intel 9260 WiFi. I also have a secondary SSD installed in the 2.5” bay, and on a hunch I think that running on a single M.2 SSD would improve stuttering considering my earlier Driver_Power_State_Failure fiasco.

Considering the BIOS release dates (30 Apr 2019 for 1.10.1, and 4 May 2018 for 1.0.0), it has taken Dell just shy of an entire year to acknowledge, R&D, test and then ship a firmware fix.

I suppose this fact justifies the pricing of Apple Mac products and their flawless audio production capabilities… this DPC fix took Dell engineers quite some months! And it still crackles (albeit much more rarely now).

There are quite some possibilities for the audio driver:

Option A. Stock Dell audio driver (UAD) with bundled MaxxAudioPro

Use the current latest Realtek(R) Audio driver provided by Dell - download link.

This package bundles MaxxAudioPro, which is a software effect which makes the internal speakers sound good (improves bass) but at times also distorted. It comes with a GUI to tune and toggle the effects.

Option B. Stock Dell audio driver (UAD) with MaxxAudioPro disabled - My preferred option

I still think that disabling the APO will help reduce (but not completely) the occaisonal audio stutter with Spotify/YouTube - even with the 1.10.1 fix. Simply disabling the effect from the GUI will not completely disable the APO from processing.

If you want to disable MaxxAudioPro APO, you can follow the instructions I posted here.

I recommend using the FX Configurator program from the APO Driver (google it) package for the job.

There is also a Waves Audio Effects Component entry in Device Manager > Software Components. You can also disable this device entry for safe measure.

Option C. Generic Realtek audio driver (UAD)

It is apparently possible to use Realtek’s generic audio driver - NOT Dell’s version for the XPS 9570. The main advantage I see here is that you can use the very latest in driver versions. The install procedure is a bit puzzling though… I don’t really recommend it unless you have time to burn in figuring this out (and rebooting Windows A LOT!!) link here. I think I got this to work once, but the result was basically the same as Option B (still managed to have rare stutters)

Option D. Old HDA driver

Use Realtek High Definition Audio drivers from 2017. Much less stutter stutter spikes, but problems with mics and headphone jack detection. Instructions here. If I didn’t need to use the headset jack for video calls, I’d go this route myself.

The HDA driver is basically Realtek’s older driver model vs their newer UAD driver. Curiously, the older one performs better on the XPS 9570 it would seem!

Option E. KSMRD mod driver

Someone has gone and modded the audio drivers for the XPS, known as KSMRD and is available at this GitHub repo. This is quite positively reviewed. However if you read Issue #9 there are some shortcomings and doubts as to its effectiveness of completely disabling MaxxAudioPro. I believe that Option B will get you the same result.

Related links

Dell Mobile Connect

Run the below to get it to install from the Microsoft Store:

REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Store" /v OEMID /f /t REG_SZ /d DELL


REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Store" /v StoreContentModifier /f /t REG_SZ /d "DELL_XPS"

If the mobile connect driver shows a ‘load error’ message, it may just magically start working after a few days :S

I much prefer Samsung Flow anyhow over Dell Mobile Connect.

And Microsoft’s own ‘Your Phone’ Companion app crashes for me 🙄.

Battery life

With a 6-core 45W CPU, this is certainly no ultrabook and it shows when it comes to battery life.

i7/16GB/256GB/FHD/56Whr runtime is 4:48 for me.

I could change out for the big 97 Whr battery, but I’d need to sacrifice my 2.5” disk bay.


It’s a powerful laptop with some shortcomings and major/minor nigling issues, depending on how you see things. Owners can only hope that the firmware engineers at Dell solve the remaining issues such as proper S3 sleep mode.

Please Dell - you’ve shipped SO MANY of these units

Other than the issues above I’m happy with the unit overall. It should be a handy laptop to get things/life admin/coding done and some light graphics work (cough PP6) and actually be able to play some video games for once in my life.

Would I recommend this laptop to you? Only if you actually read and understood this blog post and NEED/BENEFIT from a 45W CPU and dGPU. Be prepared do do a bit of work required to make this laptop work ‘better’

I’ve even bonded with several people IRL over our Dell XPS problems believe it or not. Side benefit I guess 😂

The audio and sleep issues with this laptop is a bit backwards and silly considering that it is a 2018 product. My Dell Latitude E6320 from 7 years ago (2011) does both of these things with zero issue!

My next option was to get the ThinkPad X1 Extreme, however that was considerably more pricey (to me) at the time - it had just gotten launched. Well, perhaps not as much as a brand-new Macbook Pro. And that probably has its own issues too.

Don’t they all?