Dell XPS 12 / 13 / 15 with Skylake

nilepez

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I just got an XPS 15 yesterday with the 16gb/512ssd and granted im not using it for work, just personal use, I love the 4k display. I thought I might as well get it so it can be more future proof. The ram can me upgraded to 32gb and well the 512ssd is pcie and is plenty fast. Touchpad is the best I ever had. I never tried macs though.

When I tried it, I thought it was good, but I'd tried a mac touchpad an hour or 2 earlier and I think it's a bit better. The Dell can do more things (e.g. hand over pad blanks the screen), but as I recall, some of the scrolling gestures were iffy. In fairness, the machine I was messing with didn't even have gestures turned on until I did it, so it's possible some drivers were missing.

That said, the Dell clearly has a better screen and CPU. If I bought one today, it'd be the XPS or Precision 15.
 

Tyler-Durden

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I'm buying a Precision 15 to replace my retina MBP after the holidays. I'm a bit leery about returning to Dell after so many years with Mac, but that 4K touchscreen is calling my name. :p
 

nilepez

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I'm buying a Precision 15 to replace my retina MBP after the holidays. I'm a bit leery about returning to Dell after so many years with Mac, but that 4K touchscreen is calling my name. :p

I'm really surprised Apple is taking so long to update their laptops. I know they want to push the iPad Pro, but I can't believe that someone will replace their laptop with an iPad, unless they do very little on their laptop other than browse and consume media.
 

Cali3350

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If this was offered with a HD 540 GPU equipped chip id buy it in a second.
 

Tyler-Durden

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I'm really surprised Apple is taking so long to update their laptops. I know they want to push the iPad Pro, but I can't believe that someone will replace their laptop with an iPad, unless they do very little on their laptop other than browse and consume media.
Agreed.

My one concern on the Precision/XPS 15 is the HD. I'd love to replace the standard, basic drive with one of my spare 840 Evo 500GB drives. Hope it's possible.
 

nilepez

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Agreed.

My one concern on the Precision/XPS 15 is the HD. I'd love to replace the standard, basic drive with one of my spare 840 Evo 500GB drives. Hope it's possible.

It is in some versions. I believe the downside is that you get a smaller battery.
There's a tear down (or 2) on youtube that opens the XPS and/or Precision.
I determined with the Precision, you could save money by buying an 8GB (1 stick) model with a mechanical drive then buying more RAM and a 2TB SSD vs buying one from dell with less storage and 16GB of ram.
Even if you want the bigger battery, you can save money by getting 1 GB stick of ram and then buying a 2nd stick on Newegg.
As I recall, if you get the XPS, it's harder to save, but I haven't looked at dell's site since October.
 

Aurelius

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I'm really surprised Apple is taking so long to update their laptops. I know they want to push the iPad Pro, but I can't believe that someone will replace their laptop with an iPad, unless they do very little on their laptop other than browse and consume media.

My guess: either Apple has a major redesign on tap and needs extra time, or it's waiting on Intel's Kaby Lake (the Skylake refresh with native USB 3.1 support) to make the leap. I don't think it has much to do with pushing the iPad Pro, since Apple knows there's only limited overlap between the two devices.
 

nilepez

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My guess: either Apple has a major redesign on tap and needs extra time, or it's waiting on Intel's Kaby Lake (the Skylake refresh with native USB 3.1 support) to make the leap. I don't think it has much to do with pushing the iPad Pro, since Apple knows there's only limited overlap between the two devices.

Probably, but that's not what Cook said. He essentially said that the Pro obsoletes laptops.
I can buy into a redesign (they need one), but they can't wait for Kaby.
They already skipped Broadwell and Kaby isn't launching until next Fall. To be honest, I don't know why it'd take them this long to design a new laptop. They've had roughly 2 years. If they wait till next spring or worse till WWDC or next fall, then they're losing sales.

I had Mac on my maybe list, but Apple has all but erased it from my list.
 

Dayaks

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Wonderful! We speak the same language! As a fellow controls engineer our pain is the same!

Personally, I love VMs, and while communication issues occur I wouldn't call it a an issue with the host computer. It is typically an issue with configuration settings that hang people up. I've been using VMWare Workstation for 5+ years now on a PC, love it, which is also why it makes using an Apple computer much more feasible that a few years ago. I've taken my wife's Mackbook Pro to work and tested out VM Ware fusion and have yet to have an issue. Few of our contractors that have done work for us love their Mac setup.

Regardless, for work in Industrial Automation a Windows machine @1080p is probably the requirement for a good 5 years and I would prefer the XPS over my m4800, can't believe how large that laptop is.

Yeah - I suppose I have enough issues without changing to Mac on top of it. :) I work across various products which is enough to keep up with (Omron, Allen Bradley, Bosch, learning Delta Tau, occasionally NI and Hydac). I have enough trouble there!

I might go for a Mac with Windows OS on it, but the XPS line is perfect for what I want. This is 15" we are talking about... 1080P is good enough for me. I do the majority of my productivity on my 34" 21:9.

Btw my XPS shipped today. About a week and a half ahead of schedule. Hopefully I'll have it Wednesday. This will be great, I can preload it for Christmas.
 

nilepez

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Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I'm wondering if either of you have received the Precision 5510. I'm thinking about getting one myself.

FWIW, if anyone is interested I (finally) found a review for the Precision 5510 here.

I have not, but thanks for the link. I'm still torn between it an the XPS. I wish the XPS had all the config options of the Precision, because I really don't think I need the workstation GPU (unless it's significantly better with Photoshop/Lightroom), but you can save money on the Precision by a single 8GB stick of ram with the best CPU/Screen and the mechanical drive...then you add 8GB of ram and replace the HD with whatever you want.

The downside is that the mechanical drive means a smaller battery and it seems like you need the bigger one for the 4k version.
 
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dpoverlord

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Hey guys,

I got one of these and have 30 days, I was going to compare it to the surface book I purchased.

QUESTION
Why in the world does the 960m clock in at 2GB and not 4gb like their Inspiron 15 7000's series, the touch screen option with a 4k screen will need the VRAM. Am I insane? could you swap out that 960m 2gb for a 4gb or is it negligible. I am almost tempted to find a friend and give him my 2gb for his 4gb (hes on a 1080p screen vs the 4k screen I have).

Or is my logic flawed and I should just say screw it and not worry about it. Any ideas? Since based on this, I almost think I should skip the XPS 15 and just go for the Inspiron option with the 960m 4GB version. Thoughts?

Basically go XPS 15 with a 4k screen but a 2GB 960m
vs
Inspiron 15 (5000/7000)w/ 4k screen but a 4GB 960m
 

custom90gt

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Hey guys,

I got one of these and have 30 days, I was going to compare it to the surface book I purchased.

QUESTION
Why in the world does the 960m clock in at 2GB and not 4gb like their Inspiron 15 7000's series, the touch screen option with a 4k screen will need the VRAM. Am I insane? could you swap out that 960m 2gb for a 4gb or is it negligible. I am almost tempted to find a friend and give him my 2gb for his 4gb (hes on a 1080p screen vs the 4k screen I have).

Or is my logic flawed and I should just say screw it and not worry about it. Any ideas? Since based on this, I almost think I should skip the XPS 15 and just go for the Inspiron option with the 960m 4GB version. Thoughts?

Basically go XPS 15 with a 4k screen but a 2GB 960m
vs
Inspiron 15 (5000/7000)w/ 4k screen but a 4GB 960m

The video card in both systems is integrated into the motherboard, it's not MXM - swapping GPUs is not going to happen. The XPS likely comes with less ram because it takes up less space, they have to fit a lot into a small package. The inspiron 7559 is a nice laptop no doubt, but not quite as portable as the XPS 15
 

dpoverlord

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I see so the GTX 960m is part of the motherboard itself. Weird that the Inspiron 7000 has more to it. What would you take?
 

nilepez

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I see so the GTX 960m is part of the motherboard itself. Weird that the Inspiron 7000 has more to it. What would you take?

Do you have a desktop rig too, or is this your main rig? If it's your main rig would you be willing to buy a GPU enclosure/GPU for gaming? I don't know if they're out yet, but I read they'll be out this quarter.
 

defaultluser

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The video card in both systems is integrated into the motherboard, it's not MXM - swapping GPUs is not going to happen. The XPS likely comes with less ram because it takes up less space, they have to fit a lot into a small package. The inspiron 7559 is a nice laptop no doubt, but not quite as portable as the XPS 15

In addition, you're not going to play modern AAA games at 4k resolution with a GTX 750 Ti graphics card. You'd have to run it at 1080p to get anywhere near high settings, and it's been shown that 2GB is enough for 1080p gaming.

So any argument that "there's not enough ram" is pointless. Any older games that will not too much pixel load for a 750 Ti at 4k will be spoiled by that 2GB ram (think Oblivion or earlier).
 

custom90gt

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In addition, you're not going to play modern AAA games at 4k resolution with a GTX 750 Ti graphics card. You'd have to run it at 1080p to get anywhere near high settings, and it's been shown that 2GB is enough for 1080p gaming.

So any argument that "there's not enough ram" is pointless. Any older games that will not too much pixel load for a 750 Ti at 4k will be spoiled by that 2GB ram (think Oblivion or earlier).

Right, sadly the 960m really doesn't have the horsepower to game at a res higher than 1080p. The bonus is the XPS has TB3 so you can do an external GPU setup (hopefully)...
 

nilepez

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There's currently a 10% off coupon (10%OFFXPS) that you can use for the XPS.
I've said it before, but it's worth repeating:
if you want a large HD, just buy 256 GB from dell and replace it with an M.2 from Newegg.
You can get a 1TB Sandisk for half the price Dell is selling it for (and get a longer warranty on the drive too).

Anyone know if you can use a regularly 7/10 Pro license to install a Pro version on the XPS? I'm not sure if Dell has a separate driver disk or not.
 

Zangmonkey

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Has anybody seen or heard anything from Dell on whether we should expect Intel standard external GPU solutions like Razer Core to work in the XPS13/15?

Razer says that all that OEM's need to do is implement a specific Intel standard in their BIOS.

I suppose we'll find out definitively when the core ships, but I'm curious about the buzz?
 

custom90gt

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There's currently a 10% off coupon (10%OFFXPS) that you can use for the XPS.
I've said it before, but it's worth repeating:
if you want a large HD, just buy 256 GB from dell and replace it with an M.2 from Newegg.
You can get a 1TB Sandisk for half the price Dell is selling it for (and get a longer warranty on the drive too).

Anyone know if you can use a regularly 7/10 Pro license to install a Pro version on the XPS? I'm not sure if Dell has a separate driver disk or not.


Yeah you can use a win 7/8/10 pro key to upgrade windows on the laptop to pro. No issues there.
 

custom90gt

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Has anybody seen or heard anything from Dell on whether we should expect Intel standard external GPU solutions like Razer Core to work in the XPS13/15?

Razer says that all that OEM's need to do is implement a specific Intel standard in their BIOS.

I suppose we'll find out definitively when the core ships, but I'm curious about the buzz?

Sadly the jury is still out on that. On notebookreview there is a big thread about the XPS and some people were saying it should work, and others were not. Someone said they spoke with a tech support guy that said it should work no problem. I'll let someone else try it first...
 

nilepez

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Sadly the jury is still out on that. On notebookreview there is a big thread about the XPS and some people were saying it should work, and others were not. Someone said they spoke with a tech support guy that said it should work no problem. I'll let someone else try it first...

If not that one, then maybe one from Alienware (which I assume will happen at some point).
 

Quix

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All of Alienware's current notebooks have both Thunderbolt 3 and the proprietary eGPU port. I think they'll probably move to Thunderbolt 3 for eGPU on their next refresh but they didn't have it ready yet.

I bought an XPS 15 a while ago, electrically there is no reason it shouldn't be compatible with any Thunderbolt GPU, so I'm pretty hopeful. Worse case scenario, the company that built the akitio thunder 2 PCI-E expansion chasis for Thunderbolt 2 is building a new version for Thunderbolt 3, that might require some phyiscal modifications for GPUs but it should work. I've been interested in eGPUs for a while so I figured I'd give it a shot, one system that converts from gaming powerhouse to (fairly) thin and light laptop is a very attractive idea.

On the topic of "Intel Switchable Graphics", your notebook only needs to support it if you want to use your internal screen. Although, I think it might actually be the facility that Nvidia Optimus uses to draw to the Intel GPU's frame buffer so if you have a notebook with Optimus it probably already supports this feature. I suspect that eGPUs will work with the vast majority of thunderbolt-equipped notebooks and GPUs, but Nvidia and AMD are still finishing work on the drivers and the hardware isn't out there yet. Hardware manufacturers are waiting for everything to be tested before announcing support.
 

FadedSpark

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Just went and ordered the XPS 15 myself... 4k, regular battery (Yay canada, literally no option for the big one.) and going to be upgrading it as soon as I can I guess.

Pretty excited. I'm upgrading from the l421x, which was an absolutely great laptop that made it 3 years without any complaints. Hell, it's still more than capable, But I can flip it to a friend right now and get something more fun ;)
 

custom90gt

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Just went and ordered the XPS 15 myself... 4k, regular battery (Yay canada, literally no option for the big one.) and going to be upgrading it as soon as I can I guess.

Pretty excited. I'm upgrading from the l421x, which was an absolutely great laptop that made it 3 years without any complaints. Hell, it's still more than capable, But I can flip it to a friend right now and get something more fun ;)

Nice, let me know what you think of the 4k screen. At times I regret going FHD instead of UHD...
 

nilepez

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I ended up ordering the Precision 5510, with an i5-6300hq, 8gb RAM, 1080p screen, and a 500gb hard drive. I went with the 1080p screen because I'm concerned about battery life with the 4k screen. I went with the 500gb hard drive because I was concerned about heat with the M.2 SSD. I will add 8gb RAM later, and I will replace the 500gb hard drive with a 2.5" SATA SSD that I already have.

The thing that is frustrating is that it was delivered on Monday, and I have it at home. I've been very busy at work this week (geez, now I have to be responsible) so I haven't had time to play with it yet. :mad: All I've done is take it out of the box and examined it for any physical defects (none that I can see).

The downside with he 2.5" drive is you get a smaller battery, but maybe it all evens out with the 1080p screen. The nice thing about your config is you can do tons of upgrades at much lower prices than buying them from dell. I wish they had 2 m.2 slots and that there were larger drives available. For now I've decided to push off any decisions until 3/15 when Apple announces their new laptops. Not sure it'll be better, but I can wait 6 weeks...unless the bug gets me sooner ;)
 

custom90gt

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The downside with he 2.5" drive is you get a smaller battery, but maybe it all evens out with the 1080p screen. The nice thing about your config is you can do tons of upgrades at much lower prices than buying them from dell. I wish they had 2 m.2 slots and that there were larger drives available. For now I've decided to push off any decisions until 3/15 when Apple announces their new laptops. Not sure it'll be better, but I can wait 6 weeks...unless the bug gets me sooner ;)

Yeah you do get the smaller battery, the good thing is you can upgrade the HDD in it if you want to. I have an i5 version of the XPS with the hard drive option and a 950 pro that runs great. I just bought a buddy's i7 version with the bigger battery to try it out. I'm up in the air as to which to sell right now, the bigger battery is nice for class, but the extra storage is great for games and what not...
 

Aurelius

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The downside with he 2.5" drive is you get a smaller battery, but maybe it all evens out with the 1080p screen. The nice thing about your config is you can do tons of upgrades at much lower prices than buying them from dell. I wish they had 2 m.2 slots and that there were larger drives available. For now I've decided to push off any decisions until 3/15 when Apple announces their new laptops. Not sure it'll be better, but I can wait 6 weeks...unless the bug gets me sooner ;)

Well, if Apple announces new laptops on March 15th. The current expectations for that event revolve around a new iPad (likely the iPad Air 3) and a new 4-inch iPhone (the iPhone 5se). Macs could be on the cards, but there's no sign yet that they'll be ready for next month.
 

custom90gt

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Well, if Apple announces new laptops on March 15th. The current expectations for that event revolve around a new iPad (likely the iPad Air 3) and a new 4-inch iPhone (the iPhone 5se). Macs could be on the cards, but there's no sign yet that they'll be ready for next month.


Crazy, seems like they are not worried about releasing new laptops anytime soon. I figured they would be all over skylake.
 

Aurelius

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Crazy, seems like they are not worried about releasing new laptops anytime soon. I figured they would be all over skylake.

My hunch: either there's more to the new MacBooks than just Skylake (i.e. custom processors, special features) or Apple is waiting on Kaby Lake to get native USB 3.1 support. I can't help but think that the next generation of MacBooks will go all-in on USB Type-C, and that means making sure that the new ports can cover just about every conceivable need.
 

FadedSpark

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Cancelled and reordered... The SSD / 6 Cell model went on sale and with discounts ended up the same as the HDD model...

Boo for delays, but yay for free upgrades.

Gonna probably go 512gb 950 pro eventually, but 256 should be fine anyway.
 

custom90gt

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Cancelled and reordered... The SSD / 6 Cell model went on sale and with discounts ended up the same as the HDD model...

Boo for delays, but yay for free upgrades.

Gonna probably go 512gb 950 pro eventually, but 256 should be fine anyway.

Good deal, what are the delays like? When I ordered mine it took almost two months to get it.
 

Ivan_Only

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I ordered the XPS 13 with the QHD Display. It is replacing a i7 15" HP Laptop and a iPad2 that I rarely used.

Order date of 2/8 with an estimated next business day delivery of 2/16.
 

nilepez

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Yeah you do get the smaller battery, the good thing is you can upgrade the HDD in it if you want to. I have an i5 version of the XPS with the hard drive option and a 950 pro that runs great. I just bought a buddy's i7 version with the bigger battery to try it out. I'm up in the air as to which to sell right now, the bigger battery is nice for class, but the extra storage is great for games and what not...

It'd be a much easier decision if they'd make 2TB M.2 drives
 

nilepez

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My hunch: either there's more to the new MacBooks than just Skylake (i.e. custom processors, special features) or Apple is waiting on Kaby Lake to get native USB 3.1 support. I can't help but think that the next generation of MacBooks will go all-in on USB Type-C, and that means making sure that the new ports can cover just about every conceivable need.

Seems like they could accomplish that without native support and move to Kaby when it's available. Do they really want to wait until next fall (more than likely) and continue using Haswell in 15" laptops? I'll wait till the 15th...see if they announce anything. If not, I'm getting a Dell.
 

Dayaks

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any version with a 970m?

You'd have to venture into the gaming laptop lines for that. XPS line is pretty thin. I'm surprised how much power they fit into it given it's size and how cool it stays with it's form factor.
 
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