Updated | Dell resolves the XPS 15 9570 NVIDIA GPU issue with BIOS 1.7
Update: Dell has commented on the fan behaviour in BIOS 1.7.
After months of denials, delays and postponements, Dell has finally fixed the NVIDIA GPU issue that has affected some XPS 15 9570 laptops with the release of its BIOS 1.7. Thankfully, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q GPUs in our two test XPS 15 9570 laptops now operate at full clock speeds when running below 48 °C/118 °F.
We first ran the UNIGINE Heaven benchmark on BIOS 1.6 to determine that the issue had not been inexplicably fixed previously. We ran the benchmark at 1,920 x 1,080 in Full Screen with VSync enabled and the graphics quality set to High, for reference. The screenshots below demonstrate that the GeForce GTX 1050 in our test laptop continued to power limit throttle on BIOS 1.6 as it had since BIOS 1.3.1, which Dell released back in August 2018.
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We then re-ran Heaven benchmark having updated the BIOS to 1.7, for which we have included the screenshots below. The dGPU now operates as expected and can reach peak clock speeds even when operating below the 48 °C/118 °F threshold. We confirmed this by running the benchmark after leaving our test laptop in a freezer for 30 minutes, which is something that we would strongly advise against you doing to your XPS 15 9570 or any other laptop.
Additionally, we noticed the CPU now runs a few degrees cooler when idling than it did on BIOS 1.3. However, it is not all good news as BIOS 1.7 does not fix the DPC latency issues that some people have reported or the colour issues that some XPS 15 9570 laptops with UHD displays have been experiencing since BIOS 1.6. It would also seem that Dell has no plans for re-enabling S3 sleep on the XPS 15 9570, which may frustrate some owners. When asked about its removal in a private message, a representative gave us the following response:
our product team has decided to support the "Modern Standby" from Microsoft on this issue.
They did suggest activating Hibernate instead by opening command prompt as an administrator and typing ‘powercfg.exe /hibernate off’ as an alternative. We have not done this on either of our test laptops though, so we cannot report on its effects.
Furthermore, BIOS 1.7 appears to have introduced a couple of issues too that are worth keeping in mind before upgrading. The fans now turn on for up to 10 seconds any time that the NVIDIA GPU is activated, and even if the system is running coolly. Moreover, the new BIOS has re-introduced the coil whine issue on our test laptops that Dell reportedly fixed as of BIOS 1.3.1. Enabling the NVIDIA GPU in Device Manager on either of our test laptops significantly increases the pitch and volume of coil whine, which is disappointing.
Perhaps predictably, Dell has denied that there is an issue with the fans in some XPS 15 9570 laptops turning on whenever the NVIDIA GPU is activated. A representative remarked that:
...it is normal for the fan to run even before reaching the temperature threshold. This has been verified by our product engineering team. This should not affect the functionality of the computer. The system behavior is as per the BIOS instructions.
The same representative then clarified that:
I believe that there are no hardware issues related to the GPU or the fan. I have verified this with our product engineering team, and it is working as designed.
Dell has not stated at what temperature threshold the fans should switch on, but it is disappointing to note that Dell is happy with the fans "to run even before reaching the temperature threshold". However, multiple people on the XPS 15 9570 Owners Thread on NotebookReview have remarked that the fans now turn on whenever the NVIDIA GPU is activated and not when the system reaches a certain temperature.
We are still pressing Dell for answers on this issue and are awaiting an update on the coil whine problem too. We will update this article when we receive a response. Please let us know of your experiences with BIOS 1.7 and whether you have encountered any other problems that we have not mentioned.