Question Dell XPS 15 - Poor performance with good specs

Sep 3, 2020
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Hi everyone,

I hope someone can help me out here. My laptop is a Dell XPS 15 9570 with an i7-8750H (2.20GHz), 8GB RAM and a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with Max Q. It's pretty much exactly 2 years old.

My issue is that I am consistently getting much poorer performance (from games) than this laptop should be getting. For example, my specs are much higher than the minimum system requirements for The Witcher 3, and this website (https://www.gpucheck.com/game-laptop/the-witcher-3/dell-xps-15-9570/) among others, says that it should run fine with high settings at 1080p. There are numerous YouTube videos of people running many games on high settings just fine with this laptop, but I get mostly unplayable FPS with all settings as low as possible, with reduced resolution. I have a similar situation with other games, such as GTAV, where I have to play with minimum settings, even though everyone else with my exact laptop seems to be able to play with high settings at 50 FPS.

There is nothing taking up lot of resources in the task manager and my laptop is always plugged in when gaming. I have also checked in the nvidia control panel, and made sure my laptop is using the geforce card for gaming.

Please let me know if you need any screenshots of anything to see how my laptop is running or what the problem is. Apologies if I'm missing some important information, please let me know and I'll try and find out whatever is needed.

Thanks,
Harry
 
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alceryes

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This is the second time in a few days that I've witnessed a gpucheck reference that was completely inaccurate. From what I've read recently, gpucheck is garbage. Remember that they use an algorithm to try and figure out whether you can run something with your specific hardware...and it seems that they are regularly wrong.
Running benchmarks can be tricky on laptops due to imposed thermal limits but try running a Userbenchmark and posting your results.
 
Sep 3, 2020
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This is the second time in a few days that I've witnessed a gpucheck reference that was completely inaccurate. From what I've read recently, gpucheck is garbage. Remember that they use an algorithm to try and figure out whether you can run something with your specific hardware...and it seems that they are regularly wrong.
Running benchmarks can be tricky on laptops due to imposed thermal limits but try running a Userbenchmark and posting your results.

Thanks for the response! I ran a few Userbenchmarks and this one seemed the most accurate (there wasn't too much variation anyway):

UserBenchmarks: Game 30%, Desk 89%, Work 27%
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H - 87.8%
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050-Ti (Mobile Max-Q) - 28.1%
SSD: Toshiba XG5 NVMe PCIe M.2 256GB - 111.8%
RAM: Unknown 4ATF51264HZ-2G6E1 2x4GB - 60.7%
MBD: Dell XPS 15 9570


It looks like the issue might be my GPU, do you think this is a thermal issue?

Thanks,
Harry
 

alceryes

Distinguished
Not sure what's going on yet. In Userbenchmark, the percentile performance above/below expectations is the one you want to focus on.

Who else, with your exact specs, is able to run games at much higher FPS? Have you reached out to them (in forums, etc.) to gather more info on settings and such?
 
Sep 3, 2020
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Not sure what's going on yet. In Userbenchmark, the percentile performance above/below expectations is the one you want to focus on.

Who else, with your exact specs, is able to run games at much higher FPS? Have you reached out to them (in forums, etc.) to gather more info on settings and such?
I haven't spoken to anyone with the same laptop about this issue, I am only comparing my experience gaming to all the videos/reviews of the laptop where people talk about gaming, and seeing that they get much higher framerates and much higher settings. I therefore only have the information they provide about settings and such, but the difference still seems to be pretty considerable, to me at least:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4beUotJJ8iE

(4:18) This guy is getting 40 FPS at medium settings on The Witcher 3, while I'm getting maybe 10 FPS at the lowest settings and 720p. His specs are identical to mine except for his 16GB RAM as opposed to my 8GB, but when I run The Witcher 3, I have around 800MB of unused RAM, so I assume the difference will be minimal?

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LogxqX-bR0k

This guy is getting "35-50" FPS on very high settings on GTA V, I need absolute minimum settings for it to be barely playable at 1080p. Same situation as above with the RAM.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18PA3WFFuAo&vl=de

(2:22) On screen is a bunch of games which the laptop can run on high settings at 1080p, and their framerates, all of which are really high. I haven't played any of these games but this seems like a very different situation to whats happening with my laptop, but please let me know if I'm just trying to run really demanding games.

https://www.reddit.com/r/GrandTheftAutoV/comments/8hbcbw View: https://www.reddit.com/r/GrandTheftAutoV/comments/8hbcbw/playable_on_dell_xps_15_2017/

Not a lot of details about specs for this one, but it is the model from the year before mine, and the person in the comments says they get 50 FPS with the same model, with "almost everything set to high". I need everything set to minimum for GTA to be playable at all.


Please let me know if you think my laptop doesn't really have any major issues and I'm just expecting too much from it, but it seems to me like its not doing as well as it should be. Thanks a lot for the input.
 

alceryes

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Sep 3, 2020
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It looks like you may be suffering from the same issues talked about here -
https://www.dell.com/community/XPS/XPS-15-9570-performance-has-tanked/td-p/6181444

Also see here. It looks like installing throttlestop may help -
https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/b2e7jm View: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/b2e7jm/xps_9575_always_power_limit_throttling/


Just note that removing thermal protections can damage your laptop permanently.

Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for the help, so does this mean that my laptop is overheating? Is there anything I can do to prevent that, for example would it be worth opening up my laptop and cleaning it, or maybe getting a cooling pad?

if I install throttlestop how do I prevent my laptop from being damaged by the heat?

Thanks
 

alceryes

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Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for the help, so does this mean that my laptop is overheating?
It looks like Dell updated their BIOS to be much more aggressive in throttling the GPU down in responce to rising temperatures. To see if your laptop is overheating we'll need to log the temps while gaming. Download 'Open Hardware Monitor', start logging, after 30 mins of logging upload the .csv log file somewhere where I can grab it.

if I install throttlestop how do I prevent my laptop from being damaged by the heat?
You can try using a laptop cooling pad but it's no guarantee. Whenever you remove the safeties that manufacturers put in place to protect your hardware there's always a risk.
 

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