I’ve got a bit of a product review here about the Inspiron 15 7000. I purchased this laptop fully decked out with a 4K touch screen, distinct Graphics card, 16GB RAM, i7 8th generation intel processor, and a PCIe NVMe 512GB SSD. I wanted bleeding edge and I got it. What I also got was a few problems that nobody should experience with a new laptop.
My first issue was with the screen. My second issue was with the replacement i was sent. I’ll be keeping the replacement, and here’s why.
Inspiron 15 7000 Seemed Lightning Fast
Wow. The first time I lit this computer up, it was stunning. I’d been dealing with an old Lenovo Yoga, but it was time to grow up and get a real computer. The style was awesome and the format was just right for a big guy like me. The infrared windows hello was a charmer. How nice of it to come with a hard drive that was as big as I could buy. From the Dell order page, i was really unable to tell exactly what PCIe NVMe SSD drive came with the sucker, so the Device Manager was the first place i looked.
Beautiful. A Samsung M981 512GB. The reports ripped up the few places where I could find some tech info. Essentially, IO rated at 3500MB/s. Duplicating a Gig file, 20 times? BRRRRRP. Done. wow!
Bought it with 2 year premium support with accident protection.
It was a love affair – with terrible incidious undercurrents.
The first problems.
I didn’t really notice until i started to restore files from old backup drives and manipulating them. The first thing was that occasionally, i would scroll through large lists of files, and the system would appear to stall. At first, my brain just let me accept it, wait half a second, and keep moving. But then, something told me “hey, this ain’t right!”.
I tried all the usual suspects, like BIOS upgrades, and spent about 6-7 hours with Dell support to go through all the “usual” steps. I eventually told them to send me another laptop. They did.
I did some investigating on my own, just in case it’s a problem with 4K displays and the integrated UHD620 graphics card. Some people were showing the same symptoms as me, but in different Dell platforms…
Then I started to notice something else
The display image on the pre-replacement laptop would occasionally freeze, burp to black with a cursor, then rebuild my laptop.
I also noticed that on the replacement laptop this didn’t happen as much, and to be honest, i don’t think it’s happening anymore after driver upgrades. I think the problem is magically resolved…
A Different SSD
Although the replacement Inspiron shipped with a 512GB, it wasn’t a Samsung M981. It was a Toshiba NVMe KXG50ZNV512G. Interesting. I looked for specs everywhere and even did a few comparison tests. The Samsung slightly edged out copy and paste multi-gig file performance of similarly equipped and updated side-by-side laptops, but only just. Then it dawned on me.
The Samsung SSD was LOUD. I could hear it whining and clicking away just like it was a regular spindle hard drive! I have an audio clip here. Crank the volume. between 20-32 seconds. It sounds like fairy dust. It sounds like electricity. From what i’m figuring, it might be draining too much power from the old architecture Inspiron.
A Different Inspiron Power Supply
This newer and more stable platform got me thinking… what if the problem wasn’t with my display drivers, but was with the power available to the bus bottoming out? If i could “hear” the Samsung as it worked, then where was that micro vibration coming from? Was there a loose connector? Was there an electronic harmonic that didn’t play nice with the rest of the system components?
I took a quick look at the RMA power supply and it looks like there was a rev between my original laptop, and the newly minted and shipped RMA. Revision B! I can’t tell you if any characteristics of this barrel adapter have changed going into the laptop, but it may be an important clue. A05 vs. A06.
I’ll keep the RMA, Thanks.
The Toshiba SSD may not be the talk of the town, might not have the edge, but it could be the component that is responsible for a cleaner and more stable system.
So Dell, you can have my original Inspiron purchase back. I’m keeping the RMA version.