XPS 15 Massive Underperformance Troubleshooting

Centuari

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Mar 13, 2017
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Hey everyone, at my wit's end with some performance issues for my Dell XPS 15 laptop. It was purchased around August of last year, around November/December I was browsing the internet and suddenly the computer started performing much more slowly. I've been unable to fix the issues since, even after resetting the computer using the provided "Reset This PC" option.

The computer scored just a 1622 in PC Mark 8. Here are images of the computer's performance since this issue arose. As you can see, it seems to be under-performing lower powered systems (unless I'm misunderstanding something!): http://imgur.com/a/g2vgG

Specs:

Dell XPS 15
Intel i7-6700 2.6 GHz
8GB Ram
GeForce GTX 960M
256 SSD
Windows 10

Symptoms:

- Before the issue I was able to play low demand games (like League of Legends) at max settings and FPS, and high demand games (like Witcher 3) at reasonable settings and 60 fps. Now league is unplayable at any settings (fps drops to 30 or lower when anything happens).
- Typing into the search bar ('ask me anything') significantly lags.
- Basic application processes (loading the store on iTunes, opening a new tab in Chrome) have massively increased lag from prior to the problem. Even something as small as opening an email in Yahoo Mail takes a surprising amount of time to load.

I thought it might be a memory issue. The computer does seem to cap out on memory very quickly, much more quickly than it reasonably should. This didn't seem to be an issue in the past, but now just running Chrome with a fair number of tabs and iTunes caps it out. Without any applications running it still sits around 40% usage. I've included some images of my processes in the imgur.

Totally appreciate any help here!

FAQs:

- I've run Avast, Malwarebytes, and similar programs to attempt to identify and remove any issues.
- The problem is consistent whether the computer is plugged in or on battery.
- The computer is on "High Performance" power mode.
- I have reset the computer. Didn't seem to make a difference.
- I've tried updating my drivers, but it's possible that I messed something up.
 

Centuari

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Mar 13, 2017
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Thanks for the advice! It's a Dell XPS laptop, accessing the battery is a bit unclear for me.

Does the advice in this article sound about right?

http://blog.parts-people.com/2016/04/18/dell-xps-15-9550-p56f001-battery-removal-and-installation/
 

koreanoverlord

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Mar 6, 2013
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Yes, be sure to discharge any static electricity on you before you open your laptop.
 

Centuari

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Mar 13, 2017
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Thank you, should I back everything up before opening the computer?
 

koreanoverlord

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Mar 6, 2013
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Yes, and try to always have a backup.
 

amitkumar91

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Mar 16, 2017
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I have the same machine and noticing the same problem from a while. While the issue isn't fixed for me, but I am doing 'slightly' better.

A recent update from Microsoft (KB4013418) seems to have broke my system. I am trying to uninstall it but I have been unable to do so as it's of critical category.

Other than that, I have uninstalled Malrwarebyes, other stupid programs, cleaned up registry using CCleaner and rebooted several times. Not much help though.

Does anyone know what can be done to fix the freezes and lags in Chrome and elsewhere on the system?
 

Centuari

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Mar 13, 2017
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Yeah I've done full system resets and the like and the issue still hasn't gone away.

I'm going to attempt Korean Overlord's battery fix and see if that gets anywhere.
 

amitkumar91

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Mar 16, 2017
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I wiped my system today and installed fresh W10 using USB. Since installing, I have installed a few updates and KB4013418 is installed again, but only this time without issues.

It seems this update has some compatibility issues with previous updates.
 

Centuari

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Mar 13, 2017
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Any idea if/when they're posting a fix?
 

brokenmusicalchair

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Sep 18, 2017
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Your RAM is low but that is not why, and neither are any of the suggestions above. I bought the new and improved version of your laptop less than a month ago, with four times the RAM, a better processor, a MUCH better graphics card (GTX 1050), etc. and I am STILL having the issues you're describing.

I too am a moba player - I play Heroes of the Storm, which is more demanding than LoL (and honestly more fun, lol) but not nearly as demanding as any of the high end games from the last three years.

I would say since the third hour of use of my laptop, I noticed that it feels much slower and much weaker for the specs it has - and this was just playing around on microsoft edge. Hadn't even installed Chrome yet. When I got Chrome, it was a lot slower as I used it. More than 2 tabs and it begins to poop itself, with fans getting louder. Chrome is a kind of an annoying browser though. It hijacks a lot of hardware in order to rely less on your internet connection when loading things.

When I run chrome and basically any other program or even open 5 or 6 tabs, everything is slowed to a crawl - just moving the cursor lags as I move it across the screen. Blech, it's disgusting. When I run Heroes, I can't have a single other app running or the PC will crash within minutes (not to mention, I won't have any fun playing because I literally won't be able to move). Not a single app can be running! Not even the Blizzard B.Net app thing from which you launch the game. I launch, then alt tab, and close Bnet. (If you don't know Bnet is Blizzard's version of Steam or Origin.)

The second I load the game, the fans on my laptop start BLASTING loudly as if trying to extinguish a fire. I got a cooling pad and it doesn't help much. I have to turn my settings to low or medium or risk crashing. Medium seems to be fine, but in 5v5 fights, it freezes or lags significantly. Low is fine, but that's a joke because my other PC from 7 years ago with infinitely weaker specs could run the game on High and even Extreme (although not well on Extreme; still High was perfect).

I tried every conceivable solution to the problem and everything I could find online. I have updated everything, and while things improved a tiny bit, it's still misery. I decided that I don't want to put myself through that for years to come, especially since I have been troubleshooting since the day I bought it -- for almost $3,000. For that kind of money, and these specs, I should not have had any trouble at all. So I am returning it and getting something else.
 
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