Dell XPS 9570 first impressions

If I have to be honest, most of my work is done on my laptop.
Of course we have a blazingly fast machine in the studio, but most of the time I’m editing video or photos on my laptop, for the simple reason I have a station at home and although I love my studio I enjoy working from home just a bit more, plus when travelling I’m of course 100% depending on my laptop. So probably the most important machine for me as a workhorse is my laptop. So when a new CPU is launched I’m not immediately upgrading my desktop but as soon as a new laptop is released I’m on the look out if it’s a step up from my previous machine.

When I switched from Mac to PC, in all honesty there was only one machine that really caught my eye, the Dell XPS 9560.
I simply looked and felt the best compared to my MacBookPro. I sometimes even call it “what the macbook should have become”, a gorgeous 4K 100% Adobe RGB touch screen (shame it doesn’t include a digitizer), great keyboard, all the ports available and a heavy battery pack, plus a “cheap” external power solution and a great touchpad. But what makes it incredibly handy for me as a travelling photographer…. the 15.6 screen with very tiny bezels which makes this a 15.6″ laptop that will fit most bags without any problem where normally a 15.6″ would not, it’s really something that I love about the XPS series.

Add to this the on-site service, meaning you don’t have to bring it in, or send it somewhere and be without a laptop for 2-3 weeks. My MacBookPro suffered from “staingate” and although Apple replaced my screen for free, I did was without laptop for a week. Now if you’re just surfing the web or playing a game that doesn’t sound like long, but as mentioned before I almost life with my laptop so every day is one too many. I did need Dell twice and both times they arrived within 24 hours and within an hour I was up and running again.

Ok enough of the introduction.
The new XPS 9570 has arrived.

For your perspective
I ordered the i9 version with 32GB and 1TB SSD, 4K
I owned the top of the line i7 with 32GB and 1TB SSD, 4K

My XPS9560 was awesome, it’s very fast and editing 4K straight out of the Sony cameras worked like a charm on both Premiere as Davinci Resolve (although with Davinci resolve I did feel like I missed some performance). Premiere played back everything without any stutters on full res, and on 1/2 it showed all edits without any problem on full frame rate. Nothing to complain about. Also Capture One, Photoshop and Lightroom run like crazy, 60MP files are no problem.

So why upgrade to the i9 version?
Well I understand your question.
When travelling my workdays are pretty extreme, we wake up at around 8:00 and it’s hardly ever before 1:00-2:00AM that I’m in bed. Mostly because I try to edit all images and edit the vlog of that day before I go to bed. And this is a lot of work, plus it takes a hefty toll on the CPU and GPU so every single lit bit of speed increase I can get I welcome.

Some people complain about the new XPS 9570 not looking different from the old version… well thank you Dell. Now I can probably fit my old case and don’t have to buy a new one. The XPS series look awesome, I don’t see any need to change this, although I would love it if Dell would install a digitizer in the screen next time. In case you’re wondering what that is….. it makes it possible to use a wacom pen (or other) on the screen and pressure sensitivity.

So without wasting more of your time…here are the changes.

  1. The screen
    The new XPS 9570 has a slightly brighter screen. The XPS9560 had a nice output of 300 nits, the XPS9570 now clocks in at 400 nits. When shooting outside this can be just the difference, although I would love even more of course, we also have to be realistic with battery life vs brightness.
  2. USB-C/TB3
    The XPS 9570 now supports 4 lanes via TB3, which makes it ideal for using an external GPU, if needed
  3. GPU
    This is a big deal for most of the things I do, the XPS 9560 used a GTX1050, the XPS 9570 is outfitted with a “slightly underclocked” GTX 1050 Ti which is a much faster card.
  4. CPU
    Going from 4 cores to 6 cores can be a big deal IF the software supports it.

These are the changes that are most important for me, as a creator.
The nice thing is that Dell with the XPS really seems to think about people like me, the card reader is still there and is not a slow version but actually a very fast version of what you normally find in laptops. This means that if you have the cards that support the higher speeds, the Dell won’t disappoint you.

Of course the webcam is often up for debate, and yes…. it’s still in the bottom, creating a weird effect when talking to someone (up the nose) but in all honesty it doesn’t really bother me that much, I hardly use skype for business and my family… well they will have to get used to it, if you use skype a lot for interviews etc. I would advise to connect an external webcam.

Ok so is it faster, come on Frank….
Ok, ok.
here we go.

Yes. It’s a LOT faster.
Let’s take a look at some results.

First up Cinebench which I always use for testing.
XPS 9560—–CPU 603 / OpenGL 76.90
XPS 9570—–CPU 1177 / OpenGL 121.66

Next up is Haven, a benchmark that is really heavy on performance of GPU (and CPU) and is a good overview of how a system performance under heavy stress for video and rendering. I used the EXTREME setting.

XPS 9560—–Fps 30.5 / 769
6.9/71.8 (min/max)

XPS 9570—–fps 43.4 / 1094
7.9 / 99.5 (min/max)

As you can see the difference is pretty much clear, and I’m pretty surprised to be honest. Normally you will see some progress between laptops, but this is pretty extreme. Especially because there was some talk about Dell using a slightly underclocked GTX1050ti.

In Dell’s defence (and it shows here) I think they pretty much solved the “how to make a laptop run fast” puzzle. I remember seeing a comparision video between several laptops with higher specs than the XPS9560 but they were all beaten by the XPS9560 when rendering more complex video streams or scenes. The conclusion was (and it’s pretty obvious if you know a little bit about how a CPU and GPU works) that Dell has a much better control over the throttling of the CPU and GPU. This happens when a machine gets too hot and in essence it just clocks the speed down to let the machine cool down. This means that in theory you can put a GTX 1080 in a laptop but it will probably not outperform a lower card that has better cooling and runs cooler from it’s own. There are certain limitations you have to work with when you put components in a small housing like a laptop case. And it seems Dell really knows how to do this.

There are some discussions about giving the XPS9570 a slightly less voltage to run even faster and cooler but I haven’t (and am not going to) try this. It’s something that can make a machine unstable and I don’t want to shave off 1 minute working time with the risk of crashing premiere or photoshop 🙂

 

Conclusion
Dell has done it again.
I already loved the XPS 9560 (and still do, it’s a major laptop), but the XPS 9570 is much faster and now supports 4 lanes over TB3 and has a slightly brighter screen. If you’re a creator and demand the highest from your laptop… you really can’t go wrong, especially because Dell offers onsite service in case of emergency.

 

Problems
I did experience some weird behavior on the XPS 9570.
I normally always uninstall everything that doesn’t belong on a laptop and use the software Driver Easy to update all the drivers, often the drivers from a manufacturer are older, I did the same on the XPS 9570 and it resulted in a very slow working machine, I called it even a 286 at some point, I almost send it back because I thought it was defective. Even after a clean install it kept stuttering, showing the circle on the desktop etc. not unworkable but again it mimicked a 286 (ok maybe 486), only after downloading the chipset drivers from the Dell website and installing these instead of the newer from Intels site….. the machine sprang back to life in full speed mode…. I’ll be doing some testing on this later by manually installing driver by driver to see which one is the problematic one. But just beware when you are like me that in this case it’s better to keep the original drivers for now.

 

I paid full retail for my XPS 9570.
Dell doesn’t support me, and probably doesn’t even know me 🙂
I’m just a very enthusiastic Dell user (for laptops)

 

 

This is the link to the gaming XPS9570 https://amzn.to/2HV9FSE . I use the one with the I9 CPU