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How to Fix Throttling on the Dell XPS 15 9570 / 9560

By Douglas Black , last updated on September 12, 2019

Note: title has been changed to reflect that the XPS 9570 has the same problems and the same solutions as the XPS 9560. I’ll update the contents if needed when I get a 9570 to test (already did, here’s the review), but for now these tweaks will work on both builds.

So, you’ve already maxed out your Dell XPS 15 with 32GB of DDR4 RAM and the best 1TB NVMe SSD for the money—now your XPS 15 is as good as it gets, right? Nope, not yet!

Without some hardware and software tweaks, your brand-new XPS 15 won’t be able to perform anywhere near its potential due to throttling.

In this article we’ll tell you how address this issue, but be aware that while this procedure works and is safe when done correctly, it may void your warranty or damage your computer if you don’t know what you’re doing. We’re just providing a guide and cannot be hold accountable for your actions, so proceed at your own risk.

Before you begin the journey of optimizing your XPS 15, you’ll want the following: 1.5mm 6.0W/mK thermal pads, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (best thermal paste at the moment without resorting to the liquid metal variants), some highly pure rubbing alcohol and some microfiber cloths.

As mentioned in our detailed review, the XPS 15 9560 with the Core i7-7700HQ processor (as well as the 9570 with the i7-8750H update) is prone to two types of throttling:

  1. Thermal throttling of the CPU or GPU (generally the CPU) when temperatures get too high
  2. Voltage Regulator Module (VRM) throttling caused by it getting too hot and being unable to deliver enough power

The first type of throttling is quite straightforward to all but the most uninitiated: the CPU and GPU have temperature limits to prevent damage. Exceeding the temperature max (100C for CPU, 97C for GPU) will cause an instantaneous shutdown—but you should never see temperatures anywhere near that as the components will throttle their performance long before they get to that point.

There are softer limits than 100C and 97C for the CPU and GPU respectively, however. The GPU will reduce its clocks to keep its temperature below 78C, and the CPU will dynamically reduce its turbo-clocks based on temperatures and power consumption.

The second type of throttling is also the result of heat, but because people generally look at CPU and GPU temperatures alone when benchmarking, it went undetected for a long time.

The VRM’s job is to convert 5 or 12V power from the adapter or battery into much smaller voltages to feed the CPU and GPU (generally 1.5v or less). A VRM has several components, but we are primarily interested in only two: MOSFETS (short for metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor, but you don’t need to know that for any reason except trivia) and chokes. The MOSFET is responsible for switching the voltage down to a manageable level to feed the CPU and GPU; the chokes stabilize the current.

In this image (courtesy of iunlock of Notebookreview), the MOSFETs and chokes have been identified with their temperatures under load. Throttling occurs around 78C.

To get your XPS 15 to run at its maximum potential, we will need to solve both these problems. First, let’s take care of the CPU and GPU heat directly. For this, you’ll need your Grizzly Kryonaut, 99% rubbing alcohol, and those microfiber cloths.

  1. Use a T5 screwdriver to remove the 10 Torx screws around the edges of the bottom panel.
  2. Open the service hatch and use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the two Phillips-head screws.
  3. If this is your first time opening your XPS 15, it will take a bit of effort to take the bottom plate off, as there are many small clips that keep it attached. Get your fingernails or a plastic card under the sides of the base near the hinge where the casing is most robust, and apply even, steady pressure to pull the bottom off.
  4. Remove the battery connector by pulling gently.
  5. Use your Phillips screwdriver to remove the five screws of the heat sink assembly (a thank you to Jens Andersson for the picture with proper screws highlighted as I no longer have this machine). 
  6. DO NOT PULL ON THE PIPES TO REMOVE IT. The heat sink assembly bends very easily. Carefully remove the heat sink assembly by getting your fingers under the upper edges of the left square (this is the GPU’s heat spreader) and gentle pulling upward on the top edge. The assembly should come up fairly easily once you overcome the glue-like suction of Dell’s abominable paste-job.
  7. Use the microfiber with the rubbing alcohol to remove the existing thermal paste. You’ll want to clean both the CPU and GPU dies as well as the heat spreader. Keep cleaning with the alcohol until you don’t see any grey marks on the cloth after rubbing.
  8. Put a little (half the size of a grain of rice) dollop of the thermal paste onto each die. Don’t worry, it will be pressed flat by the pressure of the heat spreader.
  9. Carefully replace the heat sink assembly flat onto the dies. Keep applying firm downward pressure over the heat spreader areas with one hand while you reinsert the screws with the other.
  10. Tighten each screw only a little at a time, taking turns tightening the screw diagonal to it so the pressure on the heatsink is uniform.
  11. Reconnect the battery.
  12. Place the bottom case cover back on the unit. No need to screw it back on yet, though.
  13. Turn on your laptop and run some tests! If you’ve done it right, you’ll see a pretty good reduction in CPU and GPU operating temperatures.

The next step is using software called ThrottleStop to reduce the power consumption of your CPU. This can reduce the load wattage needed for the CPU by 10W easily.

Generally, all the i7-7700HQs on XPS 15 9560’s I’ve seen can undervolt to -125mv for core and cache. I run -125mv on core/care and -75mv on the iGPU. i7-8750H CPUs on the XPS 15 9570 do well at around -120 mV, but I’ve seen some that were onyl stable at around -11- mV to -110 mV. The link above explains how to use ThrottleStop and how to test for stability.

The final tweak to take care of your CPU and GPU temperatures is to go to the Nvidia Control Panel and change the “Maximum pre-rendered frames” value to “2”. This will prevent the CPU from needlessly being overtaxed to send data to the GPU.

The next step is dealing with the temperatures of the VRM head-on. Take another look at this picture:

Our goal is to cool those MOSFETs with the highest temperature (above the heat spreader) so they don’t hit their throttling temperature. How? We will be using stacked thermal pads to connect the MOSFET to the aluminum bottom cover. Why? When the right type of pads are used, the bottom cover will wick heat away from the MOSFETs.

There is trick to this, and it explains why we use lower performing 6W/mK thermal pads instead of some very high quality ones: if too much heat is transferred to the case it will actually end up heating up the VRM instead of cooling it. This is what will happen if you use an extremely conductive (16W/mK) thermal pad, and it’s why we want the 6W/mK pads for this purpose instead.

The mod is fairly straightforward: cut out small vertical strips from the thermal pad and place them on top of the MOSFETs above the heat spreaders. If you are using 1.5mm thick thermal pads, you will need to stack 3 of them on top of each other in order to reach the case. You want to leave as much open space around the pads so what little airflow there is doesn’t get impeded.

That’s it! Once you have stacked your little padded pillars over the MOSFETs and put the case bottom back on, you should be able to run any game or benchmark without VRM-induced throttling.

After following this guide, your Dell XPS 15 9560/9750 should now be a finely tuned beast of a machine, able to leap mountains in a single bound. If this guide helped you, please let me know in the comments and share this guide.

Based in Hong Kong, Douglas Black is a veteran editor of Notebookcheck, university lecturer, researcher, and writer.

274 Comments

  1. Maks

    March 17, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Wow, that is real tweak!

  2. Etienne Leroux Groleau

    March 17, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    This is awesome! Thanks it's exactly what I was looking for.

  3. Collin

    March 17, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    This is awesome, thanks for putting together such a thoughtfully written guide!
    Do you have any insight on whether these same tweaks would be helpful / worth performing on an XPS 15 9550? Mine has an i7 6700hq and I haven't noticed any thermal throttling or related issues, but I've hardly pushed it to it's full potential either.

    • Douglas Black

      March 17, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      It will help the VRMs on the 9550 as well

    • Dom

      March 29, 2019 at 5:26 pm

      I had 9550 too. It was awesome mashine without any kind of throttling at all. Unfortunatelly I sold it and decide upgrade to 9560, worst decision ever. 7700hq is basically overclocked 6700hq, 6gen didnt have this issues. Gaming on 9550 even with slower gpu was better than on 9560. I have undrvolted to -136 on cpu and -100 igpu and still have issues after 30 minutes of gaming. Apart that it is awesome mashine, you just cant expect 100% of its performance.
      To answer you question: it would definitelly drop temperatures and extend battery life.

  4. Gordon

    March 18, 2017 at 12:28 am

    I'm curious why the VRM would heat up more if too much heat is transferred to the case?

    • Douglas Black

      March 18, 2017 at 12:31 am

      Because if the case reaches very high temperatures, it superheats the air being sucked in for cooling. It will compromise the entire cooling system of the laptop and send temperatures spiraling out of control

      • Physics Works

        March 18, 2017 at 2:24 am

        Wow. That's ridiculous. Might as well make a perpetual motion machine while you are at it. Heat from the VRM can "superheat" (incorrect usage of the word) the air which in turn makes the VRM hotter than it was originally…..

        • Douglas Black

          March 18, 2017 at 2:27 am

          I was referring to heat sinking the CPU/GPU, but using highly conductive mosfet pads will have the same result, as per many people on notebookreview's forums who have tried it. Feel free to sink the mosfets with 16w/mk pads and tell me how well it cools them compared to 6w/mk.

      • Umaaz

        April 11, 2017 at 7:27 pm

        What if you join the VRM to heat pipes with highly conductive thermal pads, instead of bridging them to the case?

        • Douglas Black

          April 11, 2017 at 9:57 pm

          Some have talked about it, you could try!

        • Rouven

          May 4, 2017 at 7:13 am

          Joining the VRM to the case using stacks of 1.5mm pads was causing severe TDP throttling for me. The case was getting really hot, pre-heating the air intake.
          I have now used the same pads to join the MOSFETS to the heat pipes, and it works great. I basically joined several strips to make a path between the other components, pushing the pads down to make sure they do NOT touch the case.

          • Douglas Black

            May 4, 2017 at 7:14 am

            thanks for sharing your results!

          • Jeff

            December 7, 2017 at 5:49 pm

            Can you link to some images of this? I can't figure out how to do this

      • Zhang

        July 29, 2017 at 1:47 pm

        Let me tell you it is wrong.I am not a native speaker so my English may have Grammatical errors.

      • Zhang

        July 29, 2017 at 2:39 pm

        We shall know that in fact the computer is encourage us to heat up the air which is for cooling. Let's just say the computer can breathe in 1 litre of cooling air per second and the computer's thermal power is stable the CPU and GPU is 90 Celsius(194F).First we don't use thermal pads,lets say the cooling system will heat up the air from 20C(68F) to 80C(176F).Then we use the thermal pad which is 16W/mK. This will make the shell in a really high temprature we just say 80C(176F). Yes it will heat the cooling air but actually the cooling air has been heat up twice(shell and inside cooling system) which means when it get out the computer it is hotter than the first time(heat once 80C)which can be maybe 84C(183.2F).We know that only heat from computer makes the air's temperature rise, no matter where it heat up the cooling air,the heat is all firstly come from inside. The cooling air is more hot when getting out the computer means it will take out more heat than before.Which means the computer is cooler than before! And more hot the shell is the more heat will be blow out! So the 16W/mk will work better than the 6W/mk one.

      • Nathan

        May 20, 2018 at 1:09 pm

        Don't suppose you happen to know the whether the heat is felt on the other side of the heat pipes. I'm thinking of doing a detachable water cooling mod.

  5. Andrew Gerges

    March 18, 2017 at 6:21 am

    I just bought the 13inch model. Does this have throttling issues also?

    • Douglas Black

      March 18, 2017 at 6:24 am

      just TDP throttling if using CPU + iGPU at the same time. There's nothing you can do about that

      • miran

        April 14, 2017 at 10:01 am

        yes you can using intel xtu up to 25Watt

    • Bernard

      March 18, 2017 at 8:38 am

      My 13 inch seems to get hot every time I load up Steam. I have the Ubuntu version and psensor has reported CPU Temps as high as 100C while running CS GO at QHD+ resolution. It never turned off, I had to turn it off. Regardless, Steam regularly pushes it to 87+C doing nothing. Even YouTube can spike the temperature to the 80's.

      In most cases it's great but in a few cases it cooks. I don't want to RMA it, I spent hours configuring it the way I wanted it. I hope there's an easy solution. I am thinking of getting a better cooling pad, the one I have does nothing. This heat sink stuff sounds good too, but to lose the warranty on the most expensive computer I ever bought is kind of scary.

      • ocramius

        September 26, 2017 at 6:01 pm

        To avoid RMA issues, consider contacting Dell support and asking if you can perform the procedure yourself.

        Make sure to write down/save who is responding, as well as their supervisor.

  6. Reggie

    March 18, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Will this void my warranty and service contract? I've already undervolted my XPS but have held off on opening up and repasting, etc. However, as I read this I'm much more inclined to do so as I would love to extend and maximize the life and use of my super mega awesome machine.

    • Douglas Black

      March 18, 2017 at 10:59 am

      None of this voids your warranty

      • Reggie Generoso

        March 18, 2017 at 1:48 pm

        Sweeeet!!! Thank you for the prompt reply and also this guide! Going to get right on it!

  7. iunlock

    March 18, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Great write up mate. Keep up the good work. Cheers

  8. Ross

    March 21, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Any reason not to use liquid metal paste such as Coolabaratory ?

    • Douglas Black

      March 21, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      If you can handle the risk, go for it!

    • miran

      April 14, 2017 at 10:04 am

      The cooling system is not that good for such paste!!

  9. jinny

    March 23, 2017 at 12:51 am

    great tips!
    i have a question. i see a thermal pad under the heatsink. why not change it too?

    • Douglas Black

      March 23, 2017 at 12:55 am

      Those Dell pads are for the VRAM, but they don't need changing. They are very soft, and even .5mm Arctic pads are harder than them. You need them to be soft so they compress easily and allow good contact on the CPU/GPU

      • jinny

        March 23, 2017 at 1:02 am

        what a fast reply! tks
        another Q..
        when i put a thermal pad on MOSFETs should i put thermal pad on all the MOSFET or just like the picture you uploaded?

        • Douglas Black

          March 23, 2017 at 1:04 am

          I don't think that's a good strategy because it will disrupt the airflow which helps cool them. However, some people have done this and claimed good results. I would stick to using little pillars of pads on the mosfets with the highest temperatures so the most cooling is given to the mosfets that need it most.

          • jinny

            March 23, 2017 at 1:08 am

            Then i'll put thermal pad just like you posted!
            I realy appreciate you help :D

          • Douglas Black

            March 23, 2017 at 1:12 am

            Welcome!

  10. Jean-Yves Avenard

    March 25, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    For one week I had been trying to understand why it was that my older Gigabyte Aero 14 with its 2.6Ghz i7-6600HQ could be faster than this new Dell with a 2.8Ghz i7-7700hq at compiling Firefox. 24 minutes on the Aero; 28 minutes on the Dell.

    After deinstalling McAfee live (which was disabled); I got it down to 26.5minutes. But that was still too much.

    So I did the trick described above covering the MOSFETs with thermal pads (Arctic 6W/mq).
    And amazingly; it got down to 23 minutes!!!!

    Now that got me surprised.

    I'm not sure that there's any point redoing the thermal paste in the processor. On mine the CPU temp never exceeds 74 degree, even running the CPU at 100% for hours.

    In any case. Thanks.

    You may want to redo the photos however on how to remove the CPU heatsink. The wrong screws are circled, there's no need to remove any of the fans screws. The next photo with the heatsink removed clearly show which 5 screws are to be removed.

    Also; rather than 3 layers of 1.5mm pad; I would use 2×1.5mm+1mm.
    3*1.5mm cause the case to bend slightly between the two screws. You can tell on the photos that it's much too high.

    • Jean-Yves Avenard

      March 27, 2017 at 2:42 am

      Note: undervolting does have a small impact on the performance.

      Here are some results:
      Offset 0V: 24 minutes, max temperature 78C
      -100mV: 24 minutes 50s: max température 72C
      -125mV: 24 minutes 55s: max temperature 68C

    • sLIMshadyKP

      March 27, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      I'll parrot the comments on the photo having the wrong screws circled and the layering of the thermal pads. Two 1.5mm pads are enough to reach the case. I don't know that 3 would cause the case to bend, but 2 is more than enough.

      • Jinny

        March 27, 2017 at 7:59 pm

        Is it okay to put 2 x 1.5mm thermalpad?

        • sLIMshadyKP

          March 28, 2017 at 2:36 pm

          The difference is probably insignificant, but if you're running short on thermal pads, a stack of 2 is enough to reach the case.

          • jinny

            March 28, 2017 at 7:01 pm

            well than i'll try 2 stacks(2mm)
            tks

  11. David Kang

    March 28, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    What size thermal pads do you need to cover all those areas? I got 50x50mm. Would that be enough?

    • Douglas Black

      March 28, 2017 at 10:58 pm

      If you cut carefully, yes. I think just enough. But to be save, I'd get 2.

      • David

        March 28, 2017 at 11:05 pm

        would it not fall off if you stack the thermal pads? I just don't want it to fall off when I take my laptop in and out of my backpack or perhaps a bump on the laptop. Or is it pretty sturdy

        • Douglas Black

          March 29, 2017 at 1:33 am

          not if they touch the cover. it will be very stuck in place

      • Jinny

        March 28, 2017 at 11:25 pm

        I'm confused about putting 1.5mm x 3 or 2mm x 2
        what do you prefer?

  12. Rhys Kleinekathoefer

    March 29, 2017 at 1:04 am

    Hi what about covering the ssd?

    • Douglas Black

      March 29, 2017 at 1:33 am

      yes, should be covered already

      • Rhys Kleinekathoefer

        March 29, 2017 at 1:36 am

        Thanks, should the pad be replaced?

  13. Tim

    March 30, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Hi!

    I haven't ever changed the thermal passte before. Would 1 g of paste enough for both 9560 and Macbook Air? And the way you've used to apply quite risky isn't it? How can I check that the whole surface had been coverred by paste?

    Thanks in advance! That's a great sum-up article.

    • Douglas Black

      March 30, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      It's probably .1g paste on each component.

      It will spread once the sink is closed. If you want to check, open it after pressing for a few seconds and check how the paste distributed. Clean it and paste again accordingly.

  14. Julian

    April 1, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    You make no mention of the black, what looks to be copper, heat shield that covers the vents and the area where the VRM pad would touch aluminum cover. Did you remove it or did you just have the heat pads touch the black shield?

    • Douglas Black

      April 1, 2017 at 10:32 pm

      Do not remove the back shield!!! It is very important that you keep that shield on so the case doesn't get too hot

      • Julian

        April 1, 2017 at 10:38 pm

        Good to know. I'm surprised the thermal pads make a huge difference since they aren't truly touching something that would dissipate a lot of heat.

        Also great write up!

  15. David

    April 4, 2017 at 1:42 am

    So while trying to reapply thermal paste, I bent the heatsink in the middle ever so slightly but I put it back into its original position. I reapplied with the line across on the cpu and the gpu and it seems the idle temps are higher for some reason. Could the slightly bent heatsink have anything to do with the higher idle temps? I'm using MX-4 thermal paste if that helps. Idle temps are 45-50C.

    • Douglas Black

      April 4, 2017 at 1:58 am

      Yes, it will be higher now. I don't think it's fixable, so I would tell Dell you have uneven temperatures and get a tech to come over with a new heat sink.

      • JYA

        April 4, 2017 at 2:28 am

        What idle temperature would you be expecting?

        45C shouldnt be a problem

    • Mike

      April 7, 2017 at 11:17 pm

      Yeah the bent heatsink does indeed affect the cooling. The heatsink itself is very thin and filled with tiny "capillaries" that hold a tiny amount of coolant, and any bending can cause the capillaries to close up even after bending it back. Idle temp of 45-50 deg C is somewhat abnormal btw, I live in a tropical country with ambient temps of 32 deg C and my idle temps on an XPS 15 9550 stock is around 40 deg C

      • Jean-Yves Avenard

        April 8, 2017 at 3:12 pm

        I've looked at 3 9560, all unmodified. All idle around 45C.

  16. David

    April 4, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    What are you getting for your idle temps and browsing web temps? (no youtube)

    • Douglas Black

      April 4, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      37 degrees or so

      • Jean-Yves Avenard

        April 8, 2017 at 3:12 pm

        Is that before or after undervolting?

  17. Jeon

    May 5, 2017 at 12:39 am

    I'm about to buy thermal pad.
    I read all comments and what you writw.

    I'm confused about 2.0 x 2 or 1.5 x 3 which is better.

    Thanks

    • Douglas Black

      May 5, 2017 at 12:48 am

      If their conductivity is the same, I'd go for the 1.5×3 just so you can adjust a bit more easily.

      • Jeon

        May 5, 2017 at 1:09 am

        Okay thanks!

  18. Chris

    May 5, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Curious how well tested all of this is? Does anyone have a good write-up or method for setting a baseline before and after to track improvements?

    I'm running the top model (i7, 4k, 32 gig, 1tb) which is a spendy bit of hardware.

    I'm considering this mod (or something) since my 1yo previous model (9550 or whatever) got so hot the touch pad started to lift up and become useless/broken.

    While Dell should unquestionably have resolved/prevented this problem in the first place I'm willing to do an ~$80 dollar mod like this to fix it if it really works.

  19. Christopher C

    May 26, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    How about the thermal pads under the heatsink because they look thinner. If so, did you use he same product that you used on the VRMs?

    • Douglas Black

      May 26, 2017 at 11:11 pm

      Don't change those under the heat sink. They're very soft and replacing with a harder pad will deform the heatsink.

  20. Osvaldo

    June 5, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Is it ok to use 8 W/mK pads? Or I should use 3.2 W/mK because in my country I can't find those arctic pads 6 W/mK, also what width is ok? 0.5, 1, 1.5 or 2mm?
    Thanks

    • Douglas Black

      June 5, 2017 at 8:22 am

      I think 8 W/mK should be okay. Any thickness is okay as long as the total sum of the number of pads you are using lets them touch the case. Make sure they're rather compressible pads as well, because you don't want pressure on your mobo.

  21. Zeke

    June 15, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    This is great; how would you say this tweak has affected your performance in terms of FPS or other benchmarks, or would you say this change only increases the endurance/stamina of the computer after extended use?

    • Douglas Black

      June 15, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      It should mostly just increase endurance, but some benchmarks will go up, such as uningine heaven

  22. Petersen

    June 15, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Hi, quick question, i've done all the steps and since then i got my fans basically spinning non-stop pretty much. fans are idle when idle, but when i start web browsing by going through regular pages – the fans will kick in in a matter of 1 minute. Previously the fans were more quiet. Any thoughts why this happens and what can be done?

    i have tried removing pads but this doesn't deliver much.

    • Douglas Black

      June 16, 2017 at 5:52 am

      Check your temperatures. If you didn't repaste and you undid the pads then it's just a coincidence. If your temps are good but the fans are spinning quickly then it sounds like you padded somewhere you shouldn't have that is making a fan sensor trigger.

  23. Petersen

    June 15, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Dear Moderator, please don't remove my question to the author (again);

    after following the steps from the article exactly as described, the 2 fans keep on spinning almost all the time. Before the change this was much less.

    i've removed pads, but the problem persists. What do you think can be the issue (need to fix it back to original state). Thank you.

  24. Sam Marshallsay

    July 13, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Thanks for the guide!
    I thought I'd give it a go on my old Dell XPS 15 9530 (late 2013) and it seems to work great!
    Obviously not quite the same layout so I figured 'more is more' and covered every visible VRM near the top pipes (carefully) with pads.
    Even in simple games it used to throttle after 10 minutes but it has improved my core temp while under load by 15-20C and I no longer seem to get any CPU or GPU throttling in the games I've tested! (Divinity Original Sin)

    before and after picks here photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMVL7PcB-MP50xMvaV6BLvZip2rpPT-z-bdckyVWRKoB8_CbJ-fLGhhUB24kf3LVA?key=T0Y5YW1RM0VGbjQ2eGdKUGZDQ3otUWxmMDhsLVJn

  25. Zach

    August 25, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Excellent guide, thank you. However, do the thermal pads go on every number spot shown in the picture

    http://cdn.ultrabookreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/xps-9560-1.jpg

    Or do we just copy how it looks in this shot.

    http://cdn.ultrabookreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/xps-9560-9.jpg

    • Douglas Black

      August 25, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      I would copy how it looks in the shot and see if it still throttles in games

  26. Gerben

    September 13, 2017 at 9:07 am

    So this is pretty good for CPU and with an undervolt of -150 on core and cache and -100 on igpu and system agent, cpu heat issues are nonexistant.

    However, with something like unigine valley, the GPU hits power limit throttling in about 10-15 seconds and the gpu clock goes way down. GPU voltage stays at about 0.750v the whole time with clock around 1Ghz. Something like furmark is even worse, with the power limit kicking in immediately and the clockspeed going down to <600mhz. All the while GPU temps are <65c, cpu temps <50c etc.

    I tried undervolting with Afterburner but the freq/volt curve starts at 800mv so when it downclocks due to power limit, I can't influence the freq/volt curve at all.

    Are you sure the MOSFETs you have shown here are also relevant for GPU power limit throttling?

    • Douglas Black

      September 13, 2017 at 9:49 am

      I don't know if anyone has fixed the GPU PL throttling. What games do you get throttling in (and what is the perf limit reason in GPU-Z)?

      • Gerben

        September 13, 2017 at 10:24 am

        PUBG has some bad performance drops where Pwr shows up as the reason in GPU-Z. I've seen VRef as well when I set cpu max power to ~50% in power scheme. I can try to push cpu undervolt further but it didn't like -200mv last time i tried and -150mv seems pretty good to me already.

        But something like Unigine Valley on lowest settings shouldn't really cause Pwr to kick in either I think, with it getting stuck at ~1GHz.

      • Gerben

        September 13, 2017 at 4:52 pm

        So I did some testing and i'm 99% sure it's the VRAM overheating that causes this.

        I have an IR gun and when I put a blow dryer on cold air up against the VRAM for a minute or two, GPU will happily run at 1.7GHz and the Performance Limit in HWiNFO jumps to "reliability voltage" – which I understand to be the max voltage it gives the gpu to run at max clock.

        Every single Ambient sensor onder DELL in HWiNFO drops below 45c but still gpu does power limit throttling, but the moment i put the fan on the VRAM (specifically the ones closest to the back of the chassis) ambient temps do not matter – it'll stop power throttling.

        So question is what to do, if anything. the stock thermal pads make good contact because the heatsink above the hottest vram chip (below the QR sticker) gets up to 60C easily.

        Thoughts?

        • Garrett

          January 8, 2018 at 5:45 pm

          Just curious….

          Why is everyone stacking these thermal pads together? Every single manufacturer that actually creates these thermal pads explicitly say: "DO NOT STACK THERMAL PADS."
          https://blog.arctic.ac/blog/2015/07/23/thermal-pads-or-thermal-paste/
          "Also, never stack several pads on top of each other. Two or three pads on top of each other between the CPU and a heatsink might kill the CPU."

          I use nice aluminum sticky heatsinks on all the VRAM chips and other chips throughout the motherboard, and I dropped 32C. I do not experience these "throttling" issues everyone talks about.

          Thermal pads are more expensive and have less thermal conductivity than metal heatsinks (aluminum, copper, etc..) .
          Stacking them together like all of you guys are doing, only helps to BLANKET HEAT everywhere and CREATES throttling!

          I dunno where I got this information… Oh yeah… That's right… From all the manufacturers that make the thermal pads!
          LOL!

          • Douglas Black

            January 8, 2018 at 10:13 pm

            You are misunderstand or misrepresenting their information. They clearly state BETWEEN THE CPU AND THE HEATSINK. We are not using pads like TIM, and the fact that this solution lowers temperatures all around proves that there is no danger here.

            Now, using very sticky metal heatsinks or shims are fine, as long as they don't touch the case or have a chance of becoming detached, sliding around your motherboard. That is the main reason I don't suggest everyone use metal shims.

  27. Alex

    September 15, 2017 at 2:26 am

    Would aluminum heat spreaders instead of stacking the thermal pads be better or no?
    something like this
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007XACV8O/ref=psdc_2998409011_t3_B01LXWK626

    Just asking cause this guy used those instead of thermal pads on the VRM's
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/cpu-gpu-temperatures-benchmarks-xps-15-9560-kaby-lake.802345/

    Im just curious as to which would cool better, thermal pads touching the bottom of the chassis, or sticking aluminum heat spreader on those VRM's?

    • Sem

      June 5, 2018 at 3:21 pm

      The idea of Al heatsinks is to take heat away by convection (air). The problem is that despite the grille there is almost no airflow there. Hence the idea to take heat away by conduction via the pads to the backplate. The latter also isn't cooled best by default (without a laptop pad), and even using good quality pads it tends to heat up too much and in turn heat up the intake air.

      Iunlock indeed used Al heatsinks, added a copper sheet for some more "fin surface", but he also redirected some of the cooling air from the main fins to the VRM area, so that the VRM heat presumably exits via the rear grille by convection.

      Recently some have recommended a another simple padding approach, VRMs to the heatpipes with a larger thin sheet that doesn't touch the backplate. So that the VRM heat goes out via the heatpipes and fins; the CPU/GPU tempertures reportedly raise by a couple degC.

  28. Tim

    September 23, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Hi! Thanks a lot for this great guide!
    Question….
    I still reach 90 degrees on very intensive games on the CPU (small peaks), mostly ~ 80…
    And after 2nd and 3rd time running Firestrike the score goes down from low 6xxx to low 5xxxx…
    Any ideas?
    Xps 9560 FHD i7. Thanks!!

  29. Vince

    October 13, 2017 at 3:41 am

    Hi,
    I am on the market for a new laptop and I am wondering if the same guide have been done for the Asus zenbook pro UX 550 VE.
    This guide almost made me changed my mind to get instead the XPS 15.
    Great review, thank you.

    • Douglas Black

      October 13, 2017 at 3:50 am

      The UX550 has a different problem than the XPS 15. The UX550 simply has an overall underdeveloped cooling solution, which is different from the VRM temperature issues of the XPS 15. Your best bet is to have a professional aftermarket seller like HIDevolution do a liquid metal repaste on yours.

      • Vince

        October 14, 2017 at 5:54 am

        Thank you for the tip, I really appreciate!

  30. gl

    October 27, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks for the writeup Douglas!

    just did the Kyronaut repaste, VRM pads and undervolting. I didn't see much CPU/GPU (CPU) throttling in synthetic tests before (short runs), but I immediately noticed that after the VRM pads, the fans didn't spin up as much or as quickly on the XTU CPI stress test – nice! Then the extra -0.125V undervolting also made a massive difference, and the paste seems better (my Dell was 2nd-hand and it looked like someone had already done an AS repaste as it wasn't the paler stuff in your pics but a darker AS-like grey & consistency).

    I wonder if it's worth padding a few more MOSFETs though (are they gray ones MOSFETs)? The 78Deg one seems toasty?

    • Douglas Black

      October 27, 2017 at 11:29 pm

      The grey squares are the chokes and should not be padded. If you get throttling after playing a game I would try it, but if it's fine for you then leave it.

  31. MRX

    November 4, 2017 at 10:38 am

    This guide lower my temps from 90°C to 77°C max!

    ty :)

  32. Joe Leigh

    January 1, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    This is awesome!!! (apart from having one of the torx screws strip completely while trying to remove the back and having to drill it out and thread the hole again) this has reduced high load temps from 90 degrees celcius to max 75. Thanks

  33. Giacomo

    January 29, 2018 at 7:59 am

    Wow, this is MANDATORY for anyone having the XPS. Before the intervention, I have monitored the frequencies with i7z, the temperatures with Psensors and used stress to produce high cpu usage.

    Before the intervention, the CPU would immediately reach 90 degress and throttling sent the CPU back to 800 MHZ. With "immediately", I mean max 10 seconds. I could not have the CPU run at max throttle for longer than 10 seconds!!! This is incredible.

    After changing the paste (and I only had an MX-4 available), the CPU is stable at 77-78 degrees, with no throttling, and the fan is not even at max. This is on since already 10 minutes …

    Awesome man. I owe you one.

    • Douglas Black

      January 29, 2018 at 8:05 am

      Very welcome, Giacomo!

    • Timothy

      February 8, 2018 at 4:35 am

      Giacomo,

      Did you apply the thermal pads as well replacing the thermal paste? I’ve owned xps (08’) before and need a new machine after this weekend, the idea of having to mod a factory fresh kinda bums me out..

      Great post OP, seriously.

      • giacomo benelli

        February 8, 2018 at 5:09 am

        Hi Timothy, yes I did, once you have opened everything it makes sense to do it all, even though I think you get the most benefit from the thermal paste on the CPU/GPU.

        Overall, I was not very keen to open it myself, my XPS is from December. If you want my opinion, I am slightly disappointed by the XPS. This throttling problem alone is enough to piss you off, but on top of this I got the suckier nvme SSD ever (hynix), an almost unusable keyboard (if you press on tab a little bit harder, it flexes and interferes with the underneath cooling fan!!!) and the "killer" wifi card that is just broken and I had to replace with an Intel 8265.

        This is too much to handle on a 2800 euros PC (with docking)!!!!

        My advice, if you are alright with doing these mods yourself, and you need a laptop NOW, get the XPS, it is still a great PC under many aspects. If you can wait though, try to get a 2018 model that (guess what?) sports a brand new cooling system, amongst the others.

        Cheers

        • Arlo

          May 24, 2018 at 12:46 am

          "brand new cooling system" what a miss 😂

  34. Antonio

    February 13, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Hi all.
    After a lot of research in this matter I needed this throttling issue resolved. I use my xps 9560 for AutoCad with no issues and light gaming. Csgo only. Before after 30/40 min my fps drop from 120 to 30 which is not playable at all.

    So my mod was.

    Undervolting -100mv on CPU
    Undervolting -85mv on iGPU
    Adjust the Gpu curve with msi ab, raising the frequency when on low voltage and continuously to higher frequencies.

    Repaste and thermal pads on VRM.

    Results:

    Now I play over 3H non stop with constant 170fps occasionally dropping to 120/130 for 10 sec. Max temperatures reached are 68/70c on gpu and 80/85c on cpu after 1H playing. That quite an improvement for me at least. Thanks for all the tips.

  35. Ze

    February 22, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Hello Douglas,

    I've been exploring ways to fix the thermal throttling issue with the i7 in 9550 for a while. After reading your article and watching https://youtu.be/hdTsra-uLBI from Linus Tech Tips; do you think it is fine to use liquid metal? What is that black stuff around the copper heatsink? I guess the most important question is the heatsink complete copper and will liquid metal cause corrosion on it or around it with the black shield surrounding the die.

    Sincerely,

    Ze

    • Douglas Black

      February 22, 2018 at 8:14 pm

      The problem with the XPS 15 series is the vrm cooling, not cpu temperature. You can LM the XPS 15 but it won't help the main issue.

      • Ze

        February 22, 2018 at 8:56 pm

        Thank you!

  36. Ketan Krishna

    March 25, 2018 at 9:41 am

    My 9560's CPU temperature jumps to 100+ and shuts down despite throttling etc. I've tried undervolting it but there isn't much of a difference. Any suggestion what to do? Is it just a bad paste job or is my heat sink/fan broken?

    • Douglas Black

      March 25, 2018 at 10:32 am

      That is almost certainly a defective heat spreader. Get it replaced (and then repaste it yourself, as their technicians are terribly amateur) or buy it by piece on eBay.

  37. usama

    April 14, 2018 at 11:56 am

    After all above still getting power limit throttling :/ what should I do now ?

  38. usama

    April 14, 2018 at 11:57 am

    its throttling most of the time

    • Douglas Black

      April 14, 2018 at 11:58 am

      In what situation? What is the ambient temperature of your environment? At what temperature is your CPU when you start getting throttling; how soon after stressing the CPU does your VRM sensor hit 70C?

  39. usama

    April 14, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    when playing games, like fifa 18 on medium. ambient temprature is about 30 C. throttling starts as Package temp hits 80 C. How to find VRM sensor temp?

    • Douglas Black

      April 14, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      I believe it's ambient sensor. 30C is probably the reason — you are operating the laptop in an environment that dell doesn't think about when they design a laptop without any ability to remove the heat it's pouring into its VRM.

  40. Paul

    April 26, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Hi, this is probably a bit of naive question but why have Dell not addressed this?

    Surely they could replicate this fix in Production relatively easily?

    Is it laziness, 'we'll fix this in the next mode,l' or would it impact the alienware line?

    In fact do the same models produced later in the run have the same problem? Have they had a go at improving this issue at all?

    • Douglas Black

      April 27, 2018 at 3:44 am

      My sources tell me that their engineering dept think they have everything figured out and are not open to feedback. Let's hope the 9570 is not the same story. (And yes, all runs had the same issue.)

      • Alex R

        May 10, 2018 at 1:57 am

        Hi Douglas,
        Excellent article/tips! Regarding the 9570, I actually just ordered one, waiting for it to arrive…

        Will the mod for the 9570 be the same as the mod you described for the 9560? If the mods are different, then can you please add a note in this forum on how to do it for the 9570?
        Thank you!

        • Douglas Black

          May 10, 2018 at 6:23 am

          I ended up buying one to review as Dell cancelled my 9575 orders four times! Will certainly cover throttling in my review.

          • Alex R

            May 10, 2018 at 6:34 pm

            Cancelled 4 times, wow! So that is a sign from Above, avoid the 9575 :) The 2-in-1 9575 looked interesting, but not powerful enough for on-the-go video content editing, which is why I opted for the 9570… I'm willing to bet the throttling issues persist in this new model :(

          • Louis-Philippe Gélineau Busque

            June 2, 2018 at 8:39 pm

            Hi Douglas, thoses instructions in this article, do they work for the 2 in 1 9575, if not, will you make an article about it?

            Thx!

          • Douglas Black

            June 3, 2018 at 9:15 am

            The repasting and undervolt, absolutely. The pads – no. I am not sure if I will get a 9575, it depends on my financial situation and if something more compelling comes out at computex :)

  41. SIMON

    May 2, 2018 at 9:45 am

    What do you rate the chances of the i9 in the 2018 XPS 15" being a good choice?

    • Douglas Black

      May 2, 2018 at 9:47 am

      Based on what I know about Dell's engineering team and the i9… 0% out of the box. The i9 only does extra turbo when under 50C, which basically will never ever happen in this chassis design. You're looking at 50-70c easy once you are around ~3ghz load on all cores. I don't see a case where it will ever use its extra potential speed. Won't stop me from buying one with an i9 and try to LM/tweak it, though :)

  42. Alex R

    May 12, 2018 at 1:33 am

    Is there also a need to cool the SSD on the XPS 9570? There seem to be a lot of inexpensive products to cool the M.2 2280 SSD, but I'm wondering if that is even necessary? And if there's a need to cool it, then what's the best way to do so? For example, heatsinks with silicone thermal pad, etc..

    • Douglas Black

      May 12, 2018 at 6:42 am

      Ssds will throttle under heat, but pcie nvme ssds are much hotter than sat and need passive cooling for best performance and lifespan. A silicon pad is sufficient for this

      • Alex R

        May 14, 2018 at 4:12 am

        Sounds good! I'm waiting for you to receive the 9570 for your review plus any mods… (although, if you're buying from HIDEVOLUTION, maybe you're laptop will already have the mods when you receive…)

  43. Iban

    May 22, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks for your contribution.

    Are you using Arctic cooling thermal pads?
    Do you think it would be recommendable to use it in the nvme too?

    There is 1.5, 1.0 and 0.5 mm which one would be better? and how many 50×50 pads?

    • Douglas Black

      May 23, 2018 at 4:01 am

      0.5 on the nvme is fine. There isn't an issue with the heat on that, just make sure it does have a pad is enough.

      I would get 3 1.5mm pads for the vrm

      • Adrian

        June 4, 2018 at 1:56 pm

        Wow, 3 packs, I live in Australia and this stuff isn't cheap, it's twice the amount that you're paying in the US, you guys are so lucky, most stuff are way cheaper over there. The only thing that's cheap here is milk.

  44. Arlo

    May 24, 2018 at 12:35 am

    Any recommendation in doing the same to the new 9570? If so will you make a new guide? Thanks :)

    • Douglas Black

      May 24, 2018 at 5:02 am

      I am still waiting on my 9570, but afik it is exactly the same

      • Rodja

        May 24, 2018 at 5:04 pm

        There are some changes in the VRMs placement. This might be enough to avoid VRM throttling.
        Get your review unit first, let us know if everything in this guide is the same/should be done.

        • Douglas Black

          May 24, 2018 at 5:21 pm

          I ordered 2, so hopefully one won't get cancelled. :)

  45. Simon

    May 24, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Do we know yet if the 2018 XPS15 has Gore thermal insulation in it?
    I know the XPS13 does for sure and fairly sure the XPS15 2-in-1 does.

    This would negate your assumption that it's basically the same as last year's model wouldn't it?

  46. Simon

    May 24, 2018 at 7:47 am

    What about the 8th generation CPUs? How are the thermals going to differ based on that alone?

    • Douglas Black

      May 24, 2018 at 7:49 am

      they draw slightly more power on idle and run warmer

  47. T

    May 28, 2018 at 3:47 am

    Hi I got 9560. How did you set SST EPP to 64? I looked everywhere and cant seem to change it ? It’s at 128 in default. I’m using 8.60. Do you mind posting a screen shot where you change the value?

    • Douglas Black

      May 28, 2018 at 5:26 am

      On the left "settings" tab it says "Set speed shift – EEP". Check that box and put in whatever value you want. You may need to be in high performance mode for this change to stick.

  48. Michael

    May 29, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Just to throw out a single data point, I decided to simply return the laptop after consistent hardware shutdowns. Even after undervolting and switching from speed-step to speed-shift on the 9570, I could not get consistent performance (i.e.- not crashing) until I reduced most game settings to 'low'. My suspicion is that the 1050ti being matched to thermal hardware design that's unchanged from the 9560 yields a system that's wobbling like a gyroscope spinning on the edge of an abyss. It'll work for systems with a "good" manufacturing/assembly yield, but any poor paste job, iffy CPU, or other internal hardware variation will render the system about as usable as a theoretical XPS-15 with an MX-150 installed. Not dead, but not as promised. For example, I always saw the third core temperature spike over 95C much earlier than the other five cores and it was always the first to hit 100C in any thermal event. Possibly a poor paste job on mine? Dunno.

    Unfortunately, the instability–even with undervolting–undermined my confidence in the hardware, hence a return instead of experimenting. I needed to get it back before Dell's return deadline passed.

    In your tests when you get your system, it might be worth running benchmarks and real-world tests under load for a longer period of time to be sure. On the whole I think the XPS-15 might be a fine system for workloads that don't have sudden GPU demands like games, but then it would be better to get the Precision model rather than the XPS or just get one without a GPU and pair it with an eGPU setup.

    Frank Azor needs to get his team's rear in gear for the next product cycle.

    I am returning mine and will be going with the Gigabyte Aero 15x. I don't need that much power, but a full keyboard and RJ-45 jack make it more useful for work.

    • Douglas Black

      May 30, 2018 at 4:50 am

      One core much higher than others is either a bad paste job or a warped heatsink. Do you think it's possible you undervolted too much and that caused crashes?? My XPS just shipped, and I am looking forward to being upset by its defects. ;)

      • Michael

        May 30, 2018 at 6:00 pm

        I feel like I bracketed as well as I could between what appeared to be temp spikes and maybe what was instability spikes. I took volt shifting down and adjusted up until I stopped getting CPU errors on the throttlestop stress test. For volts I ended up -.100V and for speed shift, I carefully tried settings from all the way down till I settled around 136. Dunno, tuning is difficult and I never got anything really reliable. I think it might have just been a lemon. Maybe I could have tried the physical work from this article, but the lack of good results in undervolting + a really bad support experience left a sour taste. They never offered to replace the hardware, took three days to get back to from "tier 3" support, and were going to have me ship the unit back to them for what I estimated could last as long as two weeks. Getting really freaking close to 30 days. So I pulled the trigger. It's too bad because I only had good experiences with them before now (XPS-15z and a nice Inspiron-MBP-like).

        I'm rolling the dice on the 2018 update of the Gigabyte Aero 15x. If it doesn't work, back to Amazon it goes. I'm sold on the understated design, great weight, amazing battery life, numpad (engineer here), and a for-real RJ45 jack. Here's hoping.

        • Douglas Black

          May 30, 2018 at 6:06 pm

          best of luck! I have ordered 2 XPS 15 9570s (that's how little faith I have in their QC) and hopefully I will be able to get one of them working as it should.

  49. Sushant

    June 2, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Team,I got XPS15 9570 i9 and i run bunch of VMs on the same but dont play games. What I realized is when i connect the charger to my laptop when battery is low , left laptop surface near power socket starts getting warmer .It stays warmer until the battery is charged to 90% .
    Can you please suggest if everyone is experiencing the same ?

    • Douglas Black

      June 3, 2018 at 9:13 am

      Yes, this will happen in most laptops. It happens with many laptops charging via USB c

  50. Antairez

    June 4, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Hello Douglas, I have the top spec version of the 9570 (i9 + 1050ti + 32GB + 1TB), and I suffer from constant crashes in games. I've found people with similar problems on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/8nafgu/dell_xps_9570_gaming_issue/).

    I've stressed test the CPU, it went fine.
    I've stressed test the GPU, that went fine as well.
    But when I stressed them both together, that's when all hell broke loose. The machine usually crashes within 2~3 minutes, with symptoms like CTD (crash to desktop) and mostly BSOD.

    My speculation is that this issue is caused by unstable power deliveries due to heat related issues. But upon reading VRM throttling I suspect it can actually cause system to crash, because it should throttle way before the temperature gets too high.

    My crash point usually occurs when CPU is at mid 80s, and GPU being at mid 70s (All in Celcius). Again, I'm fine with throttling, but if its crashing then there's definitely something wrong with it.

    After playing with undervolting for a few days I finally got it to a somewhat stable condition by disabling turbo boost while gaming.

    Do you have any insights on what might be the culprit? Is my machine defective?

    • Douglas Black

      June 4, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      What's your power draw when the crashes happen? I've heard the hexacore chips are taking up to 80 Watts and max CPU load

      • Antairez

        June 4, 2018 at 2:26 pm

        About 1.2V on the CPU

        • Antairez

          June 4, 2018 at 2:28 pm

          0.93V on the GPU, they all sustained for some good minutes that’s why I think maybe it’s the VRM’s problem?

      • Antairez

        June 4, 2018 at 2:45 pm

        Do you have any recommended software or tools? I’m not quite sure how I can get total wattage readings.

        • Douglas Black

          June 4, 2018 at 2:46 pm

          HWiNFO or Throttlestop will show you package power.

          • Antairez

            June 4, 2018 at 3:52 pm

            I think the whole machine is throttling, the package power started from mid 40s W during stress test, came all the way down to 37~38W before it BSOD again.

    • sangar

      June 19, 2019 at 10:41 am

      Hello Dear;

      I also plan to buy XPS 9570 i9, 32GB ram, and 1TB SSD. I dont play game with laptops just architecture softwares (3D renderring) and multitasks similtinuously.
      Do you think the overheat will occure?

      Regards

  51. Bill

    June 7, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    I've been reading about the thermal throttling issue the XPS 15 has, and many people say it's caused by a lack of airflow in the region of the VRMs. Would it be possible to drill a small hole (1/8" to start) in the side of the fan cases to get some air moving over the VRMs?

    • Cristian

      July 23, 2018 at 10:50 am

      Only one way to find out!
      Let us know if it works, if it doesnt then you can cover that hole and go for the pads.

  52. Daniel

    June 17, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Hey I noticed that on the cpu you put a very small dollop but on the gpu you put a much longer one. Can you confirm that applying the coolant as shown in the photo is the best way? Your instructions are a little at odds with what I see. Thanks!

    • Douglas Black

      June 17, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      That's just how I do it. :) If it's square I do a dot. If it's rectangular I do a longer line

      • ivan

        November 1, 2018 at 4:12 am

        it looks like in the old, and the new pasting, there's space along the edges of the cpu and gpu that don't have a layer of paste. why not just put more paste as it seems, you're not spreading it, but letting it spread by pushing down and having that action spread the paste. so basically the pressure is the same and the eventual thickness of the paste is the same, the only difference is how much area you cover by the pressure. so just put more, and in the case where there's just a bit too much, it'll leak on the edges and you just wipe that up. this way you can more easily ensure that your paste job covers the whole top areas of the cpu/gpu?

    • k morgan

      July 8, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      You got the ICs switched. The CPU is the larger, rectangular die with a long strip of thermal paste applied. The GPU is the smaller square die with visible components on the substrate with a small dot of thermal compound.

  53. Spencer Clayton

    June 21, 2018 at 6:19 am

    WARNING!!! READ THIS!!! You actually mismarked which screws to release when taking off the heatpipes and spreader.
    You marked the screws holding the fan assemblies instead of the remaining two holding in the heatpipes.
    I sorta blindly followed the guide and nearly bent my heatpipes in half.

    • Alex R

      June 26, 2018 at 12:25 am

      Yikes! Thank you for the tip! I was thinking about doing this for my 9570, so thank you for letting us know…

  54. Ahsan

    June 24, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Hi, for the second type of throttling (VRM) how did you record those temps for each mosfet? I'm using HWinfo and none of the ambient sensors exceed even 60C when my XPS 15 9560 throttles the CPU to 0.8GHz under load (adobe lightroom export). HWinfo claims power limit throttling and the PL1 power limit is reduced from 45W to 7W right before throttling begins.

  55. Anthony

    June 30, 2018 at 8:13 am

    With the pad placement it looks like my 9570 has the VRMs in slightly different locations. Followed everything else pretty closely and temps are looking awesome. 37-40 with no fan action detected at all. Then again I don’t game anymore and totally did this to prolong battery.

    • Douglas Black

      June 30, 2018 at 8:30 am

      It seems the 9570 doesn't need as much help to prevent massive throttling like in the 9560. I just put a little padding over the top cluster and never ran into issues after that.

  56. George

    July 5, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Hi Douglas,
    I've followed you guide very precisely, and to my surprise I think overall it has made my 9560's endurance worse. My ambient/neutral temp was about 37 and it's more or less the same since the modifications. However,when under strain the throttling now seems to kick in quicker than it did before. It's a nightmare when playing games that i used to be able to play for a few hours whithout many issues, but now experience PL1, PL2, and EDP and BD PROCHOT much quicker. I tried repasting 5 times, as initally I thought it could have been that, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Also I experimented with taking in and out the thermal pads, and adding extra ones too, but this doesn't seem to make a difference.
    Any idea what could have happened?? It's driving me crazy!
    (Also don't know if it's worth mentioning but the original paste job was very excessive – paste all over the overflow margin. Starting to think that was necessary now, and i should recreate a similar pastesplosion.)

    • Douglas Black

      July 5, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      That is quite strange. You'll need to use hwinfo to graph your ambient sensor temps under load and see what is causing the throttling. Take all the padding off and put the pads on one by one until you see what is causing your ambient (or dimm2? I can't rememeber what it's labeled in the 9560 now) to hit the throttling point

      • George

        July 6, 2018 at 2:04 am

        Thanks for the speedy reply man! Great that you're still actively monitoring this page months later.
        Okay, i'll have a go at that. Cheers for the advice. Oh one thing i wasn't clear on from the article was if the fix should in theory prevent throttling happening pretty much altogether..? How much is likely to happen even if it's a successful operation?

      • George

        July 6, 2018 at 3:34 am

        So i've done some further monitoring and the point at which the throttling kicks in was when the CPU and GPU was at 74 (should they even be getting that high after the repasting?), and there was one of the ambient sensors reading off a whopping 91. Is it that '91' chip which is causing it to kick in, or just the cpu and gpu do you think?

        • Douglas Black

          July 6, 2018 at 6:40 am

          It will still happen depending on your ambient room temp and your undervolt.

          The cpu and gpu temps aren't what causes the pl throttling, it's the dimm2 sensor (but ambient at 91 is waaaay too hot!). Are you using Dell power manager to set the fan profile? Make sure it's ultra performance.

          • George

            July 6, 2018 at 5:52 pm

            Last one mate, sorry for bombarding you.
            Sorry, should have been more clear. That 91 reading was under full load. I did some experimenting and found that chip and applied a thermal pad to it, which brought it down to about 75. (it's the one in the picture in the first post on this forum, if you're interested: http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/xps-15-9550-temperature-observations-undervolt-repaste.785963/page-27). The throttling still seems to kick in when the CPU and GPU are at about 74 each though… I got Dell Power Manager, which actually increased the fan speed and is helping but sadly it's not quite enough to keep the temps down.
            It is very hot here at the moment, about 28 degrees in the room, perhaps it's just that? Also, the more I undervolt the lower the chip temp should be right? So I should undervolt as much as possible, while remaining stable?

          • Douglas Black

            July 6, 2018 at 6:03 pm

            The high ambient temps have a major effect. I don't think the cpu and gpu temps will cause the throttling. The fact that they both happen to be at the same temp suggests that the heatsink and case are being saturated by heat.

            And yes, undervolt as much as you can without bsod :)

  57. Harry

    July 18, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    I’m really not sure if vrm cooling is entirely nessescary. Yes they get hot but their throttle temp is up around 125C. Having the bottom open when you measured your temps certainly helped and I’d expect them to be a bit hotter. I’m more concerned with the vrm’s heating up the bottom plate and reducing the cooling for the ssd.

  58. Trevor

    July 19, 2018 at 12:23 am

    I raised my XPS 9560 up slightly from the rear to allow more air to be drawn in and it worked, the ambient temperature dropped and games were playable (but you don't want it too high its worse then).

    Will follow your tips for the CPU paste that one always works in my experience.

    • Chris

      July 22, 2018 at 2:36 am

      What do you mean by too high. I have the entire laptop raised a little over an inch off my desk, idk if that is too high.

      • Chris

        July 22, 2018 at 2:38 am

        Also i cant find the pads that specify 6W/mK on amazon so should i just get what ever they have?

  59. A. Nony Mous

    July 20, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Can you please write a similar guide how to fix the thermal throttling in the new MacBook Pros with i9 chips?

    • Douglas Black

      July 20, 2018 at 8:32 am

      Physically impossible. :)

      Mbp has a single heat pipe, almost no space for cooling, and undersized fans. No 6-core chip is ever going to keep turbo in that design.

    • Staur

      July 25, 2018 at 2:42 am

      Software fix already released by Apple.

  60. Max

    July 23, 2018 at 1:21 am

    Hey guys, can someone explain to me what Power Limit Throttling is, or even better how to solve it. My XPS is fine. But lately after BIOs update, I quite often see that Power Limit Throttling occurs in XTU. I've undervolted, though I have not repasted it yet. Thinking on doing that, though not sure it will help.

    Also, does it worth it disabling max turbo boost, and also reducing normal boost? Should it help with Power Limit Throttling.

    It is so annoying. Temperatures are fine, those never reach above 80. Makes me mad, as it seems that new BIOs update broke my laptop.

    Thank you for help in advance.

  61. Tony Bellomo

    July 23, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    I just did everything you said, and my improvement has been nothing short of dramatic! Thank you so much for publishing this. My 9560 is running much cooler and not throttling!

  62. Erica

    July 25, 2018 at 1:21 am

    I have a 9570 with the i9 upgrade if you would like me to test anything on mine and report back. We run repair shops for a living, so not afraid of opening it up. Let me know—I’ll leave my contact info here for you.

    • Douglas Black

      July 25, 2018 at 4:18 am

      Sure! Would be great if you could run cinebench r15 multi 64 10 times in a row and mark the scores. Helpful to keep graphing CPU frequency and temp as well

      • SeanSkiVT

        August 9, 2018 at 12:59 am

        Doug,

        Thanks for posting all of this. I have the i9 9570 as well, just came in yesterday. I haven't modified it at all – no repaste, no undervolt. I ran Cinebench r15 multi 64 10x in a row per your request. The temp was definitely hovering around 97c during the testing period and the fans were running up and down each time, with an indicated speed in task manager when hot of ~3.32 GHz .

        Here are the results:
        1054 cb
        999 cb
        1065 cb
        1050 cb
        1123 cb
        1070 cb
        1023 cb
        1022 cb
        1009 cb
        1033 cb

        And FWIW, the OpenGL score was 123.71FPS

        I'm not planning to undervolt, but would be interested in a repaste. I've only done it once, and it was on an old gaming PC, not a new $3k laptop :yikes: so I'm a little nervous.

        • Douglas Black

          August 10, 2018 at 1:25 pm

          You'd get better results from an undervolt, imo. I think you'd get 1150-1200 on repeated runs

          • SeanSkiVT

            August 10, 2018 at 11:09 pm

            Thanks, that's good feedback. I'm downloading throttlestop now to play with it. I suppose I'm unrealistically afraid of frying something only because I haven't done it before.

            Side note, I turned off turbo boost in the BIOS and I'm still pulling ~ 970 cb in Cinebench and the temp peaks at 74C. Not a bad drop in performance considering it caps at ~2.9 GHz now rather than 4 GHz.

          • SeanSkiVT

            August 14, 2018 at 5:49 am

            As it turns out I never got a chance to install or try Throttlestop. Dell SupportAssist threw an error that I had a memory chip failure. The laptop was only a couple of days old, so I initiated an RMA exchange. I'm nervous now, and have a bit of buyer's remorse, wondering if I should have just returned it for my money back. We'll see how the replacement is I guess.

          • Douglas Black

            August 15, 2018 at 7:11 am

            That's unfortunate. Best of luck with the HW swap!

          • SeanSkiVT

            August 24, 2018 at 6:19 pm

            Got the replacement laptop. Interestingly there are some differences in build quality, mostly positive. This one had to be built and shipped because there were no more in stock, so it took about 11 days.

            My first observation is was that the screws and rubber foot pads are different colors (coated gray instead silver screws, gray instead of black on the rubber of black) than the old laptop.
            Second was that the keyboard feels quite a bit better as well, particularly the lack of a dead zone on the space bar. Thirdly, this one is hitting 1203 cb in Cinebench and isn't going over 93C during the runs, whereas the other laptop was around 97C with periodic jumps to 100C. That said, it appears to be throttling a bit less under load.

            On the downside, the fingerprint sensor/power button and the trackpad came misaligned from the factory. In both cases, one side has ~1mm more clearance on one side than the other, and the side with more clearance is 1-2mm raised versus the other side. The power button doesn't really bug me, but the trackpad drives me up the wall as the right side is flush with the palmrest, and the left is a full 2mm sunken into the case. I'll get used to it I suppose, had the same issue on a MacBook Pro at work a few years back.

            If the memory doesn't fail this time, I'll be a happy camper overall.

          • Douglas Black

            August 24, 2018 at 10:25 pm

            That's an incredible cb score stock! You can align the trackpad yourself if you are able to follow the service manual

          • SeanSKiVT

            August 30, 2018 at 6:53 pm

            Thanks, I was pretty psyched when it came out that much higher than the old one. I literally just finished putting the laptop back together after taking your advice, and the trackpad and power button are now ~98% perfectly aligned! Everything seems to be working perfectly so I'm very, very happy, but I'll tell you what – doing a motherboard-out total disassembly of my brand new $3k latop was extremely nerve-wracking!

  63. Cristian

    July 26, 2018 at 2:23 am

    Great article Douglas!
    Its just what i needed to know right after i bought the xps without knowing about these issues! Thanks a lot!
    Already got the pads and the kryonaut paste (i was using artic silver, didnt know there was something better), now im just waiting for that puppy to come home for surgery.

    • Cristian

      August 11, 2018 at 9:19 pm

      Ok, it works, The 9570 FHD has a different VRM and choke distribution but you get the idea.

      Out of the box it will start to thermal and power throttle about 15 seconds running the stress test (XTU).
      The paste helps a bit (if you do it incorrectly you will see the temps worsened, keep that in mind), also I applied 6Kw thermal pads not only to the VRMs but also to the square chokes (one layer 1.5m pad)
      The processor is a 8750H so i went for 0.150V (i heard people even go as far as 0.200V) and saw a great improvement there (I didn't touch the gpu voltage)

      Now idle is always at 38°C to 41°C, normal use won't go higher than 59°C (maybe 70°C if you start to multitask stuff).

      The stress test starts at 60°C and keeps going up slowly from there usually staying between 80° to 90° during the last 3 minutes of the test. I been using it for a day and its completely stable.

      • G

        August 15, 2018 at 12:43 am

        Likewise. Did the same as you with my 9570. Stopped throttling while I was playing games. OOB it was dropping my FPS from 60-40 but after repasting & putting the pads on the chokes and MOSFETs, was able to maintain 60 without throttling.

      • Dario Nettuno

        December 14, 2018 at 2:44 pm

        How many cm of thermal pads do you use? Thanks.

  64. Nathaniel Stacey

    August 10, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    hey so I followed these instructions and after booting up I was met with the 2 orange 1 white light indicator! fantastic! I always wanted CPU failure…

    • Douglas Black

      August 10, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      Did you unplug the battery while working? I can't imagine what could have happened to cause that unless the battery was left plugged and something shorted

      • nathaniel stacey

        August 15, 2018 at 6:25 am

        Omg you know what, i didnt unplug the battery. But when i turned the computer on at first it worked well for like an hour! its once i opened pubg and stressed it that it went black. after i got the signal i open it back up to look maybe i pasted it poorly but it was a great looking paste! so im pretty confused.

        • Douglas Black

          August 15, 2018 at 7:15 am

          What paste did you use? Try unplugging the battery and holding the power button down for 30 seconds, then plug the battery back in and see if it starts. Try re-seating the RAM as well. If that doesn't work then you'll need to get service for a new mobo, unfortunately

          • nathaniel stacey

            August 15, 2018 at 8:33 am

            Ive done the no battery 30 seconds reset a couple of times, I even re-pasted. What exactly do I do to "re-seat the RAM"?
            So, I bought this laptop off a guy on Kijiji like 9 months ago and when I contacted Dell for parts/repair they said that this laptop was suppose to be sent back as an exchange by the first owner. So basically they sent him a new XPS with the trust he would send this one back but he instead sold it and kept the new one. Dell is telling me that they will not do any service work or sell parts to me because this service tag is black listed. Super fun times lol.

          • Douglas Black

            August 15, 2018 at 9:42 am

            That sucks. Re-seating the RAM means take the RAM out and put it back in.

            Your last bet is to buy a 9550 mobo off ebay and upgrade. (Might even be able to do 9560, but you'd need the 97 whr battery to match)

          • Nathaniel Stacey

            August 15, 2018 at 9:25 am

            i used the Noctua NT-H1 termal paste for the jpb

          • Nathaniel Stacey

            August 16, 2018 at 9:27 am

            its a 2017 xps 15 9560, you think i could get all those parts? btw, I appreciate your help on this, thanks.

  65. Serg

    August 12, 2018 at 2:43 am

    Hi, I have the i7 9570. I noticed that the MOSFETs look like they're in a different position from where the 9560's are. Can you upload a picture of where to place the pads on the 9570? Also, for the 9570 would it still be 3 pads stacked on each other?

    • Douglas Black

      August 15, 2018 at 7:08 am

      I actually found that mine doesn't throttle at all with just a little padding in one area around a cluster of 4 MOSFETs. I will try to take a picture in a day or two.

      • Kris

        August 24, 2018 at 7:39 am

        Could you please post the picture? :)

        • Jonathan Hislop

          August 25, 2018 at 6:45 pm

          Yes please Douglas, it would be very useful! Could you let us know if you used three pads stacked also?

          I just installed some ram into my 9570 and I took a picture, so if you like you can use this to indicate with mspaint instead of going to the hassle of opening up yours.
          See here: http://iforce.co.nz/i/j0y1wcde.4ag.jpg

  66. inference

    August 12, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    In which order should the heatsinks screws be tightened? The are labeled 1,2,3,4,5, so should I first tighten 1, then 2, an so on? What is this numbering for?

    You say you tightened iterativley and diagonally.. how much do you tighten in each step?

    The reason for this is that I have re-pasted but the temps did not change, or even wen slightly higher on idle… I did not tightened in order, so maybe the paste was not uniformly squeezed. Is this possible? Also, the heatsink is not bent, I checked

    • Douglas Black

      August 15, 2018 at 7:10 am

      It didn't actually matter which one you do first, just do opposites. I tighten them approximately halfway each time

  67. Matthew

    August 17, 2018 at 4:12 am

    Hey! Could I ask the average temperature difference your laptop decreased by after your cooling solution? And how would you compare it to a solution like the OPOLAR laptop fan?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Douglas Black

      August 17, 2018 at 4:43 am

      I've never found those fans useful, so I can't say.

      Undervolting seems to reduce temps at max load by 7-10C, while repasting seems to reduce temps by between 4-10C depending on your original paste job and paste used.

  68. get-tubemate.in

    August 22, 2018 at 10:25 am

    My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was once entirely right.
    This put up actually made my day. You cann't imagine simply how much time I had
    spent for this info! Thank you!

  69. Cedric

    August 31, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Work like a charm on my XPS 9570, I did all except software Stopthrottle, no more throttling and much less warm . Thanks you very much.

  70. k10

    October 5, 2018 at 3:07 am

    With regards to the thermal pads that are already present under the heat-sink. Do they need replacing once the heat-sink has been removed? If so, which thickness do I need? If I don't use new ones will the rate of heat transfer be reduced because of a reduced/different contact area?

    Thanks, this is a great article.

    • Douglas Black

      October 5, 2018 at 3:17 am

      Thank you for your comment! Thermal pads aren't like thermal paste, so there's no to replace them on the 9570.

  71. AB

    October 7, 2018 at 3:34 am

    Hello, I just to say that i did all the steps and it seems to be working on my xps 9560. Thanks for that but i have one problem after doing all these steps, although the temperatures are fine (60-70) under high load but whenever i play any game, there is little stuttering for a second after every 10-15 seconds even though the fps are above 60. This was not happening before. My question is that, is this can be because i also placed 1.5m pads under the heatsink replacing the original ones? Because the original were not that much thick and now maybe there is gap in the heatsink? Please help me on this. Thanks again

    • Douglas Black

      October 7, 2018 at 5:21 am

      Interesting. First,try to reduce your igpu undervolt. If that does not work, graph your temps with hwmon and make sure the temp isn't spiking or clocks aren't dropping when it stutters. If there is a drop, take a look at gpu-z and see if you can see the perf limit reason.

      If the memory makes good contact, then there should be no issues. Iirc on the 9560 one of the memory module pads needs to be thicker than the others.

      • AB

        October 7, 2018 at 1:37 pm

        Thanks for the reply. i have checked and everything looks normal to me. Iam attaching 3 photos so that you can tell me if I missed anything and if something is not right. Thanks again. https://photos.app.goo.gl/qQNaEV3BCkguqtmM7

        • Douglas Black

          October 7, 2018 at 2:51 pm

          I can't see that either. Assuming it still hitches every 20 seconds? You undid the undervolt, yes? And this happens in every game you've tried? Can you try the iGPU with an old game as well?

          • AB

            October 7, 2018 at 3:08 pm

            In the gpu-z photo there is perfcap reason at Pwr.Thrm. Maybe that is causing the problem?

          • Douglas Black

            October 7, 2018 at 3:17 pm

            You have a 1050 in there; pascal always boosts high and then throttles due to temp. I didn't see any drops under 1ghz

  72. AB

    October 7, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    Should i try changing the pads to .5mm under the heatsink? I undid the iGpu undervalut which has redecued this stutter. But it still happens.

    • Douglas Black

      October 8, 2018 at 2:28 am

      Sure, try thinner pads if your they are preventing die contact

      • AB

        October 8, 2018 at 6:45 pm

        It worked. Thanks

  73. K10

    October 9, 2018 at 2:31 am

    There is a Dell Reddit thread that mentions adding pads from the VRM to the back plate eventually causes the air intake to super-heat and negates the initial beneficial effect of the heat pads, and can eventually make things worse. Its advised that pads should be used to connect the VRMs to the heat sink which will increase the GPU/CPU temps but reduce the VRM temps. It's claimed that the overall effect will stop throttling. What are your thoughts on this compared to your method?
    Thanks

    • Douglas Black

      October 9, 2018 at 3:07 am

      If you have a 9560 that might be better. I didn't get throttling with the pad config i used, perhaps because the pads were small and not toi conductive.

      If you have a 9570, the vrm area to pad is even smaller (see photo posted in comments) and there's even less chance of the back plate getting hot and preventing cooling.

  74. Ari

    October 17, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    Can confirm this is an excellent excellent post for reducing heat and throttling. XPS 15 9650 here.

    1. The biggest difference that happened to this had nothing to do with anything mentioned above. After removing the bottom plate, I randomly decided to see if maybe there had been dust build up (I wasn't the first owner; had for about 3 months now so I never thought to do it until now). I grabbed a air duster and just went to town on the entire thing, focusing mainly on the fans and exhaust areas. It was crazy! Linked the pic (bottom left is pre-dust, bottom right is post)

    https://imgur.com/vdPJeAW

    I regularly had temps at 92-94C under load during gaming, and dropping from 45 FPS (max FPS up to that point on overwatch) to 12-15 FPS after anywhere from 5-25 minutes every time I tried. After a while I assumed that my laptop just sucked at heavy loads and games and did my best with it. And this was all at lowest graphics settings and like a 1400×900 res.

    After dusting and undervolting and REPASTING (-.120 for cpu and -.60 for igpu through throttlestop), my idle is between 48-53. Sadly I didn't try to benchmark anything so I can't compare. But the kicker was the heavy load temps; just with dusting and undervolting (and raising laptop above surface for airflow) I immediately saw my max temp under load (prime95 and overwatch/fallout) never go above 71-74C. Amazing!! Even bumped up graphics pretty high, and got 1080p-ish, but slightly lower works better.

    Only thing now is some weird throttling I can't put my finger on. I noticed after 15 seconds, cpu clock cuts down from the 3.8 ghz level down to 3.00ghz, and the wattage ramps down from 54 to 44ish. I assume this is throttling of some sort, but I checked my Throttlestop/FIVR settings and they pretty much matched the majority of screenshots others have posted.

    I remembered I may have not fixed the processors but not the VRMs. Went ahead and stacked those three thermal pads as shown here, and used the Scotch 33+ electrical tape trick to cover the gap between fan and exhaust.

    Didn't seem to do much… temps didn't really change, and still strange throttling.

    If anyone has any thoughts that'd be nice to hear. I'll update if I find a fix for the throttling, unless it's normal that cpu clocks cuts from 3.8 to 3.4 to 3.0?

    • ari

      October 18, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      Updates from yesterday when I posted. Didn't change any settings or hardware.

      1. In real world testing, CPU clock speed fluctuated between 3.0 and 3.4; so unless it should be expected that a processor always run at max turbo boost, I think it's actually working great.
      2. Idle temps have lowered with the addition of a laptop cooling stand (cooler master U3). Probably sitting around 45 if I don't touch it
      3. I set nvidia control panel 'Pre-rendered frames' to 1. 2-3 will give smoother frames (not getting into the whole debate here), but I'd rather drop res down for games, than keep it higher and introduce input lag.
      4. Hooking up external monitor gives me no issues anymore (TB3)

      At this point, it seems further testing would yield diminishing returns. Only thing I may try is undervolting more; it's still at the arbitrary intial values (-.120 and -.60 igpu). Probably am not going to overclock at this point.

      Big shout out to Doug for this article and the commentors; this has greatly enhanced the performance and happiness I get out my my dell xps 9650 4k.

      • Douglas Black

        October 18, 2018 at 5:25 pm

        Thank you for the thanks, Ari! I bless your XPS 15 and hope the gremlins are kept at bay ;)

  75. Ari

    October 17, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Can confirm this is an excellent excellent post for reducing heat and throttling. XPS 15 9650 here. Thanks Doug!

    1. The biggest difference that happened to this had nothing to do with anything mentioned above. After removing the bottom plate, I randomly decided to see if maybe there had been dust build up (I wasn't the first owner; had for about 3 months now so I never thought to do it until now). I grabbed a air duster and just went to town on the entire thing, focusing mainly on the fans and exhaust areas. It was crazy! Linked the pic (bottom right is pre-dust, bottom left is post)

    https://imgur.com/vdPJeAW

    I regularly had temps at 92-94C under load during gaming, and dropping from 45 FPS (max FPS up to that point on overwatch) to 12-15 FPS after anywhere from 5-25 minutes every time I tried. After a while I assumed that my laptop just sucked at heavy loads and games and did my best with it. And this was all at lowest graphics settings and like a 1400×900 res.

    After dusting and undervolting and REPASTING (-.120 for cpu and -.60 for igpu through throttlestop), my idle is between 48-53. Sadly I didn't try to benchmark anything so I can't compare. But the kicker was the heavy load temps; just with dusting and undervolting (and raising laptop above surface for airflow) I immediately saw my max temp under load (prime95 and overwatch/fallout) never go above 71-74C. Amazing!! Even bumped up graphics pretty high, and got 1080p-ish, but slightly lower works better.

    Only thing now is some weird throttling I can't put my finger on. I noticed after 15 seconds, cpu clock cuts down from the 3.8 ghz level down to 3.00ghz, and the wattage ramps down from 54 to 44ish. I assume this is throttling of some sort, but I checked my Throttlestop/FIVR settings and they pretty much matched the majority of screenshots others have posted.

    I remembered I may have not fixed the processors but not the VRMs. Went ahead and stacked those three thermal pads as shown here, and used the Scotch 33+ electrical tape trick to cover the gap between fan and exhaust.

    Didn't seem to do much… temps didn't really change, and still strange throttling.

    If anyone has any thoughts that'd be nice to hear. I'll update if I find a fix for the throttling, unless it's normal that cpu clocks cuts from 3.8 to 3.4 to 3.0?

  76. Gilford Grijt

    October 24, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Would these solutions also work on the Precision 5520, the XPS 9560's nerdy brother?

  77. Erik Heyl

    October 26, 2018 at 12:20 am

    Curious:

    Is there a similar alternative you'd recommend for those of us that (a) are only interested in Photoshop/Premiere Pro (I can teamviewer into my Ryzen 2700x/Vega 64 desktop for anything else) but don't want to fiddle with opening the XPS up or paying for it?

    I'm finding it tough to find a 32 GB ram option that isn't for gaming or a brick with crap battery life…

  78. Edwin

    November 6, 2018 at 12:25 am

    Wondering: if the thermal pads work so well, what about putting a few on the heat pipes to let the heat flow to the case directly?

    • Douglas Black

      November 6, 2018 at 2:41 am

      We don't want to get the case too hot, because that would end up heating the components we need to cool most: the vrm

  79. Dave Hall

    November 13, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Thank you so much for this, Im going to try this but can you just confirm that the only MOSFETS that need to be covered by the thermal pads are the 4 you covered in the photo? I have a 9560. Thank you so much

    • Douglas Black

      November 18, 2018 at 4:28 am

      On the 9560 you can follow the original picture in the article (not the one in the comments for the 9570. 3 x 1 mm pads should do it

      • Dave Hall

        November 19, 2018 at 1:53 pm

        Thats great, thank you Douglas, great article.

        • Douglas Black

          November 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm

          Sure, I am sorry it took me so long to get back to your questions.

  80. Dave Hall

    November 13, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    also, how thick are the thermal pads you are using? I have 1mm thick pads so should I use 3?

  81. Dave Hall

    November 18, 2018 at 12:54 am

    any reply would be greatly appreciated as Im not confident on this task. Thank you

    • Jens Andersson

      January 25, 2019 at 12:43 pm

      He's wrote that he is using 1.5mm and is stacking three of them on top.

  82. Jens Andersson

    January 25, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks a lot for this write-up! My 9560 performance has been greatly improved. There was an error in the description where the incorrect screws were marked. I made an updated image, so feel free to replace yours with this one:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/fdhe8upksyquxw1/xps-9560-2-modified.jpg

    Throttlestop shows great reduction in CPU temperatures, where PROCHOT could trigger before the modifications. Idle temperatures have dropped as well. However, I still run into heavy throttling during games when the GPU has to work a lot. Curiously, this throttling keeps going up to 10 minutes after exiting the game and can look like this: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lnrnzk0b7nb8bux/throttlestop4.jpg?dl=0

    And I was wondering if you or anyone else had any suggestions, or at least can confirm that this is normal.

    Secondly, after modification, the fans are active on a low setting when the computer is not doing anything special. This wasn't the case before the modification and since the idle temperature dropped, I wouldn't have expected this. Any ideas?

    Thanks again!

    • Douglas Black

      January 26, 2019 at 8:50 am

      Thanks for providing a picture! I no longer have this machine, so I was not able to properly mark the image. I have used yours and given credit.

      • Jens Andersson

        January 26, 2019 at 1:17 pm

        You're welcome! Looks like the image doesn't show up in the post though.

        • Douglas Black

          January 26, 2019 at 2:46 pm

          Thanks! Fixed now, I was in a hurry before.

  83. Ian

    February 18, 2019 at 12:53 am

    You might also try updating the drivers. Do it via the device manager, the one that did the trick for me was the Intel DPTF manager. Was limping along at a max of 1.5Ghz, windows updated the driver to 8.2.11000.2996 dated 10/08/2016. Now it reaches 88% at 3.3 Ghz. I'm doing some fairly heavy image processing. I'm keeping an eye on things with speedfan and the temps max at about 55C.

  84. PABLO SANCHEZ

    March 3, 2019 at 3:54 am

    Hi.

    I've did undervolting and thermal paste and pads replacement using thermal grizzly products.

    Here are reading before doing both on Linux:

    phackwer@phackwer-XPS-15-9570 ~> sensors
    coretemp-isa-0000
    Adapter: ISA adapter
    Package id 0: +93.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 0: +82.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 1: +76.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 2: +77.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 3: +85.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 4: +93.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 5: +84.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

    acpitz-virtual-0
    Adapter: Virtual device
    temp1: +25.0°C (crit = +107.0°C)

    pch_cannonlake-virtual-0
    Adapter: Virtual device
    temp1: +72.0°C

    and, now, how it is:

    phackwer@phackwer-XPS-15-9570 ~/P/p/platform> sensors
    coretemp-isa-0000
    Adapter: ISA adapter
    Package id 0: +38.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 0: +36.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 1: +37.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 2: +37.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 3: +37.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 4: +37.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 5: +36.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

    acpitz-virtual-0
    Adapter: Virtual device
    temp1: +25.0°C (crit = +107.0°C)

    pch_cannonlake-virtual-0
    Adapter: Virtual device
    temp1: +35.0°C

    I'm not bulshitting you: it's the i9 model with 32 GB RAM and 1TB SSD, I've done -0.125v undervolting in CPU, Cache and GPU, which took me to 46-48Celsius, still not acceptable. Following the instructions of this article made my machine really usable!

    I really thank the author of the article for the effort of making my machine incredible nice as it should be from factory.

    Cheers

    • Douglas Black

      March 3, 2019 at 6:45 am

      I'm glad to hear you are able to get such a big improvement!

  85. Mikael

    March 12, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    I still can't believe what I've missed out on. Following these steps just transformed my disappointment of an expensive laptop to a pure beast!

    Playing Fornite caused my XPS 9560 to shut down because it overheated. The CPU reached 99°C while playing Rocket League…

    Now, the fans doesn't even spin when I'm idling and the CPU doesn't go over 80°C when maxing the CPU using Prime95

    Thank you so much for this!

    • Douglas Black

      March 13, 2019 at 3:34 am

      You're welcome! I'm really glad to hear it's changed your experience so much

      • Tom

        May 20, 2019 at 12:46 pm

        Hey, great guide, I followed exactly your steps, but I can't reach same results as you. My XPS 9560 throttles every 20 minutes or so for like 5 minutes while playing GTA V. I undervolted -150 mV (very stable, never tried more undervolting), repasted with kryonaut, arctic pads on MOSFETs, I also patched a small slit between vent and heatpipe to direct air flow a little bit more according to another guide on reddit. I put laptop on a CoolerMaster U2 pad (didn't help that much). I got from like 88°C CPU, 92°C VRM and serious throttling to ~80°C CPU (75°C with limited 20x CPU multiplier) and 83° VRM with moderate throttling.

        Do you have any ideas, what I could do more? I'm affraid of removing the Intel DPTF manager, I don't want any instability. Thanks!

  86. Dave C

    March 14, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Just wanted to let everyone know that my layout on my 9570 looks different than the photos linked above.

    https://i.imgur.com/iHWKAZt.jpg

  87. edwardm

    March 18, 2019 at 1:20 am

    It's good you took the time to post this. So many XPS users getting frustrated with the thermal throttle and loud fan noise. All it takes is this simple tutorial and boom, the laptop is working and functioning awesome. One thing I would warn if you're attempting this: when I took off all the screws and attempted to remove the back plate with my fingers, the edges of the back place literally put several cuts on my fingers…it's that sharp. So, it's best to use some sharp plastic edge, like a credit card maybe to help in prying it off.

    This is really is a nicely built PC with great specs. It's just a shame Dell doesn't fix this simple step of proper thermal paste application. I wiped off the old stuff, put in my left over Cooler Master paste from an old 212 EVO cooler, and now the fan doesn't even come on. I do it hear it slightly from the initial boot, but other than that it quiets down and stays that way while I'm multi-tasking. So far, problem solved. I didn't do the thermal pads on the VRMs, but will consider it if needed. Thanks!

  88. Kirill

    April 15, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    You say in the article that "too good" thermal pads will end up heating VRM from the chassis, instead of cooling them down. This sounds absurd – physics laws tell that heat can be transferred for free (with no work from outside) only from the hotter body to the cooler one. That means in case of "perfect" pads – at worst the VRM will have the temp of chassis. For any "real" one – the VRM will be hotter, otherwise it will not dissipate the heat.

    You may be confused with "pud pads everywhere" solution – those VRMs that are cooler than 60'C may be cooler than the chassis and padding them would be useless and damaging. However, here comes the question – who has tested that the laptop throttle due to VRM overheating? Has anyone tried to throttle it with a cool CPU\GPU and hot VRMs? And would not the cooler ones overheat after the pads ae installed, due to lack of airflow?
    The topic requires much deeper research (Hello, DELL, would you be kind to perform it instead of the consumers?), but the author has definitely mistaken by economizing on thermal pads.

  89. Tasos

    April 28, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Did the above , apart from the undervoltage thing and the results are amazing. The difference is TREMENDOUS!! Cannot even be bothered to compare temps, my laps feel the difference big time.

    Thanks Doug

  90. Marc

    May 1, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    So glad I found this guide, thanks for putting it together. My 9560 was a throttling disaster when trying to stream on OBS while working in photoshop, so much so it was completely unusable.

    Now it never goes above 61-62 when everything is running and I won't have to throw it out the window as I was planning after weeks of suffering. THanks heaps!

  91. Jerome S

    June 13, 2019 at 12:04 am

    Thank you !
    A few bucks and one hour of my time was good investment.
    Unigine valley before : 1852
    After : 2606

    Temperatures on idle are also 10 to 15° lower.
    Great article.

  92. Viktor Ferenczi

    July 6, 2019 at 3:33 am

    I should have researched the topic of thermal throttling better before buying my Dell XPS 9575.

    I don't want a machine which needs to be hacked this much to provide optimal performance. Some software tuning / voltage changes are okay, but having to open up the case and changing hardware is definitely not.

    I regretted my buying decision. Shame on you Dell!

  93. David Walthour

    July 15, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    Wow! I just did this to my refurb 9570. Yesterday, compiling code, it was hitting 97C and throttling the CPU quite a bit. Now it hits only 55-62C doing the same thing. Unbelievable! Thank you very much for this HOWTO!

  94. Robert Castles

    July 29, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    This was very helpful. With cleaning my fans, throttling, and new paste, went from 63c to 47c and my fans don't seem to ever run full speed now under any load.

  95. Filip

    August 4, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Did everything in this tutorial. When stacking the thermal pads to the chassis I get 90C at the VRMs, and 82C on the CPU (won't talk abbout the gpu because it throttles anyways when reaching 78C) when making a bridge to the heatsink I get around 75C CPU Max temp, 80C on the VRMS and the gpu still throttles. When removing any pads I have about the same temps.

    • Douglas Black

      August 4, 2019 at 4:40 am

      How is your paste job?

      • Filip

        August 5, 2019 at 3:44 pm

        I repasted once still saw gpu throttling looked at it again repasted with same paste (all of the metal was covered) and it was the same. I don't think it's the paste job.

        • Jeff

          August 5, 2019 at 8:56 pm

          You didn't bend the heatsink by accident, did you?

          • Filip

            August 6, 2019 at 1:01 am

            No I don't think I did since I was extra careful (created a reddit thread thinking it was glued by the owner of the laptop before lol)

  96. Stanimir

    August 15, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    I have XPS 9560 with the i5. Besides the VRM it heats A LOT at the bottom left part too. From the pictures here and from opening it to change the SSD I see there is a chip there, what is it? Chipset? In a couple of weeks I will re-paste and add the pads, wonder if I should add pads on it too.

  97. Adrian

    September 7, 2019 at 4:02 am

    Is it better to use liquid metal?

    • Douglas Black

      September 7, 2019 at 7:03 am

      Probably not. Not very safe relatively for the benefit

  98. Norbert Nemec

    September 13, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Many thanks for these excellent hints! My XPS 9570 had just received the full hardware treatment from an expert. On opening, it turned out that there was so much cleaning paste around CPU and GPU that it probably more insulating than cooling. After cleaning, reapplying and adding thermal conductors as recommended it is now running like never before: Yesterday, Cinebench was at 2100cb on the first run and went down to 1700cb on repeating. The cooler would kick in immediately and still CPU temperatures would remain somewhere around 95C. Now Cinebench runs at stable 2300cb, CPU remains at 85C and the cooler blows just moderately.

    • Douglas Black

      September 13, 2019 at 1:03 pm

      I'm glad people are still finding it useful!

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