The new Dell XPS 15 7590 makes a case for itself by sporting an optional OLED panel, Intel’s latest 9th generation 6 and 8-core CPUs, Nvidia’s GTX 1650 GPU, and, finally, an above-display webcam. As I wrote in an
earlier editorial, however, whether or not to give the 4th revision of the XPS 15 a chance might be a tough call if you’ve been previously burned by the line’s many issues in the past.
As the XPS 15 has already been reviewed many times previously, we direct you to previous coverage (
XPS 15 9550, XPS 15 9560, XPS 15 9570 and long-term review) for more detailed information about the chassis, keyboard, trackpad, ports, and audio, as these have not changed since 2015. This live review will thus mostly focus on the new UHD OLED display, sustained performance under CPU, GPU, and mixed loads, and general stability to help you determine if the likely final revision of the XPS 15 using this chassis is worth your hard-earned money.
Update: Our detailed review of the latest mid-2022 Dell XPS 15 9520 is available here, while our review of the mid-20221 Dell XPS 15 9510 is available here.
19/07/2019 – Review goes live with initial impressions, specifications, screen, latency, input, and basic performance
19/07/2019 – Added comment on GPU throttling
20/07/2019 – Added more impressions on daily experience of OLED display, speakers, conducted more CPU benchmarks and graphed Cinebench loop
21/07/2019 – Added more notes on battery life
22/07/2019 – Added realtime audio test with Traktor
23/07/2019 – Finished CPU benchmarks; added upgradability section with photographs of internals
30/07/2019 – Updated OLED panel impressions, added conclusion, summary, and pros and cons
01/08/2019 – Updated rating and conclusion after 1.2.3 BIOS update
Just over one month after release, on July 31 Dell released
a new BIOS update (version 1.2.3) which seems to address the GPU throttling issue. The review score (previously 3/5) has been adjusted upwards as a result of the significantly improved performance and the conclusion adjusted accordingly. This review will stay “live” and update ratings and conclusion based on the latest BIOS updates for at least a few months.
Specs as reviewed – Dell XPS 15 7590
Screen 15.6” 3840 x 2160 (UHD), glossy, OLED, non-touch, DCI-P3, 400-Nits panel
Processor Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6-4.5GHz, 6/12 Cores/Theads, 12 MB SmartCache
Graphics Intel UJD 630, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 (4GB GDDR5)
Memory 16GB DDR4-2666 (2x8GB Dual Channel config)
Storage Toshiba m.2 NVMe 256GB SSD
Connectivity Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650x (802.11ac, 2×2), Bluetooth 5.0
Ports 1x Thunderbolt 3 (x4 3.0 PCIe), 2 x USB 3.0, HDMI, 3.5 mm audio, SD card reader
Battery 6-cell (97Wh)
Operating system Windows 10 Home
Size (H) 357 x (W) 235 x (D) 17 mm
Weight 2 kg / 4.4 lbs (with 97WHr battery)
Other than the webcam’s position above the screen, the XPS 15 7590’s chassis is unchanged from its predecessors. We suggest you read our reviews of the
9550 and 9560 for more detailed information on the look and feel of this series of notebooks.
Unfortunately, there is still only one colour available for the XPS 15, as well. There is a special “Titan Grey” finish available for lid of the Precision 5540 (which uses the same chassis), so it would have been nice to see that option for the XPS 15 7590 to help spruce up the 4-year-old design and appearance of the 7590.
Keyboard, Trackpad, and Fingerprint Sensor
Coming from my ThinkPad P1, which has one of the best keyboards you can find on a modern notebook, the switch to the XPS 15’s keyboard is a noticeable one ― but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad. The keyboard on the 7590 is unchanged from previous generations, and thus it’s the same shallow-but-crisp 1.3mm stroke and feedback.
In the past, I have found some XPS 15 keyboards to be a bit more “mushy” in feel while others seemed a bit more sturdy (this is likely because of different keyboards from different suppliers in the manufacturing supply chain), but I would rate the keyboard on my unit to be on the firmer side of this spectrum: The keys are fairly stable and depress without wobble, though the feel cannot be compared to the stability and smooth action of a good ThinkPad keyboard.
By my estimation, the weakest aspect of the XPS 15’s keyboard (beyond not having a TrackPoint, which is honestly a stupid criticism for a non-ThinkPad product) is its shallow throw. You and your fingers will notice the abrupt bottoming-out as you type. It isn’t exactly uncomfortable, but you won’t forget that there are better keyboards out there. On a positive note, however, there seems to be no issue with rapid adjacent keystrokes (“download” coming out as “downloda”) not being detected, as
frequently happens with the ThinkPad X, P, and T-series. I am able to type between 90-110 WPM without any issues in key-detection, which is something I am happy to experience coming from the P1.
The XPS 15’s touchpad is the same Windows Precision glass pad as before, with full support for a number of settings including 1/2-finger tapping, 2-finger scroll and zoom, and 3 and 4-finger Windows gestures. My only gripe with the touchpad is that there is still no more setting in Windows to enable or disable palmcheck, with this setting instead tied in with the “sensitivity” option (highest sensitivity decreases the palm rejection and the keyboard typing delay after using the trackpad, and vice versa).
This means that you will frequently either suffer from accidental clicks while typing, be forced to wait for a few split seconds to type after moving the cursor, or have to disable tap-to-click. I ended up disabling both tap-to-click options to avoid frequent annoyances while typing, which is not ideal.
A highlight is the Goodix fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button (same as on the 9570). The sensor works extremely quickly and accurately, reading prints successfully in ~0.2 seconds. This is a welcome change from the non-integrated fingerprint sensor on my ThinkPad, which is more secure but is frustratingly only able to read my prints around ~10% of the time.
A major point in focus of this review of the 7590 is its Samsung OLED panel, which is rated at 400-nits brightness and should cover the DCI-P3 gamut. As an interesting side note, DCI-P3 is the standard gamut for film per the major production companies, and as mobile computers like notebooks, smartphones, and tablets are used more and more for media consumption, manufacturers are pushing DCI-P3 displays more frequently.
The FHD matte non-touch and UHD glossy touch IGZO IPS panels also available on the 7590 are rated at 500 nits brightness (100 more than last year) each, but otherwise should have the same operating specifications.
OLED displays are known for their excellent contrast ratios, and this panel is no exception.
Let’s get into the display then. In the past, I have found issues with backlight bleeding, uncentered panels, and uneven brightness on the FHD and UHD screens in the XPS 15 series. Because of the way the technology works, OLED displays don’t suffer from backlight bleeding, but other defects are certainly possible. Luckily, this unit has a centered panel and no issue with uneven brightness.
Even the best IPS panels show a little bit of backlight bleed or glow, but OLED skirts these limitations by the pixels being individually lit.
However, there is a small issue with this OLED panel that seems to be reported by most users as well, and that is a slight graininess or “banding” when displaying certain colors such as lighter shades of grey. The issue seems to be most prominent when displaying the light shade of grey shown below. This is the only OLED laptop I have had a chance to test so far, so it is a bit early to tell whether the problem gets better over the panel’s lifespan or if this is not an issue generalized to all units.
There are some lighting/compression artifacts in this picture, but most of what appears to be dithering is actually banding artifacts from the OLED panel.
The light “banding” effect in the middle of the screen when displaying darker colours.
(Update, 30/07/2019) I called Dell and arranged a replacement panel to try and determine if this is an issue with the Samsung OLED panel in general or it was just poor quality control. The replacement I received was a new (not refurbished) part, but had a much more severe issue with uneven lighting, illustrated below.
There’s no way around the disappointment of the quality of the panels being used in a US$2000 laptop, but I have sent away for a third panel and will update this article if I can receive one that meets my expectations given the asking price.
Defects aside, my overall impression of the OLED SKU of the XPS 15 7590 as someone who has never owned an OLED laptop before is largely positive. I appreciate the inky blacks and lack of any IPS glow or backlight-bleed when viewing dark content, and I haven’t faced any issues with perceived flickering.
Still, there’s the matter of flickering and eye strain that needs to be discussed. OLED doesn’t work the way LCD does, so it’s doesn’t experience the same kind of flickering. OLED panels are current driven, and as far as I understand, they don’t flicker for everything above certain gray levels, but they do for darker grays. I can’t tell how much that will bother you with actual use, just that it didn’t bother me. OLED eye strain is something people have reported on OLED phones, so you might also experience it with OLED laptops, especially since you’re going to stare at this screen for much longer.
When using the laptop at night, I strongly suggest using Night Light to cut the UV spectrum (though this is definitely something to do on any display), as the whites can be especially searing. This is quite noticeable when editing text in Word or other apps with white backgrounds. Another area of disappointment for me is the lack of an OLED touch option, as it is a glossy panel that resembled the UHD IPS IGZO touch display also available on this series. I feel like it can be a bit of a difficult decision to choose between the matte non-touch FHD, touch UHD, and non-touch OLED displays as a result.
Manufacturing defects aside, OLED panels also suffer from something called “black crush”, where colors that should not be black but are very close to black end up being displayed as blacks, i.e. they will not be displayed.
Greyscale graph courtesy of cosmotography.com.
If you are looking at the above on a properly calibrated IPS display, you should see a clear delineation between 21, 22, 23, and 24, with only 24 being displayed as pure black. On an OLED display such as the one in the XPS 15 7590 OLED, however, 22-24 may all show as pitch black unless you tweak things very particularly (more on this later, as I intend to write a short guide on how to calibrate the display on an OLED laptop in Windows 10).
Not backlight bleeding on the second panel from Dell ― just extremely poor uniformity.
If you are wondering which of the IPS or OLED displays to choose from, my personal preference if I were to use this laptop for a daily driver is to go with the UHD IPS panel, purely for the touch option. I find the OLED is quite similar in appearance to the 100% Adobe UHD IPS option, which in theory actually has a slightly higher gamut coverage than the OLED, but also improves upon the OLED display in having touch functionality.
There doesn’t seem to be much of a hit on battery life between the UHD and OLED panels in my testing so far, but I have switched to a dark theme for Windows and my apps where applicable, which helps a lot with power consumption. I would estimate 8 hours of light productivity with dark-themes on the OLED, and roughly the same 8 hours with the UHD IPS touch display whether dark or light content is displayed. If you’re viewing light-colored content, I could see battery life on the OLED dropping to 5-6 hours quite easily, and this is another potential drawback to keep in mind if you really want to spring for the OLED option. The FHD matte panel remains the best choice for battery life, outdoor viewing, and weight (you gain a few hundred grams by springing for UHD IPS or OLED options).
In short, I recommend the OLED SKU (assuming you can get one without defects) if you don’t want touch, don’t mind mild banding, and will not be doing work with light-coloured backgrounds or 5-10% blacks. It’s a beautiful display that will give you fairly good power-efficiency when working with dark content, but not the most efficient or comfortable choice for working with word processing or other light-coloured content.
Hardware, performance and upgradability
Our main measurement of CPU performance will be the standard 10-run loop of Cinebench R15 64-bit Multi. The i7-9750H is clearly thermally limited, as it is unable to maintain its initial level of performance. It’s also interesting to note the lack of increase in performance from the 8th generation i7-8750H, which is rated several hundred MHz slower in theory.
As we can see by the table, the XPS 15 7590 unit I have seems to perform worse in Cinebench R15 multi than the 9570. In terms of CPU performance, it’s clear that there is not much reason if any to move from the i7-8750H to i7-9750H CPU.
Cinebench R15 Single
Cinebench R15 Multi
Cinebench R15 10-Loop Average
XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ)
XPS 15 9570 (i7-8750H)
XPS 15 7590 (i7-9750H) 176
XPS 15 7590 (i7-9750H) w/ repaste + undervolt 185
XPS 15 7590 (i7-9750H) w/ repaste only 189
The reason for the poorer scores of the i7-9750H in the XPS 15 here can be found by examining the data from HWiNFO charted below. We can see clear temperature spikes up to 99C followed by a corresponding drop in CPU frequency as the system thermally throttles to MacBook-like clocks (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
Temperatures and clocks during Cinebench R15 Multi 10-loop test via HWiNFO.
All in all, CPU performance with the i7-9750H seems within the margin of error to be no faster than the i7-8750H from last year, and I would not expect the 8-core variants to be able to reach their potential based on the thermal issues seen here with the 6-core i7-9750H. I would be interested to see how an i9-equipped SKU fares in testing before stating this conclusively, however.
This year’s XPS 15 utilizes Nvidia’s new GTX 1650 mobile GPU. Though it lacks the raytracing cores of the RTX-series, it should be a competent card and a solid upgrade over last year’s GTX 1050 and 1050Ti. This appears to be the case from initial single-runs of benchmarks like 3DMark’s Firestrike.
Fire Strike (standard)
Fire Strike (Graphics)
Unigine Heaven 4.0 (basic)
XPS 15 9560 (i7/GTX 1050)
XPS 15 9570 (i7/GTX 1050Ti Max-Q)
XPS 15 7590 (i7/GTX 1650) 8068
XPS 15 7590 (i7/GTX 1650) w/ undervolt 8121
Things change drastically, however, when we put the 7590 through its paces in sustained-load GPU benchmarks.
(Note: the following section’s results are based on the initial BIOS release from Dell. The throttling issue has been greatly improved with the 1.2.3 BIOS update. Feel free to skip the initial testing results if you are not interested to see how this laptop performed for the first month of its release before Dell put a patch out.)
Running a Firestrike Stress Test of 10 loops yields a disappointing score of 60.7%.
While the Fire Strike test showed a solid score that champed the GTX 1050Ti Max-Q, running the stress test reveals something seriously wrong with the 7590’s ability to sustain GPU performance. HWiNFO charts reveal a frequent dropping of the GPU to a core clock of only 300 MHz that likely contributes to this poor score.
This severe throttling results in games becoming unplayable as the GPU effectively grinds to a halt, and I have to comment that I am quite disappointed to see such an issue crop up on the XPS 15 line once again. It is not the first, second, or third time that an issue like this has occurred in the XPS 15 series, and I also have to wonder if any stress testing was conducted prior to shipping with this hardware/firmware design.
When undervolted by -125mv on the CPU and repasted, GPU performance stability appears to be much improved for a time when observing a 10-run firestrike stress test.
Unfortunately, this only slightly prolongs the time before the GPU begins to throttle. Running the stress test for 20 loops resulted again in a 60% fail score.
Testing in games like Killing Floor 2, Apex Legends, Warframe, and Overwatch yielded the same observed behavior of sudden bouts of unplayability:
Every time the GPU hits 75C, the clockspeeds were observed dropping from ~1500 MHz to only 300.
(Update: 31/07/2019) Dell has released BIOS update 1.2.3 which seems to change the throttling frequency from 300 MHz to 1125, resulting in playable game performance.
After running the 1.2.3 BIOS update, however, I am happy to report that the issue is essentially resolved. The GPU still downclocks slightly at 74/75C, but it still runs plenty fast enough to keep gaming performance consistent. This behavior is far superior to simply downclocking the core to 300 MHz, however, and I’m still a bit incredulous how any engineer could have thought doing so was the best solution.
Recently released BIOS update 1.2.3 fixes the playability of most games on the 7590.
Having run the XPS 15 7590 for several hours testing Killing Floor 2, Overwatch, Warframe, and running 3dmark Firestrike stress tests, I observed solid and consistent performance without any major downclocking or temperature spikes. With the current BIOS (1.2.3), it seems the issue has thankfully been resolved.
On this topic, however, I have been told by a number of 9570 owners that a similar throttling issue as originally present on the 7590 still exists on the 9570. That is, the XPS 15 9570 with GTX 1050Ti exhibits the same throttling to 300 MHz at 75C that the 7590 initially did. I find it strange that the XPS 15 9570 has been out for a year or so and had this problem for months without any resolution, and that makes me more than a little bit wary of Dell’s commitment to supporting these machines. Hopefully, Dell will quickly release a similar BIOS update for the 9570 as they did for the newer 7590.
The XPS 15 7590 maintains exactly the same upgradability as its predecessors. At least the Wi-Fi module and SSD are still user-replaceable, however, as the XPS 13 series
has lost more and more upgradability and repairability in the past two iterations.
No major changes to the internals beyond a bit of active cooling on the VRM.
At least part of the cause of the high temperatures the 7590 saw at stock was caused by excess thermal paste applied in the factory. Too much thermal paste actually insulates the chips and makes the heat spreader much less effective at transferring the heat. As a result, simply repasting with less grease of a higher quality (Gelid GC Extreme, in this case) increased the Cinebench loop average by around 90 points.
Dell didn’t chance putting too little thermal grease on.
Latency issues have plagued the XPS 15 line for years, but Dell has made a number of recent attempts to bring the problem under control so the 9570 and 7590 can be made suitable for real-time audio processing. Unfortunately, my testing so far has not yielded positive results.
It had been suggested to disable the dedicated GPU, which I tried next.
Disabling the dedicated GPU in device manager did not seem to help.
Running 4 decks with tracks in Traktor Pro as a realtime audio test, I did not hear any audio artifacts with my ears. However, LatencyMon reports occasional spikes beyond its acceptance threshold, around one per minute.
All in all regarding latency, it may be possible to use the XPS 15 7590 for realtime audio. However, it is clearly not handling it flawlessly per LatencyMon results, and thus I would not suggest the 7590 is realtime audio is your primary use-case for it.
The bundled Toshiba SSD puts up quite respectable performance, especially compared to the rather shoddy roughly 260 MB/s read and write speeds of the Lite-On SSD that came in my XPS 15 9570 last year. As usual with SSDs, the higher capacity the faster the performance should be.
The 256 GB Toshiba SSD in my unit provides fairly strong performance despite its smaller capacity.
In the past, Dell has shipped XPS 15s with Lite-on, Samsung, and Toshiba SSDs, with Samsung SSDs generally being the most performant. Unfortunately, which SSD and what performance you’ll get is just luck of the draw.
Unscrew the 10 T5 and 2 Phillips screws and you will have access to all that can be upgraded in the XPS 15 9570. Everything that was true for the 9550, 9560, and 9570 is still true here. The internals contain an NVMe PCIe SSD slot (m.2 2280), 2 SO-DIMM slots, an m.2 NGFF slot for Wi-Fi, and, if you have the 57WHr battery, a SATA III bay for 2.5″ storage. Compared to many ultrabooks, the XPS 15 has fairly good expansion. However, to compete against contemporaries like the
X1 Extreme, it would be nice to see a second NVMe PCIe SSD slot.
Emissions (noise, heat) and speakers
Noise and heat
The XPS 15 runs hot as per initial CPU and GPU tests, but this does not mean it’s for lack of the fans trying to keep things cool. The fans rev up to 4000-5000 RPM under heavy usage and are very audible, though they produce more of a “whoosh” than a whine, thankfully. Even during slightly heavy multi-tasking, the fans become audible at times when using the “Ultra Performance” profile via Dell Command Power Manager, but one bright spot is that the laptop does not heat up appreciably on one’s lap like many other thin-and-light performance machines, and thus it remains fairly comfortable to use through all but gaming (which you won’t be able to do at present due to the throttling issue described prior).
The XPS 15 7590 has the same downward-facing drivers as before. Even when enhanced by the bundled Waves MaxxAudio Pro software, the speakers are very underpowered when it comes to bass. You can use the MaxxAudio software to tune up the bass and other aspects like details and separation, but there’s just no getting by the fact that it can’t put out enough low frequencies. Things get worse when you disable MaxxAudio (as you will need to if you are doing any audio work), and the speakers just sound flat. All in all, the speakers are sufficient for casual consumption of movies and games with MaxxAudio enabled, but will not get you what you need if you are doing audio production or want to feel your music as it was intended to be heard.
Roughly 7-8 hours so far using mostly dark-themed apps as well as WordPress. Batterybar Pro measures roughly 1W more power consumption on average looking at a light webpage vs a dark one, but I will be running more tests on it.
Traditional sleep (S3) seems to be long gone on the 7590, with only Modern Standby in its stead. The problem is that Modern Standby has a terrible efficiency rate, with 10% drain measured over just 5 hours. If you are going to bestowing this laptop for a long period of time to preserve power, you’ll definitely be needing to use hibernation rather than standby. On the bright side, I have yet to find the 7590 waking itself and cooking at extreme while in my bag as the 9570 is fond of doing.
Price and availability
The 7590 currently starts at $1099 and can be priced up to well over $2,500 USD with higher-end configurations directly from
Dell. Outside the US, you’ll be able to find different SKUs available with global shipping direct from Amazon, which is usually cheaper than from Dell themselves in the rest of the world.
Unable to play games for more than a few minutes before the GPU drops to 300 MHz on core clocks, rendering framerates unplayable
Fn + F7 (unobtrusive mode) seems to crash the OLED panel and require a restart to fix it.
Audio becomes unsynced while watching streaming videos (reported by others, not confirmed in my tests)
Updated conclusion as of 01/08/2019:
With the 1.2.3 BIOS update greatly improving the consistency of the XPS 15 7590’s performance, the 7590 is a much more competitive choice in the thin-and-light professional/workstation notebook market thanks to its GTX 1650 GPU, webcam placement, solid chassis design, good selection of ports, and reasonable price. In terms of the OLED SKU in review here, however, I am a bit less enthusiastic about recommending an OLED laptop in general, and I would probably suggest either the
FHD IPS or UHD IPS configuration of the 7590 rather than this one. The lack of touch, visible banding, black crush, and slight discomfort when looking at light images (such as documents) over a long period of time make the OLED more of a niche option for certain content consumers rather than those doing work.
Beyond the OLED panel itself, I would have liked to see some improvements in the 7590’s port selection (2x TB3 would have been great), a second PCIe NVMe slot, better speakers, and a better keyboard. It’s still a nice-looking laptop with good performance backed by a reliable warranty, however, and for now, in 2019, it’s a good option for those who value looks, portability, and CPU/GPU performance.
Update: Our detailed review of the more recent Dell XPS 15 9510 is available here.
Original conclusion based on the release firmware:
Buckle up, because this is going to seem a little harsh.
Dell had every reason to be able to make the XPS 15 7590 OLED the laptop that the 9550, 9560, and 9570 should have been, and my verdict as of three weeks of using the XPS 15 7590 daily for work and (eGPU-enabled) play is that Dell still have yet to succeed.
The key problems by my estimation are 1) GPU throttling rending games unplayable and 2) poor quality of the OLED display. Let me explain why these matter: It’s often commented by certain types of users that “the XPS 15 is not a gaming laptop” and that this means you shouldn’t expect it to play games. Why not? “Gaming” is mentioned three times on the XPS 15 7590’s website alone, and it has a very capable GTX 1650 GPU. If the specifications can’t be properly utilized, then they shouldn’t be put into the laptop. It is ridiculous to tell customers that they have no right to expect the performance that the specifications and product marketing implies.
The poor quality control observed on the OLED panels I’ve seen in so far is also not something acceptable in a laptop that more often than not will cost around $2000 USD. Some people may hand-wave these issues, but for me it is like being a professional driver yet driving with a cracked windshield. It taints the experience of everything seen through it, and I would expect better for anything other than a budget laptop.
To determine whether the XPS 15 7590 is worth buying, you need to look carefully at what the laptop actually is in its current state: a nice-looking laptop with poor quality control for its displays and high specifications that cannot be utilized for gaming. If you want a laptop that looks nice to do basic work on, then I think the lowest-end configurations for the XPS 15 7590 or the 9570 are actually the best buys here. If you want a laptop that looks nice and can be used for work or play, then get a ThinkPad X1 Extreme. If I am able to get a replacement panel of acceptable quality and Dell is able to fix the GPU throttling with a firmware update, I will be able to better recommend it for serious users.
Douglas Black Douglas Black - Editor
. I'm an IT consultant, educator, DJ, and music producer based in Florida, USA.
July 19, 2019 at 4:14 pm
The GPU throttling issue has a fix on reddit as of yesterday. I expect Dell will implement this via a BIOS update soon, and hopefully they'll give the redditor a job, because he is single-handedly going to prevent dozens if not hundreds of returned units.
July 19, 2019 at 4:54 pm
Thank you for posting this fix. Also, shoutout to old reddit ;)
July 19, 2019 at 9:14 pm
What the heck are you talking about? I dont see any "fix" in this reddit post. He just posted that he undervolted his dGPU, wow, which you did obviously already same with each XPS in the past years. What are you even talking about? You seem like the typical XPS buyer with no idea, how a computer works.
July 21, 2019 at 9:32 pm
Why do you feel the need to go on every XPS discussion thread and troll? If you don't want/like the XPS don't get one spend your money somewhere else and learn how to share an opinion that actually matters.
July 21, 2019 at 9:31 pm
That's a tweak that's been done on every single XPS since the 9550. It's nothing new and why I wish that subreddit would pin posts to prevent people from "finding" a solution for "the first time" when it's been documented for years.
August 23, 2019 at 12:13 am
Your review states that the Graphics card (GPU) is an Nvidia GTX 630. It is not it is the Intel 630 UHD. This should be specified in the benchmarks.
July 20, 2019 at 8:10 am
Is burn in a real problem for OLED laptop displays now? Enough vendors have or will release in the next month models with oled displays ( hp, Dell, Lenovo , gigabyte). Is it a bad choice for professional use? ( Mainly office, text reading and writing applications, web browsing and in a lesser extent multimedia consumption 40% – 40%-20% respectively. Could you make again a new and separate article on this?
July 20, 2019 at 8:15 am
The simple answer is that we still don't know this yet. In terms of the technology and what is going on with research, my impression from scientists in the field is that they still consider it an unfinished technology, and that is why it hasn't been adopted for non-consumer usages.
My impressions (I've updated the article today) are that the OLED panel is nice if you are doing work in dark-themed apps, but it feels a bit uncomfortable to switch to text editing with white backgrounds.
July 20, 2019 at 11:41 am
In terms of display tech, microled is the future. OLED has had a decade to fix all it's issues (pwm, poor efficiency displaying whites, poor greyscale accuracy, purple tint/pentile issues, poor brightness, burn-in and etc).
There's a reason why apple have engineers currently working on developing in house displays based on microled and why even samsung (the main manufacturer/producer of oled) are now looking towards microled too.
July 21, 2019 at 3:19 am
Hi Douglas, your final thoughts on the XPS 15 7590 Oled? Would you recommend it? And what do you think of the new Lenovo S940 as an alternative? Thanks!
July 21, 2019 at 7:36 am
I need a good solid week of usage before I can start to give a meaningful opinion, I think. It's up against stiff competition in the segment.
The s940 is a very different laptop in many ways. 15w 4 core CPU, integrated graphics, soldered memory, much lighter. If you're looking for a laptop to bring with you everywhere for work that also looks eye catching, the s940 would probably be a better pick.
Koen De Jaeger
July 20, 2019 at 8:07 pm
Can you test, before black Friday ends, if those latency spikes cause audio dropouts in NI Traktor? And how is the latency when WiFi is turned off as well? I have seen less critique on forums since the so called DPC latency fix on the 'previous' model.
July 21, 2019 at 1:50 pm
I believe Traktor has a trial version, right? I use rekordbox (pioneer decks!) but I will try to give both a shot in the next couple days.
July 22, 2019 at 11:52 am
See my results under the "latency" section. I didn't hear any audio artifacts, but latencymon did spike around once a minute.
July 21, 2019 at 10:54 am
Thank you for a great review!
Regarding fan noise, does it ever turn off all fans and go dead silent?
Does it stay dead silent for lighter workloads like, say browsing wikipedia, editing a google doc, watching youtube?
What kind of workload would typically turn on the fans (even just a little bit) and leave the dead silent state?
July 21, 2019 at 10:58 am
Hi Nick! I'd say it's dead silent for word processing, email, and basic YouTube in a few tabs. If you start running 4+ applications and the CPU starts hitting 5% or so, they'll spin up to 1k+ rpm and will be slightly audible
July 21, 2019 at 1:20 pm
Great, that was what I was hoping for. Cheers
July 21, 2019 at 10:58 am
Can you please test sleep mode battery drain? For example, charge to 100%, unplug, put to sleep, wait 10 hours and then wake and check battery level.
July 21, 2019 at 11:28 am
July 21, 2019 at 3:44 pm
Drain seems quite terrible at around 2% per hour.
May 10, 2020 at 6:41 pm
Hello there. Just wanted some thoughts about this laptop agains c940 15 inch, what would be better for long term use and some light gaming? Thank you!
May 10, 2020 at 8:02 pm
I think Dell has better support and generally treats its customers better. The c940 has a number pad and converts fully. It's also got one more TB3 port. I think it depends on how much those are worth to you
Koen De Jaeger
July 21, 2019 at 2:47 pm
Cool. Yes there's a demo. Also Ableton has a demo too and starts with a demo track that you could run at startup. The discount still lasts one day so I'd like to know before that. I'd say try recordbox first, what you're familiar with to check the stuttering. Run 4 decks :).
July 23, 2019 at 5:07 am
I've been using a 13 inch OLED Spectre for roughly 2 years and had the same color bending during the whole life span. That's an unsolved and common issue on OLEDs this size, however not really noticable in daily use.
Moreover, a touch panel might not be better, as the screen will suffer from a lack a clearness: I am currently testing a 15,6" AMOLED Spectre and this one obviously has got an additional layer for pen input. You can see the input raster if you look closely. Due to that raster whites appear a bit grainy and grey…
July 26, 2019 at 11:37 pm
@Douglas Black: have you encountered the same? Thx
July 28, 2019 at 9:32 am
The color-banding? It's noticeable on blacks and darker colors, yeah. If you pull up a black/grey scale, you can see the first 4 levels of black/dark grey are crushed to black.
July 31, 2019 at 8:12 pm
What about the honeycomb-like and greyish-layer? It's visible when you have a closer look at the display. The layer is between the OLED panel itself and the Gorilla Glass. It's probably for pen input detection (and for HPs tilt pen 'hover' functionality)
July 31, 2019 at 8:17 pm
I haven't noticed that, but I have noticed a somewhat "polarized" effect when looking at the display from angles.
July 25, 2019 at 9:05 am
I've also been having a problem with audio becomes unsynced while watching streaming videos (youtube and twitch confirmed so far). Tested on multiple browsers, using i7 9750 and OLED. Wonder if this is DPC related. If anyone knows a fix let me know.
July 25, 2019 at 2:13 pm
I haven't been able to confirm this issue. Are you using waves audio maxx?
August 4, 2019 at 7:38 am
I think it was a problem with chrome. Latest version of chrome has the issue fixed. However now I'm noticing sometimes watching full screen video on YouTube and twitch the screen will go black every once and awhile for a few seconds and then reset itself.
August 4, 2019 at 5:58 pm
@Jeremy the "going black" for 1-2 seconds meanins your gpu driver crashes with a kernel panic 141 event. open Windows reliability monitor and you should see this:
It can have mmumtiple reasons. Undervolt, faulty cpu or iGPU, driver issue. I have this issue on my 9570 but have fixed it right now or lowered the chance by 99%, of lowering undervolt to 98mv instead of 125mv, giving iGPU 10mv more voltage offset, and removing the dell Intel drivers and use latest Intel ones.
August 4, 2019 at 6:02 pm
Thanks for the info
August 4, 2019 at 6:03 pm
It was a code 117.
August 4, 2019 at 6:13 pm
@jeremy 117 and 141 are kinda related, so if you see one of them for the time the black flickering happens it meant the gpu driver crashed and restarted. you have to find out step by step why. if you have undervolted cpu with TS or Intel Extreme too lower it to something like 90mv. give igpu 10mv more voltage. remove dell intel gpu drivers with DDU and use latest intel ones.
July 30, 2019 at 9:30 pm
hello there, thank you for the review. I see you recommended the X1 Extreme at the end, does the X1 Extreme not have GPU throttling issues and also better quality control?
July 30, 2019 at 9:31 pm
I can't speak for the Gen 2, but for the Gen 1 I believe so.
July 31, 2019 at 7:50 pm
Hi, are you planning to do a review of the X1E/P1 Gen 2? I think not all of its configurations are shipping yet.
July 31, 2019 at 7:51 pm
It's a laptop I'd love to get my hands on, but I can't even purchase it with my own money at the moment — it's just sold out.
July 31, 2019 at 12:02 am
my xps with oled has the vertical banding issue and yes it is annoying. I am afraid you can keep going replacing it forever but you won't find the display without banding because it is on all oled
August 1, 2019 at 12:07 am
Very thorough and detailed review! Thank you for this as others don't even mention these issues which is a travesty as the OLED option is $2000! I love your updates as well! I'm seriously reconsidering this laptop now that the GPU throttling issue has been fixed. Or maybe I'll wait for the Project Athena version with its 10nm CPU…
August 1, 2019 at 5:56 pm
Hi, i'm considering to buy this laptop in this exact configuration due to the fact that both the 4K Touch and 1080p screens have a way too high Grey-To-Grey latency which leads me to have headaches and general sickness after a while due to the excessive ghosting (experienced that on a 9380 XPS 13), so i was wondering if you could provide some data about the panel regarding those times please, i know they should be lower than the classic panels but by how much?
August 2, 2019 at 8:12 am
They should be around 10 times faster. The IPS in the XPS are quite slow at around 30/50 ms g2g and b2w response times. OLED is around 3 ms each
August 4, 2019 at 5:15 am
Great review. I wonder how the UHD screen on the 7590 compares to xps 9570 or 9560? Didn't the NITS go up 100? Any other changes?
August 5, 2019 at 7:00 pm
While various configurations are indeed available, the ability to choose just what you want is very limited. For example, if you want a core i9 processor, you are forced to get 32G of ram. Also, the option for Windows Pro only shows up on the higher end configurations. This sort of thing is pervasive. If you chat with Dell, they can find you better options, but it is rather infuriating to have specific ideas about what you want only to find out after a long and fruitless search that it is not possible.
August 6, 2019 at 10:19 pm
Hello Douglas, you're saying that on the OLED-screen it's not comfortable to view white content for long periods, particularly reading text in black letters.
I would like to know how it changes if you reduce the brightness of the screen. I personally watch a lot of movies (for which OLED is great), but also read news and long PDFs. So it will matter a lot for me if the problem of the high contrast between black letters and white background can be solved by dimming the screen or not.
(I have to mention that I usually close the curtains in the room when I'm on the laptop, so reducing the brightness of the screen won't be an issue in order to see the screen clearly.)
August 7, 2019 at 5:26 am
That helps, but it means it isn't great to use in brightly lit spaces then due to low brightness.
August 7, 2019 at 12:59 am
Is there audible coil whine on the OLED model? Or is it still silicon lottery?
August 7, 2019 at 5:25 am
I haven't heard any, but I'm not sensitive I'm afraid
August 8, 2019 at 10:39 pm
Hi, did you check the “third” replacement? Same banding issue?
August 17, 2019 at 6:50 am
The third replacement was significantly better. A little uneven at the bottom but no banding
August 17, 2019 at 10:39 am
Uhmm, "cherry picking"? I have returned mine.
August 17, 2019 at 7:08 pm
I want to play some games (CS:GO, Minecraft, etc.) sometimes. Mostly I would work with it – I saw that the Dell XPS 15 9570 i7-8750H archieved long-term better performance, because it didn't throttle so much. Should I buy the 7590 with i7 9750H or take the gen. 2018?
August 18, 2019 at 9:24 am
The 2018 has never been fixed by Dell, it still is crippled with throttling I believe. Go with the 2019
August 27, 2019 at 7:06 pm
Thanks for all the useful information.
Dell currently offers a discount on the XPS 9570, so it is currently 400€ cheaper than the 7590 right now, for similar specs(I7-16G RAM – 512G SSD).
If I follow the procedure you proposed to solve the throttling issue (https://www.ultrabookreview.com/14875-fix-throttling-xps-15/), isn't it more reasonable to go for the 2018 version ? What do you think ?
August 27, 2019 at 8:46 pm
I need to know your use cases to answer that question :)
August 27, 2019 at 9:01 pm
Of course: that would mostly be for photo editing and occasional gaming (and more than anything, I wish to see my laptop last for long). Unfortunately the ThinkPad X1/P1 is out of budget for me in France.
Since the specs of the CPU and GPU don't seem to change that much for from one to the other, I would go for the 9570 given the current price difference.
However, the throttling issue as well as the other numerous issues I can read of on your website regarding the 9570 (which ones are solved as today, which ones aren't?) make me doubt…
August 28, 2019 at 6:45 am
For the GPU alone I would go for the 7590 because Dell never fixed it on the 9570. Maybe pick up an i7/FHD/97 whr model for the 7590? May not be too much more
August 28, 2019 at 8:49 am
Yep, that's the specs I was looking for in either way.
So I reckon that the bottom line is don't go for the 9570, even for a lower price 😊 Thanks Doug !
August 28, 2019 at 8:50 am
You're very welcome!
August 28, 2019 at 9:12 am
August 17, 2019 at 8:39 pm
I should really check your review before I purchased the new AERO 15 OLED (i7 and RTX2060). That display had severe banding issue which I discussed on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/gigabyte/comments/cg72jf/gigabyte_aero_15_oled_wa_wierd_sound_coming_from/
The bands are very very obvious when displaying darker grey contents, like VS Code with OneDark theme, which makes it so unbearable to work with. I don't understand why other reviewers never talked about it…
Currently, I have a Dell XPS15 7590 (i7) from Costco. NO OLED ofc! With proper color calibration, the display is stunningly beautiful. I am much happier with this model right now. No OLED for me in the foreseeable future.
August 18, 2019 at 2:50 pm
Not a single YouTube review mentioned this unbearable issue, unbelievable.
August 19, 2019 at 12:37 am
Cannot agree more…
October 29, 2019 at 3:58 pm
@xzhan, what display do you have on your XPS15 – FHD or UHD?
September 25, 2019 at 11:07 am
You seem to say in your updated review that the throttling issue is solved by the BIOS update. Do you believe the CPU should still be undervolted and repasted to improve performance though ? Or is this advice obsolete ?
Thanks for the answer !
September 25, 2019 at 11:32 am
It does seem to be at least as of the BIOS update I tested. I still highly recommend undervolting the CPU ( https://www.ultrabookreview.com/31385-the-throttlestop-guide/ ). Repasting is probably less important unless you happened to get a really bad paste job. Intel's chips are just too hot these past generations.
January 30, 2020 at 12:24 am
Hi, and thanks for a great review!
I currently own the OLED, and I'm not satisfied at all. Bought mainly for photo editing, but the banding is quite noticeable. I contacted support, and the tech guy said that "the screen is produced this way, so changing it wouldn't make a difference". This is something I find very strange, and I cannot believe that is truly accurate. Alternatively, I'm beginning to think that Dell's got so many complaints over this, that this is now their answer to this. Was thankfully offered a full refund, and I'm considering getting the 4K IPS LCD instead. I have no use for the touch function really, but I appreciate the power of the XPS 7590.
Any insights on chosing screen type? Any other high performance laptop, Windows based, with colour accurate screen, you would recommend is this segment?
Thanks for any and all input :)
January 30, 2020 at 1:19 am
I would suggest the 4K IPS touch or the IPS FHD, if you'd like to save yourself a few hundred bucks. The touch is great to have and watching media on it is a treat.
At the moment, no other laptop I'd recommend from the power/screen angle. For audio, the Lenovo X1 Extreme or P1 for sure, but not for anything visual.
January 30, 2020 at 1:34 am
Thanks for your answer.
As mentioned several places, the OLED would be great in several aspects, but I have the feeling as well that the technology is not quite there yet. Trying to find tests online putting OLED and IPS side by side in depth, but findings are scarce. OLED highly praised, but feeling the picture painted is too one sided.
I believe I saw something about the IPS touch version having a kind of glare from the "touch layer" of the screen being noticeable? After my OLED escapades at least, IPS LCD seems more tempting at the moment.
January 30, 2020 at 1:58 am
The glare is very similar between the two. I don't believe I could say which was which had more glare. If you want to avoid glare, you will definitely like the FHD!
January 30, 2020 at 10:22 am
I can't say that I've been put off by any glare on the OLED, so it the two are similar, glare is not what puts me off. As megapixels are ever increasing etc, I guess the UHD 4K IPS, not just in pure resolution, but other attributes as well, beats the FHD screen when it comes to photo editing, or am I wrong?
January 30, 2020 at 8:38 pm
It's better in every way, though the FHD is still a really nice panel. The main reason not to get the 4K is the terrible scaling issues windows has. So I run it in 1080p.
March 16, 2020 at 4:12 am
I've been considering the XPS 15 to replace my XPS 13 (2017). However, I have been looking at the LG Gram 17, as the screen size, as well as resolution and battery life are major points. I'm not looking to get 4K resolution onto a 15" screen tbh…
I've had quite a few Dells, and their batteries always seem to lose capacity, consistently, so hoping that LG are using better battery cells (thinking ThinkPad standards…!).
Do you have any opinion on this model or LGs in general, there're also difficult to get in the UK and the 2020 model doesn't seem to be available at all.
March 16, 2020 at 4:23 am
I think LG will probably have better QC than Dell since they are likely sourced from Korea rather than China (though I can't be sure). To be fair though, my XPS 15 has had no battery wear in the last 6 months since I got it. I think if you don't mind having more flimsy build quality, you'll like the screen size on the gram.