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Dell XPS 15 best laptop for music production? NO!

Dell XPS 15 best laptop for music production? NO!
Written by: Dexxter Clark, 06-02-2020
The Dell XPS 15 is a solid machine.
It has decent specs, an aluminum body and a good reputation.
But there is one thing that makes it terrible for music production that plague all the internet forums: latency!


The Dell XPS has everything you want as a professional for music production.
But multiple music producers reported unfixable DPC latency issues with the machine.
Repeated calls to Dell support left many frustrated with their expensive purchase.

If you bought a Dell XPS and type in “xps 15 latency” in Google, you will get the scare of your life.
Pages and pages of problems with the XPS 15 will surface.
Dell tried to fix the issues with a BIOS update in 2019, but it didn’t fix the problem.

DPC stands for Deferred Procedure Call, which is a Windows solution for handling process priorities.
Some hardware takes up to much time or causes too many Procedure Calls (due to bad driver programming) Windows can’t prioritize properly.
Windows gives priorities to “wrong” processes in order to prevent the system from becoming slow or unresponsive.

In essence that is a great feature, but wrong priorities can (and in the XPS case, will) cause crackles in your audio because it can’t process the audio information in time.

Some other laptops, like the Dell Inspirion models have the same problems tied to the NVIDIA graphics card and switching to the onboard Intel graphics card can fix the issue.

There is a tool on the market called LatencyMon by Resplendence (website: https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon ) which checks the amount of latency and which component causes the most latency.
It won’t fix the DPC problem of the XPS 15 however.

How many producers do experience problems with the XPS 15?
I did a poll on my community tab on YouTube, here are the results:
latency problems 18%
other problems (not latency) 27%
latency and other problems 9%
no problems with the XPS 15 45%

Conclusion

It seems to be purely a software issue, which could be fixed in the future if Dell REALLY wants to.
But at the moment I would be very careful to choose a Dell XPS or Inspirion laptop for music production.

If you want a Dell, go for one of their ROG gaming laptops.
For my laptop recommendations, check out my studio equipment recommendations on this website.

If you are serious about music production and want to take it to the next level,
download my free music production e-book.
Besides information about music production basics and computers for music production, the book gives also a unique perspective on the world of DJs and music producers.

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Author

photo author dexxter clark
Dexxter Clark
Music Producer / YouTuber

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