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Issues on DEll XPS 17 L702x, fps drops, screen freezing, crackling audio


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Issues on DEll XPS 17 L702x, fps drops, screen freezing, crackling audio

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Hey everyone,

I just purchased a Dell XPS 17. The problem while playing video game is, that randomly the sound starts crackling for 1 or 2 seconds and the screen freezes with it, or the FPS drops down to 5 or lower. This is really annoying during playing.

I thought it might be problems with the fan on the laptop, or the AC adapter doesn't give energy for the laptop so it chokes down? It mostly happens, when the laptop gets pretty hot.

Also I tried to contact the Dell customer service, but it says i purchased the Laptop in the United Kingdom, which I didn't. I used the Dell Customer service from the U.S. and used the chat without any problems. When i try to E-mail them, it gives me an error, that it cannot read my system components (I don't remember exactly what it said, might be something else, but it was an error).

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,


All Replies
  • DavidH1990

    You system should certainly be able to play most games out there without any problems.  Depending on the build of the system you may need to lower the settings on a few games but other than that it certainly shouldn't be hanging often.

    If you don't have a 3D system I certainly suggest configuring Optimus for your games to run them in high performance.  For more on Optimus and how to create profiles for your games please check out the following link.

    Unless you ordered the GT 555m with 3GB video memory you may need to lower the video settings in some of your games to keep this from happening.  With some of the more demanding games you may have to lower video settings even with the 3 GB GT 555M.

    Keep an eye on the programs running in the background while gaming.  Check your antivirus to see if they have a "gaming Option" to limit the amount of resources the AV may try to use while playing games.   Use msconfig to limit the amount of programs running in the background while gaming.  Click start, search and type in msconfig and choose startup, disable apps that aren't needed to run all of the time to free up resources for you games.   You can also go into the programs themselves, often they will have settings that you can select to keep them from loading until you need them.

    Run diagnostics on the system.  For more on diagnostics please check out the following link. Please reply back with the results if you receive any errors.

    If performance keeps getting worse and you find that you can't plays games no matter what you try.  If devices fail in diagnostics please report back here.  You can also shoot me a private message, just click on the link in my signature, include your name and service tag and if need be we can take a look at service options.


    Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices

  • Hello. I have the same problem with the same XPS bought in Spain. When I play an old game (Medal of honor airborne), the system freeze randomly and sound start to "stutter" during about 1 or 2 seconds. Really annoying. I have a relativelly old Dell Studio 1747 (i7+Ati 4650) and it play very good and fluently this game.

    I have reinstalled and formated many times the OS and I have the SAME programs running backround that the Studio 1747. The only program running in backround is Microsoft Security Essential, but deactivating it, the problem persist.

    There are many many people around the world with latency problems with this XPS 17. This is no serious. Dell MUST prove the systems before launch them into the market.

    I have installed this piece of software to control the latency of the system, and it indicates that there is a serious latency problem. The question is to me: Hard or soft?

    Any idea to solve this?

  • espimones

    Are you having similar problems with other games?  Or is the problem only with Medal of Honor Airborne? Medal of Honor is an older game; I believe it came out on the PC at 2007, so it may not support Optimus systems.  I did check Electronics’ website and I have their troubleshooting page

    As I mentioned to DavidH1990 I please create a profile for each of you games in Optimus to have them run in high performance.  It can make a big difference.

    As far as the DPC latency checker, I have four systems at the house, 3 are windows 7 machines, one has Vista.  Two desktops and two notebooks, three are Dell systems, a latitude, an Inspiron desktop (heavily modified) and a Inspiron notebook, the other desktop is a customer built system.  I can install DPC latency checker on each of them and will get a ton of spikes.  All the machines run well.  DPC latency checker certainly has it uses but It really doesn't seem to be the best tool for troubleshooting problems running games.

    I certainly can't stress running diagnostics enough, especially those that run outside of the operating system.  If there is a problem with the hardware it’s as likely to show up running the diagnostics, and send the diags are running outside of Windows, we know that these failures aren't related to software.

    If there is a defect with your system I would certainly like to help. Please reply back with the results of the diagnostics.


    Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices

  • Hello again Terry. You answered all our questions two years ago, when we had problems with low power of the adapter suplied with the Studio 1747.

    I only play Medal of honor Airborne. I dont play any other game. But really, this game not only run worse than with Studio 1747 (At least, at low resolution), but it run with stutterings and freezings every 10 or 15 minutes.

    I really believe what you say about the game is not made to exploit the Optimus system.

    According to the advice of another user (ruthielu42) I have deactivated all audio enhancements and have installed Intel Rapid Storage (although I thought it was no necesary if I didn't use RAID).

    Now, the audio stuttering have redueced, but the freezing of the screen avery 10 o3 15 minutes continue.

    I have created a particular profile to play this game, with all options at high performance too.

    Below I post the results of the program LatencyMon:



    Your system appears to be having trouble handling real-time audio and other tasks. You are likely to experience buffer underruns appearing as drop outs, clicks or pops. One or more DPC routines belonging to a driver running in your system appear to be executing for too long. Also your system appears to be having trouble which may be attributed to SMI routines, CPU bugs or unexplainable CPU stalls.

    LatencyMon has been analyzing your system for 0:11:36 (h:mm:ss)


    System Information


    Computer name:                                        DELLXPS17

    OS version:                                           Windows 7 Service Pack 1, 6.1, build: 7601

    CPU:                                                  GenuineIntel       Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2670QM CPU @ 2.20GHz

    Logical processors:                                   8

    RAM:                                                  6331478016 total

    VM:                                                   2147352576, free: 1930162176




    Reported CPU speed:                                   2195 MHz

    Measured CPU speed:                                   1693 MHz

    Note: reported execution times may be calculated based on a fixed reported CPU speed. Disable variable speed settings like Intel Speed Step and AMD Cool N Quiet in the BIOS setup for more accurate results.




    Highest measured kernel timer latency (µs):           2033.1620




    Highest measured SMI routine or CPU stall (µs)        746.8698




    Highest DPC routine execution time (µs):              818489.4451

    Driver with highest DPC routine execution time:       nvlddmkm.sys - NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 285.77 , NVIDIA Corporation

    Highest reported total DPC routine time (%):          0.5430

    Driver with highest DPC total execution time:         nvlddmkm.sys - NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 285.77 , NVIDIA Corporation

    Total time spent in DPCs (%)                          0.2198

    DPC count (execution time <250 µs):                   2341921

    DPC count (execution time 250-500 µs):                0

    DPC count (execution time 500-999 µs):                78

    DPC count (execution time 1000-1999 µs):              0

    DPC count (execution time 2000-3999 µs):              0

    DPC count (execution time >=4000 µs):                 0




    Highest ISR routine execution time (µs):              113.9371

    Driver with highest ISR routine execution time:       dxgkrnl.sys - DirectX Graphics Kernel, Microsoft Corporation

    Highest reported total ISR routine time (%):          0.6920

    Driver with highest ISR total time:                   dxgkrnl.sys - DirectX Graphics Kernel, Microsoft Corporation

    Total time spent in ISRs (%)                          0.1852

    ISR count (execution time <250 µs):                   2332755

    ISR count (execution time 250-500 µs):                0

    ISR count (execution time 500-999 µs):                0

    ISR count (execution time 1000-1999 µs):              0

    ISR count (execution time 2000-3999 µs):              0

    ISR count (execution time >=4000 µs):                 0




    Process with highest pagefault count:                 none

    Total number of hard pagefaults                       3086

    Hard pagefault count of hardest hit process:          1610

    Highest hard pagefault resolution time (µs):          677371.5125

    Total time spent in hard pagefaults (%):              0.6802

    TODO: Number of processes hit:                        0




    CPU 0 ISR count:                                      2332755

    CPU 0 ISR highest execution time:                     113.9371

    CPU 0 ISR total execution time:                       10323532.7202

    CPU 0 DPC count:                                      2227111

    CPU 0 DPC highest execution time:                     818489.4451

    CPU 0 DPC total execution time:                       11876991.5266


    CPU 1 ISR count:                                      0

    CPU 1 ISR highest execution time:                     0.0000

    CPU 1 ISR total execution time:                       0.0000

    CPU 1 DPC count:                                      13288

    CPU 1 DPC highest execution time:                     16.8082

    CPU 1 DPC total execution time:                       27207.7271


    CPU 2 ISR count:                                      0

    CPU 2 ISR highest execution time:                     0.0000

    CPU 2 ISR total execution time:                       0.0000

    CPU 2 DPC count:                                      20359

    CPU 2 DPC highest execution time:                     33.3097

    CPU 2 DPC total execution time:                       51431.3694


    CPU 3 ISR count:                                      0

    CPU 3 ISR highest execution time:                     0.0000

    CPU 3 ISR total execution time:                       0.0000

    CPU 3 DPC count:                                      1937

    CPU 3 DPC highest execution time:                     33.2815

    CPU 3 DPC total execution time:                       6337.5339


    CPU 4 ISR count:                                      0

    CPU 4 ISR highest execution time:                     0.0000

    CPU 4 ISR total execution time:                       0.0000

    CPU 4 DPC count:                                      27968

    CPU 4 DPC highest execution time:                     41.3599

    CPU 4 DPC total execution time:                       69567.6405


    CPU 5 ISR count:                                      0

    CPU 5 ISR highest execution time:                     0.0000

    CPU 5 ISR total execution time:                       0.0000

    CPU 5 DPC count:                                      1437

    CPU 5 DPC highest execution time:                     22.8920

    CPU 5 DPC total execution time:                       4922.9781


    CPU 6 ISR count:                                      0

    CPU 6 ISR highest execution time:                     0.0000

    CPU 6 ISR total execution time:                       0.0000

    CPU 6 DPC count:                                      49068

    CPU 6 DPC highest execution time:                     99.8380

    CPU 6 DPC total execution time:                       214552.6988


    CPU 7 ISR count:                                      0

    CPU 7 ISR highest execution time:                     0.0000

    CPU 7 ISR total execution time:                       0.0000

    CPU 7 DPC count:                                      832

    CPU 7 DPC highest execution time:                     33.8380

    CPU 7 DPC total execution time:                       4144.3102



  • espimones

    Thanks for the info.  The Optimus process may well cause a few DPC spikes with the video driver.

    I looked but I wasn't able to find any troubleshooting documents with Medal of Honor on EAs website.   It is based on the unreal 3 engine so the notebook should be able to play it baring problems with Optimus.   I do suggest trying a newer game, on that specifically mentions works with Optimus, or try a 3D bench mark and test with that.  Find out if the system simply wont run any 3d graphics or games at all, or is it really just Call of Duty Airborne.  Please let me know what you find out.


    Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices

  • Hello again Terry. Finally i think I have solved the letency problems!!!. Instaling the program nemed LatencyMon, could see that some drivers was causing that latency:




    The directX problems, were solved installing the last update of directX, at June 2010. (File version 9.0.8112.16421)

    Nvidia problems were solved with a simple change in the registry, to deactivate Nvidia POWERMIZER, because in the graphic interface, there is no posibility to do it. An alternative is use this small piece of software to disable powermizer: "Powermizer Switch".

    Problems with SCSI driver, were being caused by SD Reader driver suplied for DELL (Jmicron). Installing the last driver from Jmicron webpage, latency in this hardware was eliminated too.

    I have updated Intel Rapid Storage from Intel webpage.

    Now, playing Medal of Honor Airborne, music, seeing youtube videos, LatencyMon show green bars, that is, there is no latency.

    Now, this XPS run fast an stable. Without latency, sound "stutterings" nor screen freezings.

    Many thanks!!!!!!!

  • espimones

    This may be of help for a lot of XPS users.  Great post and thanks for the update.


    Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices

  • Hello Terry. I hope it.

    I had doubts about the performance of the XPS 17, but once solved the problems of latency, performance is very, very good.

    Thanks for your willingness to help.

  • Hello,

    I got these results from running the hardware test:

  • Hi

    Many thanks for your pointer here. I have an xps 17 l702x, i7 2630qm, nvidia gt555m 3gb system. I too had the crackling audio, slow down of video when there was a lot of high download activity.

    The DPC latency checker v1.3.0 tool showed massive reds when heavy downloading and it was affecting playing even local video.

    I updated the directx as you did to the june 10th version (not sure if i had that already). I didnt have any scsi driver, as im not using a raid architecture on my disks. also the nvidia tool you mentioned (powermizer switch) said it could not find any options to configure for my graphics card.

    however, i download mainly using the wifi card (intel bgn 1000), so i decided to disable the other network adapters ("realtek pcie family controller" and a "TAP win 32 adapter v9").

    After disabling these other two adapters, the high reds on the DPC tool all came down to greens.

    I tried enabling the two adapters again one at a time,and checking each one enabled with the other disabled and vice versa. As soon as those were enabled the DPC levels shot off the charts in red. I can imagine the TAP adapter may be an issue (i installed it with openvpn), but the realtek pci adaptor should not be behaving so problematically especially when its not even being used.

    All my drivers are upto date with dell updates as of (28th april 2012).

    At least my problems are now fixed. Just to add to your set of findings.

    thanks again.

  • Just as an update to my answer above.... i have found that starting any sort of heavy downloads on my wifi adapter after restarting my system or coming out of hibernate will return to the extremely high DPC levels. It also happens when starting heavy downloads after a while of low network activity.  I have to enable and disable the ("realtek pcie family controller" and a "TAP win 32 adapter v9") again , even though they are already disabled. This works better, when i dont have video applications running.  As soon as i do that, the DPC levels immediately fall back to greens. As soon as they are green I am able to start video and it doesnt seem to exhibit the audio crackling or slowing down issue at all.

  • Thanks for your tips.

    June 2010 update file of DirectX, is one that, once unzipped the downloaded file, include several files with extension. "cab", some of them named "".

    This is the link:

    Moreover, I have installed only ONE WIFI card controller, since I only use wifi card conected to router and not to other wifi devices. So, I have only 2 network controlers in the Device Manager: 1 wired network device and 1 wifi network device. I have not any WIFI virtuals miniports.

    To do that, I have uninstalled ALL wifi drivers provided by Dell, (my system came with an Intel 1000 bgn wifi card too) and have installed MANUALLY last wifi INTEL drivers ALONE (file version downloaded from Intel website and selecting manually the folder where are located the driver ".inf" files downloaded.

    To run "Powermizer Switch", its necesary to run the program with administrator privileges. Otehrwise, it will fail. The best option to enhance performance of Nvidia graphic card, is to turn Powermizer off using both, battery and AC power.

  • basically dell are scum and sold you a faulty computer, i also got a faulty computer but customer service are just there to waste everyones time and do nothing to help anyone..