New XPS 13 (9333) Constant Noise


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New XPS 13 (9333) Constant Noise

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I have just recently received a new XPS 13 with the new haswell i7 processor, 8gb RAM, 256gb ssd, and windows 8.1.

I really like this laptop, but it makes a really bizarre noise. It happens constantly as soon as its powered on, like a high pitched whirring sound from somewhere beneath the keyboard. It also seems pretty inconsistent, like it flickers in frequency, and when you use programs (e.g scroll through webpages) it gets louder.

Can anyone help me with what the issue is here? Any help appreciated.

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  • Ive ranted plenty on the other thread so i will no longer rant but to inform others about this appalling behaviour from Dell.

    I seriously doubt you will get your money back or a fix. I have tried many times.
    I used almost £1000 of my own money because they promised a fix (change plane tickets, further my stay in hotels, expenses etc). I took time off work. Was literally scolded by one of their staff on phone for not knowing how to put a CD into my laptop despite telling them i dont have such a drive on my laptop yet she would keep going on and on about inserting the disc.....absolutely ridiculous. they even questioned the problems i had (my whining seems to be worse than most who write on here and screen and sleep problems too), and did not believe me..

    Sent many engineers to me with wrong parts, second hand parts and one time with NO parts. he came and asked me what was wrong, i said you are supposed to bring the new part to fix the laptop, he said he doesnt have any parts, whole afternoon wasted waiting for him and had to take time off work. He even admitted that he know nothing about computers, jsut been taught how to screw parts in and out. They have told many many lies and i would get passed around in circles when trying to speak to someone, happened nearly every time i called. Attitude was so bad. I travel a lot for work and they kept trying to pass me off to another country and say go fix it there wherever i was next to schedule to go.

    Please people, DELL are thieves and liars, i will never buy another again and will advise all to not to as well. I was also told someone higher up would deal with my matter as it seemed to be slightly worse than others but again no contact, nothing. Just left in the cold. I could write pages and pages of the problems i experienced. The above are just some of my problems, if it doesnt put you off then go ahead.

    They way they treat you, unbelievable.

    They will probably delete this post anyway, hope as many people can read it.

All Replies
  • Hello,

    I have the same model and exactly the same issue. High frequency makes it difficult to record.

    One of the very few flaws in an otherwise superb unit.

    I'm hoping there will be a BIOS fix for this. I've noticed similar complaints with many different brands and models in my searches online. 

    Consensus appears to be a coil whine of some sort. it is not harmful but annoying.

  • Hi,

    I have the same problem albeit with the Ubuntu Developer edition of the XPS 13 9333. 

    The noise seems to disappear when the fan kicks. 

    Dell is this a known issue you're working on?

  • Further to my reply below, I emailed Dell about this problem who are sending a tech to check it out. I was hoping for a BIOS fix and the thought of my notebook being apart is kind of tragic!

    But if it gets fixed, then all good :-)

    Tech guy is coming Friday. I'll report back on progress.

  • Yeah, thinking I may have to contact dell see if a tech can sort it.

    But yes, keep us posted!

  • If i connect a headset the noise is louder...can you confirm?

    I disable the sound card alsa driver and it is better. Can you confirm this?




    blacklist snd-hda-intel


  • Hello,

    I tried the steps above in Windows and noticed no change.

    Strangely enough the last 2 days, it seems a little quieter. It's probably due to the tech coming to investigate tomorrow. I'll end up looking silly. I'll run it for a bit to ensure the noise is there. 

    The pattern seems to be it occurs after running for some time. That is consistent with coil whine where the coil heats up, expands and the noise is generated.

  • I thank all of you for posting about this here.  Dell engineering is aware of this thread and are investigating your claims.

    Heldenhaft has some good questions regarding if the noise is originating from the on board sound system or seems to be coming from some other source.   Do any of you notice if disabling the sound card makes the problem better or worse?

    If the sound card doesn’t seem to be the problem, does the noise seem to be cooling fan related? Does the noise only occur after prolonged use of the notebook, or when the notebook is running under a heavy load?

    Kuqiki posted that the sound is coming from under the keyboard, have all of you noticed this as well?

    I will likely be sending out friend requests to you shortly so that I can get the service tags for the systems. Engineering may also wish to capture a system for testing at the lab. Please let me know if possible where the noise is coming from and if it is fan, sound card related or something else.




    (Liaison for Laptops, Mobile Devices)
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  • Cheers for letting us know terry. The steps Heldenhaft suggested didn't have an effect on the noise my system is making.

    I am pretty certain it is not sound system related, it is also pretty distinct from the cooling fan sound. As far as loads, mine makes noise as soon as the system is powered up though it does fluctuate with use as I highlighted originally.       

  • Hi all,

    Blacklisting the sound card didn't work for me, but turning off the keyboard backlight does!!

    The "note" of the noise changes when I hit Fn+F6 and completely disappears when the backlight is off.

    Please can someone else give it a go?


  • Oh wow San11, this the same for me. The noise completely goes when the backlight is off on my keyboard too.

  • Hi, I'm Daniel from Italy, and I bought this laptop since 10 days. I have the same noise, so it is something common.

    The Laptop is fantastic, only one thing makes me doubtful,, not all applications and programs are optimized with full hd resolution, Can you confirm?

    Some programs or applications, also some windows settings seem to be blurred.

    Thanks So much!

  • Yes, i disable the backlight of the keyboard and the noise is gone...great..but i use the system at night (bedroom) :)...

    Hmm...sorry if i connect a usb device (arduino) and the leds are off, the noise is back...

    Maybe some voltage divider problem?

  • Hi Daniel,

    The blurry script problem is a Windows 8.1 issue but this is easily fixed, as follows:

    1. Right click on desktop and select 'Screen Resolution.' Resolution screen appears

    2. Click on link for 'Make my text larger or smaller'

    3. Check the box of 'Let me choose one scaling lever for all my displays.'  That should resolve the issue for you.

  • Hi TB,

    Thank you for joining this discussion. I'm glad Dell are investigating this.

    The noise is worse with the keyboard lit. It is still present when off but less so.

    Changes to the sound card have no effect. 

    The sound seems to originate under the keyboard on the top right side.

    I'm expecting a tech to arrive this morning following a call I raised with Dell earlier in the week. I'll post back here following the visit.

  • Captain_Colossus

    Hi Daniel,

    The blurry script problem is a Windows 8.1 issue but this is easily fixed, as follows:

    1. Right click on desktop and select 'Screen Resolution.' Resolution screen appears

    2. Click on link for 'Make my text larger or smaller'

    3. Check the box of 'Let me choose one scaling lever for all my displays.'  That should resolve the issue for you.

    Hi thanks so much! I resolved with find exe of the application, then click Properties, then compatibility and than flag "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings". In this case all blurred effect goes away!