Dell XPS Studio Desktop 8GB Tri-channel DDR3 Question

By yukka ยท 181 replies
Dec 22, 2008
  1. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    video editing, games, A LOT OF MULTITASKING. Its a dream.
  2. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +67

    i use mine for games and multitasking virtual machines - i can run multiple instances of server 2008 and vista clients without any slowdown. its a freaking monster!!

    @poke13 Tell them you have been missold because the website missrepresents the hardware. Tell them its sold as 8gb tri-channel but on the US site its 8gb dual channel. Tell them you paid a premium to have tri-channel and you expect them to downgrade you to 6gb and refund money or offer an upgrade to 9gb. Get a case number off the person on the phone if you dont get anywhere then use the link on the website.
  3. abstrait

    abstrait TS Rookie Posts: 59

    I'm in that thread (i-vol). The ATI drivers thing is totally without merit and has nothing to do with it at all. I tested it and found no difference whatsoever although the new Catalyst and driver installs without a hitch.

    To be honest, I am betting most users would really be wasting ducats with a full custom build utilizing things like 1600 DDR3 etc. For most use, the difference would be negligible with only bragging rights and having a top notch system.

    This lowly outlet Dell 435MT at a whopping $900 with the 1.28TB via 2x640 RAID 0, 6GB DDR3 Tri-Channel at a measly 1066 w/ stock Radeon 4850 is extremely fast and a fraction of the price. Toss in 12GB 1333 and a new case with a backup drive and you've got an uber cheap system that will get you most of the way there, if not the ultimate in bragging rights. It's a wolf in sheep's clothing. Besides the fan issues, this fiend runs like a top via Vista 64.


    From a Dell thread I've been involved in, this by another 435MT owner


    If you're feeling a bit bummed at your high temps via the 4850, simple enter Catalyst (load the latest version 9.2) and elect to have manual control of the fan in the Overdrive section if you feel like bringing down temps. At 50%, which is really overkill, your idle temps should be in the low 40s. Moving to 34% keeps the GPU at around 49-50. Of course, each system is slightly different and your use will vary. I dont game but do a lot of graphic work. I've not seen my GPU temps get out of the 50s since messing with the fan control. Adjust the fan speed till you're happy with the temps, shooting for the lowest RPM you can.

  4. FEChariot

    FEChariot TS Rookie Posts: 23

    I saw that thread and upgraded my drivers last night too. I noticed it comming on way less often in the few hours I used the machine afterwards. Maybe the combination of the pci slot fan that is helping my GPU temps in combination with the new driver is helping the case fan stay in low speed. I will pay more attention to this tonight.
  5. abstrait

    abstrait TS Rookie Posts: 59

    I thought the same thing, till next day when it reached 75F here, my fan was coming on quite a bit, actually more than normal. I really dont think it has much to do with it. BTW, make sure you head to the Overdrive section in Catalyst to change to manual fan control setting, testing the fan speed in your card. This seriously brings the GPU temps way down. I settled at about 34% fan speed and have not had even a remotely hot card compared to earlier temps. It almost cut the temps by over a 1/3 and I dont feel like I'm putting too much stress on the fan within the card. One guy in the Dell forums ended up buying a 120MM intake fan (along with new 92mm and PSU to power them) and posted his results.

    Im not worried much about it anymore as my system has not skipped a beat, the main thing that should be on everyone's mind.
  6. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +67

    I took your advice and tried manually setting the fan speed. I put it to about 34% which was the lowest i could put it without the sound becoming louder than I was used to. I then played a game of Dawn of War 2. After the first mission I became aware that the sound was stuttering a little during the cinematic voiceover and when I alt+tabbed into windows my mouse was unresponsive, freezing intermittently. I opened up the catalyst control centre and my graphics card was well into the 90 degrees. Immediately I turned off the manual fan - it sped up and lowered the temps itself (making more noise than it ever did before) then I went back into Dawn of War 2 and it was fine - sound wasnt stuttering and it was responsive.

    It appears its on a case by case basis whether that method works - mine was not happy. It might be a combination of the lower power case fan as well. I will probably get one of those 100mm fans you mentioned as it seems to be a good tradeoff but it depends on the noise - my current setup is quite quiet anyway and the temps are sustainable (without much headroom admitedly).
  7. abstrait

    abstrait TS Rookie Posts: 59

    My GPU fan post was in relation to getting your average idle temps down for sure! I play ZERO games so if going to be in a game and use the manual fan, that's when I would manually move it to over 60% or whatever kept the temps at a reasonable level. Did not in any way mean to imply that you leave the fan at 34% and then run the GPU at 90% in a game. Your temps would skyrocket and the auto adjust of the fan would be out of commission.

    Again, the manual setting works great when doing normal work on the computer if you want to bring your average GPU temps well down. 34% is a fine compromise and bring your temps well below what it normally sees. If going to stress the GPU, move to auto or WAY up the fan speed.
  8. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +67

    sometimes i forgot not everyone is using their xps studio to play the best games money can buy :)
  9. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    I see you still have 9gb of ram. So couldnt be triple channel ram setup. Are you going to look into fixing it. Triple channel can offer much more bandwidth than dual channel, and by defaulting 6 dimms in all slots I believe dual channel is even disabled which would further hender your performance.
  10. abstrait

    abstrait TS Rookie Posts: 59

    Actually, this is not entirely correct. You CAN run Tri-Channel with 9GB of ram, making sure you matched the proper orientation for the six slots. If he had 3x2GB in the (from L to R) 2nd, 4th, and 6th slots, and 3x1GB in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th slots, it would be running in Tri-Channel mode just fine.

    One caveat, is you have to match the three corresponding slots with the same ram. In addition, the ram will run at the speed of the SLOWEST ram option. If he had 6GB of 1333Mhz and 3 at 1066Mhz, all would be running at the 1066Mhz speed.
  11. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +67

    Do you know a program that tests memory bandwidth that I can use for a "before and after" comparison?

    The ram is arriving tomorrow by courier and I will install it over the weekend.
  12. abstrait

    abstrait TS Rookie Posts: 59

    Techspot actually did an article on the performance of memory in an i7 system. You could duplicate their testing methods of so desired.

    Right now, the sweetspot deal for the 435MT would be Newegg's latest OCZ 6GB DDR3 1333Mhz kit. You could get 12GB of 1333Mhz cheaper than a 6GB kit a month or so ago. With the mail-in rebate, this 6GB, 7-7-7-20 1333 kit drops to a price buster $79usd.

    NOTE: if you have the 920/940 CPU, ram will ONLY run at 1066Mhz, even if all sticks are 1333Mhz. The only way you can currently get the 435MT to run 1333Mhz RAM at that speed, is to upgrade to an uber $$$ i7 965 Processor (or Dell updates the bios to overclock to 3.4Mhz, something that probably wont happen).

    - kh
  13. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +67

    This thread should not be used to constantly update how much cheaper and faster alternatives to the studio xps are until we all go nuts :) that way lays madness! already we have the new orange version and now the ram is cheaper and cheaper for even faster and faster.. j/k

    just bought that scyth fan to see what difference that makes by the way. cost about 10quid in the uk.
  14. FEChariot

    FEChariot TS Rookie Posts: 23

    I take back my previous. Last night I found the fan going into overdrive just as often so I agree that updating the video drivers has no effect.

    Funny thing is I can play Call of Duty 5 at max graphics where my core temps go up 5c to 55c and the graphic card goes up 25c to 75c and the case fan doesn't ever go into overdrive. Then I can watch youtube with only 1 firefox app running and the case fan goes crazy.

    Setting the video card fan to manual will not be a good idea for me since I game.
  15. abstrait

    abstrait TS Rookie Posts: 59

    Heh... Yep. It started when I saw that new 435T... But the smart thing all along was to buy the least RAM from Dell until they stopped offering that option, because the aftermarket has always been cheaper AND better. And now, it's REALLY Cheaper and Better. But most were stuck with their configs. In my case, I got a great outlet deal including the 6GB. I do wonder as I don't think I've seen anyone with 12GB of 1333Mhz ram yet. It's going to tax the system I'm sure.

    Ironically, my 435MT, which had totally stopped going into fan blower mode, has now returned in the last three days in all its craziness. It appears more random, leading me to believe there is something amok with the controller or bios. I can understand why Dell wont offer the overclocking and ultimate control of this machine's bios. But I really wish they would come to bat on the fan controller issues with a viable solution from THEM. It's all over their forum and the net, and I have not seen ONE MENTION by them officially on the 434MT page. You notice that the 435T is a whole new board, too. I wonder if that might be the culprit to some extent.

    On the 4850 manual fan control, you'll see some really lower temps if not gaming. The bad thing I noticed, is that if your environment is VERY quiet, including ye olde case fan, you'll hear the ATI 4850 fan at anything above 25%. Your regular temps will be way down at 34% but you'll pay a bit of the price again.

    In my latest test, I shut down my machine totally for a few hours allowing everything to cool, then restarted and moved the GPU fan setting to auto for now, bringing the GPU temp up by a good 25 degrees. I'm try to recreate the conditions that brought kept leaf blower mode out of the picture. Seems when my temps went up in the house a bit, moving from needing heat to doors open with spring like temps, things took a turn for the worse. A few degrees rise in your room temp and this beast really reacts. This is not the machine for those with no AC either. It puts a ton of heat out and for those that have the tower in the foot section of their desk area, you're in for some toasty legs! heh.



    Studio XPS 435MT BIOS 1.0.12
    13 Mar 2009 12:43PM

    All XPS 435MT owners should download and install the 1.0.12 BIOS update.


    1. Fan Control Enhancement.
    2. Fixed system can not return to last state from power lose when AC Recovery is set to "Last" in BIOS Setup.
    3. Change the default boot sequences to Hard Disk, Optical Drive, floppy and Onboard NIC.

    I've had a chance to load the new 1.0.12 BIOS update for the XPS 435MT and the first thing I realized is that it apparently does NOT offer end-user control of the fan settings, something I assumed. Unless I've missed it in my post-Flu delirium, it appears as if "fan control enhancement" really means it's being done via the bios automatically.

    I will say that since installing the 1.0.12 update, my fan(s) have not moved into leaf blower mode as of yet. Right now, my core temps are between 42 & 45.

    Was hoping for more manual control but at least the leaf blower has not kicked in as of yet. So far, I consider this a GREAT upgrade and a solution from Dell that seems to have solved the leaf blower ramp up headache.

  16. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +67

    I had an accident involving my keyboard and a drink which has left my usb keyboard out in the sun drying off. I had a usb extension plugged into a spare apple keyboard and carried out the bios update.

    Now I am getting a keyboard failure error when I start the PC which only gives me the option of pressing f1 or f2 depending on whether I want to enter setup or continue with default values.

    I have the keyboard plugged directly into a front usb slot. I have tried the original keyboard but it isnt dry enough/working either.



    Oh thank god.. I managed to get it to boot with the "wet" keyboard (currently hanging out my window drying in the sun on the roof lol) and the usb extension that I bought earlier today.

    Seems that the machine doesnt feel happy recognising the apple mac keyboard during bootup - not sure if that is related to the bios update or not. I certainly never had a problem using one with any other PCs. Weird.

    Anyway I havent turned my XPS into a paperweight. Which is nice. Phew.
  17. abstrait

    abstrait TS Rookie Posts: 59

    Bummer on the keyboard issue. Hoping it was the Dell USB keyboard which is no great loss as I'd rank it at the bottom in feel and build. Too bad about the snafu, regardless.

    Good news is the 1.0.12 Bios REALLY has solved ye olde Lead Blower Case Fan Hell issues. I've had my system on for over 24 hours in a custom High Performance power plan setting and have taxed the CPU quite a few times. At no time did the stock case fan ascend into the blower mode. I could hear it vary a bit, increasing revolutions to match the CPU usage, but it appears the days of the random outbursts of blower delight have left us for good. FINALLY.

    I will say that in the Dell Forums, a 435MT user with a 3rd party case fan is having problems with his 4850 GPU temps hitting 80C at mere idle. I have to say that, ironically enough, the stock Dell fan really might be a better option if employing the soft mounts, as my 4850 at idle is a good 15-20 degrees less. And this is with both samples using the auto fan mode.

    - kh
  18. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +67

    If that is the case I will switch back to the old one depending on how the scythe works out (hasnt arrived yet). Do the soft mounts make a big difference since even on idle I was aware of the fans - my PC sits to my side on the floor so there is nothing to hide any noise it makes. It isnt enclosed in a purpose built unit or anything.

    This is good - looks like someone else got a refund for their 8Gb machine using the thread I made on the official site
  19. abstrait

    abstrait TS Rookie Posts: 59

    Excellent! Of course, see posts #16 & #18 on the 21st of January, too. I think I spent more time discussing the Dual vs Tri-Channel UK/USA quagmire, trying to convince you to not stop with a Dell rep till it was solved than look at my own 435 options! heh....

    You know, I'm betting the Scythe option will probably be ok as it appears to be an efficient fan if believing their literature, perhaps more than most of the uber quiet fan options tried. On the soft mounts, it does help but does not make it totally silent. I have my 435MT sitting very much like yours, at my feet, in the open to my right. I might give the Scythe fan a try, too. But I have to admit, the current stock fan with no leaf blower status is not too bad with some attention paid to attachment. It's not a Noctua or anything but does actually work rather well and is passable now. The Scythe might be a great compromise, however, and is surely not too many ducats to sacrifice.

    NEW The fastest ANY RAM will run in the Dell 435MT with 920/940 CPU is 1066Mhz

    I was thinking 1333Mhz RAM could be used at full speed this whole time, mainly from specs being read that the 435MT will take 1333Mhz ram and the fact aftermarket boards from companies like ASUS had managed it without moving to the i7 965, this via OCing and multipliers.

    Apparently, this is NOT the case with the Foxconn Dell MB. As built with the current settings using the i7 920 CPU, the fastest the Studio XPS 435MT RAM will run is 1066Mhz. It can USE 1333Mhz RAM, buit it will stay at the 1066Mhz speed.

    When you move to quality aftermarket board, you will be able to use multipliers and OCing to allow for 1333Mhz via the 920 CPU, but it appears no Dell 453MT will do this unless you move to something like the i7 965 CPU.

    Not sure if Dell will release anything in the bios control that will allow this in the future, however. But based on what's been seen so far, it's a tossup with the edge to not likely. I've not heard of a single soul using a 965 in the 435MT either as the pricing at the time was insane.

  20. EnigmaMan

    EnigmaMan TS Rookie Posts: 24

  21. abstrait

    abstrait TS Rookie Posts: 59

    I hope we do as it was mentioned in detail four days ago, several posts above. heh... See dedicated post above with detailed discussion & links. And if you read that thread you linked, you might also notice a familiar avatar.

    Of course, the administration here does not make it any easier, always combining posts no matter how important or separate they should be, which is the case for that BIOS 1.0.12 UPDATE post of mine, surely deserving its own entry (I even asked them not to combine, to no avail). Since I had two posts in a row, they decide it must be one, no matter the subject. I've never seen this done and I manage two forums and own one. Oh well.... I've always thought moderation should be only used in extreme cases, not the case here.

    And wow...I've hit 45 posts and can finally use the Private Message function (another policy winner, tongue firmly planted in cheek).

    - kh
  22. EnigmaMan

    EnigmaMan TS Rookie Posts: 24

    Hi abstrait,

    Sorry, I suspected that might be the case, but I didn't have time to go trawling through all of the posts again.

    I've applied it to my system and it doesn't seem to make any difference, but then again, mine wasn't particularly noisy anyway.
  23. abstrait

    abstrait TS Rookie Posts: 59

    There are two problems with the 92mm case fan in the 435MT.

    First, it's a rather loud fan compared to some of the quieter samples. In a room with low background noise, you can hear the drone plainly. This has bothered some. Unfortunately, this case is so small and packed, with subpar airflow, that a VERY strong, high CFM fan is needed. The stock fan is rated at 70CFM, a VERY powerful rating. In addition, it's a bit noisy at lower RPM. Moves to quieter fans have brought some raising of CPU core temps.

    The second problem, a problem I feel is even WORSE, is that many machines were randomly ramping up of this same fan to full 70CFM power, sounding like a leaf blower or vacuum on 11. This leaf blower mode would kick in at random, but usually more prevalent when the core temps got 50C or a bit above.

    The 1.0.12 BIOS UPDATE totally FIXES this ramp-up of the rear case fan. It does not make said fan quieter, but there is no longer any hell noise from the random leaf blower mode.


    Lastly, please note that if you have the 920/940 CPU, that a 1333Mhz RAM upgrade will NOT operate at 1333Mhz. Only a move to the uber $$$ 965 CPU will bring this ram up to this spec. That, or bios control allowing users to bump the clocking of the 920/940 to 3.4Mhz ,which is doubtful.


    I've now heard from two different sources that there is a good chance that Dell will make next month's BIOS update able to run 1333Mhz RAM at full speed via the 920 and 940 CPU.
  24. EnigmaMan

    EnigmaMan TS Rookie Posts: 24

    Can you guys confirm whether or not Dell will be discontinuing the Studio XPS 435MT now that the Studio XPS 435T has been launched ?

    I know that the 435MT is not without its faults, but I actually prefer it to the much bulkier, sloping 435T case.

    I hope the don't discontinue the Studio XPS 435MT now that I've bought one.

    It's interesting to read that the 435T is still suffering from cooling / loud fan issues (see link below).
  25. abstrait

    abstrait TS Rookie Posts: 59

    Ummm... As this stage, they are still selling both, though they have dropped the name "435" from the Studio XPS version we have. For the record, the MT stands for Mini-Tower and the "T stands for Tower. I don't think anyone is totally clear on the fate of the i7 in the smaller Studio Mini-Tower. In some ways, a larger case with more cooling is a boon for this system. That said, I'm actually quite amazed at how well the original 435MT does with only the slightly louder, more powerful 92mm case fan the sticking point for many. The 1.0.12 Bios update completely removes the ramp-up quagmire many experienced with the 435MT. Since Best Buy and Costco STILL carry the original Studio XPS 435MT, I see it remaining for at least the time being.

    Please don't make the same mistake these reviewers are making, which is confusing the 435MT with the 435T. EVERY single review that complains of the terrible noise issues is reviewing their 435MT in the wrong place. There are almost no complaints on the new 435T's noise levels.

    - kh
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