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Intel Core I7 1165G7 “Tiger Lake” Linux Performance with Dell XPS 13 9310 (phoronix.com)
80 points by rbanffy 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 83 comments

I moved to XPS 15 as my first non-Mac machine in over 10 years, and I must say I'm far from impressed by the build quality.

These laptops are gorgeous new, but they are SO fragile. One of the screen hinges is broken, I've replaced numerous keys, the keyboard is now developing some debounce/key registration issue all over the right-hand side, the speakers are both blown (left first then the right), the trackpad sits 0.5cm above the case (needs replaced), the glue holding the rubber to the bottom of the case expanded with heat and leaked out everywhere. Probably more I've forgotten

I'd still consider buying another, but I'd also strongly consider changing vendors once this machine finally dies

The fragility of Dell's consumer laptops is why I continue to buy Lenovo's which are less sleek but have better durability and run Linux just fine. In recent memory I've had an X1 Carbon and X1 Carbon Extreme Gen 1 and been very satisfied.

Lenovo parts availability is a huge plus over Dell as well. Second hand or repair parts are hard to find for them.

Lenovo are also way better at warranty. In my experience they just asked for the serial number of the ThinkPad, it was still covered and they accepted it (and fixed it). It was an used laptop.

Dell OTOH asked for the original receipt of purchase, that of course I didn't have because that also was an used laptop.

Also, the latitude series is way better than the xps line. I've got the latitude 7390 from dell and it's just marvelous.

So yeah, if you're buying new, dell or Lenovo ThinkPad (I'd recommend a ThinkPad though).

If you're buying second hand, ThinkPad is the way.

Exactly my thoughts too. I love the look and build of the Dell's but the Lenovos, while ugly, are so tough and so easy and cheap to repair. I buy all ThinkPads these days (most recently the T580 and T490, both of which are amazing and run Fedora like a dream, out of the box).

Is it still impossible to find non-garbage non-$200+ replacement batteries? I had to give up on my X61 because it was no longer a mobile device.

I recently replaced the two batteries of a t460s, I paid 155 usd (53 + 70 + shipping outside USA) , using the Lenovo official vendor (encompass)

The X1s are part of Lenovo’s business line, not consumer, so you’d need to be comparing to the Dell Latitudes to make it fair.

I've owned T5xx and T4xx in the same timeframe, they're also high quality.

Im not sure the X1 Extreme is part of the biz line... it's marketed at gaming or more accurately people that want a Work/Play device.

My experience is total opposite. I had horrible hardware experience with MacBook Pro. Battery being blown up, broken hinges, keyboard skipping... My XPS has been working amazingly fine. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Same, XPS 15 9570 (2 years old I believe). It's almost as good as new. A little electrical whining when charging and putting the ear against it, but that's since day one. I've kept a cloth in between the screen and keyboard, kept everything clean just by rubbing a cloth a few times.

FWIW my late 2013, 15" MacBook Pro seems to me just as good as new. Never had to replace the battery or have any kind of service done on it at all.

I kind of want to buy a new model but this thing just keeps going so I have no legitimate reason to do so. Honestly, I really love the machine. The fact that I'll get at least eight years out of it, as I did from my last MBP, means I'll definitely buy another MacBook Pro.

I have an XPS 13. I paid for the default "basic warranty." This week my fans started wobbling, causing lots of noise. I called Dell, told them I was using Linux, then they immediately offered to send someone in-person (with pandemic safety precautions) to fix it. And they did. It took 15 minutes for my fan to be replaced once they arrived. The person was very helpful, and they improved my boot time, too, by setting the clock in my BIOS.

That trackpad issue sounds like a swollen battery.

Yep. Had this problem on my 2013 XPS 13 last year. Replace the battery before it gets worse. It's pretty easy to do yourself.

Yup, it's a well known issue with the XPS line. It's also dangerous as they can start fires..

I'm an idiot, this hadn't even occurred to me. Thanks

You don't buy a dell without the four year "come to my house and fix it" service contract. Basically you can get a dell for $1000 and it will fall apart or you can buy the same machine for $1400 and it wont, and if it does, they show up the next day and fix it or replace it. I sometimes wonder if they actually do quality binning or have a different production line. But basically a Dell costs $400 more than you think. And they are fantastic, in my experience.

I was in the UK on business when my keyboard broke, and the next day a chap showed up with a UK keyboard. When I pointed out it was a US keyboard. Didn't bat an eye, just walked back out to his van and came back with a US one.

Buy a thinkpad. Dell’s build quality and support are atrocious compared to Lenovo.

Lenovo doesn’t hold a candle to Apple still but Dell is still bottom barrel. Have you ever tried calling Dell to get something fixed? Good luck!

Thinkpads are tanks and with Lenovo they either fix a hardware issue by having you send it to them or you can request a customer replaceable part and fix it yourself.

The problem is Lenovo machines look and feel like PCs, and that's not a complement. I got the XPS specifically for the trackpad, its the only one around that I know of that handles any way remotely like a MacBook's.

In fairness, most people just ignored the latitude line from dell and just focus on the xps line. I wouldn't trade my latitude 7390 for an xps 13, honestly.

I had similar issues and will say that quality varies wildly between models. I had a bunch of 9560s that all had awful problems (to the point of return) until I finally returned the last one and got a 9570 (I had done this enough times that the new model had come out.) It's had absolutely no issues.

XPS line is plagued by constant quality control issues that Dell doesn't fix year after year, generation after generation. With XPS 15 look up the expanding/exploding battery issue, thermal throttling etc. Mine (XPS 15 9550) also had issues with the hinge, the power cable, having to fight dell to get an adapter to fit the second drive which they stated stated it supports, and intense fan noise then especially after the Meltdown mitigations were applied I gave up on it completely.

Their strength is in quality peripherals, ie screen etc, but their weakness is garbage quality control and it's so overpriced for that.

If you can, avoid XPS! If you can't well .. purchase extended warranty with the on-site option, you're gonna need it ..

Our 5 year old XPS 13 isn't showing any signs of wear and tear. Maybe they were built better back then.

The quality appears to be very random, which isn't what you want with a high end device. But if you're one of the lottery winners, great!

Kind of weird reading this. I don't own an XPS 15 myself, but I've heard nothing but praise for it on various forums and youtube videos.

Dell Latitudes are built more solidly.

Yeah, the Latitudes are basically XPS but aimed at business rather than consumer. I always go with Latitudes.

I have also experienced this with an old studio 1555 and xps 17. My current machine, a dell precision 17 is much better quality (and more expensive)

I'll buy one of these. Not because of the CPU -- despite of that. Ryzen would be great but there's no thin&light Ryzen laptop with great screen and great build. Not sure why. However, apart from the performance disadvantage (that's not extremely serious), the 9310 is a great package overall (or at least I can't find anything more compelling on the market with good battery life, good screen, good docking story (TB), good keyboard, good build).

HP Envy x360 is great. It has a 6 (real) core AMD Ryzen 5 4500U, nice screen and absurd battery life (12 hours or something ridiculously long like that). https://rwmj.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/amd-zen-2-laptop/ The single thing I don't like about it is they've overloaded the backslash/pipe key on to another key.

I don't want to buy an expensive laptop with only 16G RAM.

HP Elitebook 845/855 AMD support 32GB RAM officially, but they have 2 SODIMM slots so theoretically should support 64GB. One thing to watch out with Linux on HP laptops with AMD currently are problems with standby mode. They lack S3 deep sleep power state - only provide S2Idle so called Modern Standby. Although there are ways to mod ACPI tables there is still some black screen issue when the return from suspend happens - search stories on Reddit. I hope constantly improved Linux kernel will bring some workarounds and HP will do more Linux testing too on their quite decent HW specs.

I finally decided to go with proven option and ordered Lenovo T14 with 48GB RAM. It works flawlessly with Linux 5.8 because Lenovo added "legacy" S3 power state mode toggle in BIOS setup specially for non-Windows OSes.

48G means single channel RAM, which slows down the GPU a lot.

With Ryzen 4000, it means the first 32GB are running in dual channel and the remaining 16 are single channel.

Why not? The only thing that really eats ram is chrome tabs

I know that was trolling :) But let me answer you:

32GB+ RAM on laptop lets me run complete micro-services production-like environment (Java, VM, Docker) locally with efficient development/debug capabilities.

And that is at any place where I can get electricity and LTE/4G/3G which is enough to git pull/push or check on-line docs few times a day.

Unintentional trolling I guess. I'm just ignorant of what people use the RAM for, and reluctant to accept that our apps need this much.

I function in a data analysis role and the only place I typically get to crunch number is my own laptop.

Running a Docker container for SQL Server and doing some work with pandas will eat up my 16gb pretty easily.

There are currently very serious issues with the wd19tb docking station.


This leads to random black external screens and network/usb disconnects. It is so unreliable that I stopped using it for real time communication. (Note: I have the xps 13 2-in1 2019 laptop, i7-1065G7)

There's the Thinkpad T14s. I think the screen is worse and you miss out on an easily-accessible SD card reader, but I think Lenovo tends to be more reliable than Dell build quality-wise.

I wanted that. I actually ordered it in August, then I have cancelled it recently as the shipping date kept shifting (last info was November). T14s AMD looked very good compared to the 9300 in August, but it doesn't look _that_ good in December.

T14 (not T14s) still available, about 2 weeks wait time in EU.

Thinkpad T14 Ryzen also has 400 and 500 nit build-to-order screen options.

The 400 nit panel has ridiculous amounts of ghosting (to the point where you can see it just by moving the mouse pointer), and the 500 nit panel is a “privacy” option which means worse than TN viewing angles. Unfortunately Lenovo is currently limiting the good screen to Intel for whatever reason.

Yup .. I was seriously considering buying one except for the ridiculous screen options!

The x13 has an almost acceptable screen but non-touch, and single channel ram issues if I remember right.

There just doesn't seem to be a really good ryzen laptop on the market. I'm vaguely hoping the MS surface laptop 4 releases with a nice surprise of reduced bezels and two pcie ssd slots!

The Yoga Slim 7 Pro looks great and has a color accurate retina-level display, but it seems impossible to actually buy one.

If you are not pressured to buy now I would advise to wait until the next year where Ryzen laptops with USB4/TB4 will hit the market.

Is the Huawei Matebook AMD edition available in your country? They are available with Ryzen processors and even better screens with a 3:2 display ratio.

They are, but the Matebook D's build quality is very far from e.g. the Matebook Pro. :(

Did they really fix the power management problems? I would be very careful running Linux on Intel laptops these days. Very happy with Ryzen.

There's going to be Thinkpad X1 Nano this December, it also looks very interesting.

The X1 carbon is lighter than the xps 13, due to not having a metal shell. I think 14 inch screen is small enough, that's just my preference of course.

I’d wait for the X1 nano. Same thing but better quality.

what is exciting about Tiger Lake IMO is the memory tagging feature (ARM has it already) which can mitigate ROP attacks. It was announced here:


memory tagging is like a hardware based ASAN that eliminates many memory bugs and improves memory debugging. So its potential is well beyond mitigating ROP (though all these benchmarks will change with memory tagging enabled :-))).

Intel patent document "US2020/0125502 Low memory overhead heap management for memory tagging", has more info on how this might work: https://www.freepatentsonline.com/20200125502.pdf

For a great background primer on why to use this see the brilliant work of Konstantin Serebryany https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1802/1802.09517.pdf

IMO this is long overdue on Intel architecture and the main reason why one might want to be excited about Tiger Lake

I can imagine it will lead to a lot of effort for Linux: malloc implementation, glibc, compilers, toolchains and debugging tools ... and lots of discussions about why and when it should be enabled. (IMO you want this in production always)

Tiger Lake does not have memory tagging. That capability was announced at Architecture Day by Martin Dixon to land in some unspecified future processor.

Tiger Lake has Control-flow Enforcement Technology, which allows the compiler to tag proper targets of control-flow changes.

Hard to be excited about this when ASAN only catches a small fraction of only the easiest to debug memory safety issues, and when hardware support for these like the one in SPARC or in ARM CHERI require a significant amount of programmer and toolchain cooperation, and still do not manage to reasonable speed up Valgribd, MSAN, etc.

On page 4, for code compilation:

> Given the core advantage of AMD Renoir, for those doing software development / frequently compiling code on your laptop will find even the Ryzen 5 outperforming Tiger Lake on Linux.

As people have mentioned elsewhere, maybe you’re looking at the XPS for the form factor, but it’s getting blown away in terms of compiling code.

I really don't understand why such an in depth benchmark does not test thermal throttling. This would be much more interesting to me. I disable turbo boost and undervolt my CPU on every laptop because it really drives me nuts that when I'm compiling something suddenly I can't use my web browser because my CPU has clocked to 800 Mhz. I rather have a little longer compilation time and ensure my PC is still usable in that time.

You can always `nice -n 19` your background jobs. You still end up with an 800 MHz hot CPU, but at least it'll prioritize you

None of these parts have an 800MHz base clock. If you are encountering PROCHOT asserts with normal workloads you should get your money back and/or post on your blog until Intel forces whatever third-rate vendor made your laptop to refund you.

I didn't check if it is PROCHOT or not. But two XPS 13 laptops and a Surface Pro I have owned downclocked below the base clock under heavy workloads. In fact even in this benchmark you can see frequent drops below the base frequency during compilation of the linux kernel. And that's with 0% load on the GPU.


Seems to support the general conclusions of less detailed reviews - Xe graphics are a big upgrade over Ice Lake, but general CPU performance is not. Even loses out to a Ryzen 5 4500U when parallel tasks are important.

I just got my Thinkpad T14 (Ryzen 7 8c/16T, 48 GB memory), I looked at the XPS with Tigerlake, but even if the screen is better, I'm getting more computer for the same price with the T14.

I own two XPS developer edition laptops. The second one is up for an upgrade and the CPU is the one thing that is its weakest spot (Kaby Lake in my case), often on its limit when using Zoom for example and runs hot. But I think that with such minor upgrades of the CPU, I will tell bye to Dell.

This is the advantage of good competition. I still wonder if Dell would push a model with Zen in the next say 6 months before starting to look elsewhere.

I am going with XPS as well. Honestly I couldn't find a better laptop at the time with features that are important to me, but even so it is still a nightmare to use. It runs hot, can't play HD videos on YT (Google doesn't support hardware decoding in Chrome) and I couldn't get NVidia drivers to work properly. I am going to buy a laptop with AMD cpu next year. I hope that if more people do it Dell will finally drop Intel. I cannot support a company that wastes money they are overcharging and not doing any research to improve their products. 5 years or so of the same CPUs just with different packaging and minor tweaks is just beyond joke.

I picked up one of the XPS 17" laptops. The screen is just gorgeous. If you go Centos on it, be prepared to do battle with the killer nic. (argh)

Curious, why CentOS instead of Fedora?

All the work stuff is running RHEL, so Centos is closer when it comes to all the software I'd run. I'm tempted to say Centos 8 Streams is Fedora... but I had a couple packages where it was tricky to get that to work, so currently doing the normal Centos 8 release. Everything else was Centos, so thus picking that when setting up the XPS.

As personal workstation OS, I all my JetBrain (GoLand, IntelliJ) development tools, VMWare Workstation, a mess of databases, and... Steam on my home desktop. Getting video drivers set to work nicely with proton is really what drives the laptop and I sorted that last year with the AMD cards on my threadripper last year. (now, it is silly easy, but last December...ye gods) If I can ever get my hands on a 3080, I assume the driver setup for NVidia will be similar for the 2060 in the laptop.

What’s up with the massive regression in web browsing performance vs Ice Lake? I was under the impression that Tiger Lake was a very similar architecture, but with much higher clocks.

The difference in compile times between the AMD 4700U and the 1165G7 is stunning. Sure, it has 2x the cores but in the same TDP. Waiting for the premium Ryzen laptops to ship.

Hoping the Surface Laptop 4 will be the premium Ryzen laptop that I've been waiting for (if I ever need to use a laptop again ...)

Don't trust TDP numbers. In the Anandtech Tiger Lake review the AMD 4700U used actually 30W instead of 15W for a significant time of the benchmark: https://www.anandtech.com/show/16084/intel-tiger-lake-review... I'd guess a "15W TDP" AMD CPU would consume 30W continuously if the cooling could cope with it.

So does Intel. A 2x boost power consumption is pretty standard and Intel often goes beyond that with its turbo.

Beware the paid lenovo shills in this thread. Lenovo is a chinese company and they been caught out multiple times since 2017 straight-up paying "influencers" to market their products on sites like twitter and reddit.

I wish these reviews were even slightly representative of what I normally use a laptop for, like running chrome/v8, crunching tons of geojson files with python, etc. Are all you out there with trivially parallel workloads all day long?

Any good repeatable use-cases around your GeoJSON that would work well for automated benchmark case? I"m always interested in adding more benchmarks... If you have any good test cases that would work well, happy to add them to the Phoronix Test Suite - report it @ https://github.com/phoronix-test-suite/test-profiles/issues and will look at the workloads. Thanks.

What's the acceptable amount of test data in these suites? I feel like grinding through 20GB of GIS is something that happens to me with certain frequency, but it might not fit in your repo.

If there's a public mirror of the data-set available, not too much concern given that the downloads only happen when the user requests running said test.

> Dell’s 2-in-1 stick to a permanently soldered-in-place SSD

long time fan anf consumer, but bye....

I bought the 13 inch 2in1 earlier this year. Had I not been bound to keep it due to lockdown (this being the only production-ready machine in the house at the time) I would have sent it back. Now I'm thinking to just buy a ryzen machine and ceremonially burn this one.

Pro tip: don't confuse "XPS 13" (amazing linux support) with "XPS 13 2in1" (horrible linux support, with issues ranging from bootup/shutdown to webcam simply not working, and it likely never will)

ahem... </rant>

I think this has been the case for the 13" for some time, but at least the XPS 15 9550 I have does not suffer from it

Anecdotal: they are also relatively straightforward to Hackintosh and are pretty stable. If anyone is looking for a MacBook Pro replacement (with MacOS), this might be your best bet. Lenovos are also good.

What is the point releasing such CPU? That must have costed a fortune plus probably wasted a ton of natural resources. And all of this for what? Just to etch new model name in hope the gullible will buy this? I wonder what Intel spend all the money on that they've been overcharging customers for their recycled CPUs...

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