SLOW Dell XPS 13 i3 CPU performance [FIXED!]
UPDATE: The latest Dell XPS 13 BIOS version A04 fixed the processor speed issue on my XPS 13, and it no longer requires SpeedStep to be disabled! You can find the download link here:
ORIGINAL POST: MARCH 5TH 2015
I recently purchased a new 2015 Dell XPS 13 “Infinity Display” laptop. Dell has been running some coupon specials and last week you could get the model with an Intel Core i3 processor for right around $700 USD. I decided to trade in my Lenovo Yoga 2 (non-Pro) and try out the XPS 13.
The laptop arrived and everything about it was fairly phenomenal, EXCEPT for system performance. The system seemed to have truly-abysmally-slow CPU performance :-(. Chrome was super slow when doing anything intense. Simple folder and media taks lagged. Checking the task manager showed that the CPU was running at around 596MHz. This might be normal in a low stress moment when power saving kicks in, but even under high loads the speeds stayed under 600MHz. I tried all the usual culprits: adjusting the Windows power management settings, messing with Dell utilities, all to no avail.
After some experimenting in the BIOS, there seems to be a SpeedStep/BIOS bug with the i3 XPS 13 that locks the CPU around 500-600MH. Thankfully there is an easy fix to get your CPU speeds back up to 2GHz+ 🙂 Here are the steps:
After this, performance was very snappy for me. I hope this helps you too! 🙂