You are here

Noisy Dell laptops

For anything relating to music-making on Windows computers, with lots of FAQs. Moderated by Martin Walker.

Noisy Dell laptops

Postby ef37a » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:35 am

I have been reading (over at HR) about a problem with Dell laptops with regard to USB powered AIs.

The power supply seems to be the culprit and generates a "digital" buzz. I am not sure if the PSUs carry mains earth to the negative pole but from people's experiences this does not seem to be a ground loop problem?

The situation is compounded by the fact that Dells will not charge the battery if a third party PSU is used, even though it powers the laptop fine.

One contributor reasoned that because the Dell "knows" it is the wrong supply there much be some data exchange and it is this that perhaps causes the noise?

Anyone here had similar experiences?

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10880
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby James Perrett » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:35 pm

No problems at all with a Dell Precision M4600 and a Zoom U44 (or with the Behringer UCA222 before it). However, this was a pretty expensive laptop when new so I could understand that the cheaper laptops may be different.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8582
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby IvanSC » Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:56 pm

Hi, Dave!
Oddly enough I have some experience with slightly more recent dells & that sense connector no longer seems to give any problems, apart from on some machines it will tell you on startup that the real time clock battery is not functioning, but in every case this has just been a red herring. I currently have my daughter`s refurb Dell Lappy back as she has just got enough subscribers on her youtube channel to get free use of Youtube`s studios! It uses a third party power supply from Lite-an which was specifically made for Dells, so it works fine and no buzz etc.

And the Lite-an certainly doesnt carry mains ground to the "out" connector, so maybe the answer would be to borrow my psu to see if it fixes things? Wish I had seen this sooner as we were up in your neck of the woods on SUnday collecting our new doggy addition to the family.
User avatar
IvanSC
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3025
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:00 am
Location: UK France & USA depending on the time of year.
Let me share my recipe for Wabbit stew with you!

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby ef37a » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:12 am

Hi Ivan, I might have given you the impression that it is I that have a problem with a Dell? If so, sorry but no.

I AM in the early stages of looking for a laptop with W10 so that I can retire my other machines from the internet when W7 support stops. Said machine does not have to be a "Music Making Monster" but I do not want to risk buying something that could cause me problems! I shall no doubt hang my KA6 on it from time to time.

My desired specification is modest but proving difficult to source. I must have a 15.6" screen min, mince struggles with less. Def' an SSD but need not be very big, an i5 CPU and 8G of ram. My budget is not much over £300 . I find many refurbished machine with "sort of" that spec and at that money but have not as yet hit upon the exact one.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10880
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby James Perrett » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:37 pm

You can find a slightly lower spec version of the machine I use at

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dell-Precisi ... Swa~NbWdIt

If you really want an SSD then you can add one and use it in addition to the existing hard disk as it has an mSata slot for an SSD. The RAM is upgradeable to 32GB although the advert doesn't say whether it comes with a 64 or 32 bit version of Windows. That's the same place as I bought mine from too.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8582
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby ef37a » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:32 am

James Perrett wrote:You can find a slightly lower spec version of the machine I use at

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dell-Precisi ... Swa~NbWdIt

If you really want an SSD then you can add one and use it in addition to the existing hard disk as it has an mSata slot for an SSD. The RAM is upgradeable to 32GB although the advert doesn't say whether it comes with a 64 or 32 bit version of Windows. That's the same place as I bought mine from too.

Thanks James but I want W10 on an SSD when I buy*. Similarly I do not want to faff about sourcing ram and fitting it (and it is likely the fitted ram will go to waste? I want to upgrade it in my my wife's cheapo laptop but it is two 1G sticks. It can handle 4G but the old ones get binned)

*I am not being tight on cash AFAICT? The spec' I want CAN be got but not all on a 15" machine. Everyone it seems wants "thin and light"? No I, the machine will rarely leave the house and in any case I have a bag!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10880
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby James Perrett » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:31 pm

How about a newer model, a more powerful processor with 2 SSD's and Windows 10 at the top of your budget?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dell-Precisi ... Swv9ldIPUS

This was just the first one I found that met your spec - I reckon you could probably find one a bit cheaper if you searched a bit more.

As you can guess, I like the Dell Precision range as they're solidly built and very expandable. We used the 17" versions (M6600, 6700 and 6800) extensively at my old job and they worked well. I mainly use my M4600 for audio processing and editing but recently I had it recording 32 channels over USB from an X32 mixer all afternoon and evening and it worked flawlessly. The main downside is that they're fatter and a bit heavier than some of the alternatives.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8582
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby ef37a » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:24 pm

James Perrett wrote:How about a newer model, a more powerful processor with 2 SSD's and Windows 10 at the top of your budget?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dell-Precisi ... Swv9ldIPUS

This was just the first one I found that met your spec - I reckon you could probably find one a bit cheaper if you searched a bit more.

As you can guess, I like the Dell Precision range as they're solidly built and very expandable. We used the 17" versions (M6600, 6700 and 6800) extensively at my old job and they worked well. I mainly use my M4600 for audio processing and editing but recently I had it recording 32 channels over USB from an X32 mixer all afternoon and evening and it worked flawlessly. The main downside is that they're fatter and a bit heavier than some of the alternatives.

Fatter and heavier I don't mind but you must understand James, I don't need a super powerful laptop because it will not be used for audio purposes well, maybe 2 mics with the KA6 once in a bluey.
I am pretty sure an i5 will be good enough for Word and the internet?

Two hard drives? Just more heat and battery drain AFAICS?

And sorry, read too many adverse comments. NOT getting a Dell!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10880
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby Chromeman » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:22 pm

I'd suggest something like this:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lenovo-Think ... SwAutdLOOp

I have a slightly higher specc'd T470 , it's fantastic, quiet, light, doesn't overheat (my main bugbear with laptops) and has a great keyboard..oh and the battery lasts 8 hrs plus. It is however a 14" screen which you may not want.
Chromeman
Regular
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:00 am

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby ef37a » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:29 pm

Chromeman wrote:I'd suggest something like this:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lenovo-Think ... SwAutdLOOp

I have a slightly higher specc'd T470 , it's fantastic, quiet, light, doesn't overheat (my main bugbear with laptops) and has a great keyboard..oh and the battery lasts 8 hrs plus. It is however a 14" screen which you may not want.

Definitely do not want a 14" screen. Would get a 17" if it came up and pay more for it!

Also, I have never bought anything off Ebay and I certainly would not start puntng 300 quid on a laptop!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10880
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby Chromeman » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:14 pm

ef37a wrote:
Also, I have never bought anything off Ebay and I certainly would not start puntng 300 quid on a laptop!


Wasn't suggesting you bought one off ebay, just showing an example, trying to be helpful.
Chromeman
Regular
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:00 am

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby James Perrett » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:49 pm

ef37a wrote:Also, I have never bought anything off Ebay and I certainly would not start puntng 300 quid on a laptop!

Many of the refurbishers have outlets on Ebay and the prices are sometimes better than buying direct. You still usually get the same guarantees as you would going direct. Ebay is also a great way to get an idea of what is available - even if you end up buying elsewhere.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8582
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby ef37a » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:53 am

Chromeman wrote:
ef37a wrote:
Also, I have never bought anything off Ebay and I certainly would not start puntng 300 quid on a laptop!


Wasn't suggesting you bought one off ebay, just showing an example, trying to be helpful.

My apologies Chromeman, yes, I get that you were being helpful. I spake hastily!

Dave .
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10880
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby IvanSC » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:11 pm

Misunderstood, Dave. FWIW I am still using the i5 4th gen I bought years ago. 8gb of ram, TWO SSD since I dumped the DVD drive and of course a 15.6" screen. I originally paid just over £300 for mine but with a 500gb HDD. So I suspect there are going to be plenty of options out there well wihin your price range. I use mine with one of the original RME Babyfaces & it is a real workhorse.
User avatar
IvanSC
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3025
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:00 am
Location: UK France & USA depending on the time of year.
Let me share my recipe for Wabbit stew with you!

Re: Noisy Dell laptops

Postby ef37a » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:41 am

IvanSC wrote:Misunderstood, Dave. FWIW I am still using the i5 4th gen I bought years ago. 8gb of ram, TWO SSD since I dumped the DVD drive and of course a 15.6" screen. I originally paid just over £300 for mine but with a 500gb HDD. So I suspect there are going to be plenty of options out there well wihin your price range. I use mine with one of the original RME Babyfaces & it is a real workhorse.

Thank you Ivan. Want to sell it?!!

Now see, I want a DVD drive (well, I WOULD do without if really pressed but would rather not) I do a lot of burning of edited garden wildlife vids and a laptop is a very handy check.

BTW, one of the few problems I have ever had with my i3 HP g6 is the optical drive. Very often I slot in a DVD I have made (Panasonic Freeview HD/DVD recorder) and it either won't play it at all, denies its existence! Or asks if I want to burn stuff to it even though the disc is full and finalized.
Usually if I uninstall the drive in Device Manager and re boot the lappy it finds the drive, installs it and all is tickertyboo for a week or three. My wife's 100 quid eMachine plays ANYTHING!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10880
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users