XPS 9550

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The Dell XPS 9550 is a 15" Laptop released in October 2015.

Replacement Parts[edit | edit source]

Replacement Parts
Description Dell Part Number Compatible Replacement(s)
Battery (6 Cell 84Wh) 4GVGH
  • Dell 6GTPY (97Wh battery designed for the 9560 this is easier to find and higher capacity)
  • XPS 9550 Battery from iFixit
Battery (3 Cell 56Wh)
Palmrest JK1FY Dell KYN7Y
DC Power Jack
Bottom cover screws M2x3mm Torx T5

Common Issues[edit | edit source]

Charge port is wobbly/loose[edit | edit source]

Replace the DC in Jack. There is a (weak) plastic anchor point which holds it secure in the chassis, which will break over time. You can one on eBay for less than $10, search for the title "XPS 15 9550 POWER JACK". The cable will be labelled with multiple serial numbers including some of these: "TPNTM 0TPNTM VAUB0 DC30100O800 DC301000800".

To replace, see the "Removing the power-adapter port" section of the service manual[1].

Lower-than-expected performance[edit | edit source]

This symptom can be caused by more than one issue. Check each separately.

  • Option 1: CPU multiplier stuck low[2]
    • How to diagnose
      • Open task manager and check your CPU frequency. If it is stuck at 750-800 MHz regardless of CPU usage, then you have this issue.
    • How to fix
      • Shutdown the laptop.
      • Open the bottom cover and remove the battery.
      • Hold the power button for 5 seconds.
      • Reconnect the battery and power on the system. The issue should be fixed.
  • Option 2: CPU/GPU Block screws broken. This causes thermal throttling due to lack of mounting pressure.
    • How to diagnose
      • Open the bottom cover and inspect the screws which secure the CPU/GPU block to the motherboard. In my case, two of the screws looked like Fig. 1.
        Fig. 1: Heatsink screw which pulled itself out of the motherboard
    • How to fix
      • Remove the motherboard. See the "Removing the system board" section of the service manual[3].
      • Replace the missing screw with a suitable replacement screw. I used M2 nylon screws and nuts. I found it easier to install the screw in the opposite orientation to the OEM screw, since during reassembly, you need to install the motherboard before installing the heatsink. It is much easier if the nut is on the same side as the heatsink.
  • Option 3: Bad thermal paste
    • How to diagnose
      • If your laptop is thermal throttling, and you don't have any of the above issues, then your problem is likely thermal paste.
    • How to fix
      • Remove the heatsink. See the "Removing the heat-sink assembly" section of the service manual[4].
      • Clean off the old thermal paste (90%+ isopropyl alcohol helps here)
      • Add new thermal paste.

Touchpad is no longer clicking OR touchpad is lifted up[edit | edit source]

This is usually the first symptom of a swollen battery. Open the bottom cover of the laptop and inspect the battery - if swollen, you'll need a replacement.

Screen hinge noises OR cracking noises when opening screen OR chassis gaps appearing when opening screen[edit | edit source]

The display hinges attach to the "palmrest", which is the main structural component of the laptop. The palmrest is made of carbon fiber and glue, so if your laptop is like mine, it is likely the source of the problems - not the hinges.

  • How to diagnose
    • Remove the bottom cover of the laptop and inspect the point where the hinges attach to the rest of the laptop. While the bottom cover is off, open the display slightly to actuate the hinges. If the palmrest is damaged, then the metal brackets which are glued to the palmrest will likely show cracks or delamination from the carbon fiber.
  • How to fix
    • Buy a new palmrest off eBay ($20-50) - inspect this carefully when you receive it. This part is fragile by itself so certain parts (usb connector, back sidewalls) are very easily broken in shipping. Also give the hinge brackets a good pull to make sure they are glued securely to the carbon fiber.
    • Disassemble your laptop and remove the palmrest. Note this requires removing everything including the keyboard. See the "Removing the palm-rest assembly" section of the service manual[5].
    • Install the new palmrest

Unofficial upgrades[edit | edit source]

  • Battery: Dell 6GTPY designed for its successor, the 9560. This battery works fine in the 9550 and adds another 13Wh of capacity.
  • Large RAM configurations see Table 1.
Table 1. Memory tested
Capacity Speed Manufacturer + Part Number Status
64GB (2x32GB) 2666 MHz OLOy MD4S322619MZSC Tested working
64GB (2x32GB) 3200 MHz G.SKILL F4-3200C22D-64GRS No boot