Skip to Content

Dell XPS Undervolt (Explained)

Dell XPS Undervolt (Explained)

This document discusses the concept of undervolting on a Dell XPS. Among the items addressed are what it means, if you can undervolt an XPS, and how it’s done on an XPS 15 laptop.

Dell XPS Undervolt

A common issue related to computers is an overheated central processing unit (CPU).

This occurs when a program or website takes up an inordinate amount of processing time. It gets to the point that the internal fans and heatsink utilized to keep the CPU cool can’t keep up.

The result is the processor overheats and causes the computer to slow or shut down. 

One way to correct this is to upgrade to a more powerful CPU. However, this isn’t so simple with a Dell XPS laptop.

To create its slim profile the motherboard’s components are much smaller. Thus, a larger CPU could require a completely new circuit panel. 

An option that doesn’t involve hardware replacement is overclocking.

When this is implemented you increase the CPU’s capacity and the speed of your computer in general. However, if it’s overdone, then you run into the same overheating problems mentioned above. In fact, excessive overclocking has the potential for serious hardware damage.

A safer solution is called undervolting.

What Does It Mean To Undervolt An XPS?

The concept of undervolting is a feature of the XPS power supply.

It permits you to dynamically scale the electromotive force of voltage to conserve power. In turn, it conserves the power provided by the battery. It also controls internal temperatures, especially on the CPU.

Overall, undervolting minimizes the risk of breakdowns related to high voltage usage. By setting limits, it maximizes operations.

On top of this, the concept prolongs the life of your laptop or desktop. 

Can you Undervolt Dell XPS?

Whether you can undervolt a Dell XPS depends on its age.

Earlier generations with older Intel processors and BIOS files allow you to perform this task via the setup menu at the Dell logo. However, undervolting is eliminated in 10th generation CPUs or above. Furthermore, BIOS updates at or above 16.1 have removed this option. 

How Much Does It Cost Undervolt A Dell XPS 15?

The cost to undervolt a Dell XPS 15 depends on what you want to do. There are programs available that supposedly help throttle voltage on the CPU.

The cost of these varies from freeware to a monthly subscription cost. 

On the other hand, hardware solutions could cost a few dollars to several hundred.

Thermal pads on the surface of the Dell XPS 15 mimic undervolting by lowering internal temperatures. Purchasing a new set of fans and a larger heatsink could be a larger investment. This is particularly true if you require the services of a repair shop to make the change. 

A caveat to the above suggestion.

Should you decide to upgrade on your own to create an undervolt situation, you run the risk of damaging the motherboard further. Thus, the cost is the complete replacement of this component, which could run as much as $1,000 or more.

How Do You Undervolt The CPU On A Dell XPS 15?

True undervolting on the Dell XPS 15 isn’t permitted. Intel has voided this option on their new processes. Plus, Dell no longer offers undervolting as a choice in their new BIOS models.

Did Dell Disable Undervolting?

Dell disabled undervolting with the newest versions of its BIOS. Generally, they rarely offered the option in their XPS series.

It seems models with 9th generation Intel processors were the only ones that could undervolt.

Dell has always recommended other power-saving mechanisms to maintain maximum processing time on their XPS computers without overheating.

Final Thoughts

The concept of undervolting allows a computer owner to throttle the amount of voltage delivered to the CPU. The result is a better-performing processor and an extension of the PC’s life. However, the Dell XPS series of desktops and laptops don’t support undervolting.

This is especially true for newer models like the XPS 15. Both Intel and Dell decided to eliminate the practice for the latest generation of CPUs.

Instead, they offer different forms of power management to throttle the amount of voltage.

Although the practice can’t be done, XPS owners can purchase thermal pads and larger heatsinks to maintain mild temperatures.