Dell XPS 15 9520 – Top 5 Pros and Cons

If you want a MacBook-like experience, but don’t like the enclosed Apple ecosystem and want to be able to tinker around with your laptop, including upgrades for the future, the Dell XPS series is the closest you’ll ever get.

While the smaller XPS 13 laptops rarely have options for upgrading, the larger XPS 15 9520 that we have for today offers plenty, while also delivering exceptional performance from their Alder Lake H45 CPUs.

Today we present you with LaptopMedia’s top 5 picks about the Dell XPS 15 9520.

Dell XPS 15 9520: Full Specs / In-depth Review

3 reasons to BUY the Dell XPS 15 9520

1. Design and build quality

In classic XPS fashion, we have a body of aluminum and carbon fiber that keeps a low profile and has a nice weight, of 1.92 kg for the 1080p model and 2.10 kg for the 4K model. The notebook has great durability, with the structure sustaining a substantial amount of flex.

The lid opens with one hand, revealing a good keyboard with well-sized keys, decent key travel, and clicky feedback. There are speaker grills on the left and right sides. The power button has an embedded fingerprint reader. Moving on below, we find a large touchpad with a glass surface, and accurate tracking, that is also very responsive.

2. Upgradeability

In stark contrast to any MacBook, the XPS 15 has two SODIMM slots that fit DDR5 memory, with up to 64GB of it. For storage, there are two M.2 PCIe x4 slots that fit Gen 4 drives.

Here is our detailed teardown video, which shows how to access both the RAM and SSD slots.

3. Display quality

There are three display options, which you can see in our in-depth review. We reviewed the FHD+ display, which is fine for a 15-inch device. The IPS panel has comfortable viewing angles, very high max brightness of 544 nits, and a high contrast ratio of 1710:1. The more important part is the Creator aspect, as the display covers 95% of the sRGB gamut.

Thanks to our Design and Gaming profile, it also reaches significantly high color accuracy, which allows it to be used for professional work. Here are the results of our test with the stock settings (left) and with our profile applied (right).

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Dell XPS 15 9520 configurations with 15.6″ LG 4DWVJ-156WU1 (LGD06B3) (FHD+, 1920 × 1200) IPS.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected].

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.


Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount

2 reasons NOT to buy the Dell XPS 15 9520

1. I/O

The I/O could be better equipped, with the sides of the notebook housing two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) port, an audio jack, and an SD card reader.

2. Cooling

Lastly, the cooling features two heat pipes and two fans, along with several heat spreaders along the GPU memory and VRMs.

Max CPU load

Intel Core i7-12700H (45W TDP)0:02 – 0:10 sec0:15 – 0:30 sec10:00 – 15:00 min
Dell XPS 15 95203.18 GHz @ 2.56 GHz @ 95°C @ 87W2.52 GHz @ 2.10 GHz @ 92°C @ 57W2.11 GHz @ 1.70 GHz @ 81°C @ 45W

The CPU quickly throttles, due to high temperatures, leading to a drop in wattage. In the last stage of our test, the Core i7-12700H ran at 45W, while the clock speeds were near the base ones.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 TiGPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)GPU frequency/ Core temp (Max fan)
Dell XPS 15 95201168 MHz @ 74°C @ 30W1380 MHz @ 75°C @ 38W

With its low TGP of 45W, the RTX 3050 Ti doesn’t come that close to it, while managing to ramp its clock speed to nearly 1400MHz, while running at a reasonable temperature.

Comfort during full load

While the internal components run at stable temperatures, the outside can get decently warm, with the hotspot spanning a wide area and reaching 48.3°C. Noise-wise, the fans don’t get loud at all, which might be affecting the thermals. You might want to play around with the fan curve, in order to squeeze out more performance.

All Dell XPS 15 9520 configurations:

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Earl Robb
Earl Robb
11 months ago

I purchased this computer directly from dell 6 months ago. They are getting ready to ship me my third one because of issues with the other two. After 3 months of use the screen started blinking like it was going to sleep. It start doing it once a day then went to every 5 min over time. I spent over 100 hours trying to resolve this issue with their help desk. Essentially 50% of the time I have had the computer I have not been able to work. I have had 2 docking stations. 3 motherboards, onsite tech, OS reinstall,… Read more »