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Drivers & Software

hopndude
Adept I

Dell G5 SE - annoying BIOS and Driver Support - AT SUPERB LEVELS

For those about to read this, I'm not sure how to paraphrase everything except that this is the best performing little laptop I've owned, and yet the most annoying through Support that I've ever come across.

Why I got the Dell G5 SE;
Ever since I got my first desktop in late 1990's, I've always had a AMD CPU. Just didn't have the funds for Intel. Same with Radeon GPU's, I didn't have the funds for Nvidia.

Fast forward


The Love;
AMD and Dell collabed and made the all AMD laptop with their newest, latest, greatest tech. The Dell G5 SE. The highest end GPU was suppose to be the RX 5700M, but later was cut from the lineup, as it was a slightly better binned (or higher volted, and clocking) silicon vs the exact same RX 5600M but with 2 more gig's of vRAM.

Regardless, the Ryzen 4900H 8C/16T was more than I would need whilst on the road. Accompanied by the RX 5600M which was practically a lower voltage, slightly binned version of the RX 5700, but with 6GB of vRAM vs 8GB of vRAM.

To this day (as of typing this) I hold the stock (no OC and SmartShift still enabled) benchmark record for the Dell G5 SE.
FireStrike - 17,425 AMD Radeon RX 5600M video card benchmark result - AMD Ryzen 9 4900H,Dell Inc. 0M8C1F (3dmark.com)
(benchmark w/ Targus laptop cooling pad, ambient room temps, MX-5 thermal paste, upgraded thermal pads on VRM's, in "G" mode, w/ OLOy 2x 16GB 3200mt/s CL18 RAM, on external Type-C display - laptop gets 17,1k w/ attached display)


The Hate;
BIOS - As of the latest BIOS for this laptop (BIOS 1.7.0) it actually cripples the laptops performance entirely. Furthermore, it does so to the extent, that reverting BACK to a previous BIOS DOES NOT FIX THE ISSUE! In fact, it fixes some of the performance loss, but it will never again be back to the same performance as any configuration once was on BIOS 1.3.0, 1.4.4, or 1.5.0. Whatever is changed by BIOS 1.7.0, cannot be reverted back, even after a complete BIOS reload (files on Dell's website for 1.4.4, and instructions for doing this).

vBIOS - No one will touch the latest vBIOS for the RX 5600M as it too has a performance loss when doing this. So why would anyone choose to do it?

Graphics Drivers - in order to get FreeSync to work not as AdaptiveSync but actually as FreeSync for these laptops with the 120hz or 144hz panel, and also seen by AMD's website. We have to go through and install the July 2020 driver first, STOP & DO NOT RESTART, then initiate the newest driver install, but NOT a clean install. Finish that out, then restart.

So in order for us to have FreeSync on the latest graphics drivers, we have to install 2 different drivers at once. EVERY......SINGLE.....TIME! Show me another product that requires this level of ideocracy!



Going Forward;
BIOS - on the very early BIOS revision for this laptop, there was a toggle for SmartShift to disable it. Now, if anyone wants to do this with later revisions of BIOS, they have to use a sourced program, and navigate a menu of hexadecimal characters in a almost Linux like vi editor menu, to disable SmartShift. It'll stay like this until you re-flash the BIOS or until you go back and enable it the way you disabled it. This should still be a option in the menu and should not have been taken out. Most people leave it enabled, but some need it disabled.

vBIOS - just use what's there, and don't upgrade unless you're worried about too warm of chassis temps.

Graphics Drivers - either Dell needs to release specific drivers for the display panel, or they need to work with AMD to ensure going forward, this isn't a 2 part install process to get FreeSync to properly work. This is beyond ridiculous that we have to endure this to get it to work right.


This is one of those "Great Idea's" but had the "Horrible Execution" all baked into one. There are a few places people talk and discuss about these laptops.

Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/DellG5SE/
(where you'll find pinned post on 'how to setup your Dell G5 SE for max performance' and troubleshooting tips)
Discord - https://discord.gg/W47Ay4jChS
(where you'll find people sharing information, helping troubleshoot, or testing latest BIOS or Drivers for the Dell G5 SE)


The SmartShift based all AMD laptops could have been nicer, if the BIOS and Driver support weren't lacking so much. Not sure if this is on Dell or AMD, but regardless neither have stepped up to fixed the issue, even though people with "Pro" support through Dell have had nothing but the run around.

Tags (4)
15 Replies
hammerfest
Adept I

Re: Dell G5 SE - annoying BIOS and Driver Support - AT SUPERB LEVELS

This, all of this, bought 2 of them.

Multiple tickets into both AMD and Dell.

 

Neither give a crap about it, its launch Ryzen Mobile driver debackle all over again (where AMD provided no drivers AT ALL for Ryzen Mobile Vega integrated GPU), just worse because this setup (SmartShift) is more AMD then ever before...

Tags (1)
BIT_GAM3R
Journeyman III

Re: Dell G5 SE - annoying BIOS and Driver Support - AT SUPERB LEVELS

Yup it is very annoying and dell's support is just bad I'd say the worst you can ever experience, its better to search for solutions online than going to them, and dell just disregards the consumers demand after the 1.7.0 blunder we even told them how to solve it with specifics but still no one cares and after release of SAM it'll be a shame for this laptop to not get it when even amd released a driver update for it but dell wants to stubborn and just make amd look bad cause it likes to play Intel's favorite child is a shame.

Tags (1)
numan
Journeyman III

Re: Dell G5 SE - annoying BIOS and Driver Support - AT SUPERB LEVELS

With the SAM support coming in for RX 5000 series with driver version 21.9.1, support for RX 5000M series will shortly follow suit. It becomes imperative that Dell provides a BIOS update for the Dell G5 5505 aka G5 SE so that the users can use this AMD feature and not leave performance on the table.

It's only fair Dell treats AMD hardware as dearly as it does with Intel and works on the required updates that are long due for the BIOS. Also, no other driver has been released after 07/2020 from AMD that specifically adds support to their SmartShift technology, probably both Dell & AMD must be working on better optimizing this new piece of tech but the lack of supported drivers makes me think otherwise. 

What could have been a wonderful and marvelous creation has been turned into a Frankenstein and left to the mercy of the user community for debugging and optimization!? If this is any clue of what the future holds I would stay away from anything that has both Dell & AMD logos on it.

NoriNori
Adept I

Re: Dell G5 SE - annoying BIOS and Driver Support - AT SUPERB LEVELS

Indeed tho, they better drop a new Bios that fixes the CPU perf hit & and add SAM support.

And this might be deviating a bit from the topic, but AMD should also release a program or whatever it is to control or change smartshift value instead leaving it like this.

Tags (2)
SUNGOLD
Journeyman III

Re: Dell G5 SE - annoying BIOS and Driver Support - AT SUPERB LEVELS

I have had to go through multiple reinstalls and restarts for gpu drivers because Windows update would downgrade me back to older drivers submitted by Dell to Microsoft. To prevent this, I have had to use third party tools so I can work and play in peace.

The hardware in Dell G5 SE is great and it deserves some good firmware and drivers from both Dell and AMD, not bios updates that kill the performance or removes the choice of enabling or disabling SmartShift.

KillyTheCat
Journeyman III

Re: Dell G5 SE - annoying BIOS and Driver Support - AT SUPERB LEVELS

Looks like everyone has this love-hate situation with the G5 SE. I love the performance it packs for the price tag, but the abysmal cooling and the bad driver support, and the LITERAL HOURS of professional setup time it requires to get it to a point where the price tag doesn't matter anymore and it just becomes a bad product. Shame Dell, shame.

sirsquishy67
Journeyman III

Re: Dell G5 SE - annoying BIOS and Driver Support - AT SUPERB LEVELS

AMD and Community,

I am one of the founding researchers and engineers that not only figured out every single issue on this horrible pile of crap by AMD from Dell, but also delivered all the known fixes. Here is my long review of my replacement unit I got from Dell after the RX5600M died (twice) during the shortages - https://www.reddit.com/user/sirsquishy67/comments/m2hs1p/g5_15se_new_in_box_experience_unboxed_repla...

The remaining issues are support, enhancement, bug fixes, and the fact Dell is not supporting "in support cycle hardware" from AMD. Also, this feels intentional.

  • Dell drops BIOS code that cripples the RX5600M by 60%+. The only BIOS that works for all builds of the G5 5505 is 1.4.4, every BIOS after that has reduced performance considerably.
  • BIOS 1.7.0 permanently changed the power delivery scheme for ALL R7 4800H builds and cost that CPU 300mhz in clock speed. Even with the RX5600M disengaged we still see the performance drop.  Rolling back BIOS code does not fix this!
  • Dell is not releasing new features in BIOS/vBIOS for things like Smart Access Memory. SAM officially dropped for the RX5000 series in 21.9.1 yesterday. I was asking Dell to enable above 4G addressing in a BIOS release back in June. JUNE! SAM is not enabled with 21.9.1.
  • Dell does not release new OEM reference drivers, they are still shipping 20.10.18.06 as their current.
  • AMD and/or Dell does not correctly package Freesync support in newer drivers for this machine. There is a display INF that is chained in 20.10.18.02 that requires this driver installed first to enable Freesync for any other driver. If you do not install 20.10.18.02 first then freesync is disabled and not available. Not even Dells current 20.10.18.06 has Freesync supported and enabled, you have to first install 20.10.18.02 then upgrade to Dells current 20.10.18.06 to get it working. Same goes if you wanted to run 21.9.1.
  • Microsoft and OEM(every OEM...) Drivers do not timestamp the payload, so when Windows updates hits it will force download drivers that are older then currently installed. Install 21.9.1 and run windows updates on an OEM machine and windows will install 20.10.18.06 or some crap. Since we cannot get the OEM to address this (I tried through Dell and HP, this is a Microsoft issue) this is now on AMD as well. Microsoft wont talk to me directly since I do not work for the hardware vendors. This issue causes blue screens of death and driver crashes, so this one is pretty huge.

As we see new owners join our dedicated G5 SE 5505 communities (Discord and Reddit) we still see the same issues hitting new purchases out of the box here.

  • Thermals are 106c-115c+ (I have screenshots of the 4800H hitting 128c...) due to the poor thermal material that Dell has chosen. This puts the 4600H/4800H/4900HS immediately into TCTL thermal throttling and drops clocks to 1.8ghz-2.3ghz to compensate.
  • GPU driver crashes, mainly related to the sections, above, about drivers
  • Overheating SSDs, to the point the NAND gate will shut down because these SSDs will hit 80c+ and then windows will BSOD/Crash and sometimes corrupt NTFS, breaking everything.
  • Poor memory choice from Dell, really weak DDR4-3200CL22 that costs 45%+ performance compared to any other 3200CL22 kit. For example, a 2933CL17 kit is faster then Dells 3200CL22. We do not see the same memory being used at Dell for their Intel counterparts...just saying...
  • LCD bleed is horrible. This just makes these machines look like crap out of the box when new owners just power them on for the first time, before discovering anything else.
  • Thermal pads are installed with the factory shipping plastic. Really this post explains it all pretty **bleep** clear. - https://www.reddit.com/r/DellG5SE/comments/m8wl29/dell_stock_thermal_pads_what_in_the_actual/ Replacing the pads dropped temps down to 83c from 96c and we gained 300mhz-350mhz on the RX5600M. This is pretty significant.

Really all of this screams that Dell is just trying to make AMD look bad to push their Intel Agenda. Hell I just worked through Dell to quote some servers, I asked for Epyc 7002/7003 because larger core count per socket and they gave me quotes for Xeon. if that is not a god **bleep** tell then I dont know anymore.

The only reason I champion for AMD as hard as I do is because when Intel was screwing with me (huge huge software stack, based on Sage) AMD dropped a solution that not only fixed the hardware acceleration issue but were able to drop their 7001 in a timely manner for my builds and were able to beat the Haswell-EP plant we were using. Add in the security that we just do not get with Intel and here I am.

But seeing what Dell is doing with AMD today (the G5SE is just a small part of it, but look over that data - there is SO MUCH DATA here..could lead to anti-trust) needs to be made public.

 

AMD - Please take this post and my reply seriously. I am on both the pro-consumer side and enterprise side. I work with data centers like Amazon AWS as well as smaller plants and I am not only the influence but also one of those that signs the PO's for approval. You guys NEED to get a handle on the OEMs or just stop partnering with them completely. If you pull from Dell, Dell would be a shell of what they are today in 3 years time.

On the other hand, HP is the best OEM I have worked with when it comes down to AMD. No joke. You need to push Dell and Lenovo to work with you, and for you, like HP is doing today.

Tags (4)
exquisitetoast
Journeyman III

Re: Dell G5 SE - annoying BIOS and Driver Support - AT SUPERB LEVELS

The 1.7.0 BIOS was horrible, it downgraded performance so much its sad. Its in AMD and Dell's best interest to not have crappy drivers and software so that the Dell G5 SE isn't known as the most annoying laptop ever. Great laptop but seriously needs some love from AMD and Dell.

Also, Linux support would be a very welcome feature; but please fix your software before you make Linux ports for it.

EncryptedCicada
Journeyman III

Re: Dell G5 SE - annoying BIOS and Driver Support - AT SUPERB LEVELS

There's no denying the despicable behaviour from Dell regarding this product, the Dell G5 SE 5505. Support for the hardware is crippled by the money laundering behaviour from Dell and AMD has got no points for not batting an eye over this issue. This has come up on several occasions but has never even neared resolution. There are people in the community trying their best to make out the best of this product but since the support has been so bad they're actually having to reside to personally approach Dell and now AMD for help. This says something.