How to upgrade the SSD on a Dell XPS 15 (9570) (2023)

How to upgrade the SSD on a Dell XPS 15 (9570) (1)

Many high-end laptops have few upgradeable features. But there is one component that can often be improved: storage. While even the most basic solid-state drive (SSD) outperforms any hard disk drive (HDD), you can get even more speed and more storage space with an upgrade.

The Dell XPS 15 (9570) is one of my favorite ultra-powerful non-gaming laptops. Here's how you can make it even better by releasing a new SSD.

Why upgrade the SSD on your XPS 15?

There are two reasons to upgrade your SSD to the XPS 15: more storage and more speed.

You might have thought 256GB on your XPS 15 would be enough, but now, with lower flash storage prices, a 1TB SSD would be nice and roomy. And while your current drive is faster than an old-fashioned spinning hard drive, it can load applications and store large files.up toMore quickly

You can choose a new Samsung 500GB970 Evo on Amazon(opens in new tab)for around $150. Dell charges $200 for an SSD upgrade if you buy the unit and you don't knowwasBranded SSD you will receive.

Dell XPS 15 SSD upgrade options

How to upgrade the SSD on a Dell XPS 15 (9570) (2)

There are quite a lot of SSDs on the market today, but I'm a Samsung fan, both in terms of performance and storage.

Samsung-SSD 970 EVO

A significant performance boost would be possible with the new Samsung 970 EVO with theoretical sequential read and write performance of 3500 MB/s and 2500 MB/s. Sizes range from 250GB (97 $(opens in new tab), 500 GB (150 $(opens in new tab), 1 TB (300 $(opens in new tab)oder put 2 TB (530 $(opens in new tab).

For the XPS 15 (9570), the 970 EVO will be the best balance of size, performance, reliability, and warranty options for the average power user.

View on Amazon(opens in new tab)

Samsung 970 PRO SSD

The current king of laptop SSDs pushes the limits: the Samsung 970 PRO.

The 970 PRO is similar to the EVO, including the same read speeds (3500MB/s), but it's the write performance that jumps from a theoretical 2500MB/s to 2700MB/s.

Samsung's Pro range is also designed for frequent reading and writing of the memory with exceptional reliability. It's certainly a fast SSD, but it costs an extra $50 for the 512GB model (230 $(opens in new tab)and $100 more for the 1TB option (450 $(opens in new tab).

View on Amazon(opens in new tab)

How to update your Dell XPS 15 SSD

Here's everything you need to know about removing and replacing the SSD in your XPS 15 to increase storage and drive speeds.

(Video) Upgrading my Dell XPS 15 9570! [SSD RAM & Wi-Fi] | The Tech Chap

SSD upgrade difficulty level

We used to call the XPS 15 SSD upgrade process easy, but that's changed a bit with the 9570. The actual SSD swap is easy, but removing the bottom cover of the XPS 15 (9570) is more difficult than it should be. two reasons:

  1. Dell uses very soft T5 Torx screws that are easy to remove.
  2. Dell has used a lightweight screw lock that makes it difficult to remove.

When we did this upgrade on our XPS 15 (9570), we ended up removing all the screws and using a T6 Torx screwdriver, but they were difficult to remove. It was tough, it was intense, and if you slipped you could scratch the XPS 15's chassis.

a... haveTorx screwdriver(opens in new tab)It's a good start. You also want to be patient. Even if you remove the screw head with a larger format, you can still push the screw out. But it can be tedious and stressful.

Difficulty level:Moderate to difficult.

Back up your XPS 15 SSD

Depending on your preferences and tools available, there are several ways to upgrade to a new Windows 10 SSD:

  1. Reinstall Windows 10 on new SSD withWindows 10 media creation tool.
  2. Copy your current SSD to a backup drive (250GB or larger to match the backup) and then copy it back to the new SSD using third-party software.
  3. Directly copy your current SSD to a new SSD using an external bay before switching.

Option number one, reinstalling, can be tricky if you don't have all the hardware drivers for your device at hand. So check with the manufacturer before you start. Another good tip is to have quick access to another PC in case you need to retrieve a file or look up information during this process.

For option number two, I'm using a third-party solutionMacrium Reflect Free Edition🇧🇷 There is a paid version of Reflect if you want to use it for regular backups, but for a one-time SSD swap you can use the free version.

How to upgrade the SSD on a Dell XPS 15 (9570) (4)

Just run the software on your current SSD and back up your PC to an external USB drive. After replacing the SSD, boot the XPS 15 from the USB drive and restore the image.

For the third option, Samsung doesn't do thisFree data migration software(opens in new tab)for use with your SSD drives. While Samsung's option is free, you'll need a way to connect the new SSD to your laptop to copy its contents directly. For a laptop SSD, that means you have toBuy a box with a USB connector(opens in new tab)(You can reuse your old SSD as a new external drive.)

How to upgrade the SSD on a Dell XPS 15 (9570) (5)

You will need Torx and Philips screwdrivers and a small pry tool to remove the bottom cover of the XPS 15.

You may have your own tools, but I took them.Kingsdun 14 in 1 Precision Screwdriver Repair Tool Set on Amazon(opens in new tab)🇧🇷 Ignore the "for Apple" marketing as this kit contains all the parts needed for the job, including a Torx T5 screwdriver. It only cost $14 and comes with all the tools you need to work with electronics such as: a laptop, and will likely come in handy in the future.

View on Amazon(opens in new tab)

You'll also need a clean, well-lit work area and a safe place to install the screws on the bottom of the XPS 15. An anti-static wrist strap is not required but is beneficial. And it's only $6.

View on Amazon(opens in new tab)

If you want to buy some screws before replacing them (not a bad idea)It's a $10 kit(opens in new tab)has the correct M2*3 screws (black) that fit. They're regular Philips screws too, which is more handy later if you ever need to remove the cover again.

Finally, if you back up your old SSD over an SSD with option threebox with usb connection(opens in new tab)make sure you get one of these too.

Opening the Dell XPS 15 (9570)

Before you begin, turn off your laptop (do not put it into sleep or hibernate mode) and unplug it from the power adapter.

(Video) How to Upgrade the Dell XPS 15 9570 !!

To open XPS 15 (9570) you need to follow these steps.

How to upgrade the SSD on a Dell XPS 15 (9570) (6)

  1. Lay the XPS 15 face down. (I recommend using a cloth to avoid scratches.)
  2. Remove the 10 Torx head screws from the bottom edges.
  3. Remove the 2 Phillips screws under the XPS label in the center (lifting the cover).
  4. Carefully lift the cover with a pry tool.

The cover should come off without too much effort after removing the 12 screws.

Swap SSD to XPS 15

With the display hinge facing away from you, you can find the SSD under the fans and on the left side of the XPS 15.

How to upgrade the SSD on a Dell XPS 15 (9570) (7)

  1. remove thatadjustment screwon the bottom of the SSD.

How to upgrade the SSD on a Dell XPS 15 (9570) (8)

  1. Gently peel the gummaterial insulation🇧🇷 (Don't throw it away as we will reuse it).
  2. Lift carefullyold hard driveat a 20 degree angle and slide it out.
  3. paste thenew SSDInsert firmly into the groove at the same 20 degree angle.
  4. Insert the new SSD and replace theadjustment screw.

How to upgrade the SSD on a Dell XPS 15 (9570) (9)

  1. apply againIsolation🇧🇷 (This helps to dissipate the heat generated by the SSD.)

Remount and boot your XPS 15

  1. put the laptop downplate baseat your place.
  2. replace that12 screwson the edge of the base and under the XPS nameplate.
  3. Turn the laptop over and open it.
  4. Install the old SSD in yourOutdoor unit housing.
  5. Plug the old SSD into anyPorto-USBno XPS15.
  6. strainpower switchin the upper right corner to start the laptop.
  7. Hold down immediatelyF12until the boot menu appears.
  8. Use the arrow keys to selectUSB Stickand boot from the previous Windows 10 installation.
  9. Use the software of your choice to copy the contents of the USB SSD to the newly installed SSD.

Remember, if all else fails, you can put your old SSD back in.

How to Switch to AHCI (And Why)

How to upgrade the SSD on a Dell XPS 15 (9570) (10)

Dell ships the XPS 15 SSD (9570) in a RAID configuration for the controller. But Samsung SSDs work better with Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI). More precisely, if you want to installDriver Samsung NVMe SSD and Software Magician(opens in new tab)must be in AHCI mode configured via BIOS XPS 15. AHCI offers some more options for SSD when using Samsung software likeCUT OUT(improved data retention), firmware updates, integrity tests and more. So it's a good idea to install it.

The problem, however, is that you can't just switch to AHCI in the BIOS and boot directly into Windows 10 - the driver won't be loaded by the OS because it's already in use.

To avoid this, you must follow these steps:

  1. Enter Windows 10 Safe Mode for next reboot.
  2. Reboot the PC and enter the BIOSbeforeWindows 10 Safe Mode will load.
  3. Disable RAID and enable AHCI in BIOS.
  4. Boot Windows 10 into Safe Mode and allow the correct driver to load.
  5. Disable boot in safe mode and reboot into normal Windows 10.

Once these steps are completed, you can install the Samsung SSD driver and Magician software.

To configure the PC to enter Safe Mode, follow these steps:

  1. He writescmdin the home search bar to access the command prompt.
  2. Right click oncmdexecute as administrator.
  3. Enter at the command promptbcdedit /set {current} Minimal secure bootand press Enter.

Restart your computer, but before Windows 10 loads, pressF12when you see the Dell logo and select itBIOS-Setupmake menu.

navigate toSystem Setup > SATA Operationand enableAHCI.

Save and exit BIOS setup and allow Windows 10 to boot in safe mode. Doing this allows Windows 10 to switch its drivers from SATA to AHCI, but we've configured Windows 10 to only boot in safe mode, so we'll need to undo that. That's how it is done:

  1. He writescmdin the home search bar to access the command prompt.
  2. Right click oncmdexecute as administrator.
  3. Enter at the command promptbcdedit /deletevalue {current} secure bootand press Enter.

Reboot Windows 10 and it should boot Windows 10 in normal unsafe mode.

(Video) Dell XPS 15 9570 How to install M2 SSD

Your SSD is now running in AHCI mode and you can proceed andInstall drivers and software from Samsung(opens in new tab)

Dell XPS 15 SSD update results

The benefit of upgrading to a faster (and larger) SSD becomes apparent when you run some benchmarks. You can also "feel" the difference in everyday use, whether loading a huge video game, transferring large files, rendering a video for output, or just booting into Windows.

Here's a head-to-head before and after comparison of the SSD that the XPS 15 ships with and Samsung SSDs using CrystalDiskMark benchmarks (higher numbers are better).

Swipe to scroll horizontally

devicesizefileHe writes
Toshiba XG5 (alt)256GB2.771 MB/s383 MB/s
Samsung 970 Evo256GB3525 MB/s1508 MB/s
Samsung 970PRO512GB3.533 MB/s2327 MB/s

For those curious about random 4K speeds (Q32) in CrystalDiskmark, we also ran some related benchmarks.

Swipe to scroll horizontally

devicesizefileHe writes
Toshiba XG5 (alt)256GB260 MB/Sec333 MB/s
Samsung 970 Evo256GB342 MB/s314 MB/s
Samsung 970PRO512GB250 MB/s212 MB/s

The most significant improvement is the sequential write speed. This is important for many "professional" users who need to render videos or lift heavy loads. if only you areconsumerMultimedia or gaming, you'll still have a noticeable bulge, but it's not as impressive.

In general, swapping out an SSD for a new laptop can be a tricky experience, but the rewards can be worth it. However, if you are new to computers and unfamiliar with this process, try acquiring the appropriate configuration at the time of purchase.

Daniel Rubino is Editor-in-Chief, Lead Reviewer, Podcast Co-Host and Analyst at Windows Central. He's been covering Microsoft here since 2007, when this site was still called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, high end computing and for some reason watches. Before all this technology stuff, he had a Ph.D. in linguistics and turned on the projectors in theaters, which did absolutely nothing for his career.

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  • I put a 970 Pro in mine and now it screams! 3550 read and almost 2400 write speeds. Be sure to use the exact matching screwdriver for the Phillips head screws under the tab... the metal is quite soft to the touch on the screw head and comes off very easily. I removed mine and had to drill out the screw. Not fun, but still worth it!

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