HolidayBuyer's Guide

PC Hardware forum


Dell XPS 15 laptop USB3.0 cannot perform faster than USB2.0

by agp1001001 / February 18, 2013 9:07 AM PST

Alert! Need additional confirmation on this!

Dell Level-3 Technical Support can not explain why numerous XPS 15 (L521X) laptop USB 3.0 Super-speed ports perform at only USB 2.0 High-speed. USB 3.0 compliant devices do NOT perform at USB 3.0 Super-speed. None do.

This occur on *numerous* units, Dell Level 3 Technical Support says. "It's random", they say. In my expereince, bugs are not random.

Dell's "My Dell Support Center" diagnostic software also indicates this, as it shows the USB version and speed, both.'s SuperSpeed USB Software and Hardware Tool, "USB30CV Tool" speed tests fail for USB 3.0. It confirms both my connected devices are indeed USB 3.0 compliant, BTW. The tool requires MSXML6 installed, and is at: (

Of interest: Dell has offered to fully refund the entire amount of my purchase to return this to them, 2 months after my purchase. Is this a serious issue and does it remain publicly unknown?

A Service Request for this remains open regarding this, under my name. I first diagnosed and reported this issue to Dell Technical Support on 12/29/2012. When I purchased a 2nd USB 3.0 device, I pursued this. From what they have told me it still remains unresolved and open.

The XPS 15 L521X model has three USB ports, all three advertised as USB 3.0 compliant Super-speed ports. It has no other USB ports besides these. It has no USB 2.0 ports.

NOTE: None of the USB ports on the Dell XPS 15 L521X (Service Tag 75HTJV1) appear colored blue, as many USB 3.0 ports do traditionally on other devices. This does not indicate anything conclusive, yet it seems of interest given the issue.

Can anyone else confirm, or debunk, this on another Dell XPS 15 (L521X) laptop? Yes, I know it seems highly unlikely that no one has yet to discover such a huge bug if indeed it exists -- yet it's not impossible. It is not an obvious bug to notice if one does not look for it. The fact that it has gone to Dell Tech support Level 3, and still has no resolution, speaks for itself.

This strikes me as a potentially significant bug that possibly affects numerous Dell XPS 15 laptop users. I was told Dell has sold over 400,000 XPS 15 units.

This falls somewhat outside of my area of expertise. Hence my call for expert help and independent confirmation.

My laptop details:
Dell XPS 15 (L521X) laptop
Service Tag: 75HTJV1
OS: Windows 8 64x
Purchased: December 2012, direct from Dell online, for personal use.
All drivers and BIOS updated to latest versions from Dell.
Windows 8 drivers up to date.
BIOS USB Debugging option: disabled (DEFAULT)

My devices with which I tested are USB 3.0 compliant - not just compatible.

I hope to hear from someone who can shed better light on this. Thanks.

Best regards,

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Dell XPS 15 laptop USB3.0 cannot perform faster than USB2.0
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Dell XPS 15 laptop USB3.0 cannot perform faster than USB2.0
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 18, 2013 9:46 AM PST

There's a lot of laptops that exhibit this issue. When 3.0 is working, folk praise it but given the misfire my advice is to return it as defective since Dell and others seem to be unable to fix it. So the horrible thing is that some won't return it and companies get the idea that shipping a not ready product is OK.

Sort of like car companies where "we'll fix it at the dealer."

Collapse -
Dell XPS 15 USB3.0 ports limited -- No Super-speed
by agp1001001 / February 18, 2013 10:12 AM PST
In reply to: Nod.

That's an interesting insight. And sad when true.

If this was only a hardware bug on my one unit, Dell could replace it with a replacement. Yet it seems a new replacement would arrive with the same issue, from what I have gathered. Which makes me curious. Is this an uncaught hardware design flaw on many systems? Or something a updated driver would fix? If the latter, I'm not sure why they have not provided the fix. Especially from Dell Technical Support Level 3.

Wish someone would confirm that a USB3.0 device indeed performs at Super-speed on their own XPS 15 L521X. That would go a ways to disspell some uncertainty.

Collapse -
There are far too many discussions about USB 3.0 and Dell.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 18, 2013 12:44 PM PST

They'll have to win our trust the hard way.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Cameras that make great holiday gifts

Let them start the new year with a step up in photo and video quality from a phone.