Dell XPS 9500

Dell XPS 9500 macOS X

This is an OpenCore EFI that allows you to install and boot macOS X Catalina on your Dell XPS 15 9500 (2020).

OpenCore Version: 0.6.2

macOS Version: Catalina 10.15.6 (19G2021)

Dell XPS 9500


Functional Status

Function / Hardware Status
iGPU UHD630 Acceleration Working
CPU Power Management Working – idles at 800MHz, boosts to max Turbo frequency
Laptop Keyboard Working
Laptop Trackpad Working
Laptop Headphones Jack Working
Built-in Speakers Working
Built-in Mic Working
Hotkeys for audio Working
USB 3.x Working
USB 2.0 Working
Fingerprint Sensor Not working
SD Card Slot Working
Screen brightness Working, hotkeys fn+S/fn+B to decrease/increase brightness
Built-in Wifi Working
Built-in Bluetooth Working
Dell USB3.1 dock Working
RTL8153 USB Ethernet on Dell dock Working
Other peripherals on Dell dock Working
Built-in webcam Working
Sleep Dell BIOS bug (Enable “block sleep” in BIOS to disable S3 for now)

BIOS Settings

Disable the following

  • VT-d
  • TPM
  • Sleep (Enable block sleep)
  • SD Card slot
  • Touchscreen (if you have one)
  • Secure boot
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Disable CFG Lock (via modGRUBShell)

Important

This EFI was created from scratch using Dortania’s vanilla laptop guide with additional info from the Comet Lake setup https://dortania.github.io/OpenCore-Install-Guide/config-laptop.plist/coffee-lake-plus.html#starting-point

You are strongly advised to read the guide fully before using the EFI in this repository. Do not use the EFI as is. You will need to learn how to replace the serial number with GenSMBios and disable cfg lock at the very least.

Note: You are recommended to get an M.2 SSD or SATA drive that is compatible with Mac OS. If you have an incompatible M.2 SSD, you’ll get kernel panic. There are some models of XPS 15 9500 that are equipped with Toshiba M.2 SSD which does not have a 4k sector size and will require a firmware fix. Refer to Dortania’s guide for more info https://dortania.github.io/OpenCore-Install-Guide/


How to disable CFG Lock

This is specific to XPS 15 9500 only (along with its sibling models and previous gen).

Select the modGRUBShell option at startup (OpenCore boot selection page). At the grub prompt, enter the following commands (the first line unlocks CFG, the second line unlocks overclocking).

setup_var CpuSetup 0x3e 0x0
setup_var CpuSetup 0xda 0x0
exit

Restart your laptop and boot into the BIOS. Do a factory reset. Now your CFG lock will be disabled. You can confirm that by running the VerifyMSR2 option.

If you update your BIOS, you may need to do this again but so far Dell has been kind to us.


S3 sleep issue with XPS 9500 and other “modern” laptops

Thanks to Microsoft, we are losing the ability to really put our laptops / desktop to sleep. In their infinite wisdom, they decided that we need our laptops and desktops to be “instant on” because we need to receive notifications such as emails and phone calls (hey Satya, heard of a smartphone?)

Manufacturers such as Dell and Lenovo have very stupidly followed Microsoft’s advise, by gradually removing S3 sleep mode, breaking compatibility with other OSes such as Linux and Mac OS.

The bigger issue here is that “modern standby” just does not work on Windows itself. The laptop never sleeps if you have background apps running – these days, they always receive notifications/messages. We’ll need to close the apps to prevent this and if you do, you might as well shutdown. Care to address the white elephant, Satya (not blessed with high IQ but this is common sense, surely)? We close the lid because we don’t want to be disturbed. If it’s urgent, perhaps pick up the phone? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

TL;DR Sleep is broken for Dell XPS 9500 on Windows too. We can still opt-in to use S3 on Windows but Dell has chosen not to implement (or very incompetent at implementing) a working version of S3 resume in their BIOS for XPS 9500. When you resume, you’ll get the same behavior as Catalina – Dell logo that never goes away until you hard reset.

Lesson? Buy an Asus instead. Or better yet, just get a Mac. Vote with your wallet. Avoid Dell and Microsoft.


Brightness hotkeys

The BRT6 patch used by previous Dell XPS models isn’t working on the XPS 9500. However, fn+S and fn+B hotkeys are functioning in place of the original fn+F6 and fn+F7.


Undervolting

This EFI comes preinstalled with VoltageShift kext. To undervolt, visit https://github.com/sicreative/VoltageShift (skip the kext loading part).

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