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E6400 overheating throttling

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by marcoz, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. marcoz

    marcoz Newbie

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    Hi All,
    My E6400 has been suffering overheating problems with the current hot weather (over 30C degrees). When the machine overheats it begun to throttle to 75% then to 35%. Once it reached 35% the machine is extremely slow (much slower than normal 35% in power saving mode), it like the machine is put in the safe mode and it won’t recover once the temperatures drops i.e. ACPI, & cpu =40’s & NVS160 = 60’s. The only thing fix the problem is to shutdown the machine & wait for few minutes and restarting the machine. Anyone have had experienced similar problem? I am suspecting the ACPI is triggering the machine to throttle.
    I was able to replicate the problem and here is the temperatures the machine begun throttling
    ACPI = 78C, Core 0 = 61C, Core 2= 72C, NVS 160 = 80C HDD = 45C
    P8400 -> core speed = 1600MHz, multiplier = x6 bus speed = 266 MHz, FSB =1064MHz
    BIOS = A11
     
  2. SpeedyMods

    SpeedyMods Notebook Deity

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    Something is wrong, that isn't hot enough to be throttling. I would try uninstalling Dell ControlPoint and seeing if it fixes your problems.

    Greg
     
  3. marcoz

    marcoz Newbie

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    Hi Greg,
    Uninstalled dell control point and restore back to windows vista power settings. But the problem still persists. When the ACPI hit the magic 79C it begun to throttle ;( I probably have to give a dell a call tomorrow.
     
  4. Bedo02

    Bedo02 Newbie

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    Hi. Any Luck? What did Dell say?

    I´m having the same problem. It is definitely a Hardware problem. I´ve tried XP, Vista and Win 7 (beta). But maybe just some wrong drivers?
     
  5. akwit

    akwit Notebook Deity

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    Guys-ive had this problem for a while now.
    Are you both using the Nvidia GPU by any chance?
     
  6. one4spl

    one4spl Notebook Consultant

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  7. weirdo81622

    weirdo81622 Notebook Evangelist

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    There is something wrong with your system. My E6400 is loaded (2.8, Nvidia), and I never even near 80C. While running at max load with an overclocked gpu, I am still under that. My GPU can be at 95 and my CPU at 75 and no throttling at all.
     
  8. one4spl

    one4spl Notebook Consultant

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    I have a P CPU like the OP, in my case a P9500.

    Maybe its something to do with that given that the P series CPUs are meant to put out less heat and use less Power.

    Maybe the thermal tables in the BIOS are more aggressive on the P cpus.
     
  9. joeb7

    joeb7 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi everyone,
    we are several E6400 users posting into the DELL support forum.

    However, DELL has started censoring our posts, even if they absolutely don't contain impolite or rude wording etc.

    The E6400 looks absolutley like having a design problem if it's not solved with an BIOS update. It throttles the CPU and/or FSB until it is not useable.

    We'd like to continue our efforts here, rather in the DELL Forum, that is why I'm replying to your post, rather than opening a new one.

    Thanks, JB
     
  10. metri8

    metri8 Newbie

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    Tinkerdude posted an amazingly thorough review of the problems and showed exactly where the problems are occurring over at the dell forum. Unfortunately it was censored by the mods (I'm guessing because he included a reference ID).

    He added a pdf copy of his post here:
    http://imsahp.chambana.net/~randall/dell

    I would give it a peruse.

    By the way I have also run the test and I am having the exact throttling and heat problems everyone else is, no dust or any other issues I can find.

    By the way I have a send in warranty. The only problem is I've installed new RAM and HD and I can't get access to the originals for a few months (they're in another state) will Dell repair my laptop still?
     
  11. fantomex

    fantomex Newbie

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    Let me share my experience that i posted on 26 Jun 2009 11:26AM on Dell Forums.

    Hello everyone, i made some lab tests, as i am now in a phase with support when I should prepare one computer for a send to my Local Dell subsidiary. At this moment i am able to replicate the problem really fast.


    HW & Software Setup: Windows 7 RC 32bit, Dell E6400, P8400, 4GB, 500G Samsung Drive, Speedfan 4.39 Beta 7, WLAN Enabled

    Speedfan installation nad config: To run Speedfan you have to right click it>properties and run it in windows xp sp3 compatibility mode (caused by W7), also in configure>options enable Dell support and restart the app. In Speedfan go to Charts and enable Temp4, Temp5, CPU, GPU

    To cause stress: I've been using Google Earth, but any video app will do. (Higher the resolution the better - Dual monitor also good...)

    Monitoring: Resource Monitor from W7 (to run it just type in Resource Monitor in Vista or W7)

    Window setup: Google Earth in the background rotating around the globe (actually moving!). On the left Resource Monitor and on the right Speedfan.

    note: TEMP4 TEMPERATURE ALWAYS EQUALS TEMP5, SO I WILL WRITE DOWN ONLY TEMP4!

    * AMBIENT TEMPERATURE: 26C (whitepaper allows conditions up to 35C!)
    * IDLE: TEMP4=49C, CPU=48C, GPU=48C
    * STRESS TEST: TEMPS RISING...
    * THROTTLING SLOWDOWN DOWN TO 20% OF CPU ORIGINAL PERFORMANCE : TEMP4 HITS 55C! (GPU @ 56C, CPU @ 66C)
    * COOL TEST: GOOGLE EARTH TURNED OFF, USING 18" FAN PROPELLER TO COOL IT DOWN A.S.A.P.
    * THROTTLING DISABLED (CPU AT 100% PERFORMANCE): TEMP4 HITS 45C.


    45-55C are the limit temperatures for the TEMP4/TEMP5 sensors. If Dell could possible rise this in bios it would work the situation out. The question is: HOW FAR COULD IT BE DONE WITHOUT RUINING THE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE SYSTEM?!

    The biggest stress on temp4/5 are caused by using GPU (Integrated or standalone), so they must definitely sensor temperature on the BUS

    To override this you can get an app called RM Clock (Rightmark CPU clock utility) which is strong enough to override BIOS throttling and set it to force Throttling/CPU Clock to full power

    Edit:
    During my recent test, the recovery temp may be 46C not 45C as mentioned earlier... the 55C trigger worked this time as well.
     

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  12. orjan

    orjan Notebook Consultant

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    I tested this on my E6400 and it seems it worked the same way.

    Ambient temperature: 28.5C
    Graphics: Intel Integrated Graphics
    BIOS: A14
    Temps measured with I8kfanGUI.

    Stress test with calculator computing n! for a big number and Google Earth running flight simulator.
    As soon as temp sensor 1 and 2 in I8kfan GUI reached 55 the CPU was throttled down from 2.4GHz to 800MHz. I believe these temp sensors are for memory and chipset temperatures.
    When these temps got below 50C I got the fan to run at slow mode with Fn+Z but the CPU won't run at full speed 2.4GHz again. I haven't got the temps down to 45C so I can not verify that it will fix the probem. Also there seems to be some bus bandwidth throttling or similar since the machine appears slower on 800MHz now than it normally is on 800MHz.

    I think more reasonable temperatures for throttling would be 60C for throttling and 55C for recovery.

    Also I think it is very bad that the fan starts running at full speed at 50C. It should at least be 55C. If you look at the specs for the chipset I can't see that it should have problems with these temperatures.

    I reported the fan problem to Dell support this winter without receiving a solution. Now I will report both problems so they at least learn about the problem. Hopfully they will fix it in a new revision of E6400 and I think that you might have to complain loudly to get your laptop replaced with a new revision if it surfaces soon.

    Örjan
     
  13. Cyan

    Cyan Notebook Geek

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    I think this is the reason why I can't seem to play any of the old generation games like CnC Generals. The game would start fine and then becomes a slideshow after 15-20 mins. Definitely not a GPU problem since I am able to play this game with a Geforce 2.

    Dell is playing too safe here. Hope someone in there is working on a solution
     
  14. freedomofchoice

    freedomofchoice Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have this exact issue when playing DVDs. Roughly about 10 to 15 minutes into the movie, I will start seeing skipped frames and hearing scratchy audio. The DPC Latency checker started before the movie and showing generally green bars would start to fill the entire graph with red bars! At this point I can't really do anything as the whole system becomes sluggish to the point where it is unusable. Only way is to shutdown(restart does not seem to effective).

    Thank you for the post! I was scouring the net and pulling my hair out thinking it was some issue with the Intel GMA Driver(Have tried many version of the driver, vista 32/64 from dell, microsoft's default drivers and even those direct from Intel). Then i managed to replicate the same issue within Fedora 11! At this point I knew it has to be something to do with the hardware/bios itself!

    Placing the notebook on something slightly tall making sure the fan intake vent is not blocked occasionally would allow me finish an entire DVD!

    Hope Dell releases a bios update!

    added later: I have P8600 proc.
    system spec: E6400/P8600/4GB/Intel GMA/320GB/WXGA+
     
  15. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    I haven't seen this problem perhaps because I have RMClock running with throttling set to 100% (a left over from when the E6400 throttled itself when running from a 65W PSU) but I agree that Dell need to fix this nonsense. 55C is relatively cool for chips. I suspect that it is a side-effect of Dell trying to avoid thermal cycling of the nVidia GPU.

    John
     
  16. freedomofchoice

    freedomofchoice Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi John, You are lucky.

    Well the issue is not due to Nvidia. As matter of fact, most people on Dell's forum with this issue are owners of Intel GMA.

    Also, RMClock seems to keep only the proc from throttling but the FSB still end up getting throttled.
     
  17. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Perhaps I am wrong, but I think the BIOS is failing to discriminate between the GPUs. It just needs a bit of logic adding: "If Intel GPU then up to 75C is OK". Dell eventually added similar logic for using the 65W PSU.

    John
     
  18. Cyan

    Cyan Notebook Geek

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    I have the same specs but luckily I have no problems with DVDs. The GPU runs between 50-53 C when playing movies. It's when playing games that the chipset/GPU reaches 55 C.
     
  19. freedomofchoice

    freedomofchoice Notebook Enthusiast

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    Ya. I think it also has something to do with their cooling design. The CPU is generally around 10 C cooler than the DIMM, Chipset and aux.(i'm using win 7 and i8kfangui/rmclock don't seem to work, using everest). The minute some graphic related(not even intensive) are started these misc. temps shoot up to over 50 C. I'm on bios A14 and once the temp goes over 55 C the problem starts.

    Ya. I just removed the back cover to clean the fan. There was a layer of dust completely blocking vent on the heatpipe's cooling fins. But even after cleaning the temperature does jump to around 53 to 54 with the laptop resting on a small box(to allow more ventilation) when I start the DVD.

    I just went and bought a Cooler Master NotePal Infinite notebook cooler. I can confirm that the misc. temperatures are now around 44 C idle and 49 to 50 on DVD playback. CPU is around 36 idle and 38 to 40 on DVD playback. So definitely some improvement.

    I can almost guarantee that if the heatpipe made a better contact on the GPU and Northbridge, this problem will simple go away even without Dell updating the Bios. As of now I don't want to perform any DIY(Arctic Silver/ copper spacer) in fear of voiding the warranty.

    I previously had a Inspiron 8600 and it was a faithful companion for almost 6 years! E6400 is an ideal machine for it's function and design but this issue is definitely a deal breaker.

    As of now I can just pray/hope/wait for dell to release a bios update! In the meantime I suggest those with this issue to go get a Notebook cooler.
     
  20. dcp12345678

    dcp12345678 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I am currently trying to decide between the Leveno t400 and the e6400 from dell, but this overheating issue is a pretty big deal. So big, in fact, that it might be a showstopper. I am a software developer, so I am frequently pushing my machine pretty hard, with running database software such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server, and I also run stress tests for the software I write. So suffice it to say that this machine is going to get some pretty hard-core CPU work. Of course, maybe these overheating problems are more related to the graphics activity instead of the CPU? It's hard to tell from this thread.

    I currently have an Inspiron e1520 for my home machine, which has been a disappointment. I do a lot of contract software development work on it. The backlight just went out on it and I am having to get it fixed which is going to be about $245. Once I get it back, I immediately plan to send it to eztradein.com and get a few hundred out of it, which I plan to put towards a new laptop, this time, a business class one instead of consumer grade laptop. The inspirons really don't seem to be able to hold up for what I use it for (powered on 24x7, heavy stress testing, etc). And this time, I plan to get a full 4-year on site warranty (I rolled the dice on my Inspiron and just got the 1 year warranty that came with it, but now I'm paying the price, literally :)).

    I have done some research on this overheating issue, and this isn't the only place it's been discussed:
    For example, read fantomex's review here:
    http://reviews.dell.com/2341/1542/reviews.htm

    Also, here's another good link that shows how dust accumulates in the fan:
    http://en.community.dell.com/forums/t/19247293.aspx?PageIndex=5

    I have a dell d630 for my work laptop, and it's a pretty good machine although the 5400 RPM drive is much too slow (it gets bogged down with all the company software we have running such as Norton, our phone software, and other stuff).

    So my post boils down to these questions:

    1) For those of you having the overheating problems, do you think this is a design flaw with the e6400 itself? Is a BIOS fix going to be enough to fix the problem?

    2) It seems to me that the dust in the fan issue isn't going to be solvable by just a BIOS update. Is that going to be an ongoing maintenance issue with this model?

    3) If you had known about the overheating issue before you bought the e6400, would you have gone with the Leveno T400 instead?

    4) What made you pick the E6400 over the T400 (as best I can tell, most folks get it narrowed down to those 2 models, and then it's gut wrenching to decide on which to buy, which is exactly the point I'm at now :) )

    5) For me, the main thing I don't like about the T400 is the fact that CTRL/FN are switched on the keyboard (i.e. the FN key is at bottom left instead of CTRL). Different people have said this is a showstopper, while others have said, "you get used to it". I like the Dell keyboard because it's what I'm used to, but honestly I'll be using an external keyboard mostly, so I guess it's something that I wouldn't necessarily call a showstopper. Just wondered how the keyboard was on the e6400, and if it's as good as the D630. Also, does the track pad or pointer cause any problems (I've heard that it's easy to accidentally hit).

    I'd appreciate any feedback you folks might have, I really value your opinion. This overheating thing is pretty worrisome though, because I'm certainly not going to be using this machine to just do casual email / surfing, I need a hardcore machine that can handle a heavy load.
     

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