E6420 Owner's Thread

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by dezoris, Mar 24, 2011.

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  1. iwasky

    iwasky Newbie

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    I just bought a Crucial 8GB DDR3 1600 SODIMM 1.35V. Model #: CT102464BF160B

    And it works with my existing 4GB DDR3 1333, so now I have 12GB in total.
     
  2. Divide_by_Zero

    Divide_by_Zero Notebook Guru

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    Can anyone tell me if upgrading from the intel mobo to the integrated nVidia, do I need the internal nVidia 12VDC power cord?

    I have the heatsink on the way and motherboard. Already have an i7-2630qm and 12gb of RAM. But in looking at part numbers for the integrated gfx motherboard there is a difference in the internal power cord part number. I ordered one to be safe.

    Also, what screw secures the dual heat pipe nVidia heatsink to the nVidia motherboard. I got the heatsink purchased but it appears there's a spot for a specific screw that differs from the Intel motherboards fan location.

    Thanks!
     
  3. TechGadget09

    TechGadget09 Notebook Guru

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    I was able to use 2x8GB Pacific Sun. CPUZ shows 1.35v in my XPS 17 but 1.50v in the E6420.
     
  4. br0adband

    br0adband Notebook Guru

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    FYI:

    Dell released a new BIOS for the E6420 models on January 19, 2016 labeled as BIOS revision A23. The info presented when you run the installer appears as follows:

    [​IMG]

    The specific enhancement fix is listed as:

    Here is the direct link to the page for the given models (not direct to the download itself):

    Dell E6420 model series - BIOS revision A23 released January 19 2016
     
  5. nitrobg

    nitrobg Notebook Enthusiast

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    I believe that most modules would work fine.
    I have a pair of KVR1333D3S9/8G and they work perfectly well in dual-channel mode. A friend of mine got a pair of Crucial value sticks and they work fine as well.

    Thank you! Updating now.
    I'm amazed by Dell's support for a laptop that is quite old already. Most manufacturers abandon their products 1 or 2 years after release.
     
  6. AlexF

    AlexF Notebook Deity

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    Almost five years with this laptop and it's still working, tough as nails, but...
    - Had to replace the 9-cell battery. It was at 60% wear (40% health) when it was replaced (the Dell software was strongly recommending battery replacement, not just saying battery life might be reduced) and lasted about 30~45 mins (compared to the original 4-6 hrs). The new 3-yr warranty extended life batteries now have a grey label instead of a green one (gotta love compatible battery systems... it was probably made for the E6440/E6540 but since they all use the same ones).
    - Lost the tiny screw on my DVD-RW drive, so it doesn't latch properly anymore.
    - Crucial M550 1TB seemed to be doing the same freezing that the Samsung was doing once it started getting really really full.
    - VGA connector started flaking after someone knocked the cable around hard -- screen is mostly purple now, so probably need to replace the USB/VGA board or reseat the cable.
    - Front left speaker intermittently doesn't work unless you tap it (likely need to redo the connection for the speaker)
    - Now there's a lot of scuffs, nicks, notches and other wear marks on it around the trim... enough that I might order up a replacement.
    - Had to order the bottom plate from Dell: 25$ + 15$ service fee. *frown*.
    - Never did use the built-in modem, smart card or fingerprint reader.
    - No problems with DisplayPort on the original (USB 2.0) Advanced E-Port. However, a E6230 I bought from DellRefurbished with Intel-only graphics is having incredibly crap behaviour with DisplayPort (snow on the first monitor, complete loss of signal on the second monitor), and hints seems to imply it is an Intel problem they don't want to admit to, since other laptops of the same generation using Intel graphics are having issues with DisplayPort as well.

    The 2720QM in it is still a powerhouse by most standards. Probably good for a few more years.

    (usage pattern: I use my laptop several times a week).
     
  7. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    A couple of suggestions:
    1. You can buy bags of assorted notebook / laptop screws from China via ebay. One of these will fit well enough, even if not an exact match to the original screw.
    2. No SSD performs well if full. It needs empty space for the garbage management. It is good practice to leave at least 10% of the capacity unpartitioned (it's called "over-provisioning") which will avoid any substantial deterioration in performance.

    John
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  8. zdoe

    zdoe Notebook Guru

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    hey - would someone here have (or know where to get) drivers for wwan card novatel e371 / dell DW5804?

    i just popped one in my 6420, but the drivers on dell's site don't install and novatel sends you back to dell... hardware iD's like the below, total 6 devices show up with no driver.

    USB\VID_413C&PID_819B&REV_0000&MI_04
    USB\VID_413C&PID_819B&REV_0000&MI_06
    USB\VID_413C&PID_819B&REV_0000&MI_00

    ___________ 2 days later....

    so now i got the drivers extracted from dell packages - all unknown devices are gone. still no jive, though - i can't find a dialer app that would work with this - the one from novatel doesn't recognize it, and the one from verizon detectes it but says it's off.

    and making a generic DUN connection - with the right settings, i think, will not connect - 668 the connection was terminated...
    but just in case someone googles here looking for the drivers, they're now at:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/t27asqskll6b9vn/novatel e371.rar?dl=0
    i'll host them for the foreseeable future as no-one else is providing support for this gear. thanks, dell.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  9. br0adband

    br0adband Notebook Guru

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    I know the E6420 is still a fave of many people and that this has been covered before but, I recently got a second one and had the opportunity to upgrade it from the factory i7 dual core to an i7-2630qm proper quad core + the Nvidia NVS 4200M GPU as well. Obviously temps were a concern from the gitgo and yes the 2630qm as well as the 4200M do run quite a bit hot - the factory heatsink on this second E6420 was the single heatpipe and I knew that just had to get replaced ASAP so I ordered one from an eBay seller for under $20, got here yesterday. I also know about the issue with the heatsink not coming into physical contact with the GPU core either so I ordered some copper shims at the same time, those arrived today and for the record I'm using some Thermaltake TG-3 thermal paste (was on sale at Fry's for $5 for 4 grams a few days ago, seems to be a better product than the Arctic Silver 5 I've used for years which is pretty far behind nowadays). So what happened? (temps for the CPU are measured with CoreTemp, temps for the GPU are measured with GPU-Z)

    Talk about a difference and for the record all this testing was done with Optimus disabled so the Intel GPU was never part of the equation at all. ;)

    With the original single heatpipe on this 2630/4200M I would get CPU temps (using wPrime to calculate Pi to 1 million places) of 96C but it didn't shut down for thermal protection during testing. Damned hot, for sure, but still workable and that setup was idling at 58C no matter what I did. As for the 4200M, I used Furmark with default settings (1280x720) and the latest Nvidia reference ODE drivers (362.56) it went from an idle temp of 73C straight to 99C in a matter of seconds, like less than 5 seconds seriously and <click> off went the laptop, total absolute instant shutdown. I was sorta kinda expecting that to happen and it did so, at least the protection circuit proved itself functional. :D

    So, then I installed the dual heatpipe using the TG-3 and repeated the same testing pattern (note this is without the copper shims because they arrived today meaning Thursday and I did my testing on Wednesday when the dual heatpipe arrived). Now, because I didn't have the copper shims just yet what I did was find an old laptop that had a heat shield over part of the motherboard that was thinner than a playing card so I cut out two tiny 1/2" squares of the material and then put those on the GPU core with some of the TG-3 compound between the GPU and the first piece, more TG-3 between the two pieces, then of course some on the top layer to mate with the heatsink's copper mount. Not the best solution but...

    idle CPU = 46-47C so quite a bit of difference there for idle (room temp is probably 75-ish, it's not quite "hot" yet in Las Vegas but it's getting there surely enough)

    idle GPU = the idle temps were now lower, around 60-62C so even with my makeshift Jerry-rigged spacer using that heat shield material (it's just tin metal from what I can tell) the temps were much lower and cooler. But, the real test is of course putting the GPU under stress.

    stressed GPU = within 20 seconds of starting up Furmark at the default settings the temp spiked back to 96C so, as soon as it hit 99C I closed Furmark because I didn't care to have the laptop die on me once again in that manner. The makeshift spacer did something for the idle temps obviously but not load temps.

    So then earlier today I found the copper shims in my mailbox, was expecting them on Monday so, bonus! :D

    Just got done redoing everything hopefully for a final time and here's what I got when I installed a copper shim 0.8mm in thickness on the GPU core with TG-3 compound:

    idle GPU = 46-49C !!! Wow, what a tremendous difference there, was really surprised at that to be honest, but the real test begins with Furmark.

    stressed GPU = I fired up Furmark (again, with defaults at 1280x720) and let it run and didn't even look at the results for a full minute, just turned my focus to my TV flipping channels with nothing on. After roughly a minute I turned back and saw the flat line on Furmark (it shows the temps on a graph) and then glanced over at GPU-Z for verification...

    73C flat for the remainder of the testing (I let it run for 3 minutes solid) which is basically a 16C (or more) drop in load temps, awesome.

    That's pretty amazing in my opinion and I for one am a very happy and very cool running customer now. ;)

    Anyway, if you still own a Latitude E6420 and you have the Nvidia NVS 4200M GPU on it, doing this takes all of what, 10-15 minutes at most and offers the potential (note I'm just saying the potential, can't offer any guarantees in your specific situations) to dramatically lower the GPU's operating temps when stressed.

    I love this laptop, really, it's a workhorse as every Latitude has always been for me - the Wife has my old E6420 with the dual core i7 in it now and 8GB snatched from another old dead laptop and she's very happy with it (Intel GPU however, it's enough for her purposes). Still have my trusty E6400 as well and it remains my favorite laptop ever for many reasons but these days this E6420 is my daily runner.

    Just thought I'd toss this out in case anyone that gets an E6420 cheap off some eBay auction or wherever that might be considering doing this kind of "upgrade" for the cooling could stand to see a case scenario without digging into this rather long thread for info which is scattered across multiple posts.

    Have fun, always... and keep cool. ;)
     
  10. theblackpinguin

    theblackpinguin Newbie

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    Hello Sapphire, any updates with this project? I too have a e6420 without the nvidia gpu and I was wondering how did this fan fit and how hot did the processor run. Any pics of the end result?

    Thanks in advance.
     
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