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The PCH Southbridge does not need a heat sink (Inspiron 620 freezes when playing videos)

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Hello, I bought a new Dell Inspiron 620 desktop computer a month ago with an Intel i3-2100 and Intel HD 2000 graphics, and have been having troubles almost since the beginning. Whenever I play a video, either using windows media player, vlc, or even hulu, the computer locks up.

I called tech support and was asked to update the video drivers (which I did, I used the drivers from the dell support site for my computer model) when that didn't work, I upgraded to a newer version that windows update asked me to install. (my computer would still completely lock up during video playback.

Since the drivers didn't help, I called support again for help. I was asked to do a system restore, and update the drivers, but I am having the exact same problem. It is not an issue with a particular video file or player, I have been having problems with multiple files and programs.

After the system restore failed to resolve the issue, I contacted support again as was asked to open the computer and make sure that all the fans on the system were operating. I checked and saw that the CPU fan was working, as well as the case fan and power supply fan. When I was looking around, I noticed a chip that looked like it was supposed to have a heatsink or something on it, and there were two open screw holes. (picture attached)

I asked the support person if there was supposed to be a heatsink on the graphics chip and he said that if there was supposed to be one, it would be there.

Then I told it was probably an adobe flash issue. Since I had previously updated to the latest version (10.3) the support person said that wasn't an issue and referred me to Dell's paid support line... 

This is where I stand now. I don't want to spend money to fix my computer that is under warranty for another 11 months.

Is the (lack of a) heatsink the problem or should I invest some money into Dell's "enhanced support"?

 

Thanks for your thoughts,

Matt

All Replies
  • Hmm, Mcafee was never installed on my systems, I use Microsoft Security Essentials.

  • Today I was asked to do a clean install using the DVD provided with the computer.

  • So, Dell had me do a clean install (without all the extra Dell software) from the Windows 7 disc, I was pretty skeptical... but that did the trick! I didn't have any trouble, even without a heatsink.

    I also bought a little heatsink just to be safe, but it looks like a piece of software that originally came on the system was causing the freezes.

    I still think the northbridge should have a heatsink on it, but, surprisingly everything is working again.

  • The chip would not be a flip chip with exposed glass if it wasn't supposed to have a heatsink.

    The mounting holes for the Z spring clip that hold it on are also on the board.

    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here
    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.
    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.

  • What your seeing is the PCH Southbridge. It does not need a heatsink. The Northbridge and integrated GPU are embedded in the CPU.

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
    Quick link for Manuals and Drivers

  • What I am seeing is a C200 Series Bridge(PCH) whatever you call it and the INTEL documentation for the reference design Clearly shows a heatsink. The motherboard as well is setup to handle 2 different kinds of heatsink on the chip.

    C200 chipset documentation clearly outlines a heatsink being required.

    C200 Series Chipset. Thermal Mechanical Specifications and Design Guidelines (TMSDG). 

    Thermal Mechanical Specifications and Design Guidelines ... - Intel

    HTTP://www.intel.com/Assets/PDF/designguide/324647.pdf

      Desktop and UP Server / Workstation Cougar Point Platform Controller Hub (PCH) Thermal Mechanical

    http://www.intel.com/content/dam/doc/design-guide/6-chipset-c200-chipset-specifications-and-guidelines.pdf

    The reference solution heatsink will be evaluated to the reliability requirements in Table 6-1. The mechanical loading of the component may vary depending on the heatsink, and attach method used. The customer should define a validation test suite based on the anticipated use conditions and resulting reliability requirements. Thermal cycling, bake and humidity tests were performed on original design and are not being repeated. The designer should select appropriate thermal / humidity tests for the expected use conditions.

    There are ZERO references to just leave the heatsink off if you don't feel like using one.


    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here
    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.
    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.

  • So is this an issue still? I just received my Inspiron 260s (slim tower) on 8/31/2011. Do I need to test that it can run videos and download files without freezing, locking or requiring a reboot.

    @ dukane3k

    How did you get the Windows 7 DVD install disc? Did they send it to you with the  new Motherboard?

  • How did you get the Windows 7 DVD install disc? Did they send it to you with the  new Motherboard?

  • Use this link to request Backup Disc.

    We believe the freezes/systems hangs were caused by operating system software conflicts. Perhaps our factory image was the culprit. Users skoo217 and dukane3k did a format/install of the operating system and the issue went away.

    The Inspiron 620 is based on Intel’s Cougar Point architecture which significantly change the layout of the traditional Northbridge/SouthBridge and integrated GPU on motherboards. In the initial image posted in this thread, what you are seeing is the PCH Southbridge. It does not need a heat sink. The Northbridge and integrated GPU are embedded in the CPU. The Inspiron 620 launched in May 2011 and was never impacted by the Cougar Point flaw announced by Intel in January 2011.

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
    Quick link for Manuals and Drivers

  • I  was appaled to find these pch's bare on the three units I recently purchased.  Also being an Intel channel partner I had to do some digging on the chipset but like another user had linked up these chips are required to have a heatsink on them.  To put the "flipchip" in this system bare like that Dell is taking a huge risk, not only will the heat buildup greatly reduce the life of these chips if you slip with a screw driver while adding a video card or whatever and hit this bare chip then the board is done, finished, finito.  

    I think Dell needs to hire engineers and not let the CPA's do there engineering.  Also noticed while setting these up that they do stutter during video playback.  Hate to have to add more money to these systems but I do not have the time to be messing around with RMA's and finding or building replacement units.

  • Should not look like this

    (picture attached)

    Should be like this.

    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here
    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.
    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.

  • Is that a fix that you implemented or was this from Dell?

  • Dell says its not needed.  I did this myself.

    You can see that the Spring clip as well as the plastic push pin mounting options are both

    available on the board.

    My thing is even in the INTEL documentation for the "Reference" design it does not say No heatsink.

    My response to putting the heatsink on the flip chip was to stop freezing in starcraftII, World of Warcraft,

    Youtube Videos,  Etc.

    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here
    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.
    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.

  • ...I just purchased the same computer as you did.  I have had computers since they first came out (literally).  I have NEVER experienced such issues with a computer as this one.  From DAY ONE I have had the same problem as you.  Here is what I have found out (copy and pasted from a forum):

    "Missing PCH heatsink
    PostedFebruary 9, 2012
    Customer avatar
    Technosquid
    Please wait while more information about Technosquid is loaded.
    Additional information about Technosquid could not be loaded.
    fromMinneapolis, MN
    Age:25-34
    Gender:Male
    The primary downfall to this system is that, despite having motherboard mounting holes for one, it's missing the heatsink for the PCH (Platform Controller Hub.) The PCH is a hybrid chip that takes the place of the northbridge and southbridge functions not taken over by sandybridge processor. This isn't a microcenter-specific problem, and it's not a mistake. None of the Insprion 620 systems have come with one.
    I guess Dell decided the PCH ran cool enough without a heatsink, but I've experienced regular system freezes. These freezes would happen 5-7 time s a week, using it as a Windows 7 Media Center HTPC (so, lots of HD video playback, but nothing particularly processor-intensive.)
    You could easily install a heatsink on this, but classic northbridge and southbridge heatsinks are far too large for the downsized PCH chip. You could try a small stick-on heatsink, since I doubt you'd find anything with push pins that's the right size to fit the PCH heatsink mounting holes. On my own system, I ended up installing a heatsink using a kids-don't-try-this-at-home method with some non-conductive ceramic thermal compound and an extra long twist tie. :) After installing the heatsink, the freezes stopped.
    Another minor drawback of this sytem is the fact that this system has only two DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting a maximum of 8GB system RAM, but that's common enough on systems at this price.
    No, I do not recommend this product."
     
    In closing, my recommendations, get your money back.  There is no fix, this will continue to happen.
     
    Good luck, and please make them eat their intentional mistake.