STUDIO 17 OVERHEATING?

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STUDIO 17 OVERHEATING?

  • I have just acquired a Studio17 laptop (3GB memory - Vista 32 Home Premium...).  The system is 10 days old and I seem to be expeirencing memory problems due to overheating probably. A lot of program execution stoppages are experienced, blue sudden-death screen (with MEMORY MANAGEMENT fault indicated) etc...

     

    The problems seem to occur when both memory slots are occupied...  With a single 2GB or 1GB memory board installed, it seems I have no problems.

     

    I have swapped memory boards to no avail. 

     

    Has anybody experenced similar problems? Thanks in advance for any help.

     

    PS: I have contacted Dell Support who have sent me a new 2GB memory board which has not improved the problems.

  • I´m have a Studio 17 for over a month and I live in a very heat place.

     

    I surprised by the excelent temperature of the laptop, even whit 38° celsius the temperature was ok.

     

    It´s hard for me supouse that is overheating your problem.

     

    Lucky.

     

    SNDK 

  • Sounds like you got a lemen.Send it back under Dells 21 day return policy.
  • To call me a dissatisfied Dell customer is an understatement.

    Over the past 16 months or so, I've had about 6 computers from Dell (I've actually lost count at this point, but I think this is my 6th). The first five were Dell Studio XPS 16. Every one of them was almost unusable because of the heat they generate. The heat coming from the bottom of the machines, and especially the touchpad, not to mention the power adapters (I've had both the 90w and the 130w with the same problem) is OBSCENE.

    I have had mother boards replaced, heat synchs replaced, fans replaced, power adapters replaced, keyboards replaced, speakers replaced, Blueray drives replaced, batteries replaced, and a screen swap. I’ve lost count at how many times Dell technicians have been over to my house for repairs/replacements (I think it's about 10). Between the time I’ve spent on the phone with Dell support, having Dell come to my home to replace/repair parts, reloading software, and backing up/transferring data, I would bet that I’ve now spent 300+ hours trying to get a computer that I could use.

    I'm posting in this forum because the replacement computer they just sent me is a Studio 17. They assured me that the Studio 17 did not have the overheating problems. However, the touchpad is burning to the touch and I can't leave my wrist on the left side of the palm rest for more than a few second without my wrist hurting from the heat. (Although the computer is always hot, it is especially hot when I'm running a program called Second Life which I use for my work. However, no matter what I'm doing, the fan is constantly on.) As you can see from the attached image, the i7 core is running about 150-160 degrees Fahrenheit. As water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, just imagine what touching the touchpad feels like, especially when your palms are resting there and typing for extended periods of time.

    As with all of the other computers from Dell, I have to use an external mouse because the touchpad is just too hot to use. However, the bluetooth for the computer keeps going in and out, as it has with many of the XPS 16s that I've had. (The Dell technician who has come out to my house so many times tells me he thinks the bluetooth is having problems because of the heat generated.)

    I just spent the last 3 days rebuilding the drive and transferring all of my data to the new Studio 17, only to find that this laptop has all of the same heat problems that the XPS 16 has. (It comes with the 90w power pack which is also burning to the touch.) I got this computer by sending an email to Dell's corporate offices. The person who arranged for the return and spent an hour troubleshooting with me today claims she is from the corporate offices, but I'm not sure that's true.

    When we took the bottom off today to troubleshoot, I learned that it appears to be either the memory chips or the wireless card that is generating all of this heat. (The heat appears to be coming primarily from the front, left-hand side.) She offered me two options: either send the computer to their service center for their technicians to look at it or send a service technician out to replace parts. As the 10 or so times that the Dell service technicians have been out replacing parts has not solved the problem, that really leaves me only with the option to send it in to them. However, I use my computer for work and can't be without it for a day, much less 5-7 days. I asked her to send me a loaner Studio 17 so that I could swap the hard drives and then they could take as long as they wanted to fix it. She said she couldn't do that.

    Dell XPS 16s and Studio 17s both have significant heat and quality problems. It has got to be a design problem. I would like to speak with one of the  executives at Dell (e.g., customer service, engineering, technical support) to try to figure out what is causing this problem. If the brands of memory or wireless cards are causing this problem, then swapping them for a completely different manufacturer might help. I refuse to spend anymore time sending computers back or having Dell technicians replace parts as it is clearly not solving the problem. Does anyone have an email or phone number to a Dell executive? If you do a search on Dell laptops overheating, you'll find thousands of hits across the web. I want to find a solution to this. Please let me know. I will post this message to forums outside of Dell as well to see if someone else can help. Thanx.

    - B.

  • Computer:  Dell Studio 17 Laptop, Win7 64 Ultimate, 4G RAM, 2 500G HD, bluetooth module, whatever else.  It was purchased in May 2010.

    I ran into this overheating problem.  I initially suspected it was due to the external eSATA drives I have attached to the box.  However, further investigation revealed a blockage on the fan intake, and some diligent cleaning and vacuuming removed a fair amount of dust.  The bottom intake grid is very difficult to clean.

    This cleaning helped a bit but did NOT solve the problem.  

    I have my laptop sitting on an old monitor stand on top of my desk, so its screen is at eye height.   With this ergonomic configuration, running PC DOCTOR Stress Test, I could kill the box almost every time.  The allowable TJUNCTION for the Intel CPU in the Studio is 100C. This is AFAICT the thermal limit at which point they claim some sort of performance throttling occurs. NO KIDDING! Angry  With SpeedFan and/or HW Monitor running, I could clearly see that the CPU cores were reaching 98/99C during  PC DOCTOR  stress test, and eventually one of the cores must have exceeded 100C and caused a safety shutdown to prevent burnout.

    Resolution:   Grabbed two pieces of dimensional lumber 2"x4" from the basement, perched the laptop on these being careful to leave the fan intake well open.  All problems resolved.  I set SpeedFan to be on all the time and configured ti  to keep the fans on ALL THE TIME as shown in the picture (loud, annoying, but I don't lose work hopefully).

    I do suspect that the monitor stand, and probably the surfaces other folks have their laptops on, must have held heat close to the laptop bottom and exacerbated the heating problem.  However it also appears that  either 1) my fan(s) are weakening; 2) there are still internal dust particles blocking adequate airflow; 3) the fan speed stepping profile under load is incorrect, or a combination of all of these is making the laptop far too prone to overheating.

    RESOURCES:

    CPUID HWMONITOR http://www.cpuid.com

    SPEEDFAN http://www.almico.com

    PC DOCTOR - from Dell Support Center install   ( I think the Stress Test should be the DEFAULT BTW).

  • Great post HexageniaMeister. The Studio 17 is not fit to be in production with these heat levels (and I would say the entire Studio line as I had the same problems with the XPS series). Perhaps if you rarely ever type on the keyboard or, when you do type, it's only for a few seconds (e.g., not writing articles as I do), then you won't notice the heat problem too much. (Of course, the parts in this computer will continue to break because of prolonged heat, so don't expect this computer to last for long.)

    Dell is just ignoring the problem as it appears they have no idea how to fix it. Here's what their last customer support person wrote to me when I showed them that, even after getting the motherboard and fan replaced by them, the heat levels on a typical day were still very hot:

    "Discussing the issue the maximum admissible i7 core temperature is 100°C as per Intel. The Radeon graphic card is 100°C and the Toshiba hard drive maximum working temperature is 60°C. All the hardware devices are working under the specs given by the manufacturer. Hence the working range of the notebook is within usage as it is shown by the CPUID hardware monitor that you have installed on the computer. If you feel that the system is too hot to use, please look for additional cooling solutions like a cooling pad. Replacing hardware is not going to help you as the devices are already in their working temperature and the system is working as per design."

    You're right about how difficult it is to clean the fan. I watched the tech do it multiple times. You have to take apart so many things inside the computer before you can do it. Also, I talked to the tech about using the spray can of air to clean it out. He said it's effectively useless because of the layout - you'd be blowing the dust right back into the computer as it has nowhere else to go.

    I am SO unhappy with Dell. The hundreds of hours I have spent trying to fix this problem, all to no avail.

     

  • This statement about working under the limits of course flies in the face of the reality of instrumentation and statistics.  It would be expected to see fluctuations +/- a couple degrees all the time either because the sensors have latency, or the measurements are not quite calibrated. In my testing, the temperatures were hovering at 98/99C during the stress test until they were exceeded and the system shut down as an act of self-preservation. 

    So to consistently operate in 'pin-the-needle' mode and not provide a healthy cushion of operating temperature safety is, to put it bluntly, ludicrous.  Let's also not forget that few people can stand to touch boiling water, and that is what 100C corresponds to, so 95C isn't too comfy either.

     

    Maybe this auto-shutdown feature will provide you with some well-deserved breaks from your daily work? Zip it!

  • POSTSCRIPT:

    Subsequent to my determination that overheating was a good part of the cause of my laptop shutdowns, I have been running SpeedFan religiously to monitor temps.  I also purchased a Rosewill laptop cooling stand from Newegg.com ( model RNA-7700, Newegg URL http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834994097 ) .  This stand can serve either as a cooling platform or full feature laptop rack. It is on-sale now for $34.95 AFAICT.  It looks cheesy but actually seems very well made on visual inspection.

    With the Rosewill stand in place, and the ever-so-attractive custom 2"x4" wood blocks removed (!), the system is still a bit warm under Stress Test but it does not halt.  At-rest temperatures are approximately 72C-74C.  Under-load temps e.g. during Stress Test are above 90, and during the final phase when the CPU is operating at up to 98% utilization, the temperatures reach a maximum of 94C.  Toasty but not halting!   The attached image shows a typical profile.  The left side is the END of the PREVIOUS stress test, and the right side is the BEGINNING of the CURRENT stress test.   The bottom of the trough is the at-rest temperature.

    So for the addition of a $34 stand, the thing will work and bake bread Stick out tongue for the meanwhile.

    Thank you Speed Fan.Smile  I am sending www.almico.com  $15.

     

     

  • Well, I am just  a high school English teacher, so a lot of the tech language is unfamiliar, but NOT the problem. I notice my Dell Studio 17 has been overheating basically since I started using Skype and watching Netflicks. Not at the same time, just either/or. I have my laptop currently propped up on stacks of books. The whole thing has been a complete pain because it will shut off right in the middle of a Skype conversation or in the middle of the latest episode of Spartacus (by still my heart). I'll look into the cooling pad. Very irritated that this is such a big problem. I have a friend at Dell actually. He's not in design, but still--maybe he can help me make an inroad.

    Thank you for sharing the information and temporary solutions =)

    Sarah

  • Ah, yes. If you do have a friend at Dell that can help us solve this problem (or at least come up with a better solution), he/she would be a hero! Please do post back if you make any progress. The overheating of these machines is just beyond silly and Dell tech support doesn't seem to have any better answer than "we'll replace the mother board and heat sync again."

  • English teachers are people too.... Smile

     

    In direct terms, the problem is insufficient underclearance and consequent airflow problems.  Raising it up on the Rosewill or the custom 2x4s I started with first, with augmented airflow from the Rosewill built-in fan which blows UP towards the bottom intake vent, appears to mitigate the problem.  If you have a desk that works height-wise, then the the Rosewill also provides an angled keyboard arm rest although you might need a  gel wrist wrest (!!Big Smile).  I do not personally use the laptop keyboard directly, so I have a separate wireless keyboard under the whole mess on a pull-out drawer.

    If you are trying to avoid the $34 for the Rosewill, a cheap little 'boxer' fan that runs off AC (wall plug) from Radio Shack might do the trick. There might also be a USB fan available from somebody.

    As for the constant fan noise, that's  unfortunately part of the deal.  Helps to be over 50 and a former rock band musician - the noise is somewhat attenuated.

     

  • Oh well, the problem is back, BIOS updated, seems like a summertime blues issue.  Dell is replacing the entire guts of my laptop save the hard disks because of this.  I bet, though, it is just too small a fan and a poor air flow design.  I really though I had solved it with the fan cooler stand from Rosewill (which I will continue to use)

  • How ironic that you just posted. I have Dell on the phone right now as the Dell tech just left my house. The heat has never been worse with mine. I've had Dell tech support out to my home 6 times in the last 3 weeks alone. In the last 3 weeks, they've replaced the mother board, heats ink, and fan twice each, the CMOS battery, the keyboard, and the touchpad. (The heat was so significant that it actually was melting the paint off the keys.)

    The tech that just left my house seems to think that the problem is being caused by a metal piece that is right in front of the memory. He says this seems to be capturing a ton of heat, but he wasn't sure what it was for. He said that if it's for heat dissipation, it probably should have ridges so that it would have more surface area to get rid of the heat.

    Dell wants to send me out a refurbished replacement computer. But I've already been there - their refurbished computers have more problems than the new ones. I just don't know what to do at this point. What a waste of money and time... on everyone's part.

    I think you're right - this is a design problem and Dell just won't admit it.

  • Has anyone found a solution to the cooling issues?

    I have the Studio 1749 and fan always seems to be running slow, I've done the Dell diagnostics and the fan runs at full speed while the test is running but never while in windows.

    Idle Temp ~ 45 degC 

    On Load Temp 90+ DegC

    Looking at downgrading my bios version to see if that helps.

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