XPS M1330 Nvidia 8400 heat and fan noise problem - Video - Laptop - Dell Community

XPS M1330 Nvidia 8400 heat and fan noise problem


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XPS M1330 Nvidia 8400 heat and fan noise problem

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Hy everybody,

Can anyone help me with the next problem? I have update my Nvidia 8400 GS driver and since than the fan is spinning arround all the time, without stop. I rolled back driver, to an older version, but no help.

Thank you

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  • Me and many other user have the same problem. The bad news are that there is no solution, unless you modify the heat sink of your M1330 (known as copper mod).

    Personally, I will never do that!! Dell should fix this disappointing issue by replacing the badly designed heat sinks for free!

    I also tried to any possible combinations of video drivers / bios with no relevant change.

    Despite the fan always running like and the noise being very loud, the GPU (and the whole laptop) becomes incredibly hot just browsing the web! Watching a film is even worse and I never tried a 3D game but I fear that would be lethal!

    I wrote Dell support more than 7 days ago complaining about the issue, and I NEVER received a reply! My laptop is still covered by warranty and I find their behaviour unacceptable!

  • Me too 

    Hi, Same thing happened to my XPS 1330, first on Sat Morning it would not boot and displayed multi-coloured vertical lines down the screen, I eventually got it to boot after undergoing a recovery routine and then downloaded those same updates, result was the fan noise and laptop behaving strangely after the nVidia update.  The fan noise eventually went away but the system is still unstable with it rebooting and powering off, I have seen other posts with similar problems so there definately looks to be a generic issue regarding the nVidia update.

  • remark: starting from bios A11, Dell introduced a "thermal control" improvement which actually means "your fan will be almost always running at medium to max speed". This is because nvidia publicly announced that a serious issue with the 8400 chip. See http://en.community.dell.com/blogs/direct2dell/archive/2008/08/18/nvidia-gpu-update-dell-to-offer-warranty-enhancement-to-all-affected-customers-worldwide.aspx

    also, I noticed that if one updated bios to A13 without updating the video driver, the fan countinuosly switches from max to min speed. Dell doesn't tell anything about that...

    Since I guess the heat issue is unsolvable, I'll ask Dell to replace the nvidia GPU with the rubbish Intel x3100... At least that way the laptop wouldn't make all that noise and I could hold it in my lap (isn't it a laptop?)

  • Do you have the A12 BIOS?  If so Dell has modified it so that the fan runs pretty much all the time because the Nivida GPUs have a well documented design flaw that almost guarantees they will blow up eventually.  The problem is caused by heat so now they make the fan run all the time to delay the point where the card will fail - hopefully out of the warranty period.   Also has the benefit of draining your battery much faster. 

    Just do a Google search for "m1330 nvidia flaw" and read through one of the 3,000 hits. 

    We bought 3 of these things  - 2 of the 3 have had the motherboard and GPU replaced TWICE for this issue. 


  • Send a message to Dell. Nothing I've tried worked, and I have the same problems: fan-issues, to hot laptop, and graphical problems.

  • update from my side: I called Dell, they sent a technician who changed the heat sync, the fan and the motherboard. as for the last one I really don't know why... in my understanding there's no difference from this and the previous motherboard, and my nvidia 8400 had not fried (yet?)

    in the end it seems that, apart from the innate flaw of the 8400 chip, my heat sync and fan were completely obstructed by dust and dirt. very strange: I bought the machine at the end of march... while my old laptop's fan works perfectly after more than 4 years...

    now let's hope that the new motherboard/nvidia chip are not flawed...

  • My latest is that the motherboard was replaced this week and now I am on A12, (previously A11) though I noted today on the download section we are up to A14, new motherboard also looks to have the same flawed Nvidia chip, so if that fails I will be more than disappointed and will be forced to lodge a complaint.  No complaints though with the call centre staff, or the eng that attended to fix the thing, they must be bearing the brunt of customer disatisfaction.  It will be interesting to complete my customer satisfaction survey over the weekend......... and what news of a warranty extension?

  • I bought my M1330 two days ago and after I updated my BIOS to A11 and also my graphic card (GForce 8400 GS) the problem occured. Dell might have put the update so that the graphics card doesnt burn out by keeping the fan running at max all the time. For those who dont care about this, just see the link below:


    I just updated my BIOS to A12 from the Dell website and the fan went back to normal... lets hope nothing happens to my graphics card..

    Hope it works for you guys...

  • My fan stoped to overrun itself after updating Bios to a12, but the graphical problem is still there - and after 30 minutes using, the machine is still extremly hot. The only thing left now is to send it to Dell, since I tried everything els.

  • I have been using tons of notebooks (I mean about 50+ since I used to work for ATI, Neomagic and other graphic chip suppliers)... and had the best respect for DELL, and its engineering team...  but since I started to have problems with the XPS 1330 I will think twice about bying DELL again.

    I spent too much time trying to figure out a problem which was never acknowledged by DELL (if it did I would have act differently and would not blame DELL as all computers have some design flaws).  The problem is way to hard to pinpoint right away and a HW design flaw such as the one the XPS has should have been fixed ahead.  I think now there is a whole community of DELL haters thanks to this bad model.

    Yesterday I finally had a technician come and replaced the board and hard disk.  I learnt a lot about the extent of the problem and knowing how expensive it is too have such repairs I really wonder what the heck is DELL thinking.  The technician breezed like a speed demon thorugh the repair almost without looking with tens of screws cables and ...  well in 30 minutes he replaced everything and reinstalled the SW.  I was pretty amazed at the speed he did it.  I guessed he could have done it blindfolded.  So I asked how many times he was asked to service the XPS 1330...    Well I learnt there are tens serviced every day...  only in my very small part of the world...

    Basically the only thing that will prevent the problem with overheating and the subsequent problem to the graphics chip (with its dreadful colored vertical lines) is to keep the entry into the fan clean.  And after a while it may jam again and over time  heat will slowly go up again killing the NVIDIA silicon...  A compressed air bottle may help prevent the clogging which manifests in all of these designs.  even better is to open up the bottom of the laptop and do some more proper cleaning...

    Unbelievable..  a terrible heat dissipatin design issue and a much worse handling by DELL...I wonder what happened to the designer...


  • The thing WE ALL need to do is to complain, from my point of view I am going to complain to my credit card company and raise a claim in the UK small claims court for being sold goods that are not of merchantable quality - ie , why is it that IT companies can get away with selling goods that should have been subject of at product recall, if we were sold a car or a TV that failed due to a known design/component fault there would be a recall.  Dont get mad get even.  I doubt if this will get past the Dell forum police.

  • when i first got my 1330 i was jelous of the nvidia gpu ppl, mut now i am glad i got the deticated grafics...  what a pain

  • I had the same problem - have upgrade BIOS to A14 and problem has gone away.

    However before that I had also installed freeware Riva Tuner 2.2.1 and adjusted fan speeds there.not sure which of these fixed the prob as

    I tweaked settings with Riva Tuner then did the BIOS upgrade and of course they both needed a cold restart

    riva tuner is a very low-level piece of software and I council caution if you do decide to do it. so maybe best to do the BIOS upgrade first?

    Even better would be to remove the Nvidia update that causes this in the first place - does anyone know how to do this?

    Worrying that this is not a proper solution to a design flaw just a fix by Dell to try and extend the life of a faulty card. or at least that is what it looks like at this point, unless someone from Dell would like to comment with a few more facts? what really irritates me is that it was an optional upgrade. last time I go for one of those...


  • Since my last post, I had an technician from Dell coming to my office who changed the motherboard, with Bios A14 installed.

    Except that I am still little overwhelmed that it worked so good with Dells "coming to your place in 24 hours" service (I'm actually still sort of dumb over that, this is not an bad hidden dell-advertising-thing), I can now state that the fan is silent, and my graphical problem is gone ... but the machine is still unsatisfactory warm. I cant have it on my lap more than 30 minutes, after that it is to hot. I spoked to Dell about this, and the only thing they can say today is "its a general problem for modern fast laptops".

    Both Sad and Big Smile

  • Add me to the list. My 1330 w/8400 Nvidia chip died to the dreaded vertical lines on 12/19/08. A chat with Dell resulted in a replacement motherboard ticket. I'm now waiting for a tech to call to schedule replacement. I was told the warranty (video) will be extended for a year.