I recently purchased an Alienware M15x and have been using it for about three weeks. I noticed some performance issues that I've been monitoring and now need to address. The laptop has the Core i7 1.6 processor using 8 Gbs 1333MHz DDR3 RAM. I swapped the shipped HDD with an new Intel 160 Gb M25 SSD and have loaded Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. This M15x replaced an XPS1530. I don't have the specs on the XPS, but I believe it had a Core 2 Duo processor with 4 Gbs RAM. I also installed an Intel SSD in it and was running Windows 7 Home 64-bit.
Here's what caught my eye at the start. My fully loaded and quite used XPS 1530 would fully boot into Windows 7 (POST and OS load) in about 15-20 seconds. My new M15x with a much faster processor and double the RAM (faster RAM, too) and an improved SSD takes about 30-45 seconds to boot into Windows. I don't understand this. Now, I don't expect it to boot fully boot in 10 seconds just because it's a much better computer, but I find it quite curious that it's taking so much more time to load compared to a much less robust laptop. My hope, although I know it's not the case, is that Win7 Ultimate is simply that much more bloated an OS than Win 7 Home. I know that's not the issue, though. And then I had the fan issue...
The second issue occured last night and for the second time. I get home from work and turn on the laptop, and the fan screams continuously. The first time this happened I just continued using the computer and the fan slowed down after a number of minutes. This fan is screaming at me as it cools a laptop that has been off in a cold house for 12+ hours? Odd. Last evening, I had the same scenario (at work and computer off all day) and as soon as I power on the laptop, the fan hits turbo mode and continues running that way up to my Windows logon screen. It stays in turbo mode. While the fan is screaming along, I reboot the computer and the fan doesn't skip a beat and continues screaming at me all the way through the restart and up to the logon screen again. This time, while the fan is screaming, I choose to shut the computer down. The fan shuts off as soon as the power is killed, and after about three seconds, I power the laptop up again and the fan operates as it should (i.e. i don't even know it's there).
Does this poorly performing laptop and buggy fan indicate a failing mobo? I don't know what to do with this to troubleshoot it. I entered the BIOS and simply loaded default settings. That had no effect on performance, and this issue with the fan leads me to think I'm wasting my time trying to fix this. The only steps I've done on the M15x other than add the SSD and load the OS is that I updated the BIOS for the display adaptor and the motherboard. I've had a few blue screens (something related to USB drivers) but I think that's more a software issue than hardware (started occuring after I updated some Logitech software). And if you are wondering, yes this M15x was quite slow as soon as I got it from the factory. The lack of any real noticeable improvement in performance once I swapped the HDD with the SSD was the first indication that I possibly had a problem computer in my hands.
Thanks for your input!
With the exception of the HDD it looks like we have the same spec system, mine boots from cold to the alien sense login in about 40secs, 47 on battery power. I have also had the same issue with the fan running at full speed. sometimes it corrects itself once the command center is up and running, others i need to restart. Its only happened a few times, not that common.
I don't know why there should be such a difference in boot time when compared to the XPS but it looks like your machine is performing the same as mine.