One other note: from the forums I noticed that the BIOS should be changed and that the Nvidia driver should be updated. I downloaded the latest BIOS and Nvidia drivers. Can anyone help me with which version of the BIOS should be used for this problem. Also, what about the Nvidia driver version? Please help.
FYI, I have only had my computer on for ten minutes with the irony that I am only writing on this post and the temp is already 73C. The CPU is crawling to a stop! There is no activity other than me being on this site using the Chrome browser. Ah...now we are approaching 80C! Sllllllllloooooooooowwwwwww!
Put your hand next to the outlet vent. There should be lots of warm air coming out of it, it'll get warmer when the computer is busy.
possible causes of overheating:
1. air flow blocked -- make sure both the intake and outlet vents aren't getting covered up. Use the laptop only on a hard, flat surface, not on a soft, cloth covered surface. Consider getting a specialized lap desk with built-in fan to help the airflow.
2. fan is turning loudly but not much air flow: dust has accumulated internally -- open laptop and clean it out carefully
3. fan is turning loudly and plenty of air flow, but the air isn't very warm: thermal coupling between cpu and heat sink is bad -- send for repair
4. fan isn't turning properly -- send for repair
I use SpeedFan to monitor all temperatures and fans.There are many similar programs available.
I hope these suggestions help a little.
Thanks for your reply. A Dell technician changed out my memory and main board. When he did, he checked the fan and cleaned out any dust that was in the fan. The issue is the CPU overheating. The result is that the CPU is throttled back to be so slow that the computer is virtually unusable. The computer is virtually unusable.
By the way, I can track the temp and see as the temp increases, the CPU slows down.
Again, thanks for your reply. By the way, I am being told by others on the forum that this problem cannot be corrected. Dell?
The CPU throttling down when it gets overheated is one of Intel's intentional design features. The slower it runs, the less heat it generates.
The CPU getting overheated is more likely to be a failure in your computer. My suspicion would be that the thermal coupling compound used to match the CPU to its heatsink was not properly applied.
FWIW, when idling, my laptop's internal temperatures are around 50C or slightly lower. When busy and running 3D applications, it gets up into the low 70s. It never throttles due to overheating. (I have an E6510 with a Q720 CPU and Nvidia 3100M graphics)
Here is my overheating story.
I had a big overheating issue with my Lattitude E6400 laptop which I use with a docking station and two monitors attached. It took me a long time to realize that it actually was an overheating issue. The PC went erratically to 100% load and was totally unusable. This happened predominately when I was watching a video or live stream. Therefore my assumption was that it somehow is related to the video software and I tried all kinds of things without success. Finally I reinstalled Windows 7 and the problem appeared again.
Based on Dells recommendation I also updated the BIOS as well as the NVIDEA drivers. The problem remained. Finally I started checking the internal temperatures and the GPU temp was always quite high. A series of tests (I blew cold air under my laptop when the problem started) revealed that the hot GPU seems to be the problem.
By using a small freeware called SppedFan I was able to set the speed control of the fan based on a mix of temperatures including the GPU temp. SpeedFan is not easy to configure but it is worth it. This article helped a lot unitstep.net/.../using-speedfan-to-automatically-control-your-pcs-fan-speeds
As result I now have a Lattitude E6400 that is much more stable. When watching video on my two monitor system the fan runs at higher speed and is more noisy but the performance issues are gone (at least for now).
I hope this helps.