** BEFORE TRY WITH INSTALLING AND UNINSTALLING DRIVERS AND OTHER STUFF**
Try this simplem fix that made my Dell XPS 15 fan to remain silent:
1. Go to Nvidia Control panel (right click on desktop or find it on try)
2. Go to "Adjust image settings with preview"
3. Select "Use my preference emphasising: Quality"
4. Click "Apply"
After this my fan directly stopped and remained in a low-speed state.
I have similar problems with my laptop, so posting here on your thread...hoping that someone will respond..:-)
My laptop was heating up a bit too much (temperature above 90’s in normal load, and sometimes shutting down after hitting 100C), so I finally decided to open up my Dell XPS 15 (L502X) and replace the thermal paste. I have few questions:
When I opened it up, apart from the thermal paste on the cpu (i7-2630QM) and gpu (Nvidia GT-540 2gb), there were several white pads, and one grey pad. The grey pad was above the motherboard HM67 chip. This is the first time I ever saw a heat sink with thermal pad needed to cool down the motherboard. Or am I missing something? And what are all these small white pads? They seem to be covering different chips on the motherboard. Does anyone know the width of these white pads, and grey pads? Are all of these thermal pads to conduct heat? Or some are meant to block heat? I think the white ones are meant to block heat, but I may be wrong.
Anyhow, after replacing the thermal paste (didn’t do anything with the pads, since I wasn’t expecting to see them anyway), the temperature of CPU and motherboard remains in 80’s C, and GPU in 70’s C under normal load (20 browser tabs, and some MS Office work alongside). So, although it is not in the dangerous zone (90s and above), it is still quite warm for not so intensive tasks. I have cleaned the heat sink, and fan etsc also. I also used good quality thermal paste (CoolerMaster Gel Maker Nano). And the the fan still works in an annoying manner with bursts of sounds, instead of constant sound. It is very annoying, and I rather have the fan working the whole time than these annoying bursts (fan on, fan off, fan on, fan off, and goes on like this constantly). Any solution to fix this?
I am also considering downgrading to I5-2540M (lower TDP, and dual core), but its not worth it if the fan is going to behave in similar manner. Please share your experience if you use any other CPU on this laptop. I don’t think the GPU is replaceable on this one?
I've switched to a mac 2 years ago, but the XPS is still in use by someone else.
I can tell you this: I've got the Core i5. When I bought the laptop, the fan would switch on/off very frequently according to CPU spikes instead of actual temperature readings. That issue was kind of fixed with a bios update.
The laptop is always warm and gets hot very fast. It doesn't really matter what OS or how fresh it is (tested W7 and W8). Even without doing intensive tasks, such as browsing the internet with Outlook open, the fan is 100% most of the time. I didn't try anything on a hardware level (thermal paste, downclocking) to solve the problem because the only way I got the laptop to stay relatively cool, was with throttling the proccessor with Power Options with maximum processor state to something like 50%.
So my best guess is bad internal architecture which leads to overheating no matter what.
Thanks for the reply. Which i5 CPU did you had?
I agree with you that its a very very *** design. Not only the heat problems related to motherboard, CPU, and GPU, and fan noise, but also the location of the hard disk. It is right under the palm, and does get a bit warm.
In addition, when I opened it up, there were absolutely no rubber or safety cussions on the sides. Very strange. Even my cheap HP Probooks, and Toshiba Satellite had good safety cussions to protect the hard disk if the laptop falls or gets a bump. I know one thing for sure, NEVER a dell again!!
I can't remember exactly which i5 it has, but my best guess is the Intel Core i5 (2nd Gen) 2430M / 2.4 GHz with turbo boost up to 3 Ghz (found the model on CNET). I think it's the only i5 option on this model,. It also has the FHD 1080p display which might add some stress and heating on the GPU.
Yes, the palmrest heated a lot, but I swapped to an SSD and put the original HDD in the DVD-ROM, so that isn't such a big issue anymore. A guy I went to college with, had an XPS model older than mine and his palmrest completely changed colour from overheating in less than 2 years.
The XPS did its job very well and it still does for who I gave it to because overall it's robust. But if you want a laptop that's silent, my adivice is to invest in something else. If you can't keep the fans low by setting maximum processor state in power management with the i7, I don't think you'll change much by swapping to the i5. Also, the battery gave out shortly after 2 years.
As a final note, I tinkered with about 20 laptops total and only one laptop had good cooling and high performance, an 17" Asus ROG G55VX with dual fans. But that thing was huge and its successor got trimmed to a single cooler and weaker GPU for a smaller overall size. Good internal design is rare in a laptop.
Edit: even formatting is difficult at dell.
Thanks. Well, among the many laptops that I have owned over the years, there were three models that never gave me the heating problems, and were reasonaly comfortable to keep in a "lap". for many hours
HP Probook 4330s
HP Probook 4340s, and
Toshiba Satellite L755-167
The HP Probooks were exceptionally cool, and the older one, 4330s was so simple for upgrading CPU or repaste. Just one pannel in the bottom, and you had everything in front of you. Literally a total of 5 screws to replace the CPU , in contrast to about 35 screws to get to the CPU in XPS15 L502X 🙂
Toshiba was probably just as complicated to get to the CPU as XPS15 L502X, but I never needed to open that one.
I've had my L502X since summer 2011. It's in heavy usage as I take it to and from work as well as have it in use after work. It's my everything computer; 5 years and still kicking. I've done my fair share of maintenance on it, which is what helps keep it going.
I could go on forever about little things I've had to do, like replace the subwoofer 2 times, keyboard 3 times, etc.
The main thing I have to do to keep the fan from going into "ON/OFF/ON/OFF drive you crazy mode", is tear down the laptop and clean out the dust blocking the exhaust fan. My temp is at 60C right now on an i7 cpu with a room temp of 25C. I can tell when I need to do a tear down, it's quite hard to not notice or drive you crazy. Imagine someone with a hair dryer beside you and turning it ON & OFF for hours. It's like water torture. I've gotten my tear down to 15 minutes, as you know you basically have to take out every screw to get to the CPU among other components as well. The tear down and clean out is the only thing that temporarily solves this.
Now I did pay Dell for their extended warranty service a few years ago and they sent a technician to my office and he replaced the whole heatsink and put a new fan in. Once it got clogged with dust, back to the ON/OFF pattern again.
In my 5 years, I would say 90C+ is normal for this laptop while gaming and unclogged of any dust and 60C is normal for idle.
I would also add that this laptop would be in the garbage if I wasn't an IT geek. For a normal person this laptop would have been pronounced dead and in the garbage by now.
I see your point 🙂 Idle temperature on mine is also in 60's, and goes up to 80s with about 20-30% cpu usage, and sometimes touching 90's. That is after cleaning, and changing thermal paste. I don't play games, so never I don't think I ever used the CPU for more than 50%.
I've done the cleaning part throughly, and unfortunately that didnt help in my case. Also tried the other solutions like changing Nvidia control panel settings (user defined with quality max), and setting the fan settings to passive instead of active., etc None of them helped so far. I rather put this quad core procesor in my Hp Probook, as that one is far more pleasant to use (if cpu swap works, i'll just have to try), except the *** matt screen :-). This laptop (L502X) is just not a "lap"-top. I'll see if I use it as a stationary computer on table, if not, this one goes to garbage after taking out the processor. Frankly, the only reason I kept it so far is beacuse of its excellent screen (I have the best one they offered back than). It is such a delight to watch movies on this one with head phones--so that I dont have the sickening fan noise 🙂
The B+RG LED screen with 95% colour gamut & the speakers were/are a killer combo. I still enjoy both. I added a 512GB SSD & 2TB hdd. Upgraded the wireless nic and RAM. The battery life is horrible, but I'm always near a plug. I've replaced multiple parts, multiple times. 3rd subwoofer, 3rd keyboard, 3rd battery. This laptop would have been considered "broken" by most people a long time ago. It still survives through my daily life with no slow downs in my work and also provides a good entertainment experience.