Oh, is there some way that this problem can get some kind of higher priority? I mean, it's been around for over a year and Dell has not been able to solve it.
I also have this problem with my l502x i7 notebook, which I bought some three months ago. It has been there right from the beginning (before I installed anything or adjusted any settings) and nothing I have tried (different energy schemes, updating to the latest bios etc) has made any difference. I wish Dell would take this problem more seriously. So many people are complaining. Notebooks have to be silent. People use them in public spaces. Now I can't bring my expensive notebook to a library or wherever because it disturbs and annoys people. This is just completely unacceptable!
Friends of mine also have a XPS 15 system, but with an i5 processor instead of an i7. It is absolutely silent! No noise whatsoever on tasks that are sure to make the fan on my machine running on top speed. To me this indicates this system is poorly configured and that Dell ought to be able to solve the problem. I for sure shall never again consider buying anything from Dell if this isn't solved.
My laptop (L502x i5) was very noisy too and i've tried all the tricks i could find in the forums. It would usually occur if i had 10 chrome tabs and then for each additional tab it would on/off.
Using the task manager i noticed that the problem would occur every time there was a CPU load spike or when the temperature would rise above 55 degrees. My best guess is that the cooler is dependent on the CPU load or some temp treshold. The real problem is that the cooler doesn't have a low rpm cooling policy which would keep the laptop at a decent temperature.
I've uninstalled all monitoring programs ( SpeedFan, Intel monitor, CPU-Z) and i've updated the BIOS to the latest version from the Dell website (version A10). The on/off problem doesn't occur so often now... it mostly happens when i'm browsing rich websites and Flash websites. If i'm using it with the high-performance power plan it starts full throttle, turns down to medium, stays like that for about 30 seconds and then for the next 5 mins or longer i wont hear it anymore ( with casual browsing 5 tabs, flash, outlook and skype). With the balanced plan i barely notice it anymore.
If i want to use it in a quiet place ( i.e. library) i use a custom power plan customized from the balanced power plan where i've set the maximum processor state to 70% - this way it only starts when i use powerfull apps. If i don't want to hear it at all i just set it to 50%.
My opinion on the notebook:
Before this one i had an hp laptop with the exact problem. The only difference is that for that one i didnt manage to do anything and it was even worse than this one. Now... this is a very stupid problem. The laptop is pretty expensive and i had high expectations considering its not a low-end configuration and its an XPS. During the first few days i had a dead pixel (that is gone now) and i could hear the dvd rack trembling inside as i would type on the right side of the laptop ( also gone now). A friend of mine also has an XPS with a cooling problem ( that one overheated so often that the paint faded and it turned from gray to white-ish). And the IR remote control i had for the hp and older XPS models was also very comfortable. Apart from these problems which are now more or less solved, the laptop performs really well.
I just dont understand how could they test the laptop and say that its just fine and then with all these complaints on the forums, why can't they just admit its a problem and find a permanent solution. Even though its not so bad right now... my next laptop wont be a dell. For the exact specs i could have gotten an asus with 200 euros cheaper and i dont see exactly how much worse could it be.
I Have a "Power Saver" and "High Performance" power settings/presets. I then created shortcuts that are on my desktop so it's easy to switch between the two. My Power Saver setting has the max processor state set to 25%, and I use it 95% of the time. I only switch to the High Performance when needed.
I also have an SSD drive, which helps keep the laptop cooler. Even a slow/cheap SSD is better than a HDD, the one I have is about $100 now.
Another tip is I run the display ay 720 most of the time, and at 1080 only when I need it for certain apps. The video card and processor use the same cooling system in the XPS 15, so higher demand on the video card will create more heat as well, kicking in the fan. There is a freeware app called Hotkey Resolution Changer (and probably others) where I have hotkeys setup to change the resolution for me, CTRL+ALT+1 and 2. So switching out the resolution is easy.
As I posted long ago, I have not unwanted fan noise. The fan only kicks in when doing demanding tasks like 3D work or video processing. And if I don't want the fan at those times I can run in the Power Saver mode and it stops, it just takes longer to do those tasks.
I've had this problem a few weeks or so after I bought my laptop in July 2011. It went away for months, but has come back now recently.
A technician installed a new heatsink and fan today. There was a lot of dust stuck in the old heatsink and fan.
My cores are running at around 53C now, with my work applications currently running.
I haven't went above 60C, which we all know is when the fan starts to pulse.
For now I'm happy as I can work in peace now. No torturing on/off/on/off every two seconds today.
I'll have to test more when I get home.
This is how a laptop should be.
Just reporting back after 2 weeks. Temperatures are still decent around 50C to 55C with a bunch of programs open, including a design program which is set to use the 525M dedicated graphics card. I can barely hear the fan. It's like 10 times quieter than before the tech replaced the fan & heatsink. Best of all, there is no pulsing/bursting while doing work or playing Diablo 3. The laptop is now just about perfect.
I am also running in High Performance all the time, without using any workarounds and/or crippling the performance of my laptop.
Now, if I run a GPU temperature monitoring program/gadget, it WILL pulse/burst the fan. But so far, that's the only thing that sets it off.
I think I've finally gotten rid of that 3 second ON/OFF/ON/OFF! rhythm that was stuck in my head for months. Sanity levels may restore to normal.
A tech may be able to help you. I coughed up for the extra at home/on-site warranty (about $100) and the issue is gone for now. It does not change the fact that Dell should man up and fix this for us for free. But it was driving me nuts for months and interfering with my work.
If your warranty is over and you don't want to spend any more money. Well I would open her up and clean all dust out and repaste the heatsink. Just be sure that this will VOID your warranty or chances of extending warranty. Hopefully you can get it to idle at about 50C.
Thanks for all the tips guys. I hope we all find a real solution to this problem. One that does not involve crippling our machines or spending extra money to fix.
I have the same problem.
Dell do something!!! the noise (on/off/on) is terrible!
Well it's been a month since my last post. The fan issue has not come back yet, since having a Dell Tech replace my heatsink. It's been fairly hot where and live too. My idle temperatures are up a few degrees. Haven't noticed any fan spazzing when I go over 60C.
My laptop did the same thing but now i fixed it for sure.
The application caused it to on/off was MSI Afterburner, after i stopped it everything was fine and perfectly quiet
GPU-Z did the same as MSI Afterburner and maybe all kind of these oc/temperature monitoring softwares.
Thats everything.. have a nice day ! 🙂
I'm still good over here. The on/off/on/off has not returned after the Dell technician replaced my heat-sink.
I first had this issue in July 2011. I discovered that using an NVidia gadget for temperature monitoring made my fan spaz out.
The problem resurfaced in early 2012, with NO monitoring gadgets and worse than ever.
The fan would go crazy even after clean installing Windows 7, with minimal programs installed.
My fan still goes crazy if I use GPU temperature monitoring, but at least it's not all the time like before.
Right now I'm under 60C with multiple Chrome tabs open, downloading a file and a 720p video running.
The fan is low-medium, but most importantly the fan is staying a nice constant speed. No more torture.