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E6540 Inadequate Thermal System! ATTN: Dell

Okay, so I have decided to revise this thread to accommodate the recent interest by customers who own this notebook.

Nutshell Explanation: The E6540 and its "one-fan" design is totally inadequate for properly cooling the i7-4800MQ and the AMD HD 8790M. The advertised specifications (2.7Ghz) are unobtainable during realworld and benchmark testing scenarios. The cooling system just can not handle the thermal footprint of the CPU/GPU. 

Long Explanation: I have spent a lot of time and effort in researching this problem. Here are a few things I have discovered. First, Dell has a history with producing systems that can't handle the thermal requirements of the chips installed inside of them. One would think that Dell would learn from their mistakes... Second, the Latitude E series is probably an "end of life" model. Dell jumped the gun on the E6540 and failed to do the engineering. They assumed that the E6530 design could accommodate a CPU/GPU combination with a higher TDP than it's predecessor (E6530). Likewise, the E6540 was one of the first enterprise-grade Haswell notebooks. So I'm sure the pressure was really on at Dell to push this out of the door. These machines are inherently flawed. DOA! We have been scammed. For those of you who have upgraded to the 2.8Ghz model. You really got scammed! You will never be able to use that horsepower.

I have been a 15+ year Apple customer. This has been my first PC in a long time. Frankly, I'm very disappointed.

Now. Let me go ahead and leave a few links here that reference other forums/sources that discuss this issue:

[Notebook Review: Forum] http://forum.notebookreview.com/dell-latitude-vostro-precision/729032-e6540-owners-thread-29.html

[NotebookCheck.net Reviews] http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Dell-Latitude-E6540-i7-4800MQ-HD-8790M-Notebook.97595.0.html

As a customer, I have been instructed to 1) Update the BIOS 2) Reinstall Windows 3) Send in my machine for repair

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53 Replies

RE: Weird Fan Behavior E6540 (A02 Bios)

Any comments? 

This is what it does during light usage. This is just a small snapshot of what I'm hearing.

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metzb1
Copper

RE: Weird Fan Behavior E6540 (A02 Bios)

My 6540 does the same thing. I'm running A05. I hope this gets addressed in subsequent BIOS releases because it is annoying.

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Informant
Bronze

RE: Weird Fan Behavior E6540 (A02 Bios)

Also I use A05 and sometimes fab spins up and does not slow down even if the CPU temp gets lower. Very annyoing, especially when I want to work in silence. I hope Dell remedies it soon. 

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RE: Weird Fan Behavior E6540 (A02 Bios)

I have had the same problem with my E6540 laptop.

Within the first week I noticed that the fan kept spinning up to full speed for a period of time. 
I monitored the CPU usage whilst using my old machine during the day and even with no applications running the fan still kept running up.

I contacted Dell, and they advised me to update the BIOS which I did to A05, but the fan still kept running at high speeds for no reason at all.

I contacted Dell again and was advised to run the full diagnostics on their website, which I did and they did not identify/report any faults with the laptop, but the support engineer did say that the fan should not be randomly running at high speed when there are no applications running.

The only way I could force the fan to run up was to launch a website that had an embedded flash game in it, again I would not expect the fan to run up but it did.

I contacted Dell again and they arranged for the fan and motherboard to be swapped out. This happened last week, and initially everything seemed fine, however the problem has just happened again.

Is anyone else still experiencing this problem? and if so have you found a solution yet?

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RE: Weird Fan Behavior E6540 (A02 Bios)

Yep, I still have this problem. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the thermal tables within the BIOS that dictate fan speed control. It is just way to liberal when it comes to turning the fan on and off. It seems that the range at which the fan turns on is very narrow.... Meaning when the CPU temp his some temperature, the fan turns on... However, if the temperature then quickly goes down, the fan turns off. Which would explain why the fan revs up and down and up and down randomly.

I have my own list of complaints with this notebook. First, the thermal system SUCKS... Dell are you reading this? This machine throttles down the CPU like crazy. Dell really is falsely advertising the performance of this notebook. Unless you purchase a cooling pad or operate the notebook in a walk-in fridge, you can't operate the notebook at 100% CPU @ 2.7 GHZ for a sustained period of time. The thermal footprint just won't allow it. 

Another issue is the HORRIBLE screen. This TN panel might be the worst quality LCD screen I have ever seen in a notebook. 

The inclusion of "high-end" AMD GPU is also a joke. If you are running GPU and CPU intensive tasks (i.e. gaming), the GPU and CPU both throttle down because it just can't move enough air to allow both to function as advertised.

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RE: Weird Fan Behavior E6540 (A02 Bios)

I have been advised my 3 different Dell engineers via the online chat facility that the fan should not be spinning unless the laptop is under a heavy load, i.e. it is processing something intensive.

I also confirmed this with the engineer who came to replace the motherboard and fan for me.  He also does not believe it should be doing this.

This laptop is the primary tool for my business and I need it to be reliable and fault free.

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RE: Weird Fan Behavior E6540 (A02 Bios)

I have sent an email to Dell technical support explaining that the problem still exists 2 days ago and have still not yet received a reply.

I haven't even put the laptop under any strain/heavy usage yet and the fan is still coming on.

I used have been using the laptop without the power supply for the last few evenings for VERY light usage - web browsing and writing emails and the fan has sped up 2 or 3 times, but tonight I have been using it whilst plugged into the power supply whilst charging the battery back up and for the last hour it has been on and off constantly.

I am not impressed at all and will be contacting my account manager tomorrow to discuss the matter further.

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RE: Weird Fan Behavior E6540 (A02 Bios)

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hizzaah
Bronze

RE: Weird Fan Behavior E6540 (A02 Bios)

The fans are ridiculous in large part due to the inadequate cooling! There are a ton of users at Notebook Review Forums, including myself, who are having heat issues. Head on over and document some of your heat issues yourself, we're trying to get a decent amount of data together to prove how bad the cooling system is in hopes of a fix or some kind of replacement... The throttling we're facing renders these notebooks practically useless in daily and professional applications..

http://forum.notebookreview.com/dell-latitude-vostro-precision/729032-e6540-owners-thread.html

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