I recently bought an inspiron 15-3521(the one with i5 and radeon 7670), which had Ubuntu 12.04 LTS preinstalled. I wiped the whole disk shortly because I wanted to install windows 8 and then dual boot it with 'buntu 12.10.
Then I tried the 'normal' version of Ubuntu. It was a disaster - fan was almost constantly running on max power, it really didn't like the Integrated GPU/Radeon combo and as a result the battery was dying for about two hours. In windows, it easily lasts 5-6 hours. I tried Ubuntu, Mint, ElementaryOS, Fedora and openSUSE - same thing.
Turns out the version of Ubuntu, that was preinstalled was some kind of special OEM release for dell laptops/for the 3521/.
So my question is - Is it possible for me to get that OEM image, that was preinstalled on my computer before I formatted the hard drive? Also - is it even available in the 'my DELL downloads' page, I can't seem to get through the service tag check.
I would like to inform you that, we do not have a special OEM release of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS for laptops. I suggest you to download and install Ubuntu 12.04 LTS from the following link:
“To know more about Dell’s products, services and drivers & downloads, please go to http://dell.to/QjjZDA “
Please note that for pre-installed systems:
12.04 LTS works kinda okay, although the problem with battery ocnsumption still persists. I guess it's a linux problem - battery discharge rate goes between 18 and 26W, which is A LOT.
Thanks for the reply.
Thank you for your reply and for providing an update on the status. I suggest you to run a hardware diagnostics to check if all the hardware components are working fine by following the steps provided in the link below:
You may also try charging the battery when the laptop is switched off so that the battery can be recalibrated. Let me about your findings.
Could you tell me please, which Ubuntu has you downloaded from the Alternate Download page, that DELL-Rajath N linked? I've got the same problem.
I downloaded the regular Ubuntu 12.04.2(desktop installer) amd64 .iso.
The 'alternate' installer is, as far as I know, the regular ubuntu with a comand line installer instead of a graphical one.
The 12.04.2 however didn't solve my main problem - seriosly bad battery consumption on every single linux distribution I've tried. The problem is not hardware, as I get awesome battery life on Windows 8(like 5-6hrs of internet browsing and light tasks). The problem occurs ONLY on linux. I eventually gave up, and installed Ubuntu in a VirtualBox. I still have 12.04 installed on a partition on my HDD and it works well with the exception of the battery problem.
I suspect it doesn't turn the discrete GPU(the Radeon 7670) off, but I don't have neither the time nor the patience to dig deeper.
Thank your for your quick answer!
I will try that installer as soon as possible, I hope it will solve my all-time-running fan problem.
Hybrid graphics is a common problem on Linux, but I thought that it was the cause of my fan problem, so I have gone deeper in the question. Now I can switch between the two cards (even with Linux Kernel Options or AMD Catalyst Control Center). I don't know if it works or not, because since now I tried to solve only the problem with the fan, I didn't bother with the battery consumption.
However, if you would like to, maybe I can help you with the hybrid graphics.
Well, the quick battery discharge is actually a consequence of the always running fan problem. The installer in the link is nothing special, just the ordinary 12.04. Before that I tried the latest Ubuntu - 12.10 and it was even worse. On 12.04(at least for me), the fan is not running constantly but it definetely runs a lot more than it should. Judging by the warm air that comes out of the vent, it runs because it's getting hot in there for whatever reason.
So basically we have the exact same problem and sadly I don't think installing the LTS version of Ubuntu will solve it.
According to 'powertop', on Ubuntu the battery discharge rate is between 18 and 26W. In windows 8, at this very moment(and most of the time in power saving mode), my discharge rate is 10w. I don't really like Windows, but I need my computer to last, so I'm kinda stuck with it.
Good luck, and if you manage to solve the fan problem, please drop a line here 🙂
Oh, I see. I thought that this download fixes the fan problem - however I found that interesting.
I have installed many distributons too, and none of them used the fan with normal speed. It's ok that Linux has problems with hybrid graphics, and when I finally mamanged to switch between the cards, it wasn't affect on the full speed running fan. It's ok that Windows can handle it normally, BUT:
It's an Ubuntu Certified Device. It must run Ubuntu in a normal way. Was the fan running at full speed on the originally pre-installed Ubuntu too? To be honest, I don't know, but I don't think and I think I would remember this very loud noise.
There's another thread on this Dell Community site:
It's theme is that some people have this laptop with Windows 8, and the fan problem appears on Windows, not on Linux. Dell recommends here a BIOS update, but it won't work.
I hope they can find a solution to this problem.