Precision Mobile Workstations

2 Bronze

Dell Precision 5520 runs hot and shuts down occasionally

Hi all,

I've had a Precision 5520 since May of last year, and I've been pretty happy so far. However, one issue has been concerning me a little, as the computer seems to run really hot sometimes, especially when using 3D applications such as SketchUp. Recently, the computer has had the fans running at maximum speed, with it randomly shutting down when it cannot seem to cope anymore (this has happened a couple of times now, mostly when I use an external monitor with the lid closed). Are there any solutions to the thermal issues I've been experiencing?

Replies (15)
2 Bronze

I have been having this exact same issue. I've had my Precision 5520 since August of last year and it seems like it overheats pretty frequently. I've had it shut down randomly when I'm doing things as simple as researching while writing a paper and have had it happen from simply watching Netflix or youtube for a few hours. I have tried everything to fix it and cannot figure out the issue. Hopefully, this is able to be fixed because it was an expensive laptop and it's only about 8 months old. 

2 Bronze

I m having the shutdown when using Solidworks 2017 or Solidworks Visualize. I would be fine withe the CPU throttling back, but just  shutting down without any warning is unacceptable. Surely someone at Dell knows what is going on. I have all of the latest drivers and bios updates installed. 

3 Argentum

The thermal paste used on the heatpipes that contact the CPU/GPU are pretty bad, my 5520 idled at about 70 Celsius - i ended up replacing this with some Arctic Silver 5 and it dropped to about 45c idle and stopped shutting down randomly. If you don't mind popping the lid off your laptop - try that!

2 Bronze

I had the same issue. Repair persion tried every possible software solution. They tried checking the fans and blowing out dust with compressed air, updating BIOS, etc. Ultimately had the hard drive moved to new case under warranty (essentially a new laptop). After updating the bios and unlocking bitlocker, that solved the issue.

2 Bronze

Hi there,

I have exactly the same issue with mine... I thougth at first it had to do with the new Windows 10 update 1803. But it kept happning even after a clean Windows install. Coudll have to do with the season - it's a pretty hot spring in Europe and didn't occur before, like in winter when I bought mine.

I use mine the same way, closed with an external screen via the dock TB16. Does anyone know if it helps to keep the lid open instead? I had even bought a vertical laptop stand so that the fan openings get more air instead of being just 3mm of the desk... The ones on the bottom are the intake and the outlet is where the screen is hinged - so maybe the air doesn't get enought area to get out when the lid is closed??

I will try the cooling paste solution too if nothing helps...



I have the same problem... It is a faulty design in the CPU and GPU cooling system. I have the system with an intel i7 and have come to the conclusion that this laptop is not capable of handling the heat output of the processor. It is disgusting to have paid $2400 for a laptop with a processor that cannot function at full load... I would have been better off buying an XPS 15 with an intel i5. I was just working on a college paper had taken a break to play a game for a few minutes and was only doing a light mobile game for 5 minutes and it shutdown. I lost everything I was working on all morning. I really want my money back. I really hate that I bought this thing.

Yeah same here. They should place a recall on this model. At this price point there should be no issues with this.

I'm having this issue with 3 of these systems used by my company's engineers. The models with Xeon v6 CPUs are crashing due to thermal events almost daily when using Autodesk Inventor. Meanwhile, slightly older models using the Xeon v5 CPUs are rock-steady. This is literally costing us several $100 per day in lost productivity between time spent waiting on machines to reboot, and (even worse) having to redo design work. Having to reperform work is extremely disconcerting because who know at what point in progress the last manual or auto-save was, and if something had to be undone/redone since then?


Do you think Dell can replace this laptop for another model I don't mind downgrading the system?

It just gets really hot and the throtling problem is annoying.




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