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Last reply by 07-21-2021 Solved
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2 Jasper
2 Jasper

XPS 8940, Better 3rd party cooler

Hello there

I would greatly appreciate any help to find a new/better 3rd party cooler for my XPS 8940. It came with the thin and small stock cooler and is overheating the whole time. I got a i9-10900 processor with 128 GB of RAM and I need this computer to generate some GIS layers. These jobs take 2-4 hrs every time and I can see that the processor is throttling or C° 97+ all the time.

I tried the Noctua 15S but the problem is there is no space for the bracket under the motherboard. The stock fan screws directly into the chassis from above.

Thank you very much

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Your notes on the picture are correct.  I do have one question though.  The NA-FC1 in your pic only has connections to power two fans.  Mine has connections to power three fans.  Did you cut one of the fans connections off?


@Tarak Abu Adam 



Thank you for getting back to me and for confirming and answering my questions.


The NA-FC1 has connections to power 2 or 3 fans, I just chose the cable (that came from Noctua) to power 2 fans instead of 3 fans. I am assuming that is what you mean? I would never cut anything like that, haha. 


Serious question.  Are we sure that the stock rear fan on the XPS 8940 is PWM?  It looks to be, with 4 wires, but  looks can be deceiving.

The stock fan on my XPS 8940 is Delta Electronics Inc. DC Brushless fan AUB0812HHD rated at 12V, 0.40A, Dell P/N D4NJ4-A00. Nowhere on the fan does it say PWM, or anything similar.  Is it possible that the two extra pins are being used to check for 'fan not present'?  I have pulled up the Delta Electronics Inc. data sheet on the AUB0812 series of fans and these are voltage-controlled DC fans, although only 2-wire.  The AUB0812HHD is listed with a voltage range of 5.0 to 13.8V, 0.32A and max. speed of 4800 RPM.  Delta Electronics Inc. do not list PWM fans amongst their products.

If the stock fan is DC, then this would explain why my replacement PWM fan is running at full speed all the time.

Has anyone connected the XPS 8940 exhaust fan to another computer and shown it to work as a PWM fan, or can confirm this another way,?

I started off to look at loading on the header pins.  The stock exhaust fan gives 0.4A, whilst my Arctic F9 PWM is only 0.16A and an Arctic F12 PWM is 0.12A.  All things being equal, the power draw of both the Arctic fans combined will be below that of the stock Delta fan.




So if I buy one of these pc's the l9-10900K will it come with the upgraded cooler already installed? 



I am hoping you guys can all help me (or anyone in this thread)

@Tarak Abu Adam 



I swapped out the rear exhaust fan for a Noctua 92mm fan AND connected to it's spot on the motherboard. 


I then swapped out the CPU cooler for a Noctua 9DL and connected it to the motherboard spot 


I followed the steps and everything worked for the first day. I understood the concept that the motherboard's fan's (SYS FAN and CPU FAN) header must be connected to avoid BIOS error.


Now, everything was working and then the PC shut off last night and I started having this problem. When you try to turn the PC on, the Dell logo shows up and the screen goes black.

I tried a few things and was unable to get anything to work. I was on Dell tech support for two hours. The rep tried his best to help. We started the "Pre-Boot System Performance Check. We ran a diagnostic and it said Error Code (2000-0511)  (as per the picture below).

Then We tried to use Dell RemoteAssist (as we got it to work for one time out of a few attempts) and we tried some things and we got the BIOS updated. He did that and it seems like we got everything to work, temporarily.


Then I turned the pc off and turned it back on an hour later and ran into the exact same issue. I am very stressed right now and cannot figure it out. 

Please anybody help me.




Let’s try to perform some troubleshooting.  I think that it might be one of the new fans and I want to determine which one may be causing your problem.  From what you just explained the fans are the only items that are different.  The fans also are the only items that provide a feedback during the BIOS bootup, the cooler itself is logically passive.

If you are willing to try this, you will perform these steps with the PC on its side and the case open.

I want to state that I and IT Field Engineer. I understand that not everyone has the skillset I have and may find these things daunting.  Although, the steps I am providing are sound and logical I do not take responsibility for suggesting these steps.  You perform them at your own risk.  I also highly suggest for you to wear a static strap to reduce risk of damage to the components when removing and installing them.

I suggest you start to troubleshoot the rear fan since it is the easier of the two to swap.

Shutdown your PC and disconnect power.

Replace new rear fan with the original rear fan.

Connect power to PC and turn on. If PC starts up fine, then it would seem the new rear fan was the cause of your problems.  If it is possible, try to get a replacement under warranty for the new fan.

However, if you are still experiencing the problem after placing the original fan back into the PC then you will now need to move on to the CPU FAN as a potential cause of problem.  Assuming that you are still experiencing the problem leave the original fan in the PC to reduce variables.

Shutdown your PC and disconnect power.

You can do this next step in one of two ways.  The first and more involved would be to remove the new CPU cooler and install the original CPU cooler, reconnect power and turn back on.  The other way to check would be without removing the new CPU cooler.  Instead, only disconnect the fan cable that is currently attached to the new CPU cooler from the CPU FAN Header.  Next connect the fan from the original CPU cooler to the CPU FAN Header.  This cable isn’t too long and you will have to how and where to place it safely without causing potential damage to other components. 

Reconnect power and turn on the PC.  If the PC starts up fine, then it would seem the fan that came with the new CPU Cooler has some issue, although this is very odd because there is not much to these fans, nonetheless there could be a short in the wiring of the new fan. If it is possible, try to get a replacement under warranty for the CPU cooler.  You most likely will have to send the entire CPU cooler with fan back since it was sold as a complete unit.

If the new CPU cooler fan was the cause of the problem, then place the original CPU cooler back into the PC and start the PC to ensure that it is working.  If it Is working you can proceed to shut down the PC again and swap the rear fan once more with the new fan, and once more check if the PC is working.

I have a question.  When you installed the new rear fan and new CPU cooler, did you install both at the same time?  I also perform one change at a time and turn the PC on after each one to ensure that PC accepted the change and works properly.

I sincerely hope that you can resolve your issue.



Yes, 10700K or 10900K will come with the better cooler.




@Tarak Abu Adam 


I followed your troubleshooting steps thoroughly. The fans were the only thing (besides the HDD) that were changed. The fans always spun up properly when i gamed on it the first night (after my changes). Everything was good. 

For troubleshooting:

I started by changing the rear Noctua fan back to the stock rear 80mm black fan. This did not solve the problem. I left the original stock 80mm black fan in the rear.

Next, I changed the fan of the Noctua NH-9DL. I swapped that out for the Noctua 92mm fan I had in the rear to see if it was that certain fan. That did not work either. 

I then proceeded to change the entire Noctua NH-9DL CPU heatsink/cooler back to the stock, cheap CPU cooler that was provided by dell. That also DID NOT solve the problem.

After putting the stock HDD back and powering it on, the PC did something different in that it went to the "scanning hardware" and now it found no errors and just started a repair of something. I was just surprised as this was the only different screen I had got. I powered on the pc at least 10-15 times and it was the same over the past day and a half (Dell Logo comes up and then goes to black screen). 

After the repair, it went back to the same screen and pretty much computer is not working. Tech support with 2 reps and a supervisor in tech department (after all troubleshooting) seem to think that the motherboard is faulty. 


They said they can send a technician to come and repair or "fix" the motherboard. I don't think I want to do that as this is my second Dell XPS in 3 weeks. The first one came with a DOA graphics card (i did zero mods to the computer). 

I am very disheartened. I was so happy getting my pc. I wanted to love this pc. But I guess not. 



I was not aware that you had also swapped the original HDD.  I was under the impression that the only hardware change you made were to the fans and CPU cooler.

I have a few questions.  Do you have an SSD as well in your PC for the OS?  Or is all your data; OS, programs, and personal docs on the HDD?

Having the SSD with the OS on it would allow you to perform more troubleshooting steps of the HDD while connected to the same PC via command prompt (CHKDSK) and Disk Management.  I suggest completely wiping your HDD (I know loss of data, hopefully you have yours backed-up) and perform a complete format of the HDD and also a sector-by-sector repair of the HDD.  You should also change the drive letter when you attempt to set-up and initialize the HDD via Disk Management. You want the PC to see the HDD as a completely new piece of “good” hardware so that it can start utilizing it.  Again, this would all be a lot easier of you have an SSD with the OS on it.

If you do end up having to change your PC and you currently do not have an SSD, then I recommend ordering the replacement PC with a HDD (at least 1TB) and an SSD (500GB should suffice, maybe 1TB if you really have a lot of large programs).  If you do this the OS will come installed on the SSD, and then you can use the HDD for all your data.  To save space on SSD (OS) I personally always map the following folders directories to my HDD; Downloads, Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos.


@Tarak Abu Adam 


The PC did come with a 1TB HDD and a 512GB SSD (with the OS on the SSD). All I did was swap out the the 1TB HDD for a 10TB HDD. 


The HDD is relatively new and had no issues in the first pc nor the second pc when properly connected to the SATA power inside the PC. I don't believe the HDD is the issue. When the stock CPU fans and the stock HDD are put back in, the pc still has the same issues (Dell logo comes up and then screen goes black, cannot do anything). 



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