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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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2 Jasper
2 Jasper

Considering the XPS with the i7 11700 & RTX 3060 Ti. Should I get the K version with the tower cooler and maybe upgrade the 80 mm rear fan to 92 mm?  Is this adequate for cooling & performance?

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Replaced stock cooler with Noctua U9S.  Idle temps drop to 40C (from 60C!).  But Cinebench R23 still causes results in thermal throttling after 15 seconds...temps hit ~70C, and 4.8Ghz clock drops to 3GHz.

Much better than before, where throttling was almost immediate. But I am still jealous of everyone else who can run benchmarks with no throttling.  Any idea what the issue might be?  Just to see if more case fans would make a difference, I took a big room fan and blasted it straight at the vents.  Also tried opening the case and blasting it with the room fan.  Still throttles at around 70C...any ideas?



@Grimani that sounds more like the normal Turbo Boost time limit behavior than thermal throttling. Intel CPUs thermal throttle at 95-100 degrees. The only thing that happens at 70+ is that you lose the TVB (Thermal Velocity Boost) which only adds 100MHz (e.g. my 10900 goes from a max 5.2GHz to 5.1 after 70 degrees). 

If you look at your CPU specifications sheet, it will show two GHz numbers: the base clock and the Turbo Boost clock. For example, my 10900F has a base of 2.8GHZ and max Turbo Boost of 5.2GHz. 

Regardless of temperature, Turbo Boost has a time limit (usually 30-45 seconds, depending on model). Once that time (called "Tau") expires, the CPU goes back down to stock power draw (65W for non-K and 125W for K CPUs), which in turn reduces the frequency. After a while it boosts again for those seconds, then back down and so on. 

The good news is that you can modify this behavior to remove the time limit. I recommend using the free ThrottleStop app. Intel also makes an app called Intel XTU, but it only allowed me to increase the boost time from 30 sec to 120 sec. ThrottleStop allowed me to increase it to a few million seconds, which is basically infinite

Now my CPU can boost to over 200W power consumption across all cores for as long as needed. Note that your frequency will still not consistently achieve the maximum advertised, because that maximum is also dependent on the number of cores under load. My 10-core can only achieve that 5.2GHz max when only one core is under load. With all 10 cores under load, the max I can get is 4.6GHz.


Thank you!  A separate question: why is Turbo Boost time limited and not temperature limited?

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

I have the same effect as Grimani and have installed the Intel XTU tool, increased the max. turbo boost time. But my CPU gets a power limit throttling after the 14 seconds @ 86 degree Celsius. That shows me that my power supply is not sufficient. Can anybody else confirm this effect?


4 Tellurium

@Grimani , @bmw318is-blackthis reddit post might help answer both your questions. It goes into lots of detail on the complex way that Intel Turbo Boost works.

But the bottom line is:

  • Turbo Boost has a time limit regardless of temperature because of power comsumption reasons. Intel advertises non-K CPUs as 65W. Under all-core load, I've seen my 10900 draw as high as 220W. That would look bad in statistics. 

  • @bmw318is-black "Power Limit Throttling" in XTU actually means that the Turbo Boost window has expired, and the CPU gets throttled back to its P1 power spec (65W or 125W). "Current Limit Throttling" would be the one indicating that the MB/VRM is not supplying enough voltage and/or amps to the CPU.
    Like I said above, I found XTU very limiting to actually removing the boost limits. ThrottleStop has done a much better job. Now, it may also be that the BIOS on non-K Dell motherboards gets in the way of fully removing the limits. I've had to hack my BIOS to re-enable undervolting and that might also have unlocked these settings for me.
3 Silver

One thing I’d like to add …

On my i9 / RTX3070 8940 and since doing the upgrade , temps are way down still

I decided to do the MSI Afterburner and let it do the auto scan. It didn’t offer any real gains but I did opt to push the GPU fans to run at 70%. Temps are still great!


2 Bronze
2 Bronze

I just got an 8940 with the 11900K CPU.  Fully stock, it could complete single core Cinebench R23 (about 11 minutes) but it would shoot up to 100C and thermally throttle.  It would do a thermal shutdown after just a few seconds when running multicore.

I replaced the exhaust fan with a Noctua NF-A9 PWM and added the same type as an intake fan.  It dropped the single core down to about 92C, but the multicore would still shutdown nearly immediately.

I then replaced the CPU cooler (from the Dell tower cooler) to an Arctic i13 X CO.  That made a huge difference.  I was then able to run single core and it ran mostly around 70C and peaked only to 82C.  Got 1601 points too, which is slightly more than my Ryzen 5950x.

However, even with the new fans and new cooler, the multicore still thermally shuts down, but now it does it after about 2 minutes.  I think this is good enough for me (still dissappointing), but good enough.


Interesting results with that Artic.  You can check my YouTube video I shared but I went with the Noctua NH-D9L and the amount of hot air blowing out the back from the additional fans is quite impressive.  I haven't tried a multicore run on Cinebench R23.

(Ryzen 5950 is an impressive CPU!)



@karobertsDell  I originally fitted the Arctic Cooler but, after discussion with Arctic themselves, replaced it with the Noctua NH-U9S Chromax.Black with two fans and haven't looked back.  I've also got a 92mm fan at the front and a 120mm and 2 x 80mm fans at the front.

The Arctic Cooler didn't go to waste, as it's now on the i7-6700 in my XPS 8900. 

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