Alienware 13 R3, 15 R3/R4, 17 R4/R5, M15 and M17: Resolving a high temperature/overheat issue

Alienware 13 R3, 15 R3/R4, 17 R4/R5, M15 and M17: Resolving a high temperature/overheat issue



Alienware Arena Description

The following article provides information about an issue with high CPU temperatures when under heavy load or running the Alienware Command Center that measures the thermal temperature on these Alienware notebook systems.


Affected Systems:

Alienware 13 R3
Alienware 15 R3/R4
Alienware 17 R4/R5
Alienware M15
Alienware M17

Table of Contents:

  1. High CPU temps reported on Alienware 13 R3. 15 R3/R4, 17 R4/R5, M15 and M17 notebooks
  2. High CPU temperature troubleshooting steps
  3. Resolution Steps

High CPU temps reported on Alienware 13 R3. 15 R3/R4, 17 R4/R5, M15 and M17 notebooks

There are reports that the CPU temperature on Alienware 13R3, 15R3, 15R4, 17R4, 17R5 notebooks are easily getting to a high temperature, especially when under a heavy loading environment. The alert/warning (text in red) of the high CPU temperature may be seen when the Alienware Command Center or a 3rd party tool (e.g. HWInfo64) is used to measure the thermal temperature.


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High CPU temperature troubleshooting steps

  1. Update the BIOS / driver / firmware to the most recent revision from the Dell Support site

Alienware 13 R3, 15 R3, and 17 R4

  1. Configure G-Synch

    1. Disable the NVidia G-Synch (only applicable on G-Synch supported models.)

      1. Right click on the desktop

      2. Select the Nvidia Control Panel

      3. Click on Set up G-Synch in the left hand side menu

      4. Uncheck the box next to Enable G-Synch

      5. Click on Apply

    2. Restart the PC and enter the BIOS by tapping rapidly on the F2 key during POST

    3. Navigate to the Advanced tab and select Performance Options and press the Enter key

    4. Change the CPU Performance Mode to Enabled

    5. Set the Core OverClocking Level to OC LV 3 and press the Enter key

    6. Press the F10 key to save the changes and exit the BIOS

  2. When the system boots up, using the pre-installed software Dell SupportAssist run the stress test.

    Dell SupportAssist > Hardware Checkup > CPU > CPU stress test

    Stress Test

  3. Launch the Alienware Command Center and go to Fusion and monitor the CPU frequency. Ensure that the CPU frequency is within the range during the first 5 minutes

Performance Mode + Highest Level OC (If Applicable) CPU Frequency
Intel Processor i9-8950HK in Overclocked level 3 mode 2900MHz~5000MHz
Intel Processor i7-8750H in performance mode 2200MHz~4100MHz
Intel Processor i5-8300H in performance mode 2300MHz~4000MHz
  1. Monitor the CPU temperature on the Fusion page

    • The CPU peak temperature should be less than or equal to (≤) 100 ℃

    • When under high stress, the system average temperature can be expected to be up to (≤) 95 ℃

    Fusion Page

Alienware 15 R4, and 17 R5

  1. Configure the Alienware Command Center

    1. Open Alienware Command Center

    2. Set the Active System Theme - Thermal as Performance Mode

    3. Change the Active System Theme - Overclock to Overclock O2 (if applicable)

    Active System Theme

  2. When the system boots up, using the pre-installed software Dell SupportAssist run the stress test.

    Dell SupportAssist > Hardware Checkup > CPU > CPU stress test

    Stress Test

  3. Launch the Alienware Command Center and go to Fusion and monitor the CPU frequency. Ensure that the CPU frequency is within the range during the first 5 minutes

Performance Mode + Highest Level OC (If Applicable) CPU Frequency
Intel Processor i9-8950HK in Overclocked level 3 mode 2900MHz~5000MHz
Intel Processor i7-8750H in performance mode 2200MHz~4100MHz
Intel Processor i5-8300H in performance mode 2300MHz~4000MHz
  1. Monitor the CPU temperature on the Fusion page

    • The CPU peak temperature should be less than or equal to (≤) 100 ℃

    • When under high stress, the system average temperature can be expected to be up to (≤) 95 ℃

    Fusion Page

Alienware M15, and M17

  1. Configure Alienware Command Center

    1. Open Alienware Command Center

    2. Set the Active System Theme - Thermal as Performance Mode

    Active System Theme

  2. When the system boots up, using the pre-installed software Dell SupportAssist run the stress test.

    Dell SupportAssist > Hardware Checkup > CPU > CPU stress test

    Stress Test

  3. Launch the Alienware Command Center and go to Fusion and monitor the CPU frequency. Ensure that the CPU frequency is within the range during the first 5 minutes under performance mode

CPU Type Base Frequency Cool Mode Performance Mode
Intel Processor i9-8950HK 2900MHz 2900MHz ~ 4800MHz 3100MHz ~ 4800MHz
Intel Processor i7-8750H 2200MHz 2200MHz ~ 4100MHz 2600MHz ~ 4100MHz
Intel Processor i5-8300H 2300MHz 2300MHz ~ 4000MHz 2700MHz ~ 4100MHz
  1. Monitor the CPU temperature on the Fusion page

    • The CPU peak temperature should be less than or equal to (≤) 100 ℃

    • When under high stress, the system average temperature can be expected to be less than (≤) 100 ℃

    • Note: The CPU average temperature can be expected to reach 95 ℃ under cool mode for the Alienware M15 and M17 systems

    Performance Mode

    Cool Mode


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Resolution Steps

The coffeelake processor supports a higher clock rate than kabylake or older processors. That means these systems noticeably generate more heat compared to any previous generation of systems. Because of this Dell engineering has designed the system to tolerate higher temperatures, and the new specifications are:

  • CPU peak temperature will be less than or equal to (≤) 100 ℃
  • When under heavy load the average temperature for the Alienware 13 R3, 15 R3/R4, and 17 R4/R5 should be less than or equal to (≤) 95 ℃
  • When under heavy load the average temperature for the Alienware M15 and M17 should be less than or equal to (≤) 100 ℃

If the Alienware Command Center still reports a CPU peak temperature above (>) 100 ℃, you should contact technical support for further help. you can get contact details on the link below:

Note: These systems are designed to maintain system stability, when the CPU temperature reaches a set temperature (termed the Thermal Control Circuit (TCC) activation point ,). The TCC is activated and adjusts the CPU frequency down by a couple hundred MHz to reduce the temperature rise and allow the system’s thermal control mechanism to catch up (The frequency will never be below the Base Frequency Mode, e.g. Intel i9 8950 HK). This slight drop in frequency can sometimes be mistaken for a performance drop, but it is a design feature common to all Gaming Notebooks and it helps to optimize the system performance and prevent systems from exceeding 100 ℃. The TCC point for the following systems are:
  • Alienware 13 R3, 15 R3/R4 and 17 R4/R5 - TCC = 97 ℃
  • Alienware M15, and M17 - TCC = 100 ℃


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Article ID: SLN309951

Last Date Modified: 03/12/2019 05:06 AM


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