Posts Tagged Dell

How hot is too hot? Don’t overheat your computer.

When your computer’s processor, chipset, or hard drive overheats, you can wind up with big problems. From system slowdowns to application crashes, video corruption, data loss, to permanent damage to your computer hardware. It’s important to keep your computer running cool.

Your computer has sensors in various places to monitor the internal temperature and regulate the fan speeds. These sensors are typically in places such as your CPU, graphics card, hard drive, and maybe one in open air (typically in desktops). Unlike your car, there’s no easy indicator of what the temperature is until things start to go wrong, and those fans can only do so much. Dust can clog heatsinks and air passages, which can slow down the flow of air and drive the chip temps up. If a fan fails completely, it will stop the airflow and the temperature will climb rapidly. For those reasons it helps to have a program to actually tell you what these temperature sensor readings are. If things are getting a little too hot, you might want to know so you can check things out.

For Windows, two good utilities are Speedfan (free) and Everest . For Ubuntu, two good programs can be found in Synaptic: sensors-applet and hddtemp.

Those programs will read the temp sensors and tell you the values. Unfortunately, these numbers won’t mean very much if you don’t know what the limits of your hardware are. For example, while typing this article on my laptop, my CPU temp is 35C (95F). While that might sound hot to some, the thermal design limit of my CPU is actually 105C (source: Intel). I know my processor is well within the design limits.

That said, here’s a list of a few common chipsets and their operating limits:

Various Intel Core 2 Duo (Desktops):

Models E6700 (2.66 GHz), E6600 (2.40 GHz), E6420 (2.13 GHz) and E6320 (1.86 GHz): 60.1 C (140 F).
Models E6400 (2.13 GHz), E6300 (1.86 GHz), E4400 (2 GHz) and E4300 (1.8 GHz): 61.4 C (143 F).
Models E6850 (3 GHz), E6750 (2.66 GHz), E6550 (2.33 GHz) and E6540 (2.33 GHz): 72 C (162 F).
Models E4500 (2.20 GHz) and E4400 (2 GHz): 73.3 C (164 F).
Source: Core 2 Duo Temperature Limit | eHow.com

Various laptops by manufacturer and chipset:

Dell Latitude D620 (using T7600 CPU): 100C
Dell Latitude D630 (using T7700 CPU): 100C
Toshiba Satellite A215-S7422
(using AMD Turion 64 X2): AMD Doesn’t say — See guidelines below

(I may add to this list as time goes on)

I’ve been seeing a lot of conversation about the nVidia Quaddro mobile chipset and it’s failure temp. While I haven’t been able to find anything official, I have been able to keep my chip under 80C and haven’t experienced a problem to date. See also: Disclaimer.

If you want to find the correct spec for a specific Intel product, you can use Intel’s ARK lookup.For AMD, try the AMD Product Specification lookup. For hard drives, check the manufacturers spec page for your specific drive.

However bear in mind when using these spec sheets that the given specs are for the components themselves under controlled conditions. Chipsets are likely to become unstable before reaching these temps, and heat run-off may damage nearby components on circuit boards. Additionally, occasional manufacturing defects can cause chip failures before these temperatures are reached. I would always suggest to try to stay at least 15-20C below the rated temperature.

If you can’t find specific temps for your chipset, good guidelines would be to try to stay below the following temps:

55C for desktop CPUs, 85C for laptop CPUs.
75C for desktop GPUs, 75C for laptop GPUs.
55C for desktop HDDs, 45C for laptop HDDs.

These are merely a reference point. While some chipsets may tolerate higher temps better than others, cooler is always better. See also: Disclaimer.

FAQ: Why are the rated chipset temps so much higher for laptops?

Laptops are by their very nature smaller and lighter than their desktop counterparts. In order to accommodate this, you will find laptops have smaller fans, heatsinks, and internal airways. Additionally, instead of fan-heatsink-chip assemblies, laptops often feature fan-heatpipe-chip assemblies, which locates the fan further from the chip. Mobile chipsets are thus designed to have higher operating temperatures because heat cannot always be dissipated quickly and occasionally the airways may become blocked. In addition, the higher operating temperatures allow the fans to cycle off to conserve battery power.

One last point worth mentioning is to make sure you’re using the latest OEM BIOS for your computer, especially for mobile machines. BIOSes often have a fan speed table in them which is what sets the fan speed based on the chipset temperature. You can typically find the BIOS update listed on the manufacturer’s website.

If you believe any of the information I have posted above is incorrect, or you would like to ask me to post data on a specific chipset, please leave a comment below. If you have any information to contribute, please do so in the comments. If you want to share this information, please do so as a link to this page for the sake of updates. Thank you.

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

Dell Latitude D630 touchpad “jumping” mouse cursor

A friend and I have been discussing an issue we’ve both been seeing on our laptops: The mouse cursor “jumps” when using the touchpad. It’s intermittent, unpredictable, and seemingly random, but it seems to jump about 3 inches straight up on the screen. It seems to happen only on Windows-based OSes; We both installed Ubuntu Linux at a point and didn’t notice it at all.

He pointed me to the R165805 Dell Touchpad / Pointing Stick driver from the Dell website.

I am using it on a D630 with Windows 7… it works, and solves the problem.

The listed compatibility is:

Systems Latitude D530
Latitude D630c
Dell Precision Mobile WorkStation M2300
Operating systems Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit

Update 2/10/2013: gund brought to my attention that the download link is no longer active. Here is a direct link to the R165805.EXE file on Dell’s FTP site. If that ever becomes unavailable, you can try this driver, but I haven’t tested it myself: R165804 Dell Touchpad / Pointing Stick.

 

I’ll welcome any comments on this.

,

Leave a comment

Fix for choppy, stuttering, skipping, popping sounds and video with TS-L462C CD ROM burner

This post (April 4th, 2010) in the Dell Community Forums pins it down to a bad firmware.

I’ve had the above problem for several months and the only way it seemed to go away was to disable the cd player. Finally, I think I figured out what was wrong–I had flashed the burner with the latest firmware-ver 07-and I had nothing but stuttering since-I tried all the other recs-reinstall IDE controllers, make sure things are DMA, renistall sound drivers etc, even completely overhauling the OS but no go. So for those in same boat, here’s a definite way I fixed it:

either:
1. keep a cd in the drive at all times or

2. upgrade the firmware w/ samsung (which is the maker of the burner) firmware:
dl this: http://www.samsungodd.com/eng/Information/Application/Application.asp (which is the firmware upgrade app)

then this firmware (it’s in Korean, just choose the TG00): http://www.samsungodd.com/kor/firmware/fwdownload/

then run the app w/ -nocheck option to disable the “not compatible” message and flash away.

When you’re done, you should have full functioning cd rom/burner w/o the stuttering/choppiness. If you crossflash, you’ll prolly invalidate your cdrom warrenty, but dell 07 firmware breaks your system anyways, so pick your poison…

You can download the firmware from Samsung ODD directly.

,

Leave a comment

How to check battery wear on Dell laptop batteries

Here’s a nifty trick that will show you the wear on your Dell laptop battery.

It requires that your battery have the self-test button on it with the 5 LEDs.

  • You can show the percent charge remaining by pressing the self-test button.

One to five LEDs will light up showing the approximate level of charge (around 20% for each LED that shows up.)

Every-other (on-off-on-off-on): The battery fail-safe has triggered and the battery is unusable.

  • You can show the percent wear by holding the self-test button for about 5 seconds.

The LEDs will light to show thecharge just like in step the point above, but after 5 seconds the lights will go off for a moment and a new light pattern will display. (No lights IS a valid display.) This indicates the percent of battery WEAR on increments of 20%.

If you get no lights, either the battery has very little wear (charges completely) or is “dead” (can’t be tested/doesn’t charge at all).

5 lights: The cells are completely worn and will not hold a signifigant charge.

Of course, you can always go into your systems BIOS and take a look at the battery health there, but this is great is you’re picking up a battery and want to check it out before installing it in your system.

This test only works on Dell batteries (as far as I know — other manufacturers may have something similiar) and only genuine Dell batteries. Not cheap imitations.

You can find more information on Dell batteries at the Dell Laptop Battery FAQ

Leave a comment

Seagate Barracuda SATA Hard Drive Hangs After Power Cycle

Some Seagate Barracuda drives have been found to have buggy firmware which causes the drve to hang or become unresponsive after a power-cycle event (such as the computer going to sleep or standby) and the drive need a full power-cycle (power off then back on) event to become operable again.

Information obtained from two of Dell’s webpages (here and here) [March 25th, 2010] indicates a known issue, as well as a download to fix the issue.

Please note that you may not experience this issue when running the drive with the latest drivers in Windows, but may experience it in Linux-based OSes, such as Ubuntu Linux. This is because the issue is covered up by Windows drivers. If you experience the issue in Linux, then you likely have a drive with faulty firmware. Note that this is supplied from Seagate to Dell, so the fault lies in the firmware developed by Seagate, not by Dell.

, , , ,

Leave a comment