October 8th, 2005, 04:17 PM
Dell XPS (Gen 1) Cooling problems
Alright, I've been the proud owner of a Dell XPS for a little bit over a year, even though I ended up buying one just before the Gen 2 came out and ended up with a lot less for my money than the Gen 2 owners. I use the laptop primarily for gaming, and sometimes for Java, C++, and VB.
A real problem I've been having with the system is its inability to cool properly. Taking apart a laptop is a bit of a taboo for me, as I'm not experienced with building them from scratch or putting them back together (hence my reliance on Dell to make me a system). The 2 fans that I am aware of, on the underside of the laptop, have become clogged with dust once or twice, to which all I've done is clean them out.
Yet, I'm obviously not addressing the problem. Even after cleaning the fans that I feel safe cleaning (I normally don't really have to clean them, as I keep the laptop on a desk, usually away from animal hair, dust, etc.), still run very loudly and seem to have little effect on the laptop, as it's almost always burning up. This has become very detrimental to any gaming experiences, as it is ssignificantly slowing down games that I try to play. I would like to know if anyone else has experienced similar problems, and knows how to fix this, or if anyone could set me on the right track to finding the real problem.
October 8th, 2005, 04:52 PM
Hi Kerchner, welcome to HardwareCentral!
There's not really that much you can do internally to be honest - laptops tend to be proprietary, so there's not much you can do in terms of upgrading the cooling internally.
Your best bet is to go for a notebook cooler - basically a tray that sits under the Laptop which has a fan. They work very well, and are very easy to install.
The Coolermaster Notepal (above) is meant to be one of the best at cooling. However, there are other cheaper branded ones which should be just as adequate for your needs. I think they all cost between $30-50ish.
October 8th, 2005, 05:02 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome
I have an external heatsink that sits under my laptop already, but it seems to have diminishing returns. I guess the basic idea is that the alloy in it absorbs heat while the fans continue to cool down the heatsink and your laptop. However, the laptop gets so hot that after anything more than 2 hours, the heatsink no longer seems to hold it's effects.
October 8th, 2005, 05:13 PM
I used to have Compaq laptop with a cooling fan intake on the bottom which meant that when it was sitting on a desk or bed, it was pretty much useless. I imagine the Dell has a similar setup. Try placing the laptop on books so that the air intake can easily suck in air and try playing a game. If the slow downs stop, then you might need to make a stand that the laptop can sit on so that the intake/exhaust have enough clearance.
If you're careful, you could remove the intake grille, assuming it looks like this:
This will increase the airflow into the laptop.
October 8th, 2005, 05:31 PM
Funny you should say that, I have the laptop sitting on a book so that it's slanted to try and increase the airflow into the fans on the bottom.
Also, I'm going to try to run it without the covering for the fans, but I'm afraid it may allow any dust that does exist around the laptop to be more easily su.cked in...are there any serious problems that could result from this?
EDIT: wasn't aware that we couldn't say $ucked
October 8th, 2005, 05:54 PM
$ome $illy $ucker bought a filter that's overly agressive.
Good thing it wasn't me. I'd have bought one that would chase the bad grammer and misspellings. It's advertising image would be an elderly schoolmarm in a long black dress, ankles to neck, trimmed with white lace. Or an elderly nun, etc, etc. Or Br. Kelly.
October 8th, 2005, 08:08 PM
I made a really cheap solution to cool my notebook. I made an "X" shaped peice of cardboard and at the corner of each arm of the "X", I taped a stack of pennies together to make legs. I think I used about $.05 for the back legs, and $.03 for the front. Electrical tape works nicely, so that the notebook doesn't slide or vibrate underneath. As long as your "X" is smaller than your notebook's footprint, you shouldn't see the thing, so quality and appearance aren't an issue. It does help with cooling by allowing air to flow more freely beneath the notebook, and the hotspots aren't as bad. It's a pretty cheap approach.
Give what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.
October 9th, 2005, 06:04 AM
The cover which is already on it is only really there to stop you from sticking your fingers into it - but like many of them they are very restrictive to air. It will be quite a poor filter for dust - so you won't find much more dust entering your system really.
October 9th, 2005, 09:56 AM
I have the Vantec LapCool2 for mine. The thing you have to watch out for is air flow. For example, the new Alienware Area-51m 7700 that I ordered (that STILL is not here) intakes air from the bottom, and blows it out the back, which is why I ordered this particular cooler. Now to be honest, I have not tested it yet, because my new laptop is not here yet, but all indications I get from other users is that it is awsome. I know that some computers blow exhaust out the bottom, in which case you want a cooler that blows down, unlike the Vantec LapCool2, which intakes air from the bottom, and blows it out the top. I included the link to this cooler below.
Just beware of the airflow direction. If you get the wrong type of cooler, it will be anti-productive and can actually cause your system to overheat more.
Last edited by sjracer; October 9th, 2005 at 10:01 AM.
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October 9th, 2005, 07:57 PM
My solution in one workplace is two ring binders that were handy. I placed them to form a vallery in the middle, ring sides out, and sat the notebook across them so that most of the notebook had an air gap underneath.
October 9th, 2005, 09:34 PM
I'm using my dictionary to tilt my laptop - which probably explains my atrocious spelling.
Actually, Compaq put the two two fan intakes at the bottom, but near the back - so that the Dictionary actually hurts airflow (luckily it's a 3000+, so it's easy enough to keep cool). But, it tilts the keyboard, which is what I was going for.
Once, back when I was in school, I had a classmate whos LT was crashing. I suspected a heat problem, so I put a rectangular nozzle attachment on a canisiter vac to suck the heat out. Worked like a charm for determinining that it WAS an aiflow problem. Not sure if I'd want a canister vac sitting next to my desk, though.
We all Think Different too.
February 7th, 2007, 04:06 AM
Okay, I forgot a bit of the info, so I'll try and add more tomorrow.
My gf is experiencing something similar. Her laptop did fine in the dorms, but at her apartment, it seems to go down after some time. She tried going wireless and setting it on her lap, and it lasted for about four hours before it did it again.
The 'it' is something everyone has experienced when their PC gets too hot.
I believe it may be a heat problem or a short in her battery (it has less than 30 min of power and loses 2-3% power per minute when unhooked).
She thinks it may be a HD issue.
Would a laptop mate be a better suggestion for this, or does anyone else have any other possible ideas about what it may be?
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