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Thread: Overheating problem slowing down my Dell E6400

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Overheating problem slowing down my Dell E6400

    I read in an old thread that someone came up with a solution by downloading Bio`s A32....which is no longer available
    Now unlike all you folks this is all Greek to me.
    If anyone could be so gracious as to please walk me through what I need to do to install and where I might find an upgrade to A32 I would be really appreciative
    I went to Dells site to try to find a upgrade to this driver but to me no information is available for a layman like me to sort through

    Below find all the information I came across on a previous closed thread

    • This is a known problem for a few Dell models. The problem is not the machine getting hot, but the protection system to engage too early and throttle the cpu, gpu, memory and about everything. The protection system is working at the BIOS level. The present A20 (for E6400) somewhat alleviates the problem and already in A19 some thermal tables were rewritten in the BIOS.

      Please have a look at the very extensive discussion in these two threads:
      Dell forum:

      The solution should be provided by dell with BIOS updates. Here is the first semi-official note from dell:
      (This was apparently an attempt by dell to recover from the issue hitting first to some tech web pages and then to slashdot.)

      So my advise is to
      1. Update to the latest BIOS
      2. Make sure that there is no dust blocking airflow (if you haven't opened the case and cleared the dust, there definitely will be a thick layer of stuff blocking the flow! It makes a difference.).

      I registered here to write this, because I noticed that not everybody knows this issue by now. So the issue is not a hot laptop, but the system throttling too early, as you can read from the the threads above. Here should be an extensive test report pdf by a user which shows the anatomy of the throttling and that the issue is not high temperatures: (the report is 59 pages!)

      I notice this issue in my E6400 while playing assault cube (in both Kubuntu jaunty and karmic). Very annoying effect is also the huge latency every time when the system goes through the next step in throttling, since that efects very much online gaming... With the latest bios the notebook is not throttling so easily, and I'm not sure if it has actually throtteld. I've used A20 only a couple of days now. I've got intel GPU, and what I've read, the issue is more prominent with the Windows users. This was actually first post that I saw where linux users were discussing about this (in one of the threads there were also one linux user apparently).

      Hope this helps, guys!
      Last edited by jartsa; February 7th, 2010 at 04:34 AM. Reason: add test report link

    • May 16th, 2011davehamptonusa
      First Cup of Ubuntu

      Join DateFeb 2008Beans8DistroUbuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

      Re: Dell Latitude e6400 system slowdown(over heat?) on 9.04Beta(x64) and 8.10(x32)
      The problem is that the nvidia integrated card/chipset is not properly cooled. This was the case with its predecessor, the d630 as well.

      No matter how much you engage the fans, they just dont give the nvidia chip the coverage that it needs. Although a great computer, don't spend too long in any graphic intensive environment. It just won't hack it.

    • April 20th, 2012allsteel
      First Cup of Ubuntu

      Join DateApr 2012Beans1

      Re: Dell Latitude e6400 system slowdown(over heat?) on 9.04Beta(x64) and 8.10(x32)
      I've been using a Dell E6400 with a docking station for close to three years now. I'm currently running Debian Squeeze with backports. The Intel Speedstep, fan control and Nvidia graphics have always had issues. I finally nailed the problems using the following:

      Use the latest BIOS - version: A32 (02/09/2012)
      Use the latest NVidia drivers - version 295.40
      Load kernel module needed to enable cpufreq scaling - acpi-cpufreq
      IMPORTANT - Disable any script that calls /usr/bin/cpufreq-set

      I found that invoking /usr/bin/cpufreq-set will cause the cpus to step down to 800MHz! If you do not invoke cpufreq-set, the default governor (ondemand) works properly.

      Lastly, I highly recommend using an external cooling fan. I'm using the Thermaltake Mobile Fan II External USB Cooling Fan P/N - A1888
      Last edited by allsteel; April 20th, 2012 at 02:40 PM.

    • May 1st, 2012yell0w
      First Cup of Ubuntu

      Join DateMar 2007Beans5DistroUbuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

      Re: Dell Latitude e6400 system slowdown(over heat?) on 9.04Beta(x64) and 8.10(x32)
      Bios A32 fixed the issue for me. (released 4/26/2012)

      This version got an updated thermal table which fix the cpu over-throttling issue.

      Now my computer temperature runs up to 59oC without any freezing, whereas 45oC+ slowed it down to a crawl before.

    Please Help as my machine is getting slower daily it seems
    Wishing you all a Great Holiday season

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Reykjavík, Ísland
    Lubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet

    Re: Overheating problem slowing down my Dell E6400

    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts


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