DELL XPS 1640 Heat Problems

Having some heat problems with my XPS 1640 and the heat it's putting out.
When I have been using it for up to an hour, the heat gets unbearable to touch underneath, however it is fine to type and whatever, just underneath it is extremely hot to touch.
It gets a lot hotter whilst charging, and here is a screenshot of the temperatures whilst it has been on for a while and whilst charging:

Are these temperatures okay? What is the max temperature before I should start worrying? What can I do to help keep them down?
Thanks a lot.
18 answers Last reply
More about dell 1640 heat problems
  1. They are warm, but not bad. With laptop CPUs you don't have to start worrying until about 90*C and theses systems are designed to throttle and shut down at certain points before they cause damage to either the CPU or the rest of the system.

    1)How old is the system? You may need to blast the dust out of the fan intakes which is simply done with a $10 can of compressed air. Dust is a laptops worst enemy.

    2)Make sure all of the system fans are actually running. Put you have behind the exhaust ports and make sure there is actually air flowing. If not, one of your system fans may have died.

    3) All else fails you can pick up a laptop cooling pad:
  2. its okay realy, just for the safety of your legs get a laptop cooler board which is a board with a fan on it and you put it underneath the laptop. ebay £10
  3. I've had it for a week or two now and all the fans are working fine to my knowledge.
    I may look into the cooling board, thanks for the suggestion.
    Just wanted to make sure that this heat is fine. When you say warm though, it's not warm to the touch, it's bloody boiling underneath!
  4. well if you feeling up to it strip your laptop an replace all the thermal paste i have the xps 1530 and just doing that dropped my temps by 8c at load
  5. When you say you don't have to worry about temps until it hits around 90, which reading is that for?
  6. crumble114 said:
    When you say you don't have to worry about temps until it hits around 90, which reading is that for?

    The CPU. Specifically where it says "Core#0 and Core#1". Once you get to that point, safety measures that are built in will reduce the CPU's speed in a first attempt to prevent overheating and damage. If the temps continue to rise, the laptop will shut off.
  7. Okay thanks a lot for the help.
    Going to look into a 'cooling pad' or something similar, could someone link me to a decently priced cooling method for my laptop?
  8. This one seems decent: . Plus Cooler Master is a good company for cases. Otherwise I would look for something with at least 2 decent sized fans. The smaller the fans are, the noisier it's going to be.
  9. its just a peace of plastic with fans on it, any brand is smart enough to make one, i use a cheap chinese one which lasted 2 years and still works
    whats important is get one where its fans are near your laptops air vents, there is no point for a cooler board that has a fan in the middle and you dont have
    at least 1 air vent in the middle.

    online is not the way, i think taking your laptop to a shop and just making sure it feels okay and its situated properly is the way.
    your laptop heats a lot for your hands but dont worry that's fine, if you use the laptop and block the air vent (jeans, pillow, bed cover) it heats up like that
    leave it on a flat table and it will be better.
  10. I've had the 1640 for about two weeks now, and I definitely know what you mean. Although the temperatures at the core aren't very high compared to some other laptops (some stressed cpus can reach almost 90 degrees C!)(Some Examples), it's bothersome to have the keypad flare up or the fan to blast every couple of minutes, not to mention the temperature of the metal rim on this thing :ouch: . Forget cooling pads, and forget thermal paste. There's nothing wrong with the hardware of this machine except that Intel uses standard voltages for all their motherboards, and this one it's especially high.

    I've found that undervolting (Explanation) has decreased the temperature of my 1640 to the point where I idle at about 36 degrees Celsius and Full load (for 30 minutes) at about 57 degrees. In fact, I'm stress testing right now and hovering at 55 degrees. Not once has the fan kicked into overdrive, nor do the changes I made sacrifice performance or reliability (if done correctly).

    If you're interested in lowering the temperature of this beast (and increasing battery life as a bonus), try Undervolting your 1640. I've had it set this way for a week now, and it has not in the least compromised my experience with this laptop. World of Warcraft still hovers at a good 30 fps on medium-high graphics settings, but now the lappy doesn't throttle down when I play for more than 20 minutes :sol: .

    FlipFire created the best tutorial on learning how to undervolt Even for amateurs it's a pretty good guide. Read the thread, and get an idea of what it's all about and if you want to try it. Undervolting, unlike overclocking, is very safe and doesn't hurt your hardware or performance. I've dialed down my settings pretty well, and haven't had a single crash or BSOD. My settings are listed here if you want to use the same ones:


    If you can't get all the voltages listed, try this, it's from DarkSilver's post on

    "Go to your RMClock folder. Find RMClock_Tweaks. It is a Registration Entries file.
    Apply it. (Double-click it)


    1.) Enter regedit(registry editor, click Start button, type in regedit and press enter).

    2.) Find [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\RightMark\RMClock]

    3.) Ok! Now, find UnlockEIST, IntelPMP4.EIST, UnlockFid, UnlockVid and UnlockTM2 to value 1. Basically, the original value is 0.

    4.) Restart your computer and have fun. Make sure your RMclock is turn-on(can set the RMClock to start automatically for every boot-up), if not, it won't work."

    , if you can't get RMClock to work due to an unsigned driver, you can find the signed driver at
    RMClock DL
    I don't like Rapidshare, but it's the only option if you want to download without registering to a forum. Search around if you're not comfortable, there are other links to this driver, but this is the one that I used.

    I really really really hope this helps, if you're willing to spend an hour or two getting your 1640 in tip top shape. It's a great machine, and it's a shame that the board is so overpowered that it produces all that heat. As for the fan design, I think Dell chose that location because it's worked for Apple for so long with their Macbook series. It's a fantastic machine and I wouldn't trade it for anything else. I hope that after you fix this issue (Dell may take a long time for release of an update), you love the 1640 as much as I do. Cheers!

    P.S. - Don't forget to upgrade your bios to A11! This will certainly help with some of the heating issues! Dell Support for 1640
  11. Hello

    I know that this thread is from 2009, and it is now the middle of 2011, but this is the top results on Google for "Studio XPS 1640 Overheating" and I know Tom's Hardware is a reputable source of information.

    I also have been having issues with my 1640 overheating and throttling.

    Turns out there are two different types of throttling going on.

    1) Thermal throttling
    2) Power throttling

    The power throttling happens because the BIOS seems to think that I am using a low wattage power adapter when I am in fact using a high wattage adapter (replaced under warranty back in September 2009). Even with the latest A14 BIOS (I think it's A14, I'm not with the laptop right now) it still incorrectly detects the power adapter wrongly.

    The thermal throttling kicks in for obvious reasons...

    I need my system to run at the rated 2.53GHz for extended periods of time. I also need my graphics chip to operate at the maximum possible speed.

    I downloaded the TechPowerUp ThrottleStop application and forced my system to run at 2.53GHz all the time. I also configured my Radeon 3670 in the Catalyst Control Centre software so that it never goes in to its power savings mode.

    You would not believe the temperature of my laptop since then...

    The touchpad can be too hot to use. I have burnt my thumb by resting it on the front bezel, just in front of the touchpad.

    My CPU regularly hits the thermal limit of 105C. My system has shut down on various occasions. The first sign of issues is that the laptop keyboard stops responding. When restarting the system after this happens, the laptop fan just spins up to 100% but nothing really happens (the laptop doesn't POST). The internals are almost completely free of dust, as I regularly make sure to use the air duster on it.

    I measured the air temperature coming from the vent at the back at over 70C while stress testing the system at its maximum settings running Prime and Furmark.

    I have some photos to show you :)

    First tests:
    Temperature from the vent in the first 5 minutes:
    CPU temperature after 5 minutes:
    Vent temperature reading craps out after 70C and just says HI as in 'high':
    With thermal throttling and power throttling enabled... look at just how much the temperature has dropped... but also note the frequency of the processor... completely unusable at this speed, Windows 7 interface is noticeably laggy:

    Hope this has been entertaining for you :)

    To be honest, I am just waiting for the laptop to fizzle out now. The warranty expired mid-2010. I'll just get another desktop when this thing eventually dies. I don't think I should have expected to get the kind of performance I wanted from a laptop like this. FYI, I enjoy playing EverQuest 2 with some local friends. I used to play on a desktop (AMD Phenom X4 3.4GHz, 8GB DDR3, 80GB SSD, Radeon 5770).

    Have a nice day!
  12. Hi,

    The laptop may overheat if it is dirty. Make sure that dust has not accumulated inside your laptop, as it may have blocked your fan. To overcome this, you should try to clean up your fan so that any blockages can be opened up. You can also get a CO2 cannisters to blow out your device. By this way, you will get rid of any dust inside your laptop, which may have been blocking your system’s airflow. Make sure that there is nothing that is blocking the air vents of your laptop.
  13. Hello, the laptop is in a pristine and dust-free condition. It's nice and easy to clean with an air duster due to the removable backplate. However, the temperatures are the same. It just seems to me that it is a very inefficient thermal design.
  14. Hi, it's the second half of 2014 now, and the laptop is still alive! It's still very much overheating, and almost always over 90C regardless of activity, but it's had a new lease of life after installing Ubuntu on there. That works for me at the moment as I do a lot of development work. I'll look in to getting a MBP next year.
  15. Hi,
    Mine is still alive too. I remember installing a version of ubuntu like a year and a half ago and I felt like ubuntu kinda over heats it (idk why) then I go back to windows.
    I am still having overheating problems but other than that it still is a usefull laptop!
    I was thinking: I am not using the DVD ROM as much as before. Do you guys think we can remove the DVD and install some kind of a cooling solution instead?
    That would be a cool thing to do, but I am not sure if such a thing is possible.

    Thankss everyone, waiting for other XPS 1640 users comment loll
  16. Still have my Studio XPS 1645 (Core Duo T 9900)-- just upgraded the RAM to 8 GB and the hard drive to 1 TB as I was considering getting a new laptop, but I've invested in a few external eSATA drives and new laptops all seem to be USB 3.0. So, I figured I would just upgrade-- it's not like I wanted Windows 8 anyway. :)

    Relevant to this discussion, as part of the upgrade, I pulled the heat sink and found it clogged with some serious crud. I cleaned that and also repasted the heat sink (after removal) with Arctic Silver 5. It seems to be working pretty well, though if I were to do it again, I would use a non-conductive thermal paste instead (AS5 is conductive) , as there seem to be some metal thingees sticking up out of the GPU. It would be bad to get any stray bits of paste on them.

    You need to paste two items (GPU and CPU I think) and use a thermal pad on 5 others. I would recommend replacing them as well as they were pretty sloppy when I took out the heat sink. Be aware there are good thermal pads and bad ones... some conduct significantly more heat than others and are worth the extra dollar or two.

    It took an hour or two, but that's mostly because I am a clumsy perfectionist. The more adept or less fastidious could probably get it done in about a half hour.

    Results? The fan is running slower and less often (I didn't have a temp gauge installed prior to the change). At about 50 percent, the cores are heating up to between 55 and 65 c. AC5 promises improvements as the paste "cures" which they state should take 200(!) hours of normal use. Important note, when the fan speeds up, temps fall rapidly. That's what should happen with a good heat sink, right?

    So, no scientific proof, but anecdotally, it seems to work in improving temps a bit. No miracle though. This is one hot machine!

    On the bright side, I think I can get a few more years out if it, believe it or not!
  17. My XPS Studio 16 is 5 years old and its be powering off recently and Dell told me to go replace my heat sink which i didn't fancy spending the money on so i did the following:

    Cleaned the fan with compressed air
    Replaced the thermal paste

    And the temperatures of my cores idle at 50c now. Under load it can reach 79c, still need to find other ways to cool this bad boy of a machine down. I have a SSD coming soon so thats the next mod just a shame its only supports 8GB RAM.
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