m15 CPU temp questions

m15 CPU temp questions

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Hi. I have the m15 with GTX 1060. I have been running a lot of tests, reading reviews on reddit, watching some youtube reviews and it seems that a lot of people are seeing that CPU under load gets to 100 degrees, including me. So, I have some questions:

1) CPU temp limit is 100. How damaging this temp to run at ? For example, playing Battlefield V keeps the CPU temps in the upper 90s.

2) I have mounted an SSD, and while doing so, I noticed that the screws for the heat pipe are not fully bolted. They can no longer be tightened, but they also don't seem to make proper contact with the heat pipe, so they look as if they are not applying pressure on the heat pipe. Similar to putting screws longer than the hole. Going through reddit, it seems that I am not the only one seeing this. Is this how they are supposed to be ? Or are these units flawed ?

3) When running some intensive work, I see this: 2 cores hitting 100 degrees, 3 others stay in the 90s, while the 6th one is around 75-80. Is this normal, or does it mean that the heat pipe is not making proper contact ? The CPU clock is the same on all cores, so it's not like this core is lazy or underclocked.

4) I see the CPU going from 50 degrees to 100 in less than 1 sec when starting some heavy load. Is this normal ?

5) Is coil whine a problem ? If the CPU clock is > 2.2, there is a strange sound coming from the laptop (like an HDD reading data), and I believe it is coil whine. The sound is there even if CPU usage is 5% (so not only under full load). Sound is not coming from the fans, as at 40-50 degrees the fans are not spinning.

6) What are the temperatures the m15 should run at ? I want to know if the 100 degrees temps on the CPU when playing Battlefield V is "as expected", or it means there is an issue with the heat pipe or something else and I need to contact support.

Thank you

Replies 5

OrgWithaStick edited

https://youtu.be/77z6z8Ad9rw?t=2210 <- Umar talks about it a bit


It sounds like the CPU is made to run at (or around) 100 when it's being pushed. it shouldn't throttle/damage it at those temps but the cooler you can keep it the faster/higher performance it'll be able to reach.

I'm just here for the nachos

npandrei edited

Thank you for this reference, I was not aware of it. 

I understand his explanation, but I believe there is something different. He says that his does not thermal throttle, but mine seems to do just that. Start Prime95, after 20-30 seconds the CPU stabilizes at around 3.3 GHz, and the temps are in the 90-95s. That is thermal throttling, right ? Also, this is with the back of the laptop standing on a book, so that it is raised and the air flow is better. Without this, it gets even hotter.

I played Battlefield V, it did thermal throttle. Look at this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1YGIlBsvec&t=259s, and he has liquid metal applied. I experienced the same behavior, but I did not push it more than a few minutes. When I saw the CPU staying constantly at 95-100 I stopped the game and started to cap the CPU to avoid this.

For me, in order to play Battlefield V / Battlefront 2 (Ultra settings, that's true, but I get a very nice >50 FPS most of the time), I had to do these:

1) Cap the CPU at 2.8GHz

2) Raise the back of the laptop to allow some extra flow

3) The room temp is around 20-22 degrees (winter, so it's cold)

And this would get me some temps that are in the lower 90s on the CPU, some cores hitting 100 some times. If this happens when it is capped at 2.8, how come their units do not thermal throttle at 3.9 GHz ?

Also, regarding how the heat sink is mounted, please look at these 

- https://imgur.com/gallery/KG4WvyU -> compare screws 6 and 7 last 2 images, and in 1 to 2 in the first image

https://imgur.com/a/y1nms4l -> look at the images with the screws. they don't appear to hold the heat sink in place

Those are images taken by someone else on reddit, but I opened mine and I saw something similar. Something does not look "perfectly" designed in these images. The exterior screws are going in perfectly, you don't see one standing out about 2 mm, they all fit in perfectly. I would expect the same to happen inside.

What I want to know is if this is an issue with some units or not. If their units are behaving the same, then that's how this laptop is designed and that's life. But if Umar's unit stays at 3.9GHz and does not thermal throttle to 3.1-3.3 in Battlefield V, then there is a problem with my unit / the other people on reddit who have an issue similar to mine and I want to search for a fix for this.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and your help !

OrgWithaStick edited

This forum is community driven I don't think anyone here will be able to tell you if the screws/heat-sink look out of alignment or not. I hate to throw him under the bus but lets see if we can summon Umar.....  @AW_Khan I need an adult!


Not sure how often he checks these forums it might be easier to reach out to him on twitter https://twitter.com/aw_umar or ask about it in the discord #tech-talk chat when he's known to lurk https://discordapp.com/invite/alienware.  *It's the weekend and near a holiday so it might take a few days*


https://twitter.com/AlienwareTech  <- could also be an option.

I'm just here for the nachos


I have contacted Dell support and they send a technician to replace the heat pipes. Now it seems that the temps have dropped by 10 degrees or even more. I can keep Prime95 Torture test running, and it keeps the temps in the 90s reaching 100, but with very little throttling. Temps in gaming now stay in the 70-80s without any thermal throttling, and CPU usage is around 50-60%.

Now it seems closer to what Umar is describing, so there was an issue with my unit. Thanks for your help !


3) When running some intensive work, I see this: 2 cores hitting 100 degrees, 3 others stay in the 90s, while the 6th one is around 75-80. Is this normal, or does it mean that the heat pipe is not making proper contact ? The CPU clock is the same on all cores, so it's not like this core is lazy or underclocked.

Not normal at all, contact support and you need a repaste ASAP, your core temps shouldn't be more than some 3-5°C from each other


Alienware 15 R3 i7-6820HK @4.1Ghz GTX 1070, 8 Gb DDR4 @2400, 512 GB SSD + 1 TB @7200 RPM

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