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Dell Latitude E6400, one of Dell's "problem children"
Dell is aggressively trying to keep its hardware failures under wraps

Apparently Apple is not the only major OEM to have some serious quality control issues/BIOS issues.  Dell is facing what is being dubbed as "throttlegate" -- what boils down to a mess up performance problems on its popular E6400, E6500, and XPS laptops.  And to make matters worse for itself, Dell has begun to censor user posts -- a technique that seldom works on the internet world of vocal opinions and cached pages.

What appears to be happening on the select Dell models is that when the processor warms up slightly, a throttling mechanism kicks in, cutting the CPU performance by 95 percent or more.  Any running applications are thus slowed to a crawl -- the computer acts as if it is frozen.  The CPU slowly kicks back in, but even after regaining its composure slightly, only reaches about 50 percent of the initial clock speed.

Dell's users have been complaining about the problems on the company's support forums.  In what appears to be a desperate attempt to save face, the company has begun banning troublesome complainers and deleting their posts.  One prolific user that has been banned, "Tinkerdude", has actually release an extensive 59-page analysis of the problems dubbed "Performance loss during normal operation in a Dell Latitude E6500 laptop due to processor and bus clock throttling".  That document can be found here (PDF).

The issues affecting the Studio XPS 1645 appear to be similar, but less debilitating.  Its issues seem to center around an inadequate AC adapter, according to a forum thread.  While Dell hasn't respond to the E6400/E6500 problems, it is shipping beefier replacement adapters to XPS owners who call and complain.



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Link to document does not work
By Lord 666 on 12/1/2009 2:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
Just went to try to read "Tinkerdude's" dissertation, but the link does not work.

Just purchased two E6400s, very interested in this.




RE: Link to document does not work
By GaryJohnson on 12/1/2009 2:52:00 PM , Rating: 3
I'd like to see it too as I'm wondering how the heck it manages to fill 59 pages. Even Jason McRambles-a-Lot was able to describe the problem in about as much detail as neccesary with just 1 paragraph.


RE: Link to document does not work
By Inkjammer on 12/1/2009 3:56:34 PM , Rating: 2
To play Devil's Advocate, what if the 59 page PDF was so completely off base to the real issue that Dell was censoring to prevent "crying wolf" and getting customers up an uproar over something that may or may not be the real issue.

Granted, I don't know and I can't say. I'm no Dell loyalist by far.


By GaryJohnson on 12/1/2009 4:22:24 PM , Rating: 3
It's really looking like they only banned that one guy. In his last post on the dell forums:

quote:
BTW, my current contact at Dell (in the Executive Escalation Team at the Resolution Expert Center) turned out to be a complete joke. Turns out she doesn't even remotely understand the problem. I'll put together a separate post on that - the situation is astonishingly ludicrous.


I'm betting he put together his "seperate post on that" and went into detail about the person who he thought was a joke, probably including their name or some other personal information. Which is probably why he was actually banned.

The report, which has vanished, looks to have been hosted on his domain. So I don't see how dell has anything to do with that disappearing.


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