Print 44 comment(s) - last by shortylickens.. on Dec 5 at 6:35 AM

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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Cause of the problem already found?
By dijuremo on 12/1/2009 3:32:28 PM , Rating: 4
I would take this with a grain of salt, but according to, the problem seems to be due to an underpowered power supply. Apparently, the laptop ships with a 90 Watt PSU but needs a 130 Watt PSU.

RE: Cause of the problem already found?
By Inkjammer on 12/1/2009 3:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
I took a look at one of our E6400s... confirmed, they do have 90 Watt power adapters.

By steven975 on 12/1/2009 5:44:28 PM , Rating: 2
My E6400 has a 130W adapter...19V 6.7A

Well, my comp gave me one AC adapter for the road...19V 4.62A...90W. Must be why it sucks on the road.

RE: Cause of the problem already found?
By icrf on 12/1/2009 4:11:16 PM , Rating: 2
I have an M6400 mobile workstation and it requires a 150W PSU. It came with a 150W and a 130W. When the 130W is plugged in, a message pops up informing me that it is inadequate and may not be able to keep up with power demands. If done while the laptop is on, it's a pretty Windows pop-up from their power management software. If done after the computer was shut down, the BIOS detects it at boot-up and prompts me with the same information.

Do these models not have similar features?

RE: Cause of the problem already found?
By Inkjammer on 12/1/2009 4:17:00 PM , Rating: 2
I've plugged in a wrong power adapter and gotten a similar warning from an E6400, so...

By bennyg on 12/2/2009 8:42:06 AM , Rating: 2
I plug in a correct spec 90W adapter in my lappy and about about 1% of the time I get that error.

So I'm in the habit of ignoring it.

Also got it for the 100W yumcha generic adapter (where you change the tips) but it ran at full powa anyways.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki