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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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By whoisnader on 12/1/2009 6:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
DLink have done the exact same thing here and you'd think these companies would know better.

DLink released a major firmware updated on all the Wireless N products a few months ago and unfortunately the firmware will not let you flash backwards. The issues with the current series are plentiful but the main ones are wireless restarts (every few minutes to hours) and router reboots randomly and often (hourly to daily).( refer to http://forums.dlink.com/index.php?board=187.0 )

However the real surprise was that the problem is across all of DLink's Wireless N products, DIR655, DIR825, DGL4500. ( Refer to http://forums.dlink.com/index.php?board=144.0 as an example )

People became very vocal about this, to the point of anger and venting, the mods did little to express any apology and in some cases, "pushed the buttons of users", which only fueled the anger more. Then they began to delete posts and ban users, which ordinarily would be expected but they where only targeting those who complained about the firmware.

It took DLink quite some time to acknowledge these two main issues but then began to ask for volunteers to have engineers come out and try to diagnose why this is happening. (Refer to http://forums.dlink.com/index.php?topic=7722.0 and http://forums.dlink.com/index.php?topic=7690.0 as examples).

DLink have released beta firmware on some of the products to help solve the router reboot issues with some mixed success ( Refer to http://forums.dlink.com/index.php?topic=8823.0 ) however the bad firmwares in question have not been pulled from their site and some have been up for more that 4-5 months, so potentially, the number of users affected is growing.




By whoisnader on 12/1/2009 6:22:49 PM , Rating: 2
There is a site tracking the deletion of posts, issues, work-arounds and beta firwmare on http://dir855.wordpress.com


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