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*Update June5th* i7-7700 - Hot Cores and the story of Dell Incompetence

Valkyrie

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You may be right JD. He mentions a couple of times that it's a K, but I can't find any evidence of Alienware laptops with K's in that generation. If it is indeed an HQ there must be poor contact with the heatsink ie. the die and sink not parallel when mated or not actually in proper contact at all.




Edit: It seems you can get K's in the latest gen AW's.
 
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JD

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Well for what it's worth, your thread finally convinced me to tear mine apart again. This time I bent the heatsink brackets a bit to give it more pressure. Also was a bit more liberal with the thermal paste this time, went with a line length wise on each die. Pretty sure last time I just did a dab in the center. It looked like it had spread fine, but the heatsink is pretty rough and has scratches on it, so figured it might do better with extra. And to confirm, the CPU has no IHS, so no need to delid or anything crazy.

Apparently the Win10 1903 upgrade lost my ThrottleStop settings, so I need to dial those back in. Running -50mV at the moment though which lets me get 3.2GHz Turbo with Prime95 running. At stock voltage it would flip between 3.0-3.1GHz.

Image looks like it got scaled down a lot, so 77C on Core 0 and 2, 70C and 69C on the others. Still a large delta, but a far cry from the 95C I used to hit. That's after about 2 hours of Prime95 Small FFTs. Also don't hear the fan kick in at all anymore while doing normal browsing and such.
 

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Valkyrie

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That's a big improvement JD.


It's a pretty complex task to get that hulking contraption of a sink to sit down squarely on both the cpu and gpu die, especially when thermal pads are involved for other components. It is not a production line friendly task for sure.


Some are using copper shims on the dies to improve contact, which of course means more paste, so not ideal, but better than a loose sink.
 
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CMetaphor

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Thanks for the replies all. Sorry I haven't been on in a few days.

The big question still in front of me, is the fact that since getting the laptop back that "hardware fault"/ warning thing is showing right now on the Dell support assist program. I'm trying to find someone at Dell who isn't a jerk and this whole process has caused massive anxiety and stress and doubt.

Good to know the heat/cores thing improved for you JD. At least there's a fix for that solution that doesn't involve Dell. But with the support assist program locked down because the warranty has ended, I have no idea what that hardware fault is. But the repair they did (that really really should've been done while my original on-site warranty was active) must still be guaranteed somehow, no? I don't know what to do... Waiting to hear back from yet another Dell person.

PS: yes it's not the "K" processor, but I thought the problems are similar between the two.
Tbh I've never pulled the heatsink on this laptop so I have no idea if it's soldered on or not. I do remember there was more than one processor option though, so maybe a socket? I don't know.

I'm just tired and completely stressed out by this whole thing. I will NEVER buy Dell again, and I will do my absolute best to ensure no on I know and no company I work for ever does again either. It's just not worth all this garbage...
 

JD

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Yeah, I would hope their repairs carry at least a 30 day warranty period. Hard to say what they messed up in the process though. You could try re-seating your RAM/WiFi/SSDs as a starting point, maybe something isn't making full contact or got bounced around in shipping?

In my case, I (somehow) made the webcam/IR stop working, so I had to reseat the display cables to fix it. Those are easily accessible when you remove the rear IO cover/cap.

If all your devices are working though, I'd be inclined to ignore that personally. I can't even get Support Assist to launch at all on mine...so I'm not sure how much faith I'd put in that.
 

CMetaphor

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Well the SupportAssist app has always worked on mine, and because I unfortunately use it so often, I clearly remember no hardware faults before I sent it out.
I have been contacted by some higher up person, so maybe it'll get somewhere. I'll reply back again when there's more news...
 

CMetaphor

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So, finally might have somewhere. I guess I'm a few more levels up their neverending support chain.


Dell has admitted how badly they've treated me as a customer and admit that my laptop was never 100%. I had heat issues from minute one and their support was woeful at best. This all sounds like good news so far, right? Hang on, it get's better (worse). This latest Dell employee has offered to replace my laptop entire with another one. GRRRrrrreat! (mostly just GRR tbh)


Here's what they've offered, compared to what I had:
Alienware 13 R3 -------------------------------------- Alienware 15 R4
i7-7700HQ(4c @ max 3.8ghz, base 2.8ghz)-------------i7-8750H (6c @ max 4.1ghz, base 2.2Ghz)
13.3' [email protected] OLED------------------------------ 15.6' [email protected]60hz IPS
16gb [email protected]2666mhz-------------------------------- 16gb [email protected]2400mhz
GTX1060 OC 6gb--------------------------------------GTX1060 6gb (non-OC)
Weight 5.80 lbs-------------------------------------- Weight 7.69 lbs

See the stuff in bold? They're offering me a much heavier laptop that will perform WORSE, with a much worse screen. I have zero use for a 6c/12t laptop and without an OLED screen I could've bought a less expensive laptop from literally ANY other company. OLED screens are gorgeous, and having it on a small LIGHT laptop that could also game fairly well was wonderful. Was.



It's worth noting that my health is very bad and still declining. I do not trust myself holding a heavy laptop, even with both hands sometimes. And now Dell wants me to accept a much heavier one (presumably with a heavy power brick), which will make it much less useful to me.



I'm at a loss for words... to be jerked around for months on end, right past the end of my On-Site warranty and now this? It's practically a slap in the face to me.


I really need some suggestions or opinions on this.. I'm a tiny bit tempted just take the deal and maybe sell the laptop they give me, just so I don't have to think about this super-stressful history any more. I will, at very least, be replying to their offer and asking why a lighter laptop that's actually the same or better at gaming wasn't offered - or if it can be. The dell person said the 13 isn't made anymore, but I may push for the new M15 that may be slightly bigger but at least weighs a bit less (4.8lbs vs 5.8lbs) and supposedly has the option of an OLED display.



What should I do? I feel like this almost a distraction.. "Oh look at that processor! So many cores!" I don't need cores, and the lower base clock means every game that isn't multi-threaded is going to be much worse right away, before even factoring in the slower ram, slower GPU and crap monitor that i'd likely run at 1080p anyways to keep the games extra-smooth.



Sorry, ranting now... ill shut up.


Edit:

@JD sorry I didn't directly reply to you before. I didn't want to do anything to the laptop at all in case they tried to shift the blame to me. "Hardware fault" could mean anything, the supportassist app (now that the warrant has expired) no longer shows ANY details, but nonetheless I will not open it up unless I have no other option). I am glad your solution worked for you, although it's pretty hilarious that these laptops are built so badly that a heatsink needed to be Bent to work properly.
 

Lysrin

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That is a tough one on the laptop swap option. I mean nice they offered you something, but some of those specs aren't as desirable as they seem at first glance as you have already said.

No option to get an exact replacement? Is it not available anymore or perhaps all of those models are flawed? I'll admit I'm chiming in here a bit. Didn't reread the whole thread. What they are offering is likely a good performing laptop too though if you decide to take them up on the offer and don't mind the larger size.
 

JD

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The 13 R3 was around $2200 new (or at least mine was with the same specs when I bought it). The laptop they're offering you seems to be $2900 (currently), so I think it's a fair deal. Though honestly, I would ask for the 1080p G-SYNC display instead, it's the same price as the 4K one and will definitely run better with the 1060. If the 2666MHz RAM is really a big deal, it's a $50 upgrade, I'm sure they could throw that in.

Power brick, I think, is the same as it's a 180W unit. Overall weight is higher though since it's larger, however if you use this on your lap, wider might give you more stable footing?

The R4 is a bit older than the m15, so they probably have stock that is starting to lose value, better to move it and make a happy customer than lose it entirely.

However, I'll also say "don't look a gift horse in the mouth".

All that aside, if you like the form factor/performance of the 13 R3, I'd say it's fixable with some thermal paste and pads, a pair of pliers and some force when screwing it back together.
 

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