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The Dell XPS 15-L502X laptop was manufactured by Dell Inc. It was released in 2011 with a 2nd Gen Intel® Core™ processor.

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Overheating and fan noise.


My laptop was heating up a bit too much (temperature above 90’s in normal load, and sometimes shutting down after hitting 100C), so I finally decided to open up my Dell XPS 15 (L502X) and replace the thermal paste. I have few questions:

When I opened it up, apart from the thermal paste on the cpu (i7-2630QM) and gpu (Nvidia GT-540 2gb), there were several white pads, and one grey pad. The grey pad was above the motherboard HM67 chip. This is the first time I ever saw a heat sink with thermal pad needed to cool down the motherboard. Or am I missing something? And what are all these small white pads? They seem to be covering different chips on the motherboard. Does anyone know the width of these white pads, and grey pads? Are all of these thermal pads to conduct heat? Or some are meant to block heat? I think the white ones are meant to block heat, but I may be wrong.

Anyhow, after replacing the thermal paste (didn’t do anything with the pads, since I wasn’t expecting to see them anyway), the temperature of CPU and motherboard remains in 70’s C, and GPU in 60’s C under normal load (20 browser tabs, and some MS Office work alongside). But the fan works in an annoying manner with bursts of sounds, instead of constant sound. It is rather annoying, and I rather have the fan working the whole time than these annoying bursts (fan on, fan off, fan on, fan off, and goes on like this constantly). Any solution to fix this?

I am also considering downgrading to I5-2540M (lower TDP, and dual core), but its not worth it if the fan is going to behave in similar manner.

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Soluzione Prescelta

Shouldn't be a hardware problem, just an software issue

1. Click the `charging` icon in your taskbar (By the clock) [The little power plug]

2. Click on `more power options`

3. Under the power setting you are using (Balanced in my case), click on `Change plan settings`.

4. On the change plan settings screen, click `Change advanced power settings`

5. Scroll down to `Processor Power Management` > `System Cooling Policy` (Expand them both to view the options).

6. Under `System Cooling Policy` > Change `On Battery` & `Plugged In` to `Passive`.

But after doing this your laptop temps may go up, use some canned air to blow dust out

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Thank you for the reply. I followed your insructions, however, the problem with fan remains the same. I restarted the computer also, and that did not help either. I have opened and cleaned all parts (heat sink, fan, etc), so it is not a problem caused by some blockage in air etc.


So are your pc's fans a 4-pin PWM or 3-pin voltage. I have the same issue on my old core 2 duo pc. It's using intel dq965gf motherboard, same problem as u. I grab a power hungry Blower type fan (snail fan). Install on the motherboard. The other fan didn't ramp up & down so much.

Try to buy one and install. See how it goes.


Also, it may be a motherboard issue. If a fan controller started failing, this may be a symptom. But, it may be a Power supply issue also.


Thank you!!!

I took out the fan and cleaned everything but didn't grease it. It seems to be the signal to the fan that is the problem. So…I'll indefinitely will try your software trick! ;)




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I had the same problem with my l502x, i resolved the issue with a fresh new windows 10. I use to have windows 7 for a long time and since i have upgraded to windows 10 everithing is normal. Now and then the fan does make some noise, but not for long. It will do ok with a deep clean, i mean take all the dust out and use a bit of profesional oil to put at the base of the fan to make it work smoother. Thats what i did and no problems now. Hope it will work for you to

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Hmm, i installed win 10 like 3 times, but the fan still ramps up, also i messed up the power button flat cable thing and touchpad's cable while cleaning lol, ordered replacement.i have kinda re applied the same paste coz the paste was just around the chip and not on i donno if the temp is gonna go down(prolly will),i couldn't turn it on after that uk, I'm edit this comment or smthing for the update


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I see lots of really bad answers here.

The best solution would be to open power options > change advanced power settings

Processor power management > Max processor state. Set that to 92%. It will stop the CPU using turbo mode which causes more heat.

You can also just a lower number like 80% to help further.

Another option which is a bit more hands on it to replace the thermal paste and pads. As the years go by it becomes hard and less effective

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Kerio Orisa sarà eternamente grato.
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