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Hot CPU and loud fans while idle


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Can I just commend you legends on the most interesting and helpful chain of forum posts I believe I have ever read.

I have been suffering from this exact same problem in my identical Dell notebook for around ten months now and research it time and time again while systematically attempting new fixes each time I learn something new.

My Hardware:

DELL XPS 15 9560 

  • 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8750H Processor (9M Cache, up to 4.1 GHz)
  • 512GB M.2 Solid State Drive Storage
  • RAM (original 16gb I removed) and I upgraded it to G.SKILL 32GB (2 x 16G) Ripjaws Series DDR4 PC4-19200 2400MHz 260-Pin Laptop Memory Model F4-2400C16D-32GRS
  • Original Killer brand Wireless network card removed (coz it constantly disconnected). I upgraded this to Intel wireless AC 9260 which works flawlessly.
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050Ti with 4GB GDDR5

My main problem which, from what I can tell is practically identical.. is fan noise. After reading your excellent input here I have deduced what one of you said is likely accurate... that Dell simply ramp up their fan profile speed unnecessarily.

I say this after learning from you that 50degrees Celsius shouldn’t really be concerning.

When not performing tasks, my workstation stays between 50-55 degrees Celsius and the fan noise (as my PC is in my bedroom connected to my TV), is intensely loud.

Alternatively, when under heavy load i.e 4x times instances of VLC running different movies at the same time, MS Word, the whole Adobe suite open (all apps) and Mozilla Firefox with multiple tabs playing different YouTube videos.... all at once, I’ve never seen it above 62-68 degrees Celsius. 

It has been my ongoing mission to try and quieten it. Mine also did not behave like this for the first year after purchase and now just constantly seems to ramp up the fans seemingly unnecessarily.

Whether the following steps I’ve taken are hilarious to some or not...in my desperate attempt to solve this I have, after reading endless solution related posts on a variety of websites including Dell forums etc (published by people with the same problem) tried the following:

- Super cleaned my PC with compressed air regularly enough that it has almost zero fibers or dust inside at any given time. 

- Purchased new CPU and GPU fans and installed them.

- Purchased double the RAM and installed it.

- Removed the manufacturer thermal paste and carefully and evenly applied a healthy amount of Noctua brand paste which the site I landed on at the time said it was the best before I read your post here about the cool ‘freeze’ sounding brand (forgive my memory).

- Downloaded and installed Dell power management software and set the profile to ‘Quiet’

- Opened the NVIDIA control panel and under 3D settings>Program Settings, set the most used apps on my machine to utilize the ‘High Performance NVIDIA Processor’ rather than the Integrated Graphics or default global settings.(One guy said this solved it for him).

- Removed the insulation sticker (product label) from the SSD drive and firmly applied a new adhesive heat pad to the SSD drive.

Notes: My next attempt is to add an extra adhesive Thermal Pad to the top of the heat sink over the CPU because one guy said this would make it even cooler.

My next attempt after this will be to apply this fellow’s suggested fix which I only read about tonight... “Have you recently updated your Dell Xps 15 9560.
If so you might, your laptop might of automatically updated the Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework.
In this new update their is a big problem that makes the laptop ""not"" Thermal Throttel. 
Please download and install 
Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework 8.2.11000.2996, A04
This should fix the issue !”


My next attempt after that will be to attempt to undervolt which I know not much about, and have only read about it here. I will follow the instructions on the hyperlink I recall you posting, thank you so much.

Will post back here after getting any joy from any of the above steps.

Although not intended for me, thanks so much for the information. You ppl are very kind and helpful.

Edited by AdvancedSetup
corrected font issue
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I couldn’t help but notice this little golden nugget amongst all your text... “Something that a fellow reader in the Dell forum told me was that disabling the Nvidia driver may help, which it did. Fan speeds were null or minimal,”

Please excuse my ignorance but this sounds like a fix... Would this be detrimental to the computer general operation, as you didn’t seem content after seemingly applying this and having your fan issue solved. Or am I confused and got something wrong here?

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Hi. I wouldn't really consider it a fix because you're firstly messing with drivers which can be a little tricky and secondly you're basically disabling your PC from using the dedicated graphics card, which is called upon when gaming and performing other graphically intensive tasks. Additionally, the fan speeds might've gone down but, I personally don't remember and maybe I didn't even check, the temperatures might've stayed the same. So high temperatures with almost no fan action leads to even higher temps and ultimately to damage to the components if thet get hot enough.

This is just what I think, if anyone else wants to chip in it would be very much appreciated. Hope you get somewhere with this, best of luck.


P.S.: I've learnt to deal with the loud noise and high temps (50-60°C when idle or doing non-intensive tasks) over time and it doesn't bother me much nowadays, even though I was pretty annoyed, like you, when it first started happening.

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Thanks for explaining. I did have a feeling disabling NVIDIA would be significantly detrimental and, based on what you’ve told me regarding what function it performs within the PC, (an epically large one) I won’t go down that path under any circumstances.

I’ll attempt all I said I’d attempt, in the order I listed and report back. 

This is the way...

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  • Root Admin

Post was split to its own new topic for better isolation of the issue as it pertains to the user. This was posted in reference to this previous topic which has now been closed.



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Root Admin

@exile360 @Porthos

If you have any input @Treadstone appears to still be looking for advice.

I would say it's best to post a log of what is currently going on with your system


Please download Farbar Recovery Scan Tool and save it to your desktop.

Note: You need to run the version compatible with your system.
You can check here if you're not sure if your computer is 32-bit or 64-bit

  • Double-click to run it. When the tool opens click Yes to disclaimer.
  • Press the Scan button.
  • It will make a log (FRST.txt) in the same directory the tool is run. Please attach it to your reply.
  • The first time the tool is run, it also makes another log (Addition.txt). Please attach it to your reply as well.

Thank you



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If you are still seeking assistance with this, in addition to the above, I'd also request an Autoruns log:

Create an Autoruns Log:
Please download Sysinternals Autoruns from here and save it to your desktop.

Note: If using Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 10 then you also need to do the following:

                Right-click on Autoruns.exe and select Properties
                Click on the Compatibility tab
                Under Privilege Level check the box next to Run this program as an administrator
                Click on Apply then click OK

  • Double-click Autoruns.exe to run it.
  • Once it starts, please press the Esc key on your keyboard.
  • Now that scanning is stopped, click on the Options button at the top of the program and verify that the following are checked, if they are unchecked, check them:
        Hide empty locations
        Hide Windows entries
  • Click on the Options button at the top of the program and select Scan Options... then in the Autoruns Scan Options dialog enable/check the following two options:
        Verify code signatures
        Check VirusTotal.com
  • Once that's done click the Rescan button at the bottom of the Autoruns Scan Options dialog and this will start the scan again, this time let it finish.
  • When it's finished and says Ready. on the lower left of the program window, please click on the File button at the top of the program and select Save and save the file to your desktop and close Autoruns.
  • Right click on the file on your desktop that you just saved and hover your mouse over Send To and select Compressed (zipped) Folder
  • Attach the ZIP folder you just created to your next reply

If you're still having heat issues with the system or experiencing any performance issues let us know and we'll do our best to help.  Also let us know if you've tried undervolting at all yet; it's a great way to reduce power usage and thus reduce heat without sacrificing performance, though the degree to which you're able to undervolt depends greatly on the silicon lottery.  The following videos will give you good idea of what the "silicon lottery" is in case you're curious (basically, while guaranteed to run within certain specifications with regards to clocks/voltages etc., the actual power/voltage needed to run at the spec speeds can vary greatly between different individual chips even if they are the same product/SKU/model (your 8750H may run cooler or hotter than mine and thus may actually require less or more voltage than mine does to reach Intel's stated reference clocks and turbo boost speeds etc. and the same goes for your GPU, the GTX 1050Ti):

Also, if you haven't done so already, I'd highly recommend getting a cooling pad with built in fans as they can work wonders for helping a laptop's airflow and cooling capabilities, especially for those areas not directly contacted by the built in fans/heatsinks such as the motherboard and its VRMs; components which draw a lot of power and can generate a good deal of heat and which likely are monitored by Dell's fan speed/thermal management utility built into the system's firmware, and it also helps to keep NVMe SSDs' controller chips cooler which helps them to last longer and perform better (though ironically the actual memory modules that store the data on NVMe drives actually like to run at hotter temps to get the best performance and longevity; a strange contradiction and the primary reason NVMe heatspreaders are generally placed across the entire face of an NVMe drive so that the heat from the hotter controller chip is dispersed to the memory modules the spreader/sticker is also affixed to).

This is the cooling pad I'm currently using with my rig (a 15.6" Eurocom laptop with an 8700K and a GTX 1080) and my temps are definitely lower with the laptop sitting on top of it:


It's nothing super extravagant but it does the job.  The blue LEDs aren't too bright which I appreciate and the spread of the 3 large fans give good airflow without adding a lot of noise (larger fans can push more air at lower speeds thus reducing noise while improving thermals; this is also why those small fans in your laptop can sound like a jet getting ready to take off when they really crank up because those tiny fans have to spin really fast to move a significant amount of air for cooling your system's components).

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By the way, if you need guidance on undervolting let me know; it's something I've done quite a bit, particularly with Intel i7 CPUs (including my very own 8750H which resides in my other laptop).  With a decent undervolt you can get your CPU running cool as a cucumber when idle and decrease heat and power draw when it's under load and running at turbo boost speeds.

Sadly, GPUs are less flexible, especially laptop GPUs, but thankfully most NVIDIA 10xx series laptop chips are what are known as 'golden samples' (basically silicon lottery winners deliberately binned/hand picked by NVIDIA for their superior efficiency with regards to power and thermals), at least for their non-'Max-Q' models, as NVIDIA wanted to finally provide laptop GPUs capable of actually gaming at decent framerates without needing massive coolers or tons of power (very good things when dealing with a system that is supposed to be thin, light and portable); this is also why you'll find NVIDIA's laptop GPUs for the 10xx series generally rated just slightly higher in performance compared to their desktop counterparts (my 1080 is rated at 4% stronger than the stock desktop GTX 1080 and my laptop GTX 1070 can give some desktop GTX 1070Tis a run for their money, often matching or even beating them in graphics benchmarks and gaming framerates).  That said, unfortunately I don't think the laptop 1050Tis got the same binning treatment, so your results may vary (according to all the info I've been able to track down, NVIDIA's binning for laptop chips was restricted to the non-Max-Q models of the GTX 1060 6GB, GTX 1070 and GTX 1080) but hopefully once we've tweaked all we can to improve thermals you won't have to deal with noisy fans any longer, at least not as often.

A big factor is also Optimus, the technology used for managing which applications run on which GPU (the Intel integrated graphics vs the more powerful dedicated GTX 1050Ti) and we can use NVIDIA's control panel app and Microsoft's graphics settings to try and force more of your non-game apps to use the integrated graphics which should reduce power and heat, thus reducing the conditions that cause the fans to ramp up.

The NVIDIA Control Panel can be accessed by right-clicking on your desktop background and selecting NVIDIA Control Panel.  Once it's opened up, click on the Desktop menu item at the top of the window and make sure that the Display GPU Activity Icon in Notification Area option is checked/enabled as illustrated below:


This will allow you to check in real-time which applications are running on your dedicated NVIDIA graphics card and any apps which aren't listed are running on your integrated Intel graphics or are being rendered through software (via the CPU; a common technique for normal desktop apps which either aren't coded to or wouldn't really benefit from dedicated graphics acceleration).  The tray icon and its window which is shown when you left-click on it are shown below for reference:


Next, to manage which apps run on your dedicated graphics, return to the NVIDIA Control Panel and select the Manage 3D settings section from the menu on the left and then select the Program Settings tab as shown in the image below:


You will generally want any 3D games to run on your dedicated graphics to give you the best performance (and I generally recommend running your system fans on high/max if possible during intensive 3D games, both for the sake of performance as well as your hardware's longevity), but other apps such as web browsers and office applications can be run from the integrated graphics solution which, while less powerful, is fully capable of adequate acceleration for streaming HD video content and other basic graphical tasks.

You can also configure the option under section 2. Specify the settings for this program: for Power management mode to Optimal power so that the application runs with a focus on saving battery life/power and thus running cooler vs the Prefer maximum performance or Adaptive options which will try and give the best performance, sacrificing thermals and battery/power efficiency in the process.  For 3D games, as long as you're plugged into power, you'll likely want to select the Prefer maximum performance option (or you could set it to Adaptive for a sort of middle ground between top performance and power saving), just remember that doing so means you'll also want to ramp your fans up when gaming as mentioned previously (and really, you should do so anyway for the sake of your hardware's longevity as I also mentioned, because even in power saving mode, running intensive 3D games can generate a lot of heat, and heat is the enemy of electronics).

There are also some power settings you can tune in Windows to improve battery life/efficiency which are likely to result in cooler temps, just remember that you are likely sacrificing some performance in the process, so prioritizing performance vs power and thermals is always a trade off, but hopefully we can tune the system to a reasonable balance that will get you the relatively quiet/low fan speeds you seek without killing your performance in any more demanding applications and games you might run.

I'll let you chew on this info and wait to hear back on how things went with the steps you were running through from the other thread to see how things are going and we'll proceed from there if needed, just let us know.


Edited by exile360
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What a wealth of fantastic information thank you to all! :) As stated, before returning to this post I performed the steps I said I would, in the order I listed them. 

1. Installing 2x additional thermal pads on internal heat sinks

- Complete

2. Downloading and installing Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework 8.2.11000.2996, A04

- Complete

Neither worked, so I’m on to step 3. which means I will now commence reading the abundance of information kindly provided by you and commence researching undervolting. Very respectfully, I don’t want to bandaid the Dell manufacturer fan revving fault by adding additional hardware at this stage (a cooling pad) for the principle that the workstation shouldn’t need one at these temperatures and also because the cooling pad will undoubtedly create additional noise. Given noise is what my primary problem is it would kind of replace one problem with another.

Will return after undervolting learning and implementation testing is complete.

Thank you all again. I’ve never found a forum with such kind and helpful ppl in my life. It’s as though I’ve walked in to the Twilight Zone (a good episode).

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Thank you Exile and Advanced Setup. I should have included more in my response. I’ll get on to both versions of logs requested of me and return.

I also do acknowledge your advice regarding larger style fans on a cooling pad being quieter. I simply want to try and solve this without new hardware (if possible of course) if not I’ll go to your link and purchase as a last resort.

I have worked on this too long to simply admit defeat at this stage by buying a cooling pad though I appreciate after all else fails it could be a viable option and will approach it then of course.

Additionally I’m excited about learning about undervolting and will. 

I will return with what’s expected of me...

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If you didn't see my link in the original thread to the tutorial on undervolting, you can find it here.  I recommend reading through the entire article to familiarize yourself with Throttlestop (the app I recommend for both overclocking and undervolting Intel CPUs, especially in laptops as I've used it many times across multiple systems for this purpose) and starting with a modest undervolt of around -100Mv or so, though in my own personal experience, all of the Intel chips I've undervolted (including my own 8750H) were able to undervolt to at least around -120Mv or more.  The great thing about undervolting is that, while it can lead to instability if pushed too far, the worst that happens is that you have to reduce your undervolt to a higher value (i.e. if it is unstable at -125Mv, you try something like -120Mv instead) as there is no danger in frying your chip or harming your system or VRMs as there would be with overclocking because you're reducing power and heat, not increasing it (high voltage and high heat are what kill hardware, not a lack of voltage).  This means that while it is possible to undervolt so far that the CPU won't have enough power to run properly and hit its rated clockspeeds, it isn't possible to do any irreversible damage to your system or hardware, so at worst you end up with a chip that draws the same voltage and generates the same amount of heat as it did stock before you started, and at best you end up with a chip that uses less power and runs slightly cooler so the potential downside is negligible at best :).

Yes, the cooling pads are generally pretty quiet, and of course you can buy one without any LEDs (I chose the one I did based on the design, materials, reviews and functions more so than aesthetics as I have my laptop closed sitting on a desk connected to an external display and peripherals much like a desktop would be most of the time, so the small amount of glow from the blue LEDs doesn't bother me), but I hear you on not wanting to have to add a hardware based solution to enhance what should be adequate cooling provided by the manufacturer.  In my opinion, laptop makers, especially those employing Intel 14NM I7s such as the one in your laptop and mine, would be doing their customers a great service if they would provide more robust cooling solutions and perhaps even ship the systems with a slight, safe and tested undervolt out of the box rather than trying to create the thinnest/lightest laptop possible while sacrificing thermals for a smaller, sleeker design.  I've owned several 'gaming' laptops with high-end Intel chips and every single one ran rather hot under load and was at least marginally improved, without sacrificing any performance, by undervolting the chip.  I'm hopeful that this will be your experience as well and that it will resolve the issue you're having with noisy fans, but we'll see.

In the meantime, you mentioned that you couldn't recall the name of the thermal paste I'd recommended in the previous thread; it's called Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut and it is one of the highest rated, longest lasting thermal pastes available.  It lasts a lot longer than most pastes because its chemical composition is such that it can take high temperatures over long periods of time without drying out as fast as most pastes tend to do, meaning it doesn't need to be replaced as often and it is also known for providing very good thermal performance, transferring heat very well between the chip and the heatsink, potentially leading to lower temperatures.  Its features also make it an ideal solution for GPUs, especially in laptops where thermals tend to be more of an issue due to the limited space and smaller heatsinks compared to desktop components so if none of the other proposed solutions yield the results you desire, that could also be an option if you're willing to spend the money on the paste (it can be on the pricey side, but you can catch it on sale from time to time on the sites that carry it such as Amazon, Newegg and most other sites where enthusiast PC components are sold).

Edited by exile360
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Hi guys,

I wanted you to know I replied to both your posts within 30 mins with everything requested of me (2x logs etc) and even tried private messaging you both and everything was blocked and marked as spam. In the end the forum wouldn't even allow me to private message anyone or post a simple line of a few words saying everything I try to submit is marked as spam and I am desperately trying to communicate. I started a Malwarebytes ticket about it and haven't heard a peep back from them. Needless to say things aren't going to well for me. Upon all this happening I was a hit with a new priority problem which has delayed my troubleshooting of this. I managed to successfully post about it here under the General Computer Problems section:

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