Dear Dog and or MaximumPC forums members;
I have been having a big problem with my Inspiron. Just as many others have experienced, the ATI mobility Radeon 9600 Pro turbo GPU puts off a enormous amount of heat. That in itself is not the problem. The problem is that Dell installed the heatsink to the GPU with a waxy, plastic compound that doesn't transfer heat at all.
Using third party program, I8kfangui, I see that when I play 3D games my GPU temperature soars to over 100 degrees celsius (2D games hardly effect temps). It doesn't matter what resolution or detail level you set the game at, it will overheat within 30 minutes. Even with both fans working doubletime. 3D games such as Homeworld 2, C&C Generals etc. WILL play at max resolution (1920x1200) perfectly, but as soon as the GPU heats up, poof, whiteness surrounds and the screen and eventually envelopes the whole thing, and it's a complete graphics meltdown until I go back to the desktop or power off and back on.
Now what was the outsourced opinion based on the flipbook they read? I quote: "The game is not supported". So what they are saying is that because Dell messed up and didn't connect the heatsink with copper and thermal compound, that's the way the laptop is supposed to operate? I shouldn't have to sit the thing on my AC vents for it to run without overheating. The performance is great, even faster than my desktop, until it overheats and crashes the video subsystem. The audio still plays and when I minimize the game, you can see the direct correlation between the temperature of the GPU and the stability of what's on screen.
If my car overheated and stalled whenever I went above 30MPH, do you think that the dealership would say "those speeds are not supported"?
The system is designed to play 3D games, why else would Dell offer the 9600 card with 128MB?
Others who have this problem are told on the phone they must be using the system in high ambient heat conditions, we have been told directly by technical support that we are crazy because support has never heard of this problem.
I call BS, I know for a fact that many others are having this problem. There's a website detailing how to modify (and lose your warranty) your video card using a copper plate and thermal compound. If there wasn't a need for such a procedure, this site would not exist. And no, these aren't overclockers, these are just normal people who want their system to perform as advertised.
I think Dell may be in denial because I don't think many people who buy the 8600 opt for the high end video card. And for those that do, I doubt they use it for 3D gaming.
All I want is Dell to admit their mistake and make the changes to make their customers happy.
Does anybody know how to get a class action suit started? If this helps only 100 customer who got shafted, then it will be a success.
*edit* PS: If you have an Inspiron or XPS gaming laptop with the ATI Mobility 9700/9600 Pro Turbo and you experience the same problems, please reply here, I'd appreciate all the stories I can get.
Last edited by PorkFat on Thu Jul 22, 2004 10:46 am, edited 4 times in total.