Problem with Dell GX280

Discussion in 'Computers & Gadgets' started by vsrdan, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    I think I have a heating issue with my Dell GX280 system (at work). Whenever I use a "big" application (like Adobe), this thing starts screaming (fans run at full speed I guess) and I can feel the heat waves coming out of it. The air flow is very fast in the back of the case. Tried checking temperatures in BIOS, they don't have that facility in the BIOS.

    This is the system cofig:

    Pentium 4 3.4GHz (560)
    1GB DDR 400 Dual Channel
    Radeon X300 256MB
    160GB SATA HDD

    The system never freezes, nothing strange happens, just the "lawn mover" noise everytime I do something serious with it.

    Can somebody guess what's goiong on? This has 3 year on-site warranty. When I contacted "award winning" tech support, they asked me to take the system apart and test what fan makes the noise :mad: My guess is that this is either a BIOS or motherboard problem.
     
  2. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    33,064
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2000
    Sounds fake because there's no reason why Dell wouldn't set up service (or that it would take you more than 60 seconds to look at both fans), but i'll try to "help" you anyways.

    There are only 2 fans in the case: one in the PSU and near the heatsink. The heatsink fan is in the back of the case on the ATX case and near the front on the BTX case. The P4 3.4GHz (P4 550, not 560 as you posted) is only an 84W processor, so its doubtful that you "feel the heat waves coming out of it", especially if "air flow is very fast in the back of the case."

    The two things are exclusive. If the fan was running slowly under a heavy load, it's possible that the exhaust air would be very hot. If it's a light load like "Adobe" and the fan is blowing fast, the air will be cool.

    Even when encoding (100% on both logical processors), my GX280 with P4 551 and 6600GT only has a moderate exhaust temperature and the fan blows at a medium speed, still pretty quiet. Even with gaming, the system doesn't run hot.
     
  3. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    If you think this is a fake, please don't bother to offer help. I've had very bad experiences with Dell. However, I have no choice at work but to go for a Dell. If you work for Dell.. thanks for the "help".

    Here is part of their e-mail to my query (I deleted names in this):

    Thank you for choosing Dell Technical Support.

    I understand that you are experiencing issue related to system noise.In
    order to determine the correct source of noise,I would request you to
    please follow the steps given in the following link to identify the
    exact source of noise,which I would replace once the faulty part is
    identified. Please spcify whether in case of replacement ,would you like
    to avail parts only service or would you prefer onsite service in that
    case?

    http://support.dell.com/support/top.../en/document?dn=1033989&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19

    The above link addresses"How Can I Determine What in My Desktop Computer
    is Making Noise?

    If you require additional help on this issue, please reply to this
    e-mail (without modifying the subject line) so we can continue to assist
    in a resolution. If your issue is urgent and requires immediate
    assistance, please utilize our 24 hour phone support at 800-822-8965.

    Thank you for contacting Dell.
     
  4. DiscoStu

    DiscoStu [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,142
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Is this the mini tower/desktop? We have the same problem with ours, Dell kinda just tells us to deal with it. For us, its the processor fan that fire up super loud. Blame the Prescott I guess :confused:
     
  5. machwireless

    machwireless [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,193
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    I kinda doubt its a fan. Im thinking ur HD is going bad. had that prob with a Dell Optiplex years ago. Open the case and target where the noise is coming from. In those computers the fans will not change speed when you operate large programs but the rotation of the HD will.

    I feel you on the Dell situation. Their tech support is a joke unless you buy 10394308 computers from them.
     
  6. machwireless

    machwireless [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,193
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Processor fan could be the issue but im leanig toward the HD. Open the case and find the noise.
     
  7. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    I guess so, too. Processor fan is connected to a duct which exhausts hot air directly to outside (that's where I feel hot when it is screaming loud). I don't think changing a fan would do any good.. this is a more seriuous issue.

    I am really scared to use this system for any work (analyzing and storing research data - main stuff I am supposed do with this). For me, this thing is pretty useless. We have low-end older Dells (P-II's and P-4's) at work, and they are working fine.
     
  8. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    BTW: This is a mid-tower.
     
  9. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    HDD is working OK, but I'll give it a try tomorrow when I go to work. But I really think it is the CPU fan which makes the noise and CPU overheats. Thanks for comments/suggestions!
     
  10. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    33,064
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2000
    Why not just call Dell and get service set up? You seem to have given up after sending one email. LOL

    You tried to make it seem like you exhausted support without getting service in both threads. email troubleshooting is very slow.
     
  11. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    pxc you are just making me :mad:

    Have you ever called Dell support? Hours on the phone listening to music and at the end to talk to somebody who doesn't even understand English. I have more important stuff to do at work.

    I just posted this one problem to seek any helpful hints from others to get this piece of junk back to work without wasting my time.

    If you are interested in I have more interesting stuff about Dell (related to purcheses I made both at work and for personal use) - there is no point talking about those right now. One good thing Dell did, I should appreciate, was that they made me a system builder.

    Everyday innocent unsuspecting people getting into trouble after purchasing this kind of computers. If you love Dell, that's not my problem. However, you have no right to label people "liars" and try to save Dell's #@s when you don't know facts.
     
  12. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    33,064
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2000
    So you didn't try calling in? You won't have to wait "hours". The last couple of times I called in to small business support, it took 5-10 minutes to reach a tech. Dell's business support is in the US. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4853511/

    All i'm saying is that in the time you've been messing around with the problem, you could have had service set up and your problem solved already. But if you prefer to complain and go through email support, more power to you. :rolleyes:

    You seem to be the one missing facts.
     
  13. machwireless

    machwireless [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,193
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005

    The Indian Que is starting to make me prejudice. I feel ur pain.
     
  14. towert7

    towert7 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,930
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    if you have free onsite service, and its unlimited for so many years, use it by all means. A professional will come out and determin what's up. He might even have a little laser temp sensor to see how hot the heat sink is getting to see if its "overheating". Sometimes these people do not work for dell, but a smaller computer service business.
    I had the pleasure of seeing one of my lousey roomates get his laptop taken apart by a guy, and he knew what he was talking about.

    Is the hot air comming out of both the case and the PSU? The PSU might have the only variable speed fan in your system, though i have no idea.

    When you do get to work, and determin what exactly is making the sound, ide love to know.

    Again, call support, or have someone above you in IT do it for you(if this applies to you, which i will assume it does, because you were "forced" into getting dells).
     
  15. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    I have had so many issues with this system. This is the most serious one I have right now. IT/Computing guys in the Dept. don't know how to fix this. They know as much as I know :) about this thing. Also, I cannot ask people above me bacuse they already wasted lot of time (hours talking to many people at Dell) for me on this system when Dell replaced the brand new (and faulty) LCD monitor with a refurbished one (dead pixels and other issues) just after 20 days of use (we paid for a brand new monitor and almost ended up getting a piece from their junk yard). I don't want to continuously bother others in the Dept. to fix this one faulty system. That's the real reason for me to post this (original) question here.

    I guess I am going to e-mail Dell one more time and see what they'd do. I am done talking to them over the phone - since long time ago.

    Once they sell a piece of junk to you, all the problems come with that thing is yours (that's their customer service).
     
  16. towert7

    towert7 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,930
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    ever tried their dell support through online chat? that way if they give you an answer that is not acceptable, you can tell them right away, whereas e-mail may take 2-3 days for a turn around.

    Anyway, I bet your company or place of employment got a "good deal" on the dells. Good deals usually mean non-american jobs were used for cheaper labor costs.(if your not in america, sorry this sounds very biased)
    I wish more US companies would purchase products that support people working in the US. [​IMG]
     
  17. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Since this thread is heading somewhere else without solving my computer problem.. here are some info that might be useful. My workplace is a state govt. institute. My job is in scientific research. I use this computer to record, analyze data, and compile reports/presentations, etc. That's why this is so important to me. By the way, I am in the USA.

    Mr. pxc says he was using Dell's for several years (in another thread regarding a crashed dual Xeon system) without a single problem. I've been using Dells since 1996 (in two other countries and in the USA). We don't have to waste time talking about the past. I wanted some good advise to fix the CURRENT PROBLEM WITH THIS GX280 I have at work. I don't do paperwork at my work. Almost everything is handled through computers. Try to understand the situation when you have a computer which is about to crash anytime at a workplace like that :( That's my problem. I didn't mean to start a fight with Dell spporters here.. I just wanted to fix the problem I have. So, if anybody have anymore advises (I could try this week), I really appreciate those. Thanks all for comments so far! :)
     
  18. hound

    hound 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,416
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    I would say run a disk check for sure...then look into replacing your CPU fan. Also, if there are any other slots for fans that are unfilled, fill them. I reckon that dell would use the cheapest fans possible, so replacing their stock with something quality might make a difference. Otherwise, just try running the thing with big apps till it burns to the ground, and then get a replacement under your warranty...
     
  19. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    33,064
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2000
    step 1: call dell
    step 2: get service set up
    step 3: problem(s) solved a day or 2 later

    Your posts are incredible.
     
  20. s10010001

    s10010001 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,468
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    We use Dell GX270s at work, There 3.0Ghz CPUs. The fan on the back of the case is a 92x38mm Nidec DC fan (Product link ) the one the gx270s use is a M34859, witch if you look at the link you will see is 110CMF max at 50DBA!!!!

    The fan is on a thermal sensor, so questions: Look at the fan, find the sensor, is it damaged? if its not that ill just bet its a combination of you 3.4Ghz CPU (one hot mofo!) and the location of the computer? Is it hot where it is? Because the fan is desinged to get faster as it get hotter. Assumming the sensor is not dammaged im sure it jsut getting lud because it overheating?? What do you expect it a 3.4Ghz intel chip.
     
  21. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    33,064
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2000
    The P4 3.4GHz Dell ships is an 84W processor, 2 watts hotter than the Northwood 3GHz and 5 watts cooler than the S478 Prescott 3GHz. :rolleyes:
     
  22. s10010001

    s10010001 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,468
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    thats still hot as shit, my GX270 with a 3.0Ghz Prescott runs hot as hell, when the comptuer was under my desk It would rev that fan full blast at least 2 times a day. When i moved it to on top my desk It has not done it since. (I do have 3 computers under my desk at work so its a tad hot down there)

    The Dell BIOS dose not controll the fan im only outputs 12v and monitors the RPM. the fan is controller soly by the thermal DIOTE o nthe fan itself, so its not the mobo or the BIOS doing it..
     
  23. Mr_Evil

    Mr_Evil 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,700
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Ok, sounds like the thermistor on the fan is bad. I've had a couple of them in my territory that'd do the same thing. Call tech support, tell them you need a new CPU fan and they should be able to send out a tech on the next business day. If you work for a Gov't agency, odds are you have Gold tech support. You'll be on hold 5 minutes tops and get somebody in TX or GA. I can swap em out in under 10 minutes.

    Certified: Optiplex, Dimension, Precision, Inspiron, Latitude, Precision Mobile.
     
  24. s10010001

    s10010001 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,468
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    It seriusly may still be a good fan, and jsut need to be that hot. Dell has a shitty ass "non-direct" CPU fan it pulls air thru a non so air tite duct. The CPU fan is the exaust fan, so if its gettign remotly hot it may need that might air flow to pull air off the CPU HS.. you can call them anyway, they will send you a fan and you jsut box up your old one in the box the new one comes in..but ill bet it still dose it..

    Man our next batch of workstations are going to be GX280...
     
  25. Mr_Evil

    Mr_Evil 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,700
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Wait, I just remembered something. I had a workorder up at my school once (local community college) they had a GX280 with Socket T prescott mid-tower with the very same problem. Fan would kick into high gear all the time. I replaced the fan first, didn't do squat. I noticed the Heatsink (which is the BIGGEST freakin heatpipe I've ever seen) wasn't getting warm at all up near the fan, and was blisteringly hot at the base. The system needed a new heatsink, my guess is that the heatpipe had a pinhole leak in one of the solder joints and all the coolant escaped. So it might behoove the OP to ask for a new heatsink too.

    BTW, Dell's on-site service does not cover initial troubleshooting, that's what the phone monkeys are for.
     
  26. s10010001

    s10010001 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,468
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    we might have a diffrent type of ocontract with them, but I just call them and tell them what I need replaced..

    Last time it went something like this..

    Me: Game my account #, name, service tag of the particular box
    them: ok whats the problem
    me: I need the motherboard replaced
    Them: Is it bad?
    me: yea, It wont post, I pulled all the parts and tried them in a diffrent box, everythign eles worked but the mobo in this box will not post, and the south bridge has got a burn mark bubble on it..
    them: OK we will sent you one it will be there tommorow morning..

    this was at 7:00 in the morning..the replacement motherboard arived at my work that after noon bout 4:00..

    But yea if there is a chance the HS is bad too, the have them send you a new HS and rear fan...shit ask for a new CPU as well.. lol if the stuff you send back is in working order then they will just use it in another box anyway...
     
  27. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Light a 75W regular bulb and see if you can touch it after 5min or so. That's how hot a 75W could be.. then imagine a 85W. A CPU is not as big as a light bulb. Talking number of watts wouldn't solve this problem I have.
     
  28. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    33,064
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2000
    Can I put a .25C/W heatsink and fan on it? I'd gladly touch it then. :D

    The solution to your problem is to just simply call Dell. I called this morning and got through to an operator in 2 minutes and to a tech 2 minutes after that. :rolleyes:
     
  29. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,233
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Make sure you have the "Performance" heatsink, it has more heatpipes, the insane spinning fan noise issue was common on the GX270's with the stock heatsinks..

    Found this post just now in the dell forum about GX280 noise...fixed with performance heatsink...

    http://forums.us.dell.com/supportfo...other&message.id=16708&query.id=291671#M16708
     
  30. dextrous

    dextrous Gawd

    Messages:
    911
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2002
    Last time I called mine went like this (for an optiplex GX270):

    Me: This system has a bad motherboard. Everytime it POSTs it give an error about a thermal event.
    Them: Yeah sounds like the motherboard. I can overnight you one today. Do you want parts only?
    Me: Yeah, Parts only.
    Them: Okay here is your case number if you need to call back. Have a good day blah blah blah.

    Has Dell's support finally gotten better? I was only on hold for 2 mins max and got somebody who spoke English as a first language. I work for an international company with sites all over the US and abroad but they never buy long warranties because we never fix machines if they are more than 2 years old or so. So I know we don't have a gold account with them or anything. I called at about 2:00 PM and the replacement board was there before 9:00AM the next day.
     
  31. Mr_Evil

    Mr_Evil 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,700
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Shit, I had to call on a Dimension today and I got India in like 3 minutes....she actually UNDERSTOOD ENGLISH! I needed a new DVD-ROM for the system, told her it wouldn't read any of the 4 discs I had lying around. And sho'nuff got a DVD-ROM drive to replace tomorrow.
     
  32. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Contacted Dell today (by e-mail - after listening to the "music" for few minutes) to obtain a heatsink, fan, etc. to replace faulty parts. Hopefully they'll reply soon! I am pretty sure it is a defective heatsink/fan by now (did some benchmark tests to check the system today. The noise almost freaked out others in the office, but the system didn't fail).

    Thanks to all who responded with all the good information :)

    Will update here when I receive the parts (or something important happens).
     
  33. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Dell says (a part of the e-mail):

    Thank you for contacting Dell Technical Support.

    I apologize for the problems you have encountered with your Dell system. We
    appreciate the opportunity to work with you to resolve the situation.

    I have arranged an on-site service call for your Dell system to replace the
    heatsink. ... etc, etc.

    So, I think they'll fix it soon!
     
  34. DiscoStu

    DiscoStu [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,142
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Good luck!

    I work for a school district and we have about 100 of the little mini GX280's in our CAD classrooms. Those fans all get super loud when under load. Luckily Dell finally moved to BTX so hopefully the new model we're buying this year isn't as nasty.
     
  35. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,233
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Why wouldn't they understand English, India is a former British colony...lol.

    I work with engineers from India, their proficiency in the English language would put some of the people posting on the forums who's native tongue is English to shame...

    :p

    (I'm pulling your leg!!)
     
  36. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    :rolleyes: Again this thread is heading towards somewhere else :rolleyes:

    Guys this is about the heating/fan noise issue of my GX280.. not about outsourcing or Indians in Dell's tech support. I don't care whether they outsource their tech support to India or somewhere else. I was worried about the overall quality of their service offered to me for this system.

    Afterall, more than 99% (corrected below) of computer hardware is made in Asia, and I know there are excellent computer techs in Asian countries (compared to most of those in Western countries).
     
  37. darktiger

    darktiger [H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2007

    Messages:
    11,819
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    I do repair work and also a Dell certified repair tech. The GX280 have a defective Heatsink/heatpipe. This makes the system fan go super loud. You have to call dell and tell them the problem.

    **nevermind problem already answered....
     
  38. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Dell says somebody will come and fix it soon! Thanks for the information :)
     
  39. towert7

    towert7 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,930
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Are you just guessing, or do you actually have sources?
    I would expect a greater percentage then 1% is made in the US.

    Get back to me on that if you would, i'm interested in the exact percentages.
     
  40. vsrdan

    vsrdan Gawd

    Messages:
    663
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005

    Sorry I was wrong (apologies).. here are the statistics (top exporters, not makers):

    China : 36%
    Taiwan : 12%
    India : 14%
    Russia : 1%
    Turkey : 6%
    Korea : 2%
    Pakistan : 5%
    Hong Kong : 1%
    United States : 3%
    Rest Of World : 20%

    But I am yet to buy a piece of hardware made in USA.