Dell Inspiron 15 5548 possible performance issue

Discussion in 'Laptop Hardware' started by snax111, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. snax111

    snax111

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    About a week ago I bought a new Dell Inspiron 15 5548. It has an i7-5500U CPU @ 2.4 GHz, and 16GB of RAM. It was about $1000.

    I don't game or do anything very strenuous to the computer. I just use the browser and a few other applications such as iTunes. I watch movies, manage files, occasionally play some flash games, pretty basic stuff. Anyway, after the first day using it I started noticing some symptoms of thermal throttling, like audio being slowed down and distorted, and seeing occasional graphical glitches. These symptoms only happen on occasion, but it can occur even if I just rebooted it. The thing that causes it the most is opening the start screen. If I'm listening to anything before clicking the start screen, the audio will distort for a second. Another thing is using Windows Media Player. If music is playing while I'm using it, then as soon as I close the application the audio will distort and beep for a moment. I experienced it pretty badly earlier today. I opened an ordinary application and the CPU spiked to 100%, and made this incredible beeping noise for a good 4 seconds.

    Also, when I go to unlock the laptop, after I sign in, the mouse sometimes lags a lot for a few seconds. I also noticed some graphical glitches once while booting it up. Despite this, the laptop is generally fast but seems to be unable to handle certain normal tasks.

    So my question is basically, does this sound like normal behavior for a brand new computer with these specs, or does it sound defective? My old laptop was an i5 Duo core with 8 GB of memory, and it never did this until I had it for about 2 years. Only then did I start to experience some of the audio problems and other performance issues. That point of reference is what makes me question this one.

    Thanks for any advice.
     
    snax111, Jun 12, 2015
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  2. snax111

    Connie858

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    Can I ask if you have let the system do all the updates that it will be trying to do from new? They do take an incredible amount of time to download and install and there will be many of them. Also what OS are you one? Windows 8 or Windows 8.1? It could be that it is trying to download Service Pack 1 in the background and this is taking a lot of the CPU time.

    Otherwise I would suggest you run an extended diagnostics from the startup (having powered down) and take it from there.

    Dell PC Diagnostics
    1. Go to the Dell PC Diagnostics page.
    2. Choose a Diagnostic Type by clicking the button next to Full, Symptom, or Component.
    3. Click the Run Diagnostics button.
    4. To start the analysis, read and agree to the Terms and Conditions.
    5. A full diagnostic takes about 15-20 minutes.
     
    Connie858, Jun 12, 2015
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  3. snax111

    snax111

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    I'm using 8.1 and I've installed all the updates.

    I ran the diagnostic and all the test passed. It recommends "general maintenance" by running system restore if any recent changes were made, and by keeping dust out of the fans. I'm not sure if it says this automatically or if it's saying it because the performance wasn't perfect.
     
    snax111, Jun 13, 2015
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  4. snax111

    Connie858

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    My gut feeling would be that it needs to be rebuilt and all the software reinstalled, but I would have done that with a brand new laptop anyway for a number of reasons not least of all I am an IT Engineer and hate the idea of someone else having built my machine for me, I prefer to have the data on a different partition (drive letter) and finally for the very reasons you are experiencing, you have no idea if someone on a production line ignored an error when the machine was built because they are paid by how many machines they get built and don't care if there are a few errors during built because the machine works and it passes all the tests.
    this bit does have me concerned though for a couple of reasons. One is that the CPU usage is at 100% but then I have no idea what you were using on the machine at the time, how many web pages you had open and when you last restarted the laptop. But the beeping is more of an issue combined with the CPU usage. It could indicate a couple of issues, the most likely of which (without further investigation and knowledge of your situation) is that the CPU was overheating as a result of being at 100%. Without knowing what the sound sounded like (I'm assuming metallic would be about right?)

    At the moment, everything you mentioned in your OP is suggesting overheating to me. BUT and this is a big but, I am guessing here, I simply don't have enough information. Just to confirm, you are not using the machine on your knees or anything like that are you - worse still on a quilt in bed? I ask because people do, and laptops just like desktops need an air supply to keep cool and laptops have a much harder time of it than desktops for obvious reasons. Have a look under and around your laptop - all of those vents need to be given a reasonable air supply. If you have any underneath the laptop, you need to ensure that they are not blocked and if you are using your machine on your knees or in bed, then try running it on a tray or large book for a few days and see if things improve.
     
    Connie858, Jun 13, 2015
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  5. snax111

    snax111

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    Thanks for all the help. I'm glad to know what your gut feeling is. I know it's hard to diagnose something like this without seeing the machine, so I was really just looking for hunches on whether or not this behavior sounded normal. I can still return the laptop to the store, so I was thinking about just exchanging it for another copy of the same model.

    The beeping sound is hard to describe exactly. It's like a low pitched drone, or a prolonged beep. It doesn't beep on and off, it's one pitch but it normally only lasts for about a second. It's very low pitched though, like the sound that a robot might make in a cartoon. It happens as a result of doing things that apparently stress the computer, and can only be heard while playing some other audio. As far as what I was doing when it happened that time, I remember it wasn't anything intensive. I restarted it less than a day ago. I think I had Firefox open with 5 or so tabs. I had iTunes playing, maybe I had notepad opened. Then I opened the other app and it happened.

    All of the vents are located under the laptop actually, but I'm not using it on a bed or my knees. It's on a normal desk.
     
    snax111, Jun 14, 2015
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  6. snax111

    Connie858

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    Right now another gut feeling is telling me this might be your best option.
    Makes sure you deregister the old machine in iTunes before you leave. It will make your life e easier in the long run.
     
    Connie858, Jun 15, 2015
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