I opened a ticket with our IT department for this issue. They ran the onboard Dell diagnostics, which returned no issues. As such, they've essentially just given up and told me to live with it...but this fan noise is driving me insane and I have to do something about it. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to when the fan spins up or why. I check Task Manager and nothing seems to be using a lot of CPU or power. Everything I run on the laptop is very standard: Google Chrome (and/or Firefox, and/or Opera), Outlook, Slack, etc. My point is I'm not running any VMs, SQL, AutoCAD...nothing that is resource intensive at all. Also, this laptop is less than a year old and has more-than-adequate specs: Core i5 7300U CPU, 512GB NVMe SSD, 16GBs of RAM.
The bottom of the laptop where the vent is does feel hot to the touch, so I am running Core Temp and Open Hardware Monitor to check the temperature of the machine. Currently they are showing CPU core max temp is around 88C (Core Temp) 79C (Open Hardware Monitor). A quick Google search shows that is well above normal..? I have just now placed the laptop up on two large (empty) coffee cups to allow the bottom of the laptop to "breathe" more...and this actually seems to be helping. However, this issue is so sporadic it is hard to be sure.
All Dell drivers and firmware patches are up-to-date and installed. What else can I do here to stop this excessive fan noise?