I have a Dell Latitude E5540 system (i5-4300U CPU, 4GB RAM, Intel HD graphics; less than a year old) which has been running very slowly recently (as in: waiting for minutes to open Word document/web page). So I have wiped the system and installed a fresh version of Windows 7. However, the system is still very slow.

The Windows Performance Index gives 2,9 for Aero graphics and 1,9 for CPU. PassMark gives values that are far below comparable systems (279.7 overall, 394.1 CPU, 46.1 2D graphics, 224.5 memory; the lowest values for the same model with the same CPU and graphics are 5 to 10 times higher). 3D graphics and HDD results are fine. To make sure this isn't a Windows problem, I ran Phoronix on Ubuntu and also received very low results (RAMspeed SMP v3.5.0 (Integer): 2776.19; RAMspeed SMP v3.5.0 (Floating Point): 2321.41; C-Ray v1.1: 569.41; Apache Benchmark v2.4.7: 2059371).

However, Dell's own "My Dell" system test shows that the system passes all tests, as does Intel's processor Diagnostics Tool. On this basis, Dell support tells me this is not a hardware problem and they are won't take it as a warranty case.

Is there anything I can do to find the source of the problem, either to fix it myself or convince Dell to take it on?

  • Start with the obvious stuff. Is the CPU heat sink properly attached? Is the heat sink fan spinning? Is the system clogged with dust? Is the CPU temperature normal under load? – David Schwartz Jan 26 '15 at 12:04
  • Since you say "recently", are you saying originally it was OK? If so, I would not go after the benchmarks. Have you checked to see if any processes or resources are running unexpectedly, or are causing high CPU usage? Also you can check if the memory in use is approaching the physical amount (had this problem on a Vista laptop). – user3169 Jan 27 '15 at 1:59
  • @DavidSchwartz Yep, checked that, temperature's not an issue. – P_S Jan 27 '15 at 7:49
  • @user3169 No unexpected processes; I guess that would be unlikely after Windows reinstall and across operation systems. Also, more than 1 of 4 GB RAM available. – P_S Jan 27 '15 at 7:51
  • But originally the system speed was better, right? Or not? – user3169 Jan 27 '15 at 17:37

When 65w power is plug in the E5540, it is very very very slow to open something. Power plug out, working with battery only, all is very quick. It's strange but proven. At my office where there are a thousand of E5540, they replace 65w power by 90w power, and all is working quick and perfect for all now. Try the speed with and without the power attached and see the difference.

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