Dell Mini 9 Hardware Issues / Problems Inform everyone on any issues or problems with your Dell Mini 9 hardware.

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thedanofsteel thedanofsteel is offline
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Question My battery life dropped and possible heat issue - 07-06-2009, 03:38 PM

I purchased my mini9 sometime around February with the stock 16GB drive, 512MB RAM and Ubuntu. Other options I have are BT and 1.3 camera. I immediately upgraded to 2GB RAM and installed XP Pro. In the beginning I am positive I was seeing 3-3 1/2 hour battery life maybe 4. I also updated the BIOS to A05 and battery life hadn't changed.

At the beginning of May I purchased a 32GB Runcore and installed Windows 7. Everything was working great except that I lost an hour of battery life! I'm not sure at what point this happened, it wasn't gradual. Battery Bar shows only 2 1/2 hours and I am lucky if it actually makes that, usually about 2. I keep the brightness about 2 notches above darkest and really only run one program at a time. If I'm browsing, 4 tabs tops in Firefox. I play a little Diablo 2 and really that's about it. I never have it on the AC adapter except when it's charging and I never charge it until it's almost drained. And BT is always off.

Another issue I was noticing is it seems to get pretty hot underneath. Around the wireless card and the RAM. I assume the heat is dissipating correctly because the keyboard also gets fairly warm. CoreTemp says anywhere from 31c to 40c though the first version I tried was saying 80c! I have read on these forums some folks having thermal pads on their drives and/or RAM but I don't have any of that on my board (should I?).

Someone please help. Thanks.
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holmes4 holmes4 is offline
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Default 07-06-2009, 04:33 PM

The stock STEC SSD had a thermal interface pad as a heat spreader, but most replacement SSDs do not. I don't think the pad had any useful effect - it's intended to be used to transfer heat to a heatsink. These pads are used between the CPU/chipset chips and the metal plate under the keyboard.

The issue with CoreTemp, etc., is that they tend to have the wrong "bias" for the temp. I found that CoreTemp needs a -20C adjustment to be accurate. Typically my system runs with CoreTemp reporting 50-60C.

It seems unlikely to me that heat is an issue. It may be that your RunCore SSD is drawing more power, though I have a 64GB RunCore and have not seen a decrease in runtime.

Mini 9|2GB RAM|64GB RunCore|Intel 5300|Windows 10
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Arnie-75 Arnie-75 is offline
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Default 07-21-2009, 03:28 PM

I don't know how many watts a RunCore draws but I swapped the stock SSD in an Asus 901go against a SuperTalent SSD.
I own a powermeter and compared the IDLE powerdraw. When I installed the SuperTalent power draw increased by about 1.6 watt! This is an increase of more than 10% which makes a able difference in battery life. I haven't measured the RunCore SSD yet but I guess it comes down to more speed = more power draw.

I also measured my Dell Mini9 which draws only 10.7 watts. Now if the RunCore would draw roughly as much as the SuperTalent, this would increase the overall current draw by 10-15%.
I think people should be aware of the fact that more performance often means more power draw. Most people just look at the performance but forget that this might decrease battery life really much.
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