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This machine is known for multiple hardware failures. These are the most common problems known with this system:
- dGPU (AMD 8790M)
These parts do fail, but not constantly:
- Power supply (130W) (Newer chargers like the 0VJCH5 fixed this, but older chargers are prone to failure. Unplugging it and allowing it to completely drain will clear the issue up so you can use the existing adapter temporarily.)
Some parts that fail but are somewhat accepted are:
- Hard drive (Mostly happens on Seagate systems)
- Battery (Wear and tear)
I believe the GPU problem is related to the cooling used in this system. The cooler on the dual GPU model was designed to for in a machine constrained by the inclusion of an optical drive, which limits how much space Dell had for cooling. On MQ i7 models, this may cause the system to run hot and in some cases, throttle. The problem is a lot of these systems use these MQ processors, so this is something you need to watch out for.
If your GPU fails, it is soldered to the motherboard. In order to repair a failed GPU properly, you will need a replacement motherboard or a new GPU and a rework machine to fix it. Most people will not have a rework machine, so the best option for most people is a different motherboard. When you repair this issue, it is vital you use good thermal pads on the GPU. Copper shims may also be a good idea to help the machine cool the GPU due to the constrained cooling.
While good thermal pads and thermal paste work, this is often a patch fix to a deeper problem. While the fix works, the system will still run hot.
If you are buying one of these systems used, repasting it and replacing the GPU thermal pad (if needed) as soon as possible is recommended. While a service history is worth getting, it is not required.
In a Windows environment, this machine has issues with hibernation. This is fixed by resetting the S2 hibernation mode when it's persistent, but there is no real fix for this issue in Windows otherwise.
The issue can be fixed with a BIOS update that curves the issue, but Dell has not released this. If your system has volmgr errors, this is a key sign of this problem to watch for.
Note: You can use stronger adapters then the computer came with. However, downgrading is not an option. If you are having power supply problems with the i5 and i7 dual core models, pick up the Dell Slim 90W power adapter.
- 45W (Core i5 4300/4310M)
- 65W (Core i7 4600/4610M)
- 130W (Core i7 4800/4810MQ)
The Dell Latitude E6540 was introduced in 2013, making Dell one of the first companies to have a Haswell business laptop available for sale. This gave Dell an edge with Haswell.
This machine has shipped with many processor, video card and screen configurations. The best advice I can give you to determine your factory specs is to look the service tag up on Dell's website.
The Service tag and Express service code is located on the bottom access panel under the primary air intake vent, and can also be read in the BIOS. To look in the BIOS, the best way to get into the BIOS is to press the F2 key. Once you are in the system BIOS, find System Information under General.