Gaming Laptops Reviews, News

Dell Latitude 3540 Review (Radeon 8850M): solid midrange gaming option (if you catch a coupon)

++ Main reason to consider:

value for price: Radeon 8850M + 1080p display + I5-4200U for around $700 is possible.

– Main reason to avoid:

Considering a new machine, you can add a little more and get a lot more gaming performance and also value in the form of HDD and RAM.

Availability

NewRefurbished (would be my recommendation)

Pro:

+ Good gaming performance for the price with the Radeon 8850M (~GT 75M GDDR5)
+ Good enough 1080p display for movies and gaming
+ Case does not get hot almost at all.
+ Satisfying speakers
+ Solid design
+ Comfortable keys

Con:

– Not as fast as others for $100-$200 more (Y510p SLI, Eurocom Shark 2.0)
– Considerable auto throttling of CPU and GPU
– Keyboard is not backlit
– Possible software issues with video drivers

 

Introduction

Component
Description
PriceNew: $700-$800
Refurbished: $4580-$600
CPUI5-4200U
GPURadeon 8850M, core@575MHZ, GDDR5@1000MHZ
RAMSamsung 1x4GB DDR3@1600MHZ, 1.35v
HDDSeagate ST500LT012-9WS142 5400RPM
LCD PanelAU Optronics B156HW02
Weight / Dimensions2.3kg / 5.07lbs, 31.3mm (h) x 376 (w) x 259 (d)
Keyboardstandard (non-backlit)
Connection Portsright side: USB 2.0
left side: 2xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB 2.0, mic and headphones connection ports, 1x VGA, Power connection
rear: kensington lock
Camera1280x720; 30fps
WiFiWiFi: Atheros Communications AR9565
Ethernet: RealTek Semiconductor RTL8168/8111
Speakers2.0
Battery6 cell, 62Wh

The Dell Latitude 3540 / 15 3000 is Dell’s midrange low budget gaming laptop, in practice, though its roots are in the ‘business’ line. Priced at around $650-$730 w/ coupons ( with refurbished sometimes offered for as low as $470), the 3540 fills the $600-$800 price range which is somewhat lacks good performers currenty. It’s Radeon 8850M + I5 combination delivers a relatively good gaming performance for the buck. On top of that, you’ll also get a nice 1080p display and a solid case.

However, the 3540 faces some competition from below and from above. We’ll find out in that review what are the strong points and downsides of the 3540.

In the box

I’ve purchased it refurbished throufh eBay (also available through Dell outlet) with 1 year warranty. It came with the recovery discs and PSU.

Build quality, Case, design and looks

 

The Dell Latitude 3540 shell is mostly quite firm and not easily gets bent. Some parts at the bottom are more flexible, like the service panel and the DVD cover, however, I’ve found no major flaws. The display outer lid could / should have have been sturdier, though it is not less sturdy than many other laptops I’ve used, including pricey one.

Keyboard area is firm too and you’ll probably won’t notice any alarming flex – though some think it yields too much, I don’t feel the same. The screen hinges feel firm too. The palm rest is comfortable and doesn’t feel weak.

The bottom line is that the case build quality is ok and even above average for such a hardware and price.

The looks are solid but trying to be elegant. The 3540 is styled with silver and black colors. The outer lid has the a brushed alumium finish which is nice. I feel like the style is a bit bulky and uninspired, but it’s not a big deal. If you like the solid non-fuss style, you’ll probably find the 3540 pleasant to the eye.

Connection ports.

Should have been a better connections variety. Only VGA video out is available – no HDMI / DP will you find. I also think that more than the two USB 3.0 ports should have been available.

Maintenance. 

There is one service panel at the bottom which brings you to the HDD and DDR3. Other than that, you’ll have to take the laptop apart to the bones to see anything.

There is no extra HDD / mSata slot and only two DDR3 banks.

 

Keyboard and trackpad

Keyboard feels firm and keys quite responsive and comfortable. The keys are well spaced and feedback is good too. It is not perfect, but generally it felt nice to type with the Dell 3540 keyboard and I would consider that as one of the 3540 pluses. However, the keyboard is not backlit and it also lacks the standard menu key you’ll usually see besides the space key.

The keyboard keys movement could have been more smooth and the surface more pleasant to touch.

The trackpad is a standard trackpad with two separated buttons. Nothing to say really – it doesn’t yield under pressure and it works. I wish it would have been bigger though.

 

 

Sound & Speakers

The Dell Latitude 3540 comes with a 2.0 speaker system. The speakers produce an acceptable sound with bass being in existence, which is good. The sound generally sounds rather rich and deep. However, the speakers, which are located at the front bottom still suffer from the same artifact of many others – it sounds like the sound comes from inside a box, which is not surprising.

There is also some “hiss” sound from the speakers if volume is raised above some level (which is lower than 100%). I also think that the speakers produce a somewhat “washed” sound – but it was barely noticeable if at all (not sure if it’s just me)

I’d say that the sound quality is good enough, though. I was able to enjoy music right from the start – quality is ok, bass is there, so all in all, you should be mostly satisfied.

 

General subjective performance experience

The IO based operations really felt a bit slow, including booting. I don’t know if it’s the HDD alone (which is not a fast one) or some combination with the software loaded on the Dell. I removed many of the bloatware and indeed things got a lot better. Even the Acer V5-552g with basically the same HDD felt faster. Replacing the HDD would result in a significant difference.

However, the real problem was the whole software-hardware coordination. It seems that the Dell AMD drivers are a bit problematic and installing the new AMD 14.1 beta drivers resulted in higher performance, but also some software related errors, with the ability to shut down malfunctioning (software conflict) and some AMD drivers problems.

Moreover, the I5 and Radeon 8850M are underclocked/undervolted as soon as they’re loaded simultaneously (like in other laptops like the Acer V7). It is very annoying since the temperatures are quite low anyway and performance is clearly suffering from this behavior.  CPU is set on 1.6GHZ (base clock) and GPU core on 575MHZ (base clock too). The Radeon 8850M is a 725MHZ chip which means around 20% higher performance in potential and another 30-50% from the CPU side.

 

Gaming Performance

The test includes some synthetic benchmarks and a small amount of games and the point is to give a reference benchmarks compared to other machines. For more numbers are available over the web in sites like Notebookcheck.com.

See above problems with AMD 14.1 beta drivers.

 

Test Methods & Drivers

Using AMD 14.1 beta drivers, Windows 8.1 fully updated as I write these lines. HWInfo was used to measure temperatures. The settings I used in each game differ from one to another and the reason is that I tried to find the highest settings which still let you play smoothly. All games are tested with 1080p resolution.  There are enough standard benchmarks over the web to compare performance of different GPUs. For each game, I also wrote how I felt playing, if it was smooth or not.

 

Synthetic 3D benchmarks

Dell 3540 Review: 3DMark

 

Summarized gaming performance

Dell 3540 (8850M) Review: gaming performance

It is important to mention that the performance is reduced as a result of automatic throttling taking place, though no heat issues are apparent (see thermals section below).

The gaming performance shown here is averagely the gaming performance of the GT 750M GDDR5 GPU or close to that and above the GT 750M DDR3, though I believe that if a better bios will fix the automatic throttling, the performance will be much better and equal or surpass the 750M performance by a bit.

Starcraft II

Highest settings, 1080p with four players and a lot of units, you’ll get around 35 FPS at least.

World of Tanks (WoT)

Highest settings, FXAA on, 1080p resolution, you’ll get an minimum of 20-22FPS, depends on the scene. I don’t know why, but lowering the settings didn’t result in a significant enough performance boost: medium settings resulted in 27-30FPS.

LoL (League of Legends)

highest settings, 1080p resolution, a lot of units fighting and 5-6 players at a scene – not lower than 40-50 FPS. Smooth and responsive.

Crysis 3

TD = Texture Details, PP = Post Processing

Crysis 3, 1080p
SettingsFPS (Min)Feel
Highest, AAx210-11Not smooth
Medium21-24Not smooth
Low24-32rather smooth

Crysis 3 is too heavy for this system, but it’s also the result of the automatic underclocking from Dell. I guess that with a modded bios you could get a considerable boost.

 

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite, 1080p
SettingsMin FPSFeel
Highest21jumpy
Very high26-27jumpy
Very high, AO=low, PP=normal32-35Smooth

Bioshock can run well on very high settings given that you lower considerably thre Ambient Occlusion settings and and the PP too.

Built in benchmark too results (ultra):

Average FPSMin FPSMax FPSScene Name
17.639.4130.58Welcome Center
16.9410.8417.97Scene Change: Disregard Performance In This Section
16.279.6718.94Town Center
15.8613.3622.16Raffle
20.9515.0722.71Monument Island
22.5821.5422.89Benchmark Finished: Disregard Performance In This Section
17.599.4130.58Overall

 

Skyrim

Skyrim, 1080p
SettingsFPS (Min)Feel
Highest, 8xAA, AFx1622-23not smooth
Highest, 4xAA, AFx1626-27rather ok
Highest, 2xAA, AFx1627-31rather smooth
Highest, 2xAA, Texture Details = high32-40very smooth

Skyrim will run well on the 3540 on some very high settings

 

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2, 1080p
SettingsFPS (Min)Feel
Highest, no Phsyx28jumpy
Highest, FXAA off31Rather smooth
Highest, FXAA off, AO off39Very smooth

The Phsyx is not available for AMD GPUs. Performance is quite good if you set off FXAA and Ambient Occlusion (which take a considerable amount of the graphics quality)

 

Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4, 1080p
SettingsFPS (Min)Feel
Highest10-14Not smooth
Very high20-22blaa
High26-27jumpy
Medium27-32ok

Battlefield 4 is a bit heavy on the Dell 3540, but you’d be able to play is on medium settings or low-medium settings.

 

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2, 1080p
SettingsFPS (Min)Feel
Highest42-45Not smooth

Everything on, TF2 will run smoothly on highest settings

 

Tomb Raider

I used the Tomb Raider built in benchmark,

Tomb Raider, 1080p
SettingsFPSFeel
Ultra18-27, AVG: 22Not smooth
Ultra, PP off20-33, AVG: 26not smooth
High24-35, AVG: 30ok
High, PP off29-42, AVG: 35quite smooth

Tomb Raider is not a very 3D demanding game compared to current standards. You’ll be able to run it quite well on high settings with PP off with around 35FPS in average. You can remove another setting here and there to make it even better.

 

Dota 2

Highest settings, 1080p resolution.

Dota 2, 1080p
SettingsFPS (Min)Feel
Highest45-50Very smooth

Smooth. You could run Dota 2 on highset settings easily.

 

Thermals, Throttling & Noise handling

Tests settings:

1. Prime95: Torture test, In-Place large FFTs

2. Prime95 + FurMark 1280×720 burn-in test

3. No cooling pad, but ventilation hole unblocked.

4. Windows power mode on “high performance”

Dell Latitude 3540 CPU and GPU temperatures:

Dell 3540 Review: thermals

You can see that thermals are good. Even under the heaviest load it doesn’t get too hot. The case itself does not get hot either.

Noise. The Dell 3540 is actually quite quiet, even under full load while the fan speeds up to 4800RPM.

Throttling.

Here’s the problem. The Dell 3540 algorithm automatically sets clocks down to base clocks under some circumstances which are usually considerable CPU or GPU load. If both are loaded (like in 3D heavy games), base clocks are applied. This means around roughly 60-70% of CPU core clocks for the I5-4200U and around 80% for the GPU clocks.

TrottleStop, Intel XTU and MSI Afterburner didn’t change this behavior under heavy load.

Dell 3540 Review: GPU / CPU clocks
These numbers mean that if the CPU/GPU are fully clocked, you could get up to 25% higher gaming performance, given there are no other performance issues (software related, for example) and this is a significant advantage.

I’m waiting to see if a modded bios will fix things, but currently I have not solution and found none over the web.

Screen & Screen quality

ModelLG LP156WF1-TLF3
Resolution1080p
Touchno
MatteYes
Color coverage89% sRGB (tested)

Generally, this is a nice display with ok viewing angles, especially for such a price and value. I had no problem reading with the 1080p screen, though I do feel a higher contrast would be great.

My measures show sRGB coverage to be ok at 80%, though certainly not great.

The deltaE is rather low which means color accuracy is good. Though, given the fact that many colors are not even reproduced, the accuracy lose a bit of its value.

Subjectively, colors look good to me, though not as rich as some IPS displays I’ve used.

Viewing angles. Well, they are ok. Horizontally they are good with low color distortion. Vertically they are not that good, especially when looking from above, but for the most part the color and brightness distortion are not big and using it for example to watch movies is not a problem from different viewing angles.

Bottom line This is a somewhat above the average 1080p TN panel, according to current standard. It is great for gaming and rather good for movies too. Reading won’t be a problem. It is not a high class IPS display, but for such a price and value it is a very good offering.

 

Battery Performance

The battery suffices for around 5 hours under light use, using “power saver” power mode with 50% screen brightness and surfing with WiFi on .

 

Competing gaming laptops / Alternatives

The Dell Latitude 3540 is a $700 gaming laptop if you watch carefully for coupons. You can also get it for around $500 refurbished from time to time on Dell outlet or eBay.

The 3540 competitors are those laptops with midrange gaming performance (GT 750M / 850M, for example) which are priced around $700-$750. Currently, its main competitors as a gaming laptop are mainly the Eurocom Shark 2.0 ($770, GTX 765M, 1080p screen) which is faster but also costs more if you include an OS for a new machine. Other machines are the Lenovo Y410p and Lenovo Z710, but the first has a lower quality display and same gaming performance and the latter has a lower performance.

The Lenovo Y510p for around $900 is stirring from above with its GT 755M SLI which will be much faster for gaming (around almost twice the performance).

However, as a refurbished, you’ll find no competitors, since there is no laptop currently for $500-$550 with such a gaming performance and 1080p display altogether. Actually, there isn’t even a laptop with such a performance and 720p display.

 

Conclusion

The Dell Latitude 3540 is a formidable gaming laptop. Put aside the software problems with the AMD drivers and you’ll get a very cost effective gaming laptop for $650 – $700 w/ coupons and even as low as $500 if you’ll go refurbished. A good keyboard, quiet operation and nice 1080p display. Moreover, thermals are good and the case does not get hot.

The 3540 is not perfect, though. Most variants will ship with only 4GB DDR3 and a basic 500GB HDD, maintenance s not easy, the keyboard is not backlit and there is no new video out port (HDMI/DP). On top of that, you might face some software problems with the Dell video drivers or the AMD ones (maybe the new ones will fix it)

My recommendation is to wait for some refurbished deal or some really good new deal ($650-$700 tops) and replace the HDD with some better one, preferably SSHD or SSD and down the road, add 4GB of 1.35v DDR3. If the whole package costs you around $700 w/ tax and shipping, then it is a good deal.

  • Alvaro

    I have this memorys new at home http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Modules-Notebook-KHX1600C9S3P1K2-8G/dp/B004Y4XAAK/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1404564289&sr=8-10&keywords=ddr3+1600mhz+sodimm they would fit with this laptop? reading the specs says that is 1.5V mems but dont know. im interested in know if they work because i want to install it. Also want to know if you know the ports hdd and dvd drive are sata 2 or sata 3?

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

      you need 1.35v memories

  • Guest

    I have this memorys new at home they would fit with this laptop? reading the specs says that is 1.5V mems but dont know. im interested in know if they work because i want to install it. Also want to know if you know the ports hdd and dvd drive are sata 2 or sata 3?

  • BRICK

    there is a solution for the throttling issue, either you install windows 7 or ubuntu with the latest catalyst and intel hd drivers, both work at full capacity not having any kind of issue with any game

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

      Can you confirm that?
      I simply don’t have the 3540 currently and I can’t install and confirm that – if it’s true, then it would be great, though the CPU would still be throttled I think

  • Kris

    How did you update yours to 8.1? I’ve had nothing but problems after updating to 8.1. After updating, I lose the catalyst center. When I install the drivers from Dell, the screen goes black, and the computer corrupts. Dell has replaced my motherboard, and the same thing still happens. Are you getting your drivers from AMD, or Dell? I’m in the middle of a big battle with Dell about this right now

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

      Oh shit. And I can’t believe they replaced the motherboard – they really have no clue and they don’t care

      Yes, there are many problems with the graphics drivers and maybe you have the same problem. One friend of mine found a combination of drivers that works well for Windows 8.1. If I try new AMD drivers, I usually can’t make the laptop sleep

      Download these:

      1. AMD:

      http://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER01738068M/1/3540_Video_Driver_C7HVR_WN_13.151.0.0_A00.EXE

      2. Intel:

      http://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER01556987M/5/Video_Intel_W84_X04_A00_Setup-7FWNT_ZPE.exe

      Instruction (pretty simple):

      1. Use the DDU (latest is 12.6.4 I think, but check) and remove all Intel and AMD drivers

      2. reboot

      3. Install Intel drivers and reboot

      4. Install AMD drivers and reboot

      5. That’s it

      It seems to work

      Please let me know how it goes for you

      • Kris

        You are my hero! I’ve done so many system restores and had countless lockups, no one could figure it out. Just followed your instructions and it seems to have worked!!

        • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

          great!

          It was Kurash that found this combination – he couldn’t post it because I had some problem with the forum system, but he sent me an email, really nice guy!
          http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/forums/topic/700-budget-15-6-1080p-rts-gaming/

          I’ve tried a different course – finding what causing this behavior. There is some software collision in this specific laptop. Something that has to do with the AMD drivers or Intel drivers. Sleep works well with the AMD drivers disabled, but I haven’t found really how to solve it yet..

          • Kris

            I’ve got no problems with sleep now either, tried some games and I’m getting decent FPS, everything seems to be back to normal. Now the only problem I’m working on is bluetooth stopped working after the update. I’ve tried all the drivers from dell again, but it just doesn’t ever find anything.

            • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

              what shows in the device manager?
              and just to make sure – it is turned on, right?

              • Kris

                It’s on, and it’s in the device manager. It shows it’s got current drivers and that everything is running. But it just searches and searches. I got it working once before a few months ago, but can’t remember which driver I had to install and in what order.

                • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

                  can you install a non Dell driver?
                  Sometimes it helps (like it did in the first Y510ps)

                  • Kris

                    I tried using the generic microsoft stack, but it just tells me bluetooth is already installed and correctly configured. Is there another driver I could try?

                    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

                      In my device manager, the bluetooth uses some 2006 MS drivers and the Dell wireless piece uses some 2013 drivers. I’m trying to figure out what driver do I need

                      Try the 1705 Atheros drivers:

                      http://www.atheros.cz/atheros-bluetooth-download.php?chipset=95&system=8

                      They might be the same, but try it

                    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

                      well, I’ve tried two drivers from Atheros site and nothing.

                      Did your bluetooth stopped working after the Windows 8.1 update or after the drivers update?
                      Maybe you’d want to call Dell and ask them wtf

                    • Kris

                      Yeah, I’ve got a supervisor calling me on Monday or Tuesday ( after the graphics card issue, they told me my computer doesn’t have a 8850, even though I used it for months). I’ll bring this up to them as well. Bluetooth works fine until 8.1 is installed, then no matter what I do, I can’t get it working. I’ve been uninstalling and installing drivers for about 8 hours now today. no luck.

                    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

                      that’s what I suspected. They simply have to update their software. Frankly, their support on this one is simply bad. They might be able to fix it, but don’t count on it – unless they replace the WiFi + BT card

                      If you really need the bluetooth functionality, I’d suggest getting a different card or maybe better – get some external USB BT card

                    • Kris

                      yeah, the extent of the support I’ve gotten with them has been “restore the system” , or wipe it clean and do a fresh install. Last time, with it not going to sleep and the bluetooth not working, they sent a tech out the next day and replaced my motherboard. Since I never upgraded past standard Win8, I thought the problem was fixed, until I upgraded to 8.1 yesterday. I’ve got a really small bluetooth usb adapter I’ll just start using again for now. Thanks for all your help here.

                    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

                      Thank you for the info

                      I’ve seen so many motherboards replaced when there was no problem with them.. It’s like the default thing they do. There is some sense to it, as it can save them a lot of time in many cases, but it’s simply not the problem in many other cases..

                      BTW, I’d replace the HDD with a faster one. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s pretty slow. It’s not only my system – many other people said that

                    • Kris

                      Yeah, I’m thinking about switching to a hybrid drive, but not sure if the money is worth it. I actually put a 8gb stick of ram in and the laptop does just about everything I want. I’ve got a regular PC for most gaming, but it’s nice to sit on the couch and play some other games on the laptop.

                    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

                      The friend who found the AMD/Intel drivers combination replaced his 3540 HDD with a 1TB SSHD and he says it’s way way better

                      If you add RAM (you need only one more 4GB stick), remember it’s a DDR3L (1.35v) and not just DDR3

                    • Kris

                      I bought 2 8GB sticks, but realized that was way overkill, so I took one out to sell. I haven’t noticed any difference going from 16 to 8. Any gaming that would use more than the 8 gigs installed on here now, probably isn’t going to run on this graphics card!

                    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

                      from those that I’ve tested, BF4 scratches 6GB total system RAM usage, including everything and that was the highest I’ve seen. 8GB is currently the most you need really

                      An SSHD or a $100 SSD like the M500 :
                      http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-240GB-2-5-Inch-Internal-CT240M500SSD1/dp/B00BQ8RM1A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398641675&sr=8-1&keywords=m500

                      and make the inner one into an external one and you’ll get a really responsive machine

                      But ofcourse, you can simply save the money and buy some flowers instead

                    • Kris

                      yeah next step will be sshd for sure.

                    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

                      It seems that the 14.4 AMD drivers work well with the older Dell Intel drivers (the ones you’ve installed). Sleep is ok and performance is higher. Consider installing it

                    • Kris

                      How would I install these? AMD drivers on this are odd to me. On my PC, nvidia has a control center, and it’s simple to update drivers. Here I’m afraid anything I install will ruin it again. I am starting to get driver crashing/restoring when the laptop goes to sleep occasionally.

                    • Kris

                      ok, i installed it, it worked, kind of. I’ve got absolutely horrible performance now. Not sure what the difference between your 14.4 and my 14.4 were, but i’m not even breaking 10FPS on any game. Even Ducktales maxed out at 8FPS. Injustice went from 50-60 before 8.1, to 3. Goat simulator went from 60 on Win8, 30 with the 8.1 update with the previous drivers you gave me, to can’t even open on 14.4 (runs out of memory, even though i’ve got 8GB). time to revert back to the last drivers I guess. It was nice having the gaming evolved app though.

                    • Kris

                      It also killed the sleep mode again. We must have gotten that update from different places. I went through AMD’s website, but man this wrecked it.

                    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

                      it’s probably not installed well and instead the 8850M, the integrated HD4400 is in use. Maybe it would be better to use the working combination

                    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky
                    • Kris

                      I called into Dell about the bluetooth, and for the first time, I was able to get someone who knew what they were doing, and got the right drivers for it. Apparently it’s not on the regular page, but after about 20 minutes, he got it working. When I updated the 14.4 AMD Drivers, GPU-Z thought I had a Radeon 295x , so something didn’t work right. I might try it again, with the same method using DDU and starting completely from scratch.

                    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

                      Thanks for the info!!

                      M265X or M295X? The 8850M = M265X

                      What page did he refer you to? The FTP one?

                    • Kris

                      I believe he did use the FTP one, he actually remotely logged on and did the bluetooth fix. But it looked like he went to the FTP site, which I didn’t know they had. I want to say it showed up as the M295x, but it was so late when I saw that, it could very well have been M265X. When I try it again, I’ll update. Hopefully I can do it later this afternoon.

                    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

                      Last time I checked their FTP it hadn’t have any news, but I should have checked – sorry

                      Is it this one?

                      http://ftp.dell.com/published/Pages/latitude-3540-laptop.html

                    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky
  • eric

    Any up date on the bios Modding situation? N will it be a problem to install a hdd caddy and using a ssd on it ?

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

      Hi eric

      Couldn’t unlock the bios
      I don’t know i a caddy can be used though I guess there is a good chance you can do that

  • Kursah

    Junky, thanks again for posting that deal today in my thread! I was just on the Dell page…I noticed there’s a new A05 bios that was released 3/7/14. Might be worth a look? I wonder if throttle issues still exist? Does yours already have that firmware version?

    http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/product/latitude-3540-laptop

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

      thanks for the heads up – I didn’t check it yet

      • pompuspb

        any luck

        • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

          The new bios installs but no change in the behavior of GPU/CPU throttling
          No luck unlocking it

  • Kursah

    Great review. I’m keeping an eye to see a sale on one of these! This review makes me want one more overall. I could really use a 1080p screen for my classes…especially programming. But I want some gaming capability too.

    • Brick

      i wouldnt recommend it for heavy programming, the cpu isnt that powerful (because of the ulv model), im a programmer too, heavy developers interfaces like Visual Studio would not run smooth on this laptop, trust me, i have the laptop, i would go for the lenovo y510p with a single gpu if you are low on cash

  • ElJ1MBO

    ey

  • ElJ1MBO

    very good .. hopefully soon underclocked problems are resolved.

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

      thanks!

      I hope so too – waiting for a modded bios from bios-mods.com

  • Brick

    Nice review, just what i had in mind, really cheap notebook for gaming

    • http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/ Junky

      Thanks!

      though I really think it’s cost effective under the condition that you find some good coupon