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Undervolting your Dell laptop can void the warranty

Undervolting your Dell notebook might void the warranty.
Undervolting your Dell notebook might void the warranty.
Dell Support has informed a customer that any non-factory settings to the processor, such as undervolting, are not covered under warranty. This seems a bit contrary on their own policy, which clearly mentions that the warranty becomes void only if component damage occurs during this process and not by mere change of voltage settings.

We've seen the benefits of undervolting the Dell XPS 15 9570 earlier and how a -0.115 V voltage to the Core i7-8750H in the laptop can help in speed boosts at more or less the same temperature as default settings. However, Dell is not taking too kindly to such mods and has answered a customer that any sort of non-factory setting to the processor is not supported under warranty. This policy seems to apply to all Dell laptops and is kind of a bummer for those who are knowledgeable enough to prevent their laptops from overheating.

The OP, /u/chinacat707, apparently called Dell support for a problem with his Inspiron 7577 gaming laptop and has conveyed to them during the conversation that he did undervolt the processor to troubleshoot the overheating issue. Dell Support has conveyed that this process voids the warranty and that they cannot help in troubleshooting. The rep also said that he could have helped with the issue had the processor not been undervolted. When asked for a policy reference, the rep did not share it with the customer.

While too low of a voltage can cause instability, undervolting via software does not cause any physical damage to the CPU itself so Dell's concerns seem to be a bit out of place. In another Reddit post, Dell Care clarifies that any damage caused by using undervolting software will not be covered under warranty. Dell Care says,


We recommend customers not to use these softwares [ThrottleStop and Intel XTU]. It could damage the hardware or make the computer behave erratically or cause a brownout. Any damages as a result of this would not be covered under warranty.

Are you facing over heating issues with your computer? If so, please share the service tag of the computer along with the registered owner's name over a private message we can troubleshoot on that. SA"

Going by this statement, it is clear that warranty support will be denied only if there has been any physical damage to the components. In the OP's case above, there seems to be no such issue so Dell should be honoring the warranty claim, at least in theory. Also, there have been instances wherein Dell Support themselves have recommended undervolting the CPU in order to lower the temperatures.

This looks like a case of misinterpretation of the warranty terms by the support rep. Ideally, there should not be any qualms about honoring the warranty as long as there is no physical damage to the components. Hopefully, the company (or Frank Azor) takes due cognizance of the matter.

When properly done, undervolting can result in reduced emissions and improvements in battery life. We recommend referring to our tutorial on undervolting using the Intel XT utility if you are new to the procedure.

Have you faced any issues in getting your warranty honored after undervolting? Let us know in the comments below.

(Source: /u/chinacat707 on Reddit)
(Source: /u/chinacat707 on Reddit)
(Source: /u/chinacat707 on Reddit)
(Source: /u/chinacat707 on Reddit)
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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-03-25 (Update: 2019-03-25)