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  1. #1
    Will Watts's Avatar
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    Improving laptop cooling?

    Maybe we need a laptop/hardware related forum.

    Anyway, I'm wondering if there is any possible way to improve the cooling in a laptop - without vastly changing the exterior, is it possible to add a better heat-sink etc? I'm not experiencing any cooling issues, I'm just in an upgrade kind of mood. Also regarding upgrades, is it ever possible/feasible/worth the risk to upgrade the CPU in a laptop. I have a Dell Alienware M15x, I'm vaguely wondering (just vaguely, I'm pretty sure it would never happen), if it would be possible to upgrade my i5 processor to a faster i7 - e.g. one of the stock models that Dell put into the laptop themselves if you have more money.
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  2. #2
    Laxer's Avatar
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    You could check online for better parts but most are specific to the model of laptop.... (cooling)

    If cooling becomes an issue usually you can open it up and repaste the CPU/GPU and clean out all the dust...

    If you want a little extra cooling you could probably get a better fan or up the voltage...
    You can usually upgrade RAM and the processor in laptops pretty easily just make sure the chipset is supported by the mobo.

  3. #3
    Wrench97's Avatar
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    If you know the model i7 they offered yes it's possible.

    Larger heat sink not probable most have no extra room to install it in, plus it like a spider covering the gpu also.

    Cooling pads do work to an extent but there only so much you can do given the design limitations.

  4. #4
    Will Watts's Avatar
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    The GPU cooling is on the other side. I'm not after a larger heat-sink so much, I've just experienced several people showing disdain with the stock Intel Heat-Sinks, and then routinely upgrade them to a higher quality version.

    If you know the model i7 they offered yes it's possible.
    Would there be any real performance gain in doing so?
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  5. #5
    Laxer's Avatar
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    Depends in what category...

  6. #6
    Will Watts's Avatar
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    My current processor is an i5 M520, I believe one of the processors offered with this model is the Intel Core i7 740QM.

    I have some RAM on the way at the moment, higher clock speed - I wouldn't upgrade the CPU (unless say, a compatible CPU fell into my hands at no cost), I was wondering if it was ever a realistic option for anyone. At the moment though, I want to keep this laptop going as long as possible.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    A laptop heatsink is not stock intel, in fact because of the propitiatory design of laptops there is no such heatsink.

  8. #8
    Will Watts's Avatar
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        ATI Radeon HD 5800
      • Hard Drives:
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    Nonetheless, I doubt they're using the highest quality hardware they could be using.
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  9. #9
    Laxer's Avatar
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    Really depends on the model...

    I was somewhat impressed and annoyed with my girlfriends Samsung QX411...

    I had to replace the keyboard which involved taking out everything... no big deal except everything was compartmentalized inside metal enclosures that were fused into the case itself...

    One of the nicer laptops I have ever disassembled, consequently creating more work for me

  10. #10
    GZ's Avatar
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    You could modify the existing heatsink to be slightly more effective, although the extent of modification is very limited... Mostly soldering the joints between the heatpipes and fins and surfacing the CPU heat transfer block...

    "Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that come down to us from the darkness of those days there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures."

    J.R.R. Tolkien - The Silmarillion

  11. #11
    Will Watts's Avatar
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    Hey gavinzach, would there be much benefit to doing so?
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  12. #12
    GZ's Avatar
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    Depends... Soldering the fin joints (if they aren't already done so) would improve heat transfer from the heatpipe to the fins. Soldering aluminum to copper is tricky though...

    Also, depending on the surface finish of the CPU contact area... a surfacing (lapping) with fresh thermal paste could improve heat transfer between the CPU and the heatsink.

    Under normal use you wouldn't see much of a difference in temps... maybe one or two degrees if you are lucky... but it has the potential of saving a couple more degrees under load... Either way it won't be much.

    Unfortunately there aren't many options (aftermarket or otherwise). As wrench stated, they could have a different heatsink depending on which CPUs are available, but it has been my experience that they are usually the same.

    "Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that come down to us from the darkness of those days there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures."

    J.R.R. Tolkien - The Silmarillion

  13. #13
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    as mentioned above, if the laptop is full of fuzz, it 1) prevents air flow and 2) acts like a blanket
    so, of course, splitting the case and blowing it out is mandatory sooner or later.

    i would go with a laptop cooling pad.
    i'm unaware of any other way to increase cooling capacity for a clean laptop.

    of course, never use the laptop on a soft surface.
    i know a few girls (and guys) that bring their laptop to bed - no cooling possible there!

  14. #14
    Laxer's Avatar
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    I think it was Gavinzach who posted about an OP duct-taping the vent on a laptop shut because it was warming their lap up...

    Then they asked why the laptop was over heating...
    zigzag3143 says thanks for this.

  15. #15
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    This character continually had problems but would never follow through on any recommendations. After more nonsense continued, I ended up banning him. ramming speed! :: freedomlist.com


    OOOOHH OOOOHH OOOOHH OOOOHH OOOOHH !!!!!

    u kno...iv long wondered whether this was related. i am CERTAIN it is running hot, b/c, among other things, I cover all the airvents with a TOWEL while it is running!

    yeah, i kno this is not ideal, but there are reasons (flying liquids!) why I am afraid to leave it exposed. anyway, i figured this was adding wear and tear to the machine, but i didn't think it was a cause of big problems in the SHORT-term.

    HOWEVER, last night i left it uncovered (lid closed but no towel) and pointed a FAN at it. as of this morning (11 hrs or so) it is STILL running w/o a crash!

    then again, i wasn't SURFING during this time, so maybe that's all that was about. i mean, even with all the heat, i still see 5-6 hrs occasionally when i'm not surfing.


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  16. #16
    Will Watts's Avatar
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    I remember seeing that post in a staff thread at TSF. I'm not sure I want to know more details about his reasons....
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  17. #17
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    I went through all the usual suspects and managed to get about 5F, but in the final analysis I added a cooling pad with 3 fans and the temp dropped about 20F. Especially important in PCH. It was 180~ now around 160F.

    For $31 US it was well worth it.

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  18. #18

    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    If a higher end CPU was installed it would create more heat. Lappies generally will by their nature make more heat so some things to do: Don't lay it on your lap,bed, sofa, or the like when using it. Use a hard surface preferably somewhat above that surface. The cooling pad Ken suggested is best, if you find a nice one that can be powered via USB.

  19. #19
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    Generic info.
    A hot laptop is often caused by dust clogging the heatsink and vents.
    Using a can of compressed air to blow out the laptop vents and around the fan PLUS sitting the lappy on an extra good Cooling Master does the trick of lowering temps considerably I have have found.
    For new inexperienced Forum members you may care to refer to the {oldish} links below.

    http://www.informationweek.com/news/60300177

    http://electronics.howstuffworks.com...aptop-cool.htm
    zigzag3143 says thanks for this.


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  20. #20
    Temmu's Avatar
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    Re: Improving laptop cooling?

    what do they call all that effort? diminishing returns?

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