Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

    I've got a problem. I don't know if anyone can help with this specific problem, but I thought I'd toss it up here and see if anyone had any insight.

    I have a Dell XPS Gen1 Laptop (the bulky one), 3.4GHz P4, 2GB RAM, ATI Mobility 9800. For years it has been a fair gaming machine, able to overcome the inherent limitations of the laptop design through sheer processing power and an extra desktop cooling fan. It is, of course, becoming a last-gen system, but it still plays things like BF2 well.

    I had one issue about 2 years ago, just after I bought it, with the motherboard. Apparently, the chips they used in the second run of production ran about 2 degrees hotter than the previous version, so it was tripping the thermal alarms and triggering massive under-clocking in a mistaken effort to stop overheating. They replaced the board and it has been running smoothly since.

    Up until this month, anyway. I'm noticing that the unit is running much hotter and heating up much faster than usual, and it is triggering some mild under-clocking. I don't think it's a sensor issue - it really IS running hotter. Basically if I want to play a major 3D game, I need to leave the machine off until the moment I'm ready to start, get in 40 minutes to an hour of game time, and then shut down until it cools again. Even less demanding apps will start to chug after an hour of hard processor use. Less if the optical drive is spinning.

    So, any advice on how to proceed? I've cleaned the fans, added some air space under the desk fan, and opened up the ventilation around the machine. As the unit ages, is there any way I can keep performance up?
    In game handle: Steel Scion
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

    when you say you cleaned the fans. did you clean the cpu fan? open up the machine and clean every fan you see?

    when a system gets hotter over time, usualy it comes down to 3 things. the major culprit is dust that is blocking airflow either in the fan or in some intake screen. the 2nd is wearing down of thermal paste (rarely an issue). a third issue is that the fans themselves break. when the 3rd thing happens, it usualy is not a slow death but rather a quick one.

    “Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough!” Benjamin Franklin

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

      There are two modular fans at the back of the unit. These are clean. If there is another fan on the CPU it must be very deep in the guts of the machine. I will check.
      In game handle: Steel Scion
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

        while some newer laptops may have just a heatsync for thier cpu, they are typically low power cpus.

        my guess is that your cpu has a fan on it, and it is covered in dust. this is especially likely if you have two fans just for circulating air through the machine. since these two fans will bring in dust from ouside the machine and that dust will probably get all stuck to your cpu heatsync and fan.

        find directions for replacing your cpu to get at it. be vary careful when you do this, keep PERFECT track of the steps invlolved. have a clean workspace. never force anything.

        if you are not comfortable doing this, find a shop do to it.

        “Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough!” Benjamin Franklin

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

          Yeah, my laptop starting running hot and I took it apart.

          The heatsink & the fins around heatpipes were absolutely clogged with pet hair, to the point where it looked like a carpet and I need a screwdriver to get it out from between the fins. I have since vowed to open it up once a month and at least give it a shot of air to blow the crap out before it congeals

          If you do decide to remove the heatsink, make sure to use some high quality thermal paste when you put it back on (like artic silver 5) ....it will also make at least a few degrees different, if not more. I usually try to redo the thermal paste at least once a year...but this could be anal.

          After doing this, my laptop was running > 15 degrees (celcius) cooler.

          so yeah, just do what sc1ence tells ya and you'll be running cooler in no time :)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

            All of the above is good advice. Cleaning the fans is a sure way to extend system life.

            There are several laptop coolers on the market. They sit underneath the laptop and have fans that circulate air underneath the system. My in-laws bought one after their notebook kept going into thermal shutdown. It fixed their problem.

            Here is one such device:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834984003

            I don't reccomend that one over any others. I just posted that one because it is the first I found. Search Newegg for "laptop cooler" and you will get a ton of results.
            Retired 6th DB

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

              I've had my laptop for just over a year and haven't cleaned dust out of it yet. The problem is if I take it apart I won't be able to get it back together.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

                Originally posted by Tsuoz250rdrK View Post
                I've had my laptop for just over a year and haven't cleaned dust out of it yet. The problem is if I take it apart I won't be able to get it back together.
                Well it usually is just a few screws to take the back off, and as long as you don't remove anything, it should be fine. Somebody, somewhere, on teh interweb undoubtedly has your laptop model, has it taken apart, and kindly made a webpage or detailed forum post. I was able to find the tech manual for my machine, which detailed the process. It also helps that I'm a monkey that just loves to tear my machines apart and muck around.

                Although, you want to be careful about voiding any warranty you may have left.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

                  I found the third cooling fan, which was at the very bottom of the case and required taking out most of the other components to get to it. The fan itself was not very clogged, but the cooling assembly over the CPU was caked with layers of dust - almost no flow through the heat sink. So I gave that a good cleaning.

                  My only worry is that the thermal paste had in fact dried out and hardened to the CPU, so much so that when I pulled the assembly out the chip came with it. No harm done to the chip or the socket, it seems, but I groaned when I saw it. Anyway, I don't have any replacement paste, so back it goes for now. Will go back in and fix it later.

                  So thanks for the advice guys. We'll see if performance improves. It's already running cooler. If that was the problem then it should get better.
                  In game handle: Steel Scion
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

                    Originally posted by Steeler View Post
                    The fan itself was not very clogged, but the cooling assembly over the CPU was caked with layers of dust - almost no flow through the heat sink. So I gave that a good cleaning.

                    My only worry is that the thermal paste had in fact dried out and hardened to the CPU, so much so that when I pulled the assembly out the chip came with it. No harm done to the chip or the socket, it seems, but I groaned when I saw it. Anyway, I don't have any replacement paste, so back it goes for now. Will go back in and fix it later.

                    So thanks for the advice guys. We'll see if performance improves. It's already running cooler. If that was the problem then it should get better.

                    glad to hear it is running cooler. when the fins are clogged it can really be a huge heat issue. cpu cooling fins typically need cleaning at least once a year if not more often. I do mine every 4 months or so. thermal paste sticking to the cpu is not a big deal. it is supposed to stick for the most part. keep an eye on your temps, if you did not see a decent difference due to cleanign out the heatsync fins then perhaps the connection between the cpu and heatsync was hurt when you pulled it out.

                    if it is indeed running cooler, then you should be fine.

                    “Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough!” Benjamin Franklin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

                      Originally posted by Steeler View Post
                      I found the third cooling fan, which was at the very bottom of the case and required taking out most of the other components to get to it. The fan itself was not very clogged, but the cooling assembly over the CPU was caked with layers of dust - almost no flow through the heat sink. So I gave that a good cleaning.

                      My only worry is that the thermal paste had in fact dried out and hardened to the CPU, so much so that when I pulled the assembly out the chip came with it. No harm done to the chip or the socket, it seems, but I groaned when I saw it. Anyway, I don't have any replacement paste, so back it goes for now. Will go back in and fix it later.

                      So thanks for the advice guys. We'll see if performance improves. It's already running cooler. If that was the problem then it should get better.
                      Hello fellow I9100/XPS gen I user. The chip welding itself to the heatsink is pretty common in our laptops. They do run fairly hot. I got a laptop cooler to allow more airflow under the laptop. I think it helped out a little bit.
                      I have the P4 2.8ghz, 9800 256mb, and I got some corsair 2 gb mem from newegg. Tomorrow I am having my THIRD graphics card put in. Major artifacts.
                      http://www.tacticalgamer.com/693434-post25.html
                      This has been a great laptop, except for the graphics cards being replaced.



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

                        Yeah, the XPS has been pretty reliable. Had the one CPU replaced, and then the audio jacks shorted out a year later, but overall it's been a good performer. Wish there were more options to upgrade, though. But they don't even update the drivers anymore.
                        In game handle: Steel Scion
                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

                          Yea, they stopped supporting our stuff a while ago. I still have a warranty on mine, I keep hoping it will crap out and they will replace it with a newer system. It runs fairly strong but I want to build a gaming rig and use a laptop for portability, which this anchor doesn't do so well. Or last very long on battery power.



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

                            might help: http://www.tacticalgamer.com/hardwar...tml#post709385

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Laptop vs. Heat: The age-old struggle

                              Revisiting this problem, as performance has begun to degrade again. The dried our thermal pad on the CPU concerns me. How good or bad of an idea is it to try scraping that off and adding some Arctic Silver 5?

                              I should point out that I'm fairly confident that I know what the F I'm doing at this point, although not necessarily what the H.
                              In game handle: Steel Scion
                              sigpic

                              Comment

                              Connect

                              Collapse

                              TeamSpeak 3 Server

                              Collapse

                              Advertisement

                              Collapse

                              Twitter Feed

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X