Alienware M17x Teardown & Cooling Modification

Posted on Feb 8 2011 - 11:48pm by Michael S.

PLEASE NOTE: TECH INFERNO ASSUMES NO LIABILITIES IN THE EVENT OF DAMAGE TO YOUR SYSTEM AS A RESULT OF COOLING MODIFICATIONS! PLEASE CONSULT YOUR SYSTEM WARRANTY BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY SUCH MODIFICATIONS!

Teardown Videos

These videos are designed to help M17x owners disassemble their systems. This can be used to clean your system fans, replace components and/or perform modifcations.

M17x Teardown Video Part 1

Alienware M17x-R2 Tear Down Video – Part 1

M17x Teardown Video Part 2

Alienware M17x-R2 Tear Down Video – Part 2

Cooling Mods

This will show how to clean the dust, replace thermal paste and perform a retention clip mod.

As a rule of thumb, It’s a bad sign when you see your video card temperatures climb above 85-90 degrees..

Steps performed

  • Cleaning the fins on both video cards heatsinks with compressed air
  • Replacing thermal paste on both GPUs and the CPU to Shin Etsu G751

Tools used

  • small Phillips screwdriver – it matches all the screws inside your Alienware
  • can of compressed air

Materials used

  • Shin Etsu G751 thermal paste – i bought mine on eBay, but there are a lot of places that sell it. The reason i used it is because according to a lot of reviews this is one of the best performing pastes, only problem is that it’s a pain to apply (there are guides for that too :) )

Step by step (More or less)

Try to remember the sizes of the screws you are pulling out, and store them somewhere so they don’t get lost (i use a vodka shot glass :) )

Removing the Center control cover

i started with placing a towel on my working area to make sure i do not scratch the laptop while i work on it and removed the charger and battery.

Unscrew two screws as shown to remove the compartment door.

Unscrew the two screws located on both sides of CPU Fan, they are marked as M2.5XL17.

Now turn the laptop around and open the screen as far as possible.

using the pry tool, or a flat screwdriver, gently pry the control cover up.

I found that in my case it’s best to start from the right side.

Be careful as there’s a cable you need to disconnect before you pull it out.

Keyboard

Unscrew the 5 little screws holding the keyboard and then gently pull it up.

lift the keyboard up,disconnect those two cables and remove the it.

Video cards

The procedure needs to be performed on both video cards in case of a Crossfire setup.

This guide demonstrates the procedure on the master card.

Keep in mind that it will void your warranty!

Remove the bracket and unscrew both screws that hold the video card.

Disconnect the CF cable from the card, i used my nails to do it.

Note that the location of the CF connector on the second card is under the heatsink and you’ll need to remove the heatsink before disconnecting the CF cable there.


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3 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Marc Waters March 13, 2011 at 1:34 AM - Reply

    Tech Inferno has it all!

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