Over the last 10 years I've found laptops throttle the processor speed in order to keep fan noise down. I prefer the fan to run noisily, and the processor to run at full speed. I've developed tried and true mods for lappies and have demonstrated their effectiveness.
I have two Lenovo W541 laptop workstations with I7-4940MX processors and discrete nVidia graphics. On one I overhauled the cooling. Copper shim between CPU and hsf, AS5 on both sides. Shims between hsf and inductors near CPU and gpu, and shim on the gpu.
Used 'thinkpad_acpi' Linux kernel module to set fan to max speed. Ran mprime (prime95 for Linux) AND Unigine Heaven, alternating, to cure the AS5. Then ran mprime. Temps were slightly high. But laptop processors tend to run hot.
The I7-4940MX is a 3.1 GHz, 4.0GHz. Turbo processor. The modded machine ran at 3GHz. continuously running mprime, for weeks. The unmodded machine with the same max-fan-speed software tweak and stock thermal-interface material, throttled to 1.7GHz. at the same running temps.
Clearly, laptop manufacturers are robbing performance off the top, by inferior cooling hardware and materials. Granted, getting the cooling mod to all fit together correctly with smooth, flat surfaces requires hours of work and materials not normally found sitting around the house.
I normally do not mod the CPU die. I abrade copper surfaces down to 1500 grit paper, and then polish with scapings from a bar of buffing compound. Everything is done on 1/2" plate glass to maintain flatness. The final mirror polish is done with the compound granules on a clean, damp cloth.
Desktop processors mostly have slightly raised corners, so smoothness is not as much of concern. You're going to get thermal-interface compond completely covering the center of the processor. The ideal is to fill the microscopic gaps between the cpu die and the hsf, but where there is metal on metal, have it be.
Metal to metal provides 100s to 1,000s times the heat transfer of thermal paste. But, on a desktop, there are more effective cooling solutions than moving air. Most user are satisfied with their laptops, because the processor doesn't run full speed long enough to make a difference.
But I enjoy tweaking, and I do processor-intensive work, like batch editing 100s of large images, video rendering, security testing, password recovery, network testing; that are all severely compromised by poor, stock laptop cooling solutions.
I'm debating whether or not to replace the thermal paste in my Lenovo y510p. I've started overclocking a bit, and I have an external fan, but I would like to not have to run the fan as fast because it is a little loud. I have been reading a bit about different thermal pastes, and I'm wondering if there is even a big difference between stock thermal paste, and something like the liquid metal from thermal grizzly. It sounds like it'd work better, but I don't want to fall for a good marketing scheme. If anyone has experience with this and has or hasn't seen big differences, your input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
Hey guys, first post, but I thought I’d discuss my heatsink fan retrofit in my old M14x r1.
Old fan was loud and not very efficient: the air transfer rate was around 2 cfm (I’m assuming cubic feet per minute). Finally had enough and decided to swap out the crappy r1 fan/coughing pinwheel for a r2 fan (rated at 10.4cfm).
I found an old r2 heat sink on eBay (beware though that the heat sink for the r2 will NOT fit the gpu/cpu configuration for the r1. HOWEVER, the fan of the r2 heat sink it is attached to is a carbon copy fit into the r1 MoBo. A few philips head screws and a seal of good electric tape and BAM, you’ve got a significantly cooler and MUCH quieter intake fan in your old R1.
My CPU temps from before were around 87-88 max load in FSX, 65 for the GPU; bear in mind this is after a repaste. Now with the new fan, I’m not going over 77 degrees on the CPU, and the gpu stays around 58, all while being MUCH quiter. I’ll post pics of the walkthrough if anyone is interested.
Just thought I’d share with all you fellow loonies trying to squeeze every last frame and degree out of our “portable toaster ovens with a screen and keyboard”.
First I want to thank the community, who have inspired me to do this project.
I will give you guys the chance to follow me on this journey.
I hope you will all help me come up with ideas, techniques and parts that could become handy.
This modding may be possible to convert to allot of laptops.
Here is the measurement of the went hole.
77mm X 16mm
I have 2 ideas for what can be done.