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Hi everyone, I have an unusual request. I have an i7-3940xm in my M17xr4 and it's difficult to keep cool. I have already done the m14x fan mod and I'm using Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut thermal compound... it's just not enough. The CPU is constantly being throttled (my bios settings in a11 unlocked are set to throttle it 85 C) when under load, and it will sometimes see temperatures in the mid to high 90s. The maximum operating temperature is rated at 105C, and I have a thermal shutdown set in bios for 100C, which it hasn't yet reached (but it gets scary close). Even when throttled, it's still an upgrade and runs better then the stock 3630qm, but I don't wan't it to throttle all of the time. I know I could underclock it, but what's the point of having an upgraded CPU if you're just going to downclock it to similar specs as the original (baring cache, of course). At idle, by the way, it jumps around mid 50s to high 60s. Anyway, to keep it cool, I want to try using a peltier cooler. They're thermoelectric ceramic devices of which one side gets hot and the other gets cold when an electric current goes through them, for those who didn't already know. I figure I can sandwich it between my cpu and the heatsink and try to help keep the cpu's temps a little more reasonable. I have one of a workable size which can withstand temps of up to 135C, and I've done the math with it's specs so that it hopefully knocks 25ish degrees off while at full load and not overheat the peltier doing so. This leads me to my question/request; I need to know if anyone would know a place on the motherboard which supplies voltage when the laptop is running, but not when it's off, whether or not the charger/battery is connected? I have found a few good sources on the MB which can withstand the drain, but they're always hot, even when the laptop is off. I have a multimeter and have been probing, but I don't want to disassemble half the laptop and attempt running it in pieces to verify a good source. If no one knows off hand or has any idea, does anyone know of any schematics or files which exist which contain voltage information of various contacts on the m17x r4 motherboard? I know this is a strange request and most will not be able to assist, but before taking it all the way apart to probe around I thought I would at least ask. I'll make a write-up on how it's done and how well it works if it's successful, as well as a controller circuit if necessary using a teensy 2.0 or something.
I ordered the M18x-R2 triple pipe CPU sink from Alienware last week and today it finally arrived. Since I had a new palm rest + control cover sitting around to install, I figured I'd get them all out of the way at the same time. Initially I was a bit skeptical about how it would perform vs the 2 pipe CPU sink I already had since the 2 pipe CPU sink has thicker pipes vs the 3 pipe one. However, after installing it (and sticking with the Dell thermal paste), I was simply blown away by the results! The 2 pipe CPU sink with FRESH MX-4 running at 4 GHz would often yield temperatures ranging from 92-98C and was simply not feasible for daily use in this hot Arizona weather so I had to drop my clocks to 3.8 GHz. However, with the 3 pipe CPU cooler, this has all changed and I think I can easily go above 4 GHz. The best part about this upgrade is that the CPU does not throttle to base multiplier after extended use, instead it stays at a constant 4 GHz so performance is markedly improved with sustained load times. Here's some installation photos + comparison shots of the 2 pipe vs 3 pipe: Performance and temperature at 4 GHz: M18x triple pipe cpu cooler part number: 0MXJ5, cost is around $32. Special Thanks: @Alienware-Pablo_R