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Is it worth replacing the thermal paste in a laptop?

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Hi all,

 

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!

-Web

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If you are new to taking your computer apart, it might be best to start with a non liquid metal thermal paste. While you have everything apart you might find some stuff stuck in your fans or heatsink that an air can maybe couldn't take care of. Liquid metal seems to be good as long as you don't get it on something you don't want it to and you take the necessary precautions. I have been using Gelid and have been pretty happy with it. I have some liquid metal on the way, though.

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It can probably yield some decent improvements both for idle and load temps.

 

Get a good, non-conductive paste like Gelid GC-Extreme. The liquid metal pastes are slightly better (10-15% maybe at load), but there are more risks associated with those.

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Since your laptop is over 5 years old, it would be a good idea to replace the thermal paste and remove the dust from the cooler. If you haven't done this before, you should search for a disassemble-guide for your laptop. Your laptop has a service lid but CPU and GPU aren't easily accessable. You could clean the fans which should help a lot to lower CPU and GPU temps if they are dusty. If you are going for a thermalpaste replacement, I recommend a non-conductive paste (I use the Noctua NT-H1), because liquid metal pastes can damage your laptop when applied incorrectly and should NEVER be used on aluminium heatsinks - copper ONLY. I lowered my CPU and GPU temps with the NT-H1 by around 5°C.

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Replacing the thermal paste in a laptop is very much worth it, IF done correctly.

Look for a guide on how to apply thermal paste well. Improper application could yield worse temperatures (first-hand experience :P

If you apply it correctly, you could see as much as a 10°C drop in your load temperatures.

 

I also own a Y510P. That's how much my temps dropped for my ultrabay GPU when I tried re-pasting the second time!

I used Coolermaster's V1 IC Value Thermal Compound and still got such an insane drop in temps. You can imagine how bad the stock paste / its application was!

 

Some people on the Lenovo forums have used much higher quality compound (IC Diamond and such) and seen barely any difference (1-2°C max, possibly bad application)

 

Personally, I have seen liquid metal make a substantial difference in temperatures. Even up to 20°C in some cases! But it is quite dangerous to use and if you're not careful, it could damage your motherboard since the paste is conductive. Try it on an older, "destroyable" laptop first, if possible to give you an idea of what could go wrong.

 

I hope this helps.

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Also an owner of a y510p here, I just redid the thermal paste in my system after 5 years. What prompted me to do it was that once the gpu was stressed my system would just shut itself off from getting too hot. It wasn't a very intensive job just find a teardown guide and take your time. The paste I used was artic silver 5 and I definitely noticed an improvement even at idle load in terms of noise and heat from the system, also it fixed my shutdown problem.

As mentioned above the stock paste job was really bad, this is something I wish I had done years ago.

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It's actually insane how much positive a thermal paste replacement when done properly can do. CPU as well. I remember on my old laptop it took me from hitting temperature limits in Overwatch and being throttled to 20fps and being able to play the game 60fps on high settings. It's kind of a big, big deal.

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