Well I'm pretty sure we all know by now the dreadful performance of the stock heatsink/fan combo when it comes to cooling the GPU. I've had my T60p for quite a while now, read all the threads, got rightmark CPU working the way I want it, did a few hardware mods listed in a few threads here, and while I was "satisfied" with the results I was just never was happy with the performance of the cooling compared to my T42p and T30p. So I finally got around the getting some stuff together and did something about it. Maybe it will help some others on this site, who knows, maybe someone from Lenovo will read it and do something.
Here's a look at some of my temperature numbers before my latest project. Already this is not a factory setup, I've removed the original thermal compound and replaced it with a silver based compound (not Arctic Silver, I couldn't find my tube, but something better than stock). In addition to that, I did the "penny" mod to apply additional pressure to the heatpipe over the GPU.
Here's the system running at forced full steam but idle. The CPU is running at 2.0 ghz (T7200) and the GPU (FireGL V5250) is running with powerplay completely disabled. TPFancontrol is forcing the fan to run at full speed, and I let the system sit for a few minutes until the temperatures stabilize. The idea is to get some repeatable benchmarks, however I regret that I don't have a thermometer to measure room temp, so I have to guess. All the "before" results I estimate the room temperature to be around 70*F, as I was sitting quite comfortably wearing heavy jeans, socks, and shirt. The "after" results I estimate the room temp has risen to about 85*F-90*F, as I'm sitting wearing nothing but shorts and sweating. It's quite hot.
Anyway, here's the first image.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2072/212 ... b06ea3.jpg
As you can see, the results are about on par with "good" T60 cooling, but not great.
Just out of curosity, I removed the keyboard, trackpoint assembly, and speaker cover assembly to see if airflow is restricted with those parts on. The results say yes.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2228/212 ... f69b41.jpg
Previously when I had my keyboard off I looked around at the configuration and it's pretty easy to see that it's less than ideal (as noted in other threads). However, one thing I spotted was never mentioned before that I read: there is no pressure on the heatpipes, connecting them to the heatsink. I noticed that while stress testing, if I pushed down with my hand on the heat pipes I would see an immediate and several degree decrease in temperatures for the GPU.
Here's the reason. In addition to the heatsink and heatpipe construction being a complete piece of crap, the GPU heatpipe is NOT attached in any way to the CPU portion of the heatsink. The shared GPU heatpipe has to travel quite some distance before it can offload its heat to the heatsink to be carried away. It's already small and overtaxed to begin with, and here's a major design flaw. It really boggles my mind, Intel and AMD are making major strides to create low voltage, low power consuming mobile processors and chipsets with all sorts of power saving features, yet the achillies heel of the whole thing is Lenovo cutting corners on their ridiculous excuse for a heatsink. Really, the thing is a piece of crap. I'm surprised it works at all; it's a prime example of Lenovo getting away with putting in the crappiest component to save $10 from every system. There is room for MAJOR improvement here, at minimal cost, for both the heatsink and the way it attaches to the motherboard. Considering how important fan noise and heat are to most users (and people that review laptops), I can't comprehend why this has been overlooked for so long.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2273/212 ... d84c_o.jpg
Let's get started fixing this abomoniation. Tools you'll need:
* thermal BONDING compound. I use Arctic Silver thermal adhesive. This is not the regular thermal compound you use between the CPU and heatsink. This is a two-part system you mix which forms a PERMANENT bond between materials. It's going to bond the heat pipe to the heat sink.
*thermal compound. The regular stuff. You need to replace the crap you remove before reinstalling the heatsink. I used Arctic Silver this time.
* hands free ratcheting clamps. I used two Irwin Quick-Grip clamps to apply maximum pressure while the thermal bonding compound cured. The pressure you can apply is critical to ultimate performance, so don't skimp out. You won't be able to do it by hand, so don't even try.
* surface cleaner. You need to clean residue off the components that touch the heatsink. Do a final cleaning just before you reinstall the heatsink to make sure it's as clean as possible.
* optional: 2-3mm thick copper plate, copper plate. As you may know, there are three things cooled by the heatsink assembly: the CPU, with its own dedicated heatpipe, and the GPU+Northbridge (I believe). However, they are not all at the same height, yet for some stupid reason the heatsink is constructed as a flat plane. Lenovo "solved" this problem by sticking a large thermal pad over the northbridge, which is a terrible idea. The best solution would be to have a thicker plate for the GPU and northbridge, which are both lower than the CPU. Properly sand and polish a piece of copper and use the thermal adhesive to attach it to the bottom of the heatsink. This issue is what the "penny mod" addresses. You can buy a small sheet of copper at a hardware store and get some sandpaper while you're there, you'll want a variety of grits, at a minimum 600, 1200, and 2000 to finish up the surface before bonding. I didn't have these materials and also wanted to do separate tests, so I haven't done this yet.
* cold ones. This isn't work ya know. Relax and have fun. I enjoyed some Carlton Dark and a Hahn's Light. Just don't do anything stupid. You wouldn't want to spill beer inside your laptop.
Time to get started. Step 1, remove this fuzzy thing. It hides a metal clasp, which seems to be in actuality useless. It looks like it's supposed to clamp the heatpipe to the heatsink, but doesn't. Just stick a fingernail under a corner, it'll peel right up.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2062/212 ... 7ce1_o.jpg
Next you need to very carefully pry the heatpipe away from the heatsink. Grasp the GPU copper pipe and pry it away gently, about this far:http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2263/212 ... 466d_o.jpg
Then stick a knife under the part close to the CPU (where it's actually bonded/welded/glued to the heatsink) and pry the end up a small amount. Remember, you're trying to lift the heatpipe enough so you'll be able to stuff thermal adhesive under it, that's all. No one will think you're cool if you snap the heatpipe.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2368/212 ... f040_o.jpg
Now it's time to mix your adhesive. Read the directions. Mix a decent amount, you need to cover the whole length of the heatpipe that's separated, plus fill in the circular ridge around the CPU portion, as shown below. Apply a thin layer, you don't need to glop it on, just make sure it covers everything. The only think you need to fill is that circular ridge. Why is it there? No idea.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2227/212 ... ce09_o.jpg
You have about five minutes to apply the thermal adhesive and clamps after you mix it, so work quickly but don't rush. Once the thermal adhesive is applied, clamp that sucker down as hard as you can. Make sure the GPU portion goes where it's supposed to, it's possible to get it caught up on the rest of the heatsink. Open a cold one and leave it for at least an hour.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2033/212 ... 1d2d_o.jpg
While you're waiting for the compund to cure, if you're not applying a piece of copper to the heatsink, you can set up the "penny mod". Here's how it works. The CPU portion of the heatsink is clamped to the CPU by means of 4 screws. One is shared with the GPU. The main means of pressure for the GPU and northbridge is a chinsey piece of metal that relies on spring tension to force the entire heatpipe assembly a number of milimeters downward to make contact with the components. It's a terrible design. The keyboard cannot be used to apply pressure, there's really only one screw that holds the keyboard and that is on the wrong side to apply pressure to the GPU. The penny mod takes up some of the gap between the heatsink and components, increasing the amount of pressure, which means better thermal conductivity.
I've got a bunch of coins lying around, I found the best fit to be a US quarter for the GPU and an Australian 5C piece for the northbridge. A US dime will work if you don't have one of those, it's just a bit thinner and smaller. Here's how you should position the coins if you just want to skip the process:http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2289/212 ... c037_o.jpg
If you don't trust my positioning, here's how to do it yourself. You want to place a coin so that it's directly above the component that needs pressure. Use the metal bracket as a template, and line it up with the two screw mounts, and move it back and forth to determine where the coins need to be placed for maximum effect.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2306/212 ... c1a7_o.jpg http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2251/212 ... 4409_o.jpg
Remember, the heatsink is between the components and this bracket. The coins are making contact with the heatsink. It doesn't really matter what you use to take up the gap, it's only to apply pressure, it really has nothing to do with heat transfer.
Okay the thermal adhesive has cured, you've finished the penny pressure mod, you've had a few cold ones, and you're feeling pretty good about your mod. Time to remove the clamps and position the GPU portion of the heatsink. Do some test fitting before you apply thermal compound to figure out how much of a downward bend you need to the GPU portion (remember there is a height difference between the level of the CPU, the level of the GPU, and the level of the northbridge). You want positive pressure on the heatsink. I had to bend mine quite a bit. This is what the copper plate mod will fix, you won't need to bend the plates at all to get positive pressure. The geometry of the configuration should be better as well, but I'm trying to do things one step at a time so I can get measureable results (to some extent). It's a bit hard to tell, but I bent the heatpipe/GPU portion quite a bit so that there was pressure on the northbridge chip. It's maybe 10 degrees.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/212 ... 06aa_o.jpg
Okay time to apply the thermal compound and button things back up. Here are my results.
Here are the same spec as the first test, with the mod finished. You can see from the overall temperatures that that ambient temp as increased considerbly, yet the GPU temp had barely risen! Excellent.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2052/212 ... b55c_o.jpg
And a few stresstests.
Previous to this mod, my GPU temps would eventually peak over 80*C when running RenderMonkey, and after using a GPU intesive game, i.e. Dark Crusade in a hot room, it'd rise over 90*C (high I admit, yet within design specs). After the mod the temps were creeping to the upper 70s, and I haven't seen 80 yet.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2205/212 ... 0cea_o.jpg
Stressing the CPU and GPU together; running WPrime, a multithreaded PI calculation test, plus RenderMonkey.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2008/212 ... 558b_o.jpg
It's a bit difficult to do a direct back to back comparison since I don't have ambient temperature data, but it's pretty easy to see that while the CPU temp has risen a few degrees C at idle, the GPU has barely gone up, implying better cooling despite the increase in ambient temp. If anyone else decides to try this mod, if you could take some data it would be much appreciated.
At the moment, after I've finished writing this article at my regular RMClock and TPFanControl settings, the CPU temp is 50*C while the GPU is "only" 64*C at a constant fan speed of ~3000 RPM (setting 1 in TPFC).MOD EDIT:
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