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Improving T60 cooling by cutting away plastic "lamellas/gills"

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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zoltan87
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Improving T60 cooling by cutting away plastic "lamellas/gills"

#1 Post by zoltan87 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:51 pm

So I have been thinking about this for a while now: Could I improve the cooling of my Thinkpad T60 if I cut away those vertical plastic lamellas (or gills/ plates/ whatever the proper English term is) on the plastic base, where the system exhausts the heat around the fan on the left back side, and back left side? Doing this I could increase the ventilation holes by about 50% in size, that should be a huge help in cooling. I also studied the actual heatsink assembly, it has those copper gills spaced evenly around the fan, which means that many of those can't really work properly, as the plastic gill pieces obstruct the metal gills behind them. So if I cut away those plastic pieces, the heatsink will have a full un-obstructed surface to dissipate heat.

Is my thinking right, or am I missing something? The only disadvantage I can think of, is that this way dust could penetrate more easily into the heatsink assembly, but that doesn't bother me. If I had a spare base I would definitely go ahead with this idea, but I am slightly hesitant doing it to my T60, in case something turns out bad.
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Re: Improving T60 cooling by cutting away plastic "lamellas/gills"

#2 Post by Cigarguy » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:57 pm

Doubt it'll improve cooling by any significant amount. Reapplying TIM and cleaning out the interior is the best and is about the only thing one can do. Only way to find out is to try it and find out. Entire T60s are going cheap enough these days that getting a new base or new laptop is easy and cheap. Do post the before and after mod temps along with what you did.

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Re: Improving T60 cooling by cutting away plastic "lamellas/gills"

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:44 pm

Another option might be to make some slits in the bottom under the fan, so it can draw in more fresh air from underneath/outside, rather than through the few holes it can use right now.

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Re: Improving T60 cooling by cutting away plastic "lamellas/gills"

#4 Post by geka3250 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:03 pm

zoltan87,
But what the problem with T60 fan to damage the case? In my opinion its better replacing GPU thermal pad with 0.8...1.0mm copper shim and placing about 2mm thermal pad between SB and structure frame. Also "right" fan profile in IBMECW doing good job.

RealBlackStuff,
not good idea. T60 case designed fan to make airflow through the whole motherboard. Vent holes can lower CPU, GPU and NB temps but cause SB, VRM and other hot components to overheat
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Re: Improving T60 cooling by cutting away plastic "lamellas/gills"

#5 Post by TPFanatic » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:32 pm

This is exactly what Lenovo did when they designed the T61 and that model cools better than the T60.
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Re: Improving T60 cooling by cutting away plastic "lamellas/gills"

#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:38 pm

TPFanatic wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:32 pm
This is exactly what Lenovo did when they designed the T61 and that model cools better than the T60.
Which This exactly (of the above-mentioned ones)?

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Re: Improving T60 cooling by cutting away plastic "lamellas/gills"

#7 Post by TPFanatic » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:43 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:38 pm
TPFanatic wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:32 pm
This is exactly what Lenovo did when they designed the T61 and that model cools better than the T60.
Which This exactly (of the above-mentioned ones)?
Making the plastic grille material thinner.

But they did as well add some small intake vents below the fan too.
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Re: Improving T60 cooling by cutting away plastic "lamellas/gills"

#8 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:40 am

TPFanatic wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:43 pm
Making the plastic grille material thinner.

But they did as well add some small intake vents below the fan too.
So, what zoltan87 can do is:

- get high-resolution images of the T61 bottom chassis and apply the changes (bigger vent holes, thinner grilles) on his T60, or

- get a T61 bottom chassis and install it on his T60 -- assuming, of course, that it fits.
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Re: Improving T60 cooling by cutting away plastic "lamellas/gills"

#9 Post by TPFanatic » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:12 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:40 am
TPFanatic wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:43 pm
Making the plastic grille material thinner.

But they did as well add some small intake vents below the fan too.
So, what zoltan87 can do is:

- get high-resolution images of the T61 bottom chassis and apply the changes (bigger vent holes, thinner grilles) on his T60, or

- get a T61 bottom chassis and install it on his T60 -- assuming, of course, that it fits.
2nd option should work for a 15.4" or 14.1" 4:3 model. If his is 15" he can do only the first.
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Re: Improving T60 cooling by cutting away plastic "lamellas/gills"

#10 Post by zoltan87 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:38 am

Well, I decided to go ahead with this modification. I left two of the vertical plastic gills on the left side and at the back too, to help maintain the structural strength of the base there (I was afraid it might will get flexy if I cut away all those things). So it's like this: originally 10 gills on the left side, I cut away the first three, left one, cut away two more, left an other one, and cut away the last three. Similarly on the back side. Now the ventilation hole is definitely a lot more open, and I can easily see the copper heatsink lamellas from the outside.

I did temperature tests before the mod, and after the mod too. Honestly, i don't see too much of an improvement. The cpu and gpu are about 2-3 Celsius cooler after this modification, but I had to re-apply thermal paste too, so the difference could easily be the result of that. I also know that the heat-paste has to settle for a while until it will reach it's optimal thermal conductivity. So I will do these measurements later again. But I don't think this mod makes a big difference, certainly nothing like I was hoping for.

Just to be clear, I have already made modifications to my system (T500 heatsink, undervolting), so it's pretty cool now anyway, I have no overheating issues whatsoever. It has just become kind of an obsession for me, to make my system as cool as possible, so it will prolong it's life, and also the fan doesn't have to spin so fast (so it's more quiet).
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Re: Improving T60 cooling by cutting away plastic "lamellas/gills"

#11 Post by wujstefan » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:53 am

Well do not get me wrong, but removing those grills is more like a shooting in the air. As long as the total vent space is larger than total fan exhaust space it will do nothing.

I have done several mods with cooling systems (elitebooks mostly), and the main factor is the fan, contact space and material.
I modded the heatpipes on some thinkpads, but this is pretty difficult as in most cases there is just not enough space to apply any modification anyway. I would try another fan assembly, then would try to apply some extra pressure on it (still you need to be gentle), then would try to add some extra copper shims to redistribute the heat outside the hot area. Running 2-heatpipe or 3-heatpipe fan assemblies also gives some good effect when you thermally connect them (but you need to be careful not to damage the heatpipes, if the thermal liquid is gone you're dead cold).

I think this sounds like some fun with kids this weekend. will give it a shot.
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Re: Improving T60 cooling by cutting away plastic "lamellas/gills"

#12 Post by TPFanatic » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:52 pm

See this notebookreview which includes pictures of the intake and exhaust changes Lenovo made T60 to T61. http://www.notebookreview.com/notebookr ... ts-review/
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