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W530 high temps and repasting

W530/W540/W550 series specific matters only
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m11k
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W530 high temps and repasting

#1 Post by m11k » Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:13 pm

I recently acquired a W530, with an i7-3840QM CPU and nvidia K2000m graphics. Considering the age of the laptop, I repasted the CPU and graphics card. I didn't think to measure CPU temps before repasting. I'm a little surprised by the temperature after repasting though. Idle temps after running for a while seem to be 45-50C. When running s-tui on Linux (stress tool), I'm getting CPU temps stable around 85C with a frequency on all cores of around 3.5GHz. This seems pretty high to me, and I think it might be thermally throttling, because I did see frequencies around 3.6GHz before temps got too high. I suppose it's possible I over-applied thermal paste. Does anyone else have this CPU and can offer a comparison?

Repasting was way more work than I expected. The HMM seems to be missing a few steps. First of all, it doesn't say to remove the keyboard bezel, which is obviously required. Also, there is no way to get the cooler out without completely removing the display. In my attempts to remove the cooler, I must have cracked the edge of the frame where the cooler sits (not a big deal, it's not a critical spot). Also, the lower-right screw on the cooler didn't want to screw back in. I had to take it off again, clean off all of the paste, try to clean out the screw hole, and re-paste. There must have been some kind of debris in there. It looked like it might have been some thread lock. Even after doing that, I got the screw to bite, but it didn't go in very far so I'm not super confident about it.

Pics here:https://imgur.com/a/jOOExJu

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Re: W530 high temps and repasting

#2 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sat Aug 22, 2020 6:49 pm

What thermal paste did you use?
Did you make sure the mounting screws are decently tight?
Also it is going to take a few days usually for the thermal paste to reach its maximum thermal performance.
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m11k
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Re: W530 high temps and repasting

#3 Post by m11k » Sat Aug 22, 2020 8:51 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 6:49 pm
What thermal paste did you use?
Did you make sure the mounting screws are decently tight?
Also it is going to take a few days usually for the thermal paste to reach its maximum thermal performance.
Arctic MX-4 thermal paste (tube is about a year old).
The mounting screws are in all the way. They bottom out pretty easily except for that one stubborn screw that I didn't want to overtighten for fear of stripping it.
I thought it might take some time as well for the paste to "set". I did the repaste last weekend and let it sit for 7 days. I haven't seen much of a change in that time.

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Re: W530 high temps and repasting

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:32 am

You have 'overdosed' that poor CPU and GPU!
The way to paste properly is: clean everything first with e.g. isopropyl alcohol.
Use a dollop of only about 2 rice corns size and spread that evenly over the full surface with e.g. a credit card.
Do the same for CPU and GPU (if available and required).
When you put the cooler back on, before you tighten the screws, turn it left/right/left/right a few mm, then tighten the screws in sequence 1-2-3-4 or as indicated.
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Re: W530 high temps and repasting

#5 Post by cadillacmike68 » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:40 pm

Use 91% Isopropyl. The 70% stuff is not pure enough and most have something in them that makes the surface slick.
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m11k
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Re: W530 high temps and repasting

#6 Post by m11k » Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:01 pm

Thanks for the suggestions! I have some 99% IPA I can clean off the old paste with. I did use 70% originally to clean off the CPU and GPU. They were spotless after cleaning! I'll retry with less paste to see if it makes a difference. I've never had to manually spread the paste over a CPU with a card when re-pasting. I've generally found that if you can install the cooler properly centered that it pretty evenly distributes the paste. I have re-pasted a T430, X230, and a T61 in the last year and they all seemed to be fine. The screw that wouldn't go in properly is slightly concerning (and I wiggled the crap out of the screw and cooler to try to get it to secure properly) but the other three went in without an issue.

Normal usage with some occasional CPU spikes sees temps in the upper 40s and 50s, so I'm thinking maybe I'm worrying too much about CPU temps when running stress. Maybe it is too much of an artificial test. Does anyone have a W530 and can report temps for comparison?

Here's a video I made running s-tui: https://asciinema.org/a/rTHES4C0niS8ZFmBbMD6nNGE4. Its about 2 minutes long. I looked at the power usage with a kill-a-watt while the test was running, and it was at 85W, and that is with the battery not simultaneously charging and the GPU effectively powered down (i.e. hybrid graphics and nothing using the GPU)! That's a lot of heat to dissipate. The LCD screen was at full brightness, so that probably contributed a little. Idle power draw is ~25W.

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Re: W530 high temps and repasting

#7 Post by TinkerMan » Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:57 pm

yeah, the W530 heatsink is a real bugger, isnt he!
too bad you didnt check the forum first as I have encountered the same issues with getting that thing out a few weeks ago and did report on it.
as for the temps, well, it is a powerful and hot CPU, I have the same, and I got the same result as you did, but than again, my old 3630qm was also a hot cpu. also remember the T junction for these CPUs is 105 C , not the usual 100C, so maybe the bios is set to permit higher temps than other generations of cpus, maybe, I dont know, its just a hypothesis.
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