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X210 CPU cooling improvement options?

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L29Ah
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Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:25 pm
Location: Moscow, Russia

X210 CPU cooling improvement options?

#1 Post by L29Ah » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:20 am

The cooling setup of X201 is inadequate to unleash the full potential of the modern i5/i7 CPUs. I wonder what are my options to improve it.
The current power dissipation can be displayed by tools like `throttled --monitor`. For instance, my X210 with i7-8550U CPU at 92°C with a stock X201 cooler and freshly-applied КПТ-8 paste at 25°C ambient temperature during `sysbench cpu run --threads=9` load dissipates around 21W.

There's a hacked version of the stock X201 cooler by a 51nb forum member "17m19" available for $65, i wonder how much power does it dissipate, and whether it would make sense to stuff thicker/even more heat pipes in there:
https://i.imgur.com/1YaJ4Wv.jpg

Also it's possible to add an external fan to assist the internal one, but i afraid if it's powerful enough to make a big difference it can actually fry the internal one (or even the motherboard) due to increased back-EMF in the fan motor (that turns into a generator that the stock circuitry may not be designed to handle correctly):
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... L1000_.jpg

Also https://www.pcper.com/reviews/Mobile/51 ... quid-Metal suggests using liquid metal for improving the thermal interface between the CPU die and the stock cooler doesn't improve its performance by a sensible margin, and meanwhile creates a hazard since the liquid metal (gallium, to be precise) is corrosive to copper, will short any electronics it's spilled on, and may crack the CPU die if frozen due to expansion.

Any other ideas?
51nb X210 with vladisslav2011's EC mod; X230 with coreboot and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

L29Ah
Freshman Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:25 pm
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: X210 CPU cooling improvement options? HUGE PICTURES!

#2 Post by L29Ah » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:04 am

51nb X210 with vladisslav2011's EC mod; X230 with coreboot and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

xytech
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:17 am
Location: Singapore

Re: X210 CPU cooling improvement options?

#3 Post by xytech » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:05 am

Hi guys,

If anybody needs better cooling, the fan by 17m19 of 51nb which was custom designed for the X210 is available individually through me. It's able to sustain up to 39w on the 8650u, with turbo boost maintaining 3.9GHz at maximum load.

https://forum.51nb.com/forum.php?mod=vi ... id=1871059

It's a 3 pipe copper design for the X200 and another custom designed cooling assembly for the s variant of the laptops.

Check out my other post if anybody need it for cooling. It also performs well for the 8250u too but it's not a necessity compared to the 8650u or the 8550u.

Thanks!

L29Ah
Freshman Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:25 pm
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: X210 CPU cooling improvement options?

#4 Post by L29Ah » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:02 pm

https://dump.bitcheese.net/files/hadyma ... n-mod.jpeg
Soldered an additional heat pipe to my X201 cooler. Got only ~13% more power at 10 minutes than the stock config. Either 17m19 did an astonishingly good job, or he has a [censored] test routine that doesn't wait for the cooling system to stabilize its power sink. Would be glad if anyone with 17m19's cooler post their results.
51nb X210 with vladisslav2011's EC mod; X230 with coreboot and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2287
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: X210 CPU cooling improvement options?

#5 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:57 pm

L29Ah wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:02 pm
Soldered an additional heat pipe to my X201 cooler. Got only ~13% more power at 10 minutes than the stock config.
Is 13% not enough?
Are you sure that the transplanted heatpipe survived the bending and soldering processes? I've done something similar on a non-Thinkpad laptop, but the improvement was meager at best. OTOH, it was an Atom notebook that didn't have a heatpipe at all, and the fact that it's still running (though kept in an air-conditioned room) could mean that the heatpipe transplant did some good.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

L29Ah
Freshman Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:25 pm
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: X210 CPU cooling improvement options?

#6 Post by L29Ah » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:23 pm

axur-delmeria wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:57 pm
L29Ah wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:02 pm
Soldered an additional heat pipe to my X201 cooler. Got only ~13% more power at 10 minutes than the stock config.
Is 13% not enough?
Are you sure that the transplanted heatpipe survived the bending and soldering processes? I've done something similar on a non-Thinkpad laptop, but the improvement was meager at best. OTOH, it was an Atom notebook that didn't have a heatpipe at all, and the fact that it's still running (though kept in an air-conditioned room) could mean that the heatpipe transplant did some good.
If xytech is right, it could be 100%. Also i've cleaned all the dust that i couldn't suck with my vacuum earlier so it might have given an improvement as well.

I'm not sure. I did quite bad of a bend near the fan (it's badly deformed but no leaks observed; probably i should've used a lighter to soften the metal before bending), and then wasted 4 hours trying to solder everything back since once i heat the cpu side enough, the fan side desolders too, and i don't have two clamps to hold them both together.
51nb X210 with vladisslav2011's EC mod; X230 with coreboot and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

L29Ah
Freshman Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:25 pm
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: X210 CPU cooling improvement options?

#7 Post by L29Ah » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:33 pm

My current benchmark numbers btw, it would be nice if anyone with modded coolers presented theirs. The benchmark is cross-platform and crunches prime numbers, roughly representing CPU calculating power, so it should scale linearly with CPU frequency.
∞ sysbench cpu run --threads=9 --time=300 | grep 'events per'         
    events per second:  6821.08
51nb X210 with vladisslav2011's EC mod; X230 with coreboot and nitrocaster's FHD mod as a backup; R500 for guests; T60 just for the looks.

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2287
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: X210 CPU cooling improvement options?

#8 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:44 pm

I had an online discussion regarding heatsink mods, and one suggested using solder paste (for easier application) and a toaster oven (more controlled heating). I don't want to buy solder paste (requires storage at 10 degrees Celsius), nor sacrifice our household's only toaster oven.

What I do have is a spare flat iron. Maybe I can use that instead. :twisted:
I can prepare solder foil by melting regular solder and letting it drop onto a metal surface, as seen in this video.

My objective is different from yours though-- I'm planning to mod an X220 heatsink such that the cooling fins are directly soldered to the heatpipe. The original design is that there's a sheet of metal between the heatpipe and cooling fins, and it's not made of copper-- this is what I suspect to be one of the causes of the X220's heat issues. The X230 rectified this by replacing said sheet with copper. I do have to put it back in one way or another, as said sheet is what holds the fan to the heatsink. I think I can still make it work somehow. :lol:
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2287
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: X210 CPU cooling improvement options?

#9 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:31 am

L29Ah wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm not sure. I did quite bad of a bend near the fan (it's badly deformed but no leaks observed; probably i should've used a lighter to soften the metal before bending), and then wasted 4 hours trying to solder everything back since once i heat the cpu side enough, the fan side desolders too, and i don't have two clamps to hold them both together.
I've just succeeded in detaching and reattaching the cooling fins of a laptop heatsink using only an electric clothes iron. :twisted:

I put the heatsink on a plank of plywood around 3/4 inch thick, set the iron to the highest setting, then put it on the heatpipe directly over the cooling fins. After around 5 minutes I turn off the iron and set it aside. As I lift the heatsink using a pair of pliers, the cooling fins are left behind on the plank, the heat having melted the solder.

You could fabricate a wooden jig that holds the entire heatsink in place. That way you only need to put the new heatsink over it, and the iron on top of htat.

When I tried soldering copper using a torch a few years back, I discovered that pieces need to be cleaned and prepped in order for the solder to stick. This doesn't matter much if both surfaces already have a layer of solder bonded to them, which is indeed the case in the tests I just did.

Soldering with the clothes iron is the same as desoldering, except that I keep the iron in place aften turning it off and unplugging it. This is done so as not to disturb the work pieces. In my tests, I removed the iron 5 minutes after turning it off.


EDIT
Looks like I spoke to soon. I checked the soldered parts after an hour and found that the solder joints were weak and broke easily. This means I need to replace the thermostat (or ditch it altogether) to reach higher temps.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

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