My laptop has started to get too hot when gaming

I guess it's been a few years that I've been gaming on this Alienware 17R4 and not so surprisingly the thermal paste and pads are not working as well as they did when new. I've ordered some paste and pads and fingers crossed they will fix the thermal throttling.

I'll also give the fans and cooling fins a good clean too while it's all apart.

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Nice indeed


And back with ultra settings it's only 59C, Where as before I must have been hitting the thermal protection temperature of 94C

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All sorted and now running the same settings as before where I had 80C but I'm now getting 55C :D

As well as replacing all the thermal pads and paste I also took the opportunity t0 clear out the radiator grills too. They weren't completely blocked or anything like that but I think there was enough fluff that it wasn't helping.

I did have a "shit my pants" moment when I put it all back together. I switched it on to find it powered on for a second then the power button flashed red and it shut off! Oh fuck! Thankfully it was just a warning that the time and date in the bios had been reset as the battery had been removed!?!?! Why it couldn't just boot directly to bios and say "input the time" I don't know. FFS! With the date and time set everything booted up normally.

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On my desktop, with water cooling, Breathedge (epic settings, motion blur off) runs like this. It does have screen tearing in the cut-scenes though (V sync off, fps set to max, nothing set in Nvidia control panel yet).
Also noting that the ambient temp is 19.5C, and the fans are running at 4 Volts (~660 rpm) on the side radiator and 5 Volts (~900 rpm) on the top radiators. Pump speed is fixed at 18% (I have no direct speed for that).

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Benchmark!?! Well as an example I was just running Breathedge, at medium settings, and the GPU was running at 40% with a temperature of 80C!?! Obviously this laptop is designed to run 100% and not hit thermal throttling (94C) in normal conditions.

I think I've been hitting thermal throttling a little bit in a few games lately but hadn't had time to look in to it. In fact it's only because I've been playing around with running games on Linux and I was using a useful app called nvtop to monitor the gpu that I saw what was happening (* that image is an example of nvtop and not my machine).


Wait?! No, game or benchmark!

But it's great Dell makes it that you can (easily?) change stuff on a laptop.

Tbh, now I wonder how easy/difficult it would be to change the T-paste on my laptop if the need ever arises..

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So this is what all the pads and paste look like on the heatsink.

As you can see there are quite a few pads of different thickness's so it ended up costing £56 for all the parts I needed!?! But I went for good quality Thermal Grizzly products so it should be better than new.

So now we wait...