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LeandroMLopes

Is this a sign of too little thermal paste?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi, everyone!

 

I have been having overheating on my laptop. It's a Lenovo with a i7 7700HQ and a GTX 1060-MaxQ and the heatsink is crap. It's a 2-pipe single heatsink shared by both the CPU and GPU.

 

Lately I've been hitting close to 90ºC on the CPU and close to 80ºC on the GPU (which I never saw above 72ºC) so I decided to repaste it and clean all the dust. I used an old MX-4 I had for like 7-8 years and the thermals were even worse after! I figured the paste had gone bad and so I bought a Kryonaut tube and applied it and the thermals did not change! I was hitting 93ºC in the CPU and high 80ºC on the GPU. I opened it up again and this was what I saw (this is the CPU but the GPU looked the same.

 

Usually you see a lot more paste when you open it up. Does this mean I used too little thermal paste? I used the pea method. Also, then I figured that MAYBE the screws on the heatsink are not meant to be tightened to the max and googled it and I guess that's right. Tightening it to the max can squeeze the thermal paste away from the contact zone so it should be tightened like 60%. I tested how many turns the screws had and it was 5 turns. I turned them 3 times each and that time I used the spread method like this.

 

After testing, the max the CPU got was 87ºC and GPU was 74ºC, so either the spread method, the looser screws or both helped! Any ideas about this? 

 

 

Best regards!


i7 7700HQ | GTX 1060 MAX-Q | 16 GB DDR4 | SM961 NVMe SSD 256 GB |

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Too much mounting pressure shouldn't matter as the point of thermal paste is to fill any micro-gaps on the surface of the heatsink and the cooled part.  What too much mounting pressure does on the other hand is it can bow the metal, creating an imperfect contact between the 2 surfaces thus reducing the surface area in contact with the heat-producing part.


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The problem is that is how laptops are designed these days.  They’re just designed to run really hot.  A lot of em are actually built to thermal throttle and run 95c all the time.


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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i would not recommend not tightening the screws. if they can become to loose and fall out you can cause a short. So tighten until snug. to little paste can cause worse performance. To much paste, the excess will be pushed out. Only if it really crap paste or if the paste is conductive will this cause issues. If the multiple heat pipes are in direct contact with the cpu or gpu sometimes there is gap between the heat pipes and were they make contact to the cpu or gpu. It may help to fill that gap with paste

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Posted · Original PosterOP
20 minutes ago, narrdarr said:

i would not recommend not tightening the screws. if they can become to loose and fall out you can cause a short. So tighten until snug. to little paste can cause worse performance. To much paste, the excess will be pushed out. Only if it really crap paste or if the paste is conductive will this cause issues. If the multiple heat pipes are in direct contact with the cpu or gpu sometimes there is gap between the heat pipes and were they make contact to the cpu or gpu. It may help to fill that gap with paste

The screws are held in place, so even if they're loose all the way, they can´t drop out of the heatsink.


i7 7700HQ | GTX 1060 MAX-Q | 16 GB DDR4 | SM961 NVMe SSD 256 GB |

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15 minutes ago, LeandroMLopes said:

The screws are held in place, so even if they're loose all the way, they can´t drop out of the heatsink.

There are more situations where a tight mount is more helpful than a loose one. It’s not a 100% thing but it exists.  A very loose mount is bad in basically all cases though.  Part of the problem is determining what “tight”, loose”, and “very loose” means.  There is also overtight.  That can happen too.  It’s frequently impossible on CPUs because the screws are supposed to bottom out.


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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