Chipset Thermal pad replacement on Lenovo SL400


Feb 17, 2014
This laptop is pretty old (5+ years), and I'm using it as an Ubuntu server. It works great, but the laptop was getting VERY hot. The hard drive was at 46°C ambient temperature and the CPUs were at 69°C idle.

I opened it up, cleaned the CPU and GPU dies with Arcticlean. I then applied Arctic Silver 5 onto them, and also cleaned the exhaust fan. This took the temperatures down significantly. Hard drive ambient temp was now 35°C and the CPUs were at 36°C. Nice improvement.

My question though is about the chipset heatsink. I didn't do anything to it because when I looked at it, there wasn't any thermal interface compound, just a sticky, spongy material. I believe this is referred to as Thermal Tape? Anyways, is this something that needs replacing? I'm not sure if I can replace it with Arctic Silver because I think there will be a gap between it and the heatsink. It seems to me that Lenovo used this tape as an engineering shortcut, closing the space between the chipset and heatsink.

Does the tape lose its efficiency (ie, does it need replacing)? Has anyone used compound on this model's chipset?


Nov 13, 2010
So many older laptops run very hot. There are many youtuve videos on how to improve cooling. Find one that shows the following process well and go at it. A cooling "trick" is to remove the putty and replace with a thin piece of copper with compound on both sides. However when you do this you must make sure that the copper shim is the right thickness. I find that some spacing runs about .025" and some about .016". Cut a small piece of the copper MAKING SURE THAT BOTH SIDES ARE PERFECTLY FLAT WHERE THEY CONTACT. Also make sure that this shim does not contact any other components that it could short out. Also it could slide around in there so I usually put some dents in it on the edges to stop it from sliding. Good luck.
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