Clean laptop graphics card overheating (not OC'd)

Lord Darren

Apr 8, 2013
I have a 5-6 year old gateway (P-7811fx) gaming laptop which I used steady for 4 years before getting a desktop last year. My reason for getting the desktop was due in part to the abysmal gaming performance I was getting out of my laptop in those last few months. I thought it was just because my system was cluttered and a OS reinstall would solve it, turns out it didn't.

I loaded CoD 4, pretty lightweight by today's standards but I can't play a 10 minute match on very low graphics settings without my graphics card power getting killed (eg turned off) automatically while ingame. I monitored temps ingame with MSI afterburner and they never seem to go above 80.

In an attempt to pinpoint the problem I installed OCCT and ran a 6 minute gfx card stress test, passed with flying colors. However, when I bumped the test up to 7 minutes the gfx card hit 90C and my system shut down my graphics card like a charm (eg running with no display).

Now I have cleaned this laptop inside out, takes about 2 hours, but it still is overheating. I have it suspended a good inch in the air and it still overheats. Both fans still work and increase speed when I am gaming/testing so I don't think it's a fan problem.

When I first bought the laptop (new) I never had an overheating problem, didn't clean it for 2 years (noob) and it was running hot but it's been clean as a whistle since.

I'm just wondering if this could be a voltage problem and if I should try underclocking my GPU?


Oct 2, 2013
did you redo the thermal paste. 6 years means it prob should be done. I have had to do it on my 2 year old system as the paste had dried out so much that both my cpu and gpu would run hotter then when it was new (even with it ramping up fan speeds due to trying to control it)

Lord Darren

Apr 8, 2013

Update: I can confirm it's the graphics card overheating; today I ran the stress test with my laptop only on the battery. It seems even on high performance battery settings the gpu core clock will never exceed 400mhz gpu core clock speed and all this while the gpu temps remained quite cool (~55c) and I was able to play a 10 minute match without any of the aforementioned stability problems.

After plugging the laptop back in to the AC I underclocked the gpu core to the battery max speed of 400mhz and it works fine, but I can go as high as 450mhz before heat is a problem.

Like you suggested, I'll take it apart again and make sure the gpu heatsink is properly seated and apply new thermal paste.
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