Laptop CPU fan died - hidden damage done even though it boots up ok?

711dman

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I have a Dell a E6430 I7 intell laptop that I love.... using Linux on it with no Windows.

The cpu fan went out on it and there was no warning beep like a PC tower would have. For about 3 hours I was using it without the cpu fan. The keyboard and surface were super hot to touch. After about 3 hours of this, it finally made me realize that the cpu fan was no longer working.

After I figured out the cpu fan stopped after hours of use, I shut it down and let it cool off(saw in bios it was at 80 Celsius).Then I rebooted it briefly to see if it was ok. It booted up with no issues(other than the boot up message telling me the cpu fan is dead).

I am going to replace the cpu fan. But I was wondering...could there be damage that doesn't show up right away? It booted up fine...but I am wondering if there is hidden damage like cpu ticks will be off or something.

 

DSzymborski

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You're probably OK. For a short-term heat issue, the safeguards should kick in and shut down the CPU if it hits the danger zone; the bigger danger is when it's either a long-term heat situation or someone overclocking that's cranking up the voltage way too much.

80C isn't really extreme for a laptop CPU and given that it was a short-term issue *and* you aren't noticing any issues, I wouldn't suspect that you have any damage. Remember, you weren't going completely without cooling, you still had functional heatsink, just one that was running far from ideally. If you didn't have a heatsink, then the CPU would have heated up so quickly that you might have had damage in that situation (as you sometimes see newbies "testing" out their desktop builds before they have the cooler installed).

 

DSzymborski

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You're probably OK. For a short-term heat issue, the safeguards should kick in and shut down the CPU if it hits the danger zone; the bigger danger is when it's either a long-term heat situation or someone overclocking that's cranking up the voltage way too much.

80C isn't really extreme for a laptop CPU and given that it was a short-term issue *and* you aren't noticing any issues, I wouldn't suspect that you have any damage. Remember, you weren't going completely without cooling, you still had functional heatsink, just one that was running far from ideally. If you didn't have a heatsink, then the CPU would have heated up so quickly that you might have had damage in that situation (as you sometimes see newbies "testing" out their desktop builds before they have the cooler installed).

 

DSzymborski

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Actually neither; it's built right into the hardware. The CPU protections are too important to not have a fallback outside of software.
 
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