Lenovo thermal paste quality

vmem

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Hi all

just got a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro and am loving it. however, I don't really like the fans kicking on randomly, and while undervolting helps a little bit, I'm wondering if I can solve the problem by reapplying thermal paste. does anyone know if Lenovo generally uses quality thermal paste in their laptops, or cheap thermal pads? thanks
 

clutchc

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From my experience, there's very little difference in commercial thermal paste quality. While I can't speak directly to the brand Lenovo uses, I would imagine it is of high quality. Besides, the 2% to 4% improvement you MAY see won't solve you problem. It is a design issue. Is there any option in BIOS to just leave the fan run continually?
 

vmem

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@clutchc, There isn't a BIOS option to change the fan profile. to be honest the CPU doesn't run hot at all, the fan just likes to kick on at 40-45C, which is all the time and annoying if I'm in a quiet environment such as my home. I guess I'm asking here because I know manufacturers have cheaped out and used thermal pads in laptops here and there in the past and I'm curious if anyone knew that this is the problem.

@pinnacle, I realize it'll make a 3-5C difference max, but I'm hoping those couple of degrees would keep the fan from turning on while I'm just browsing the web etc. I don't hear it in a louder environment such as at my office, it's really only annoying while I'm at home.
 

P1nnacle

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My comment would be that pulling off the CPU heatsink isn't easy in a laptop, often laptops will use a single heatsink for the entire board, which can be very challenging to remove.
 

vmem

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That's definitely true, and I appreciate the advice. it's also why i'm wondering if there's anyone here who might have more knowledge of the type of thermal compound Lenovo likes to use so I can better judge whether or not it's worth the effort.

Anywho, I managed to get a service manual from the Lenovo website, and it seems that the board actually comes out very cleanly. I'm going to try it carefully and report back, not the first time I do this sort of thing anyway, and I've felt better about these things ever since I lapped down my CPU's heat spreader and got a 4 C drop in load temps :D
 

vmem

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Back with Success!!!

Must say, boy that was a pain in the butt... I've opened up laptops before, but never an ultrabook... the parts are TINY!!! honestly it was a mistake to open it at home and I should've taken it to work to borrow a microscope or something. that aside, I took my time, was careful with handling the parts, and fortunately managed to not break anything. that side, Lenovo's mobo is actually discrete, and after disconnecting a dozen odd headers from various parts, it's actually possible to take just the motherboard out of the system (4" x 2" tiny thing). needless to say, this makes my work a bit easier.

The paste Lenovo happen to use is at least proper paste. that aside, whoever did it used a bit too much, so after a bit of cleaning I carefully applied a thin layer of arctic silver 5, re-tightened the heat-sink, then took it off to check the foot-print of my application. after adjusting again and applying what I think is the right amount, I put everything back together. then, taking inspiration from random forum posts I've seen, I decided to apply a layer of NON-CONDUCTIVE thermal compound, in this case arctic-silver ceramic, to the back of the die-area, allowing it to make contact with the aluminum-ish chassis. Lenovo did put a piece of plastic there to prevent any shorting, and I left that plastic alone. thus the laptop does not get scorching hot when I use it on my lap. and on the odd chance that I want to game from it or do anything intensive, I can set it down on a desk or hopefully a cooling pad.

As for my ultimate goal, I actually managed to lower the idle temp by 5 C, and load temp by nearly 10 C. while both are good, it's the idle-ish temp that was critical. apparently Lenovo had set the fan to kick on at 48 C, which used to happen randomly in a room of around 20-25 C. after my past reapplication etc, my idle or light usage temps sit around 40-46 C, so the fan almost never kick on while I'm typing up a word document or watching a movie :)

In the end, while it was well worth it in my case, it's not something I'd advise everyone to do. but if you're patient, careful, and have a nice pair of tweezers with decent grip, this could solve that burning laptop problem you've been having
 

vmem

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Well, I sorta answered my own question, but I appreciate you following along :)

I'm just glad I didn't end up with an expensive electronic mess lol
 
Sep 17, 2018
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What's the little pad right beside the thermal paste? Is that a thermal pad? Can I replace it with thermal paste?



 

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