Need Advice on Overheating Issues and Overheat Protection

Donald Bronson

Honorable
Apr 9, 2013
4
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10,510
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Hi all,

I have recently gotten into 3D game development, and the laptop I am using has overheated three times now. I know that laptops are not ideal for doing graphics-heavy 3D rendering (especially as I am running Intel HD Graphics), but I am stuck using it until I can get the money to build (or buy) a desktop. Given that it is actually my mother's laptop, I obviously do not want to damage it in any way (even more so than I normally would). Thus, before I mindlessly plow onward, I have a couple of questions I need answered. I have provided specs and details below.

1. Will allowing the laptop to overheat and auto-shutoff damage it in any way? (It overheats at 105 degrees Celsius).

2. If so, then what is the maximum temperature at which I can operate without risking damage to the laptop?

3. Is there any way I can prevent the processor from reaching this temperature? That is, is there a "softer" option than a hard shut-down, perhaps by restricting the clock-rate of the CPU or preventing it from operating at maximum load? I would prefer a dynamic solution (e.g., only throttle down when temperature necessitates it), but I am willing to use a solution that reduces performance all the time if absolutely necessary.

4. I have the laptop on a cooling pad already; does the type of pad matter, and if so, how? I have heard that pull fans instead of push fans are best, but how do I tell which type of fan mine is? When it's on, the draft is too spread out for me to tell which way it's going. Any tips? Also, any recommendations for specific cooling pads or cooling pad manufacturers that have worked wonders?

5. I have seen suggestions to blow the vents out. Does this actually work, and which vents would need to be blown out? I can only find one major vent on the computer, and it's on the back edge. It feels like blowing air into it would just drive the dust in deeper. Is there any special 'how-to' that I am missing here, such as having to take it apart first, or does just blowing into the vent from the outside work as intended and clear the dust out?

6. Are there any other recommendations you might have for me?

Thanks a lot. I really appreciate your feedback so I can stop losing sleep over this.

System Specs:

Gateway NV79
Intel Core i5 M430 @ 2.27GHz (Stock Speed)
Intel HD Graphics
4 GB RAM
17.3" 16:9 HD+ LCD w/ LED Backlight (1600 x 900)
500 GB HDD
4GB RAM
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Details of Problem:

* CPU runs about 41-45 degrees when doing light load (such as right now, with nothing open except this browser window, which has only this one tab).
* Playing an MP4 video in Windows Media Player bumps this up to about 47-60 degrees Celsius (it tends to vary based on what else I've been doing with it recently).
* Doing lighting or materials work in UDK (my game development environment of choice) can push me as high as 87-91 degrees Celsius.
* The combination of the two has crashed my computer three times (in a week).
* The temperature UDK can get to by itself is (to me) worryingly close to that 105-degree shut-off mark.
 

manofchalk

Honorable
Moderator
May 11, 2012
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10,660
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1. I dont think it will outright damage the laptop, but it definitely cant be doing any favors to its lifespan.

3. You could undervolt the processor to conserve power (and thus reduce heat). Though being a laptop chip, I don't think you could get far before it becomes unstable as chances are its already running at a very low voltage. From there you would have to underclock it, which will reduce performance, to keep it stable.
Try to find in the BIOS something along the lines of overheating protection, that will detail the point where the CPU will degrade its own performance to avoid burning out (also known as the TjMax, which on Intel chips is commonly 105°C). You might be able to set it lower.

4. Airflow is airflow, I dont think getting a different cooling pad will do much. Because really all they can do is blow air at the bottom of the laptop, which in reality isn't going to do much unless the laptop is using the chassis itself as a heatsink.
Typically air flows out from the ugly end of the fan, the side with the specifications sticker and support struts for the motor.

5. A can of compressed air will with blowing out the vent. Hopefully any dust will be forced out :).
If you wanted to be sure, you could disassemble the laptop and dust it properly.

6. Changing the thermal paste on the CPU might help. If the laptop is old, there a good chance the paste has dried out.

- Get an alcohol based cleaning fluid like Isopropyl alcohol or White Spirits, though if you have a dedicated TIM cleaning solution then use that, toilet paper and a micro-fiber cloth. As well as some more thermal paste to put on the CPU, a good one to use is Arctic Cooling MX-4.
- Disassemble the laptop and remove the heatsink from the CPU, how this is done varies per laptop so you might have to research your particular laptop or just wing it (carefully of course ;)).
- Moisten some toilet paper with the Isosprpyl, use it to clean off the thermal paste from both the CPU and heatsink. Keep doing that until you don't notice any residue left on the paper. Then use the micro-fiber cloth to finish it off.
- Apply a small dob of paste in the center of the CPU, less is more in this case.
- Remount the heatsink, the pressure will spread the paste over the CPU. Put the laptop back together, press the power button and hope that it works.
 

sharingan5

Honorable
Feb 19, 2013
8
0
10,520
2
105 degrees is the boot down temperature that all intel chips have.
At that temp the CPU stops working to prevent over heating and damage to itself.

Cooling pads do help, try to use the laptop in a air conditioned environment.

Other cooling solutions are not applicable since it is a laptop.
Cooling pads by Cooler Master are good.

Underclocking the CPU is not a very good option, specially for laptops.
 

manofchalk

Honorable
Moderator
May 11, 2012
108
0
10,660
14
1. I dont think it will outright damage the laptop, but it definitely cant be doing any favors to its lifespan.

3. You could undervolt the processor to conserve power (and thus reduce heat). Though being a laptop chip, I don't think you could get far before it becomes unstable as chances are its already running at a very low voltage. From there you would have to underclock it, which will reduce performance, to keep it stable.
Try to find in the BIOS something along the lines of overheating protection, that will detail the point where the CPU will degrade its own performance to avoid burning out (also known as the TjMax, which on Intel chips is commonly 105°C). You might be able to set it lower.

4. Airflow is airflow, I dont think getting a different cooling pad will do much. Because really all they can do is blow air at the bottom of the laptop, which in reality isn't going to do much unless the laptop is using the chassis itself as a heatsink.
Typically air flows out from the ugly end of the fan, the side with the specifications sticker and support struts for the motor.

5. A can of compressed air will with blowing out the vent. Hopefully any dust will be forced out :).
If you wanted to be sure, you could disassemble the laptop and dust it properly.

6. Changing the thermal paste on the CPU might help. If the laptop is old, there a good chance the paste has dried out.

- Get an alcohol based cleaning fluid like Isopropyl alcohol or White Spirits, though if you have a dedicated TIM cleaning solution then use that, toilet paper and a micro-fiber cloth. As well as some more thermal paste to put on the CPU, a good one to use is Arctic Cooling MX-4.
- Disassemble the laptop and remove the heatsink from the CPU, how this is done varies per laptop so you might have to research your particular laptop or just wing it (carefully of course ;)).
- Moisten some toilet paper with the Isosprpyl, use it to clean off the thermal paste from both the CPU and heatsink. Keep doing that until you don't notice any residue left on the paper. Then use the micro-fiber cloth to finish it off.
- Apply a small dob of paste in the center of the CPU, less is more in this case.
- Remount the heatsink, the pressure will spread the paste over the CPU. Put the laptop back together, press the power button and hope that it works.
 

Stephan Puch

Honorable
Jun 13, 2013
1
0
10,510
0
Gateway NV79 with an i5 processor are great, I have one and it was a used refurbished off lease, immediately thereafter while using it for extended periods the same symptoms , as it laid on top of a tweaked Thermaltake Massive 23 ST notebook cooler with massive air flow, the damage the excessive will damage the screen in time, the heat and auto shutdown doesn’t harm much, but if you maintain this use in the shape it is in, as with all Processors, heat is a slow death.
To verify if this is the problem, do this simple check.
Turn over your note book with all power remover, no charger or battery installed, remover bottom cover for servicing and installing 2nd HDD, it is the biggest ones, the screws all should have retaining clips so you do not remove them just unscrew them. Oh you did know that the majority of NV79 have two HDD drive bays, especially when upgraded with the option of an i5 core, standard ones had an i3 core, anyways with the bottom cover off , now flip it right side up resting either on a cooling platform or elevate it using two books just using the edges on the R&L sides and use it like normal, as you do you’ll see your cooling problems cause’
If it ceases to use overheat default shut down, it’s the cooling fan, the variable setting the speed fails to speed the fan up with the increase of heat, that seem to be an inherit failure to speed up while temp rises , now with the bottom cover off, it’s an easy fix, actually this notebook is probably one of the most excisable one’s ever produced, easily remove the worst place to cut corners cooling fan and either find a computer components store or order it right here, but check the air flow specs and RPM of the fan, make sure you’re improving the performance with a better performing fan, while you at it, get another 2.5 HDD and upgrade your DDR3 RAM to 8GB it will greatly improve your computers usability. One more warning, the screen on a NV79 is known for failure because of the excess heat the screen suffers severely over time. But this notebook is worth the money and time to fix right; once it’s been done it will work flawlessly for years to come.
The fan is in a case that directs the air flow, remove the case covers, it does come apart, just the fan is all you need, if you have trouble message me and I can do a Cam vid chat to take you step by step.
Careful when buying fan, they are cheap, but he OEM Gateway fan sells for just under 60 bucks and that’s just plain stupid spending.
On mine, I run two 1TB hybrid 2.5 HDD and replaced the fan and screen and keyboard, now I plan to upgrade the i5 core to a i7 next generation mobile processor , it should fit perfectly and easily be able to use the newer chipset, or you can get a driver update program and set it on custom where it reads it individually rather than by model of the mother board. I’ll let you know how well it turned out.

 
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