Problems with my Dell Inspiron N5010 - Freezes for 5-30 seconds randomly + hard freezes with games


Aug 18, 2013
OK I will try to make this as simple and concise as I can. (Which will be a task.)

Bought this about 3-4 years ago. After a while I did notice freezing in moderation, and hard freezes in games sometimes. Using a temp checking program I realized the problem. The gpu was reaching well over 90c.

So I did the only thing I knew would fix it. I put on my anti static wrist strap and took it apart looking for the problem.

Now this was the cheapest, and excuse my language but SHITTIEST, laptop I have ever seen after taking it apart fully. (because apparently that's what you have to do basically to get to the gpu/cpu.)

CPU/GPU problems....
Taking this apart I realized tons of problems not to mention things like "?!PLASTIC WELDS!?" (That fell out btw.) The Cpu/Gpu was using the same heatsink, and although probably normal in laptops. The spacing between the cpu / gpu / and two sets of chips are all different spacings. I had to order two thermal pads of silicon to cut to fit these chips.

The thermal pads did not suffice for the GPU I was guessing it wasn't cooling it enough to suffice.
So I used an old penny shim mod using a certain date penny (can't recall year) to guarantee enough copper to matter and filled gaps with AS5. (BIOS was shutting comp down to prevent damage to the gpu thank god for a decent enough quality bios)

Finally got the temps down to around 70c loaded and cpu 65c under load.

<Problems Explained>

Firefox/videos/converting things/etc.
Freezes randomly going into not responding for 30-50 seconds some time a hard freeze.

Sometimes I notice, now listen closely, it's not a drop in FPS.. but that is what it looks like. Hard to understand I know but I do realize it's not a drop in FPS. The GPU is running at about 167F loaded.

When freezing in games and even out of gaming I sometimes hear a sound repeating. It sounds the same in/out of games. I don't think it repeats a sound played in the game it's the constant same sound.

I thought it could be ram/gpu/ maybe a board issue (hopefully not).

Also was thinking maybe I could fix it since everything always seems to be in working order and then something pops this randomly>?

Please help if you can and to be honest Dell is OUT of my future buys FOREVER. Considering they probably sent me this laptop spiking 90c on the GPU to boot.



Sep 9, 2009
Never use thermal pads on a gpu and highly recommend against using them on chipsets even on old laptops. The older Dells are vastly better than the modern ones when it comes to build quality (metal body) but most laptops often have issues that are seldom noticed until it breaks down. Avoid Asus as they are all cheap plastic that is prone to chipping and cracking, worse the screens can break off due to the lack of any real frame for the lcd.


Aug 18, 2013

I don't think you understood, Dell used silicon thermal pads for 4 chips under the cpu and two chips by the gpu. Both sets are of different spacings, but each set is the same spacings. (So the chips by the cpu are spcaed same, and the two by the gpu are the same space but the cpu side is about .5-1mm and the other gpu side is smaller.)

The gpu used a thermal metallic pad to fill a .5-1mm space as well.

So after ordering pads to fill the chips, I had to penny shim the gpu/add thermal silicon to fill gaps between the penny and gpu/heatsink.

Now my system runs fine don't get me wrong, but i experience freezing from here to their and sometimes hard freezes.

Hope that clears it up still looking for solutions or advice. Any programs to ensure to find out if the GPU is corrupt or fried somehow? I doubt it is since it runs fine someday 24hours.
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