Toshiba Satellite overheating: No dust

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Sean_107

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Jan 5, 2017
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Gday guys I'm at my wits end a bit here....have tried a number of solutions with no success, hoping someone can help me out.

I have Toshiba Satellite P50t (PSPNVA-01R00N) and have recently started having problems with keeping it cool in the past 3 months or so. Last year I would play Attila Total War on it for hours without any problem (it got hot, but not dangerously so). The other day I fired it up and played for a couple of minutes and the laptop overheated and shut off. Since then I have tested a few times and within 30 seconds of loading a saved game the laptop becomes unbearably hot to touch. The overheating does not happen with other games, although even less intensive games like X3: Albion Prelude run far hotter than they did not too long ago.

You can see the full specs here and it has Win10 64 bit. http://www.mytoshiba.com.au/products/computers/satellite/p50/pspnva-01r00n/specifications

I have tried (in no particular order):
a) doing all windows updates
b) updated the BIOS from 1.2 to 1.5
c) defragged the hard drive and cleared up a bunch of space
d) quit/uninstalled unnecessary processes
e) sprayed compressed air into the laptop to try to dislodge dust (i didnt remove case, just tried to spray through the vents in a way that would make the dust exit the pc, not push it in further).
f) experimented with Vsync. I have a Radeon R9 m265x card which does not have the vsync option in the radeon control centre, but i have run the 'amd chill' or whatever it's called to no effect.
g) have experimented with vsync on/off and different graphics settings in games
h) experimented with power settings, including throttling the processor at 90% of max (no effect, and obvs I don't want to limit pc too much as I am playing games)
i) Have tried changing fan speed but my toshiba doesn't have this option, even with the updated BIOS. I know that the fan can run faster because it runs very fast/loud when the laptop boots up, but never again attains that speed. (i have read about people complaining about this very issue in other forums).
j) graphics card (r9 m265x) is up to date.
k) I have tried two different desks and 3 different surge protectors just in case it was an issue like that but it hasn't made a difference.

The heat is coming from the right hand side of hte keyboard, directly underneath the Enter, +, and - keys (which are stacked vertically above each other) and right next to the exit vent. I'm assuming this is where the graphics card is located, so it and the fan are my first port of call for trying to make changes. The laptop is well out of warranty by the way, and the nearest service centre is 5 hrs away (and it costs $131 just to get them to have a look at it) so I'm not keen on that option especially as it doesnt seem as if there's anything *wrong* with it per se (no funny noises from fan, laptop running as well as it always did apart from the heat etc)...

I have ordered a laptop cooler and in the meantime propping up my laptop on a book etc and having the aircon on helps a very slight amount, noticeably X3 and dark souls, but not with Attila TW. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks,
Sean
 
Was using the compressed air the first time you have done this on this particular laptop? If so, take the laptop apart and manually remove all the dust that has accumulated on the backside of the heatsink cooling fins (and fan blades), and also remove the old thermal paste from the cpu and gpu, and replace it with new stuff, such as Arctic Silver 5 paste.

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Sean_107

Commendable
Jan 5, 2017
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1,510
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Thanks for your quick response. Yep its first time since I bought it, ~2years, using compressed air. I was going to try that, but I can't seem to get into the laptop. I'm not sure how to add pictures but there are no visible screws on the bottom of my case. Actually there is 1, which i think covers the hard drive, but I can't even remove it, it just unscrews half a turn and then spins perpetually. Below is a pretty good pic of a p50t i found on google.

Now, I have never removed thermal paste. Installed but not removed. What should i use to remove it? Does it just peel off? Also, I have never opened a laptop before (desktops only). Can you give me some advice about 'best practice' eg things i should not touch , do i need to wear gloves to prevent static buildup, etc. Anything I need to do differently with a desktop? Thanks in advance.

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=toshiba+satellite&espv=2&biw=1024&bih=457&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigxM7FiKzRAhVKoJQKHQ6DBGMQ_AUIBygC#tbm=isch&q=bottom+of+a+toshiba+satellite+p50t&imgrc=RBq4TbPJBYxLEM%3A
 

Sean_107

Commendable
Jan 5, 2017
4
0
1,510
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Thanks mate. It took me a little bit, but i've done that. Not a skerrick of dust in it. Actually the only dust I saw was inside the memory card slot, which was gunked up like your picture. Graphics/pc card fan itself only had a slight coating of dust but i gave it a good pffffffffffftttttt (spray) anyway.

I didn't do the thermal paste because everything was packed very tightly in there and i was left with nightmares of having to jam it all back into its case to close it. Is old paste (2 years) likely to be a significant cause of heat?

The fan in there was pathetic, so at the moment im leaning towards getting a laptop cooler. Alternatively I'm wondering if there's something in the catalyst settings that could be a possible cause.
 
You're welcome.

Did you remove the fan to clean the dust out?

Have you ever run a monitoring program to see what your actual temps are? It's good to know that.

Not sure of the odds of how likely 2 year old thermal paste is to be a problem, but it is a common enough cause of overheating to be worth mentioning.

Another miniscule possibility is the chance the heatsink pipes have gone bad. Rare, but it does happen.

 

Sean_107

Commendable
Jan 5, 2017
4
0
1,510
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Ahh...no I didn't think to remove the fan. Just examined it visually. As it turns out with some more investigation I think that the primary culprit is the processor, not the graphics card. The processor is right under the bit which gets hot, and curiously doesn't really have its own fan.

Now, I did find an indirect workaround which other people who search here might be able to use. I have a radeon graphics card so I doubled clicked on Radeon Settings app in the bottom right hand corner (it doesnt appear there by default for me, you have to open it manually but that's a whole other story). So open radeon settings. Click on gaming (tab in top left corner). Click on global settings (tab in top left corner). Turn Shader Cache to 'AMD Optimized' and set Wait for vertical refresh to 'Always On'. Now, click on Home (bottom left house icon) then click on gaming tab again. Now click on the game (in this case, Attila). Set Shader Cache to 'On' and Wait for vertical refresh to 'Always On'.

This resulted in a meaningful decrease to maximum temperatures of maybe 5 degrees in both Attila and X3: Albion Prelude. I did not measure the temperatures normally, only by touch. However, temps are still too high but I post it just FYI. It unfortunately did result in some modest framerate decreases (i guess about 5-10FPS) but its barely noticeable.

I had not installed a temperature monitor before I did the above, but I did install MSI Afterburner after you suggested it. After 2 minutes (literally) of TW:Attila I'm running at 85 degrees celsius, idle is about 55 degrees. I didnt want to push it any further than this. Literally as soon as i click on attila to open the UI to start the game the temperature starts rising 3-4 degrees. I am waiting to get a laptop cooler to see what sort of difference that might make.

**EDIT**

Just editing this to say that i've also been experience super hot temperatures even when playing minecraft which is hardly processor intensive. Not entirely sure of the reason, now that dust is ruled out. Might have to get in touch with Toshiba.
 
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