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Community Manager

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573 Posts

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November 20th, 2023 15:10

Week 2 Question 11/20/2023 - 11/26/2023: POST REPLY HERE

Let's talk about Dell's thermal management solutions. How do you keep your Dell laptop cool during heavy workloads?

 

Please post your response below. Visit How to Participate + Official Rules for more information.

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7 Technologist

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10.3K Posts

November 20th, 2023 17:17

switch from mainstream pancake heatsink to Performance heatsink which is taller.  clean the heatsink and fan to facilitate air cooling if there is dust build up.  repaste heatsink-cpu IHS as Dell factory usually applied way too thick a layer of paste (like cream cheese spread on bagel) which defeats purpose of thermal paste.  correct way should be a very thin layer of butter coating the thermal interface 

1 Rookie

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22 Posts

November 24th, 2023 10:02

I installed bigger feet for better airflow through the bottom, and replaced all of my thermal paste with more heavy duty. I also make sure to give my laptop a good look when I open it. The best way I've noticed to keep temperature installed, while not very practical for most, is to install a more lightweight operating system such as Debian or Ubuntu (my favorites!) I keep it in a cold room so it can stay around 50 C at most. I think it's doing pretty good for 12 years old 😁 If anyone has suggestions let me know!

(edited)

2 Intern

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261 Posts

November 20th, 2023 18:09

Set app-specific thermal profiles in AWCC

6 Professor

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5.9K Posts

November 20th, 2023 18:43

Since this is a laptop, not much you can improve. You can buy a laptop stand, and some come with additional cooling fans.

The easiest might be to use a wireless screen, keyboard and mouse and put the laptop in the fridge.

4 Operator

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2K Posts

November 20th, 2023 23:42

external Hardware Labs GTR 560mm rad push/pull

4 Operator

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2K Posts

November 20th, 2023 23:50

XPS 8930

2 Intern

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203 Posts

November 21st, 2023 15:18

There's not much that an end-user can do to improve on Dell's thermal solution, since Dell's proprietary motherboard and case leave no room for additions, and Dell doesn't support modifications. Once the machine is past its warranty, an end-user can do as they wish, but improving on thermal performance will require extensive (and expensive) modification.

While in-warranty, the best you can do for thermal performance is to keep the inflow and outflow grills, the fan blades, and the inside of the computer free of dust. Do this with regular cleaning using a can of compressed air approved for use with electronics.

1 Rookie

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7 Posts

November 22nd, 2023 03:42

The design of older Latitudes like the 6350 is ideally suited for either of two types of cooling fans: a single, center-push fan, or for an exhaust fan. I've used USB-powered cooling fan/pads for more than 20 years, including Belkin, Targus, and others.  I'm currently using a Cooler Master X Slim Notebook Cooler, about $30, available everywhere. 

OPolar offers an idea fit for side-exhaust laptops. I've been using an OPolar LED/multispeed fan for almost 8 years: https://www.ebay.com/itm/285567435429?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=uR-0TT-UTcy&sssrc=2047675&ssuid=sT1xPjKGSue&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

Shareware like CoreTemp can keep you apprised of how your laptop is breathing, and can confirm the benefit of adding a cooling solution.

HTH

1 Message

November 23rd, 2023 18:01

Brief background. Retired Round Rock PD. Dell was in my patrol district, from groundbreaking through the mass layoffs.

In 2004, in-person, configured every up-option for the then-flagship Latitude D800, with discrete nVidia GeForceGo for my daughter's graduation. Thermal throttling & etc. was not a common topic in XP-era enterprise machines, but rendered it nearly unusable within the first two years of...exclusively student tasks, i.e. word processing. No gaming or videos (2004-2006ish). Throttled itself into uselessness, thus I took possession around 2007, versus just binning the $2300 space heater.

That D800 Camping Stove became a ten-year hardware modding passion project. During that time, added case ventilation (drill, baby, drill), replaced Dell's Rube Goldbergian CPU/GPU hybrid IHS with good quality scrap copper heatsinks and related bits, swapped pads for K5Pro, and quality TIMs (AS5, Kryo, etc. over the years.) Various better fans were adapted from later Dell products.

Before it went into the bin around 2018, it was repurposed into a NAS, then as an AIMP high res music player, I had up-hacked and modded the absolute maximum bejeeezus out of it, far beyond its expectations, customized BIOS included (even extracted, modded & reflashed EEPROM to see a later Dell nVidia 5200GO attached to a devboard.) 

It died an honorable death after about 15 years,

ONLY due to it having been resurrected from its paralysis at 2 years of age, and modified to its last beep.

FFWD to Nov2023, I bought an -outstanding QC refurbers- Latitude e6420 ATG, solely for vehicle ECM performance datalogging/tuning.

Within a week, surpassed all of Dell's stated hardware/software limits.

Core i5 5420m. Both IHDD and ODD mediabay caddy now SSDs, a zippy clean Superuser-cfg Windows 10 Pro, BIOS to A25, and 16gb DDR3L-1600mhz. Encountered the usual niggling problems with the pci/SATA devices, physical and misc drivers&firmware, all easily resolved.

That leaves only its refurb OEM thermal solution unmodified...for the moment. The system IHS has a single heatpipe shared between the i5 and the 512mb NVS4200, which has just a tiny scrap of indeterminate chinesiminimum pretending to be its thermal "solution." 

Temps (various moderate loads, put simply...) average 105F, up 3-5F from unboxing, no throttling. I suspect an IDA64 etc. stressload would overpower it.

Thus, as noted in the D800 saga, this otherwise outstanding example of an e6420 will get the same MCOTS thermal upgrades.

Bit o' copper here, bit o' aluminum there, dab o' thermal epoxy, discreet add'l venting holes, swap pads for good ol' K5Pro, and whatever HQ TIM on hand...."Latitude Bob's" your uncle. Cooler than you'd think!

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

(edited)

4 Operator

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2K Posts

November 24th, 2023 02:08

@RRPD4130​   Thank You for your service . . .   Happy Thanksgiving!

5 Posts

November 24th, 2023 14:38

Disable Intel turbo boost in the bios. This improves overall performance at the expense of peak power due to less thermal throttling.

Use a laptop stand for better airflow through the bottom vents.

1 Rookie

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22 Posts

November 26th, 2023 01:55

@underham​ I did not know this. I will try that in a bit. Thanks!

Community Manager

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573 Posts

December 27th, 2023 15:01

@therealjerry64 I have sent you a message to your inbox in regards to winning the contest! We need a response from you with some more information in order to send it out. 

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