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View Full Version : G73 thermal compound/paste replacement project for GPU and CPU



chadinark
10-23-2012, 06:28 PM
My G73 has been shutting down lately when I attempt to play games. Specifically it's been happening after about 15 minutes of playing Mafia II (which seems weird to me b/c I wouldn't even call that a super graphically-intense game, at least not compared to some...)

Read some other threads and stuff on the various interwebs about this issue and I think I've pretty well concluded that it is likely due to old thermal compound, fans clogged with dust, etc. I'm pretty sure my BIOS and AMD drivers are up to date so I don't see why that would be causing the problem as some threads have suggested (what does that do anyway, cause the fans to spin faster? Or increase the shutdown threshold?) Weird thing is sometimes I have to reseat by battery after this happens... but not always. I have monitored the temps and they definitely get waaay up there when gaming.

So I'm thinking of performing the equivalent of open heart surgery by taking the thing apart to access the GPU. I've built PCs before and used the thermal paste so I'm familiar with those concepts, but I've never taken apart a laptop. Definitely a little apprehensive. There is a pretty good video on YouTube though of a guy going through the whole process.

Some questions/concerns:

1. Which compound to use?
My inclination was Artic Silver b/c I know that's good stuff and have used it on CPUs. But is it ok for GPUs? Is there any difference? After all I guess a GPU is really just a CPU mounted on a graphics card, right? Or is there some special GPU paste I need to look for? Also I could have sworn I've read something about Artic Silver shorting things out? So that worries me a little...

2. As long as I'm down there shouldn't I replace the paste on the CPU as well?

3. Will all this effort/risk really even be worth it? I've read some stuff where people are saying it dropped their temps like 20 degrees and others who are saying it only helped about 5 degrees worth... would suck if I did all that and it still overheats! Maybe an alternative to this is just doing a thorough fan blow out with the hair dryer on cool as some have described...

4. What are other ways for me to cool this rig down? Can you upgrade the fans or anything like that? This product looks kind of interesting... http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1135&ID=1883

At this point I'm just looking to gather ideas/suggestions/etc and most of all WARNINGS from those of you who are better versed than I. If I do this maybe I can post some pics of the process that might be helpful for others.

thanks

xeromist
10-23-2012, 06:56 PM
Is it actually overheating? I mean have you monitored temps leading up to a crash/shutdown? It does indeed sound like thermal issues but as you said it would suck to go to all of that trouble and not fix the problem.

Yes, I would clean dust first as that can be a big problem after a few years.

You can use any of the premium pastes really. They're all going to be within maybe a degree or two at most. The only thing you might do differently is that the GPU may also have thermal pads in addition to paste and those should be reused or replaced with pads.

As long as you use a small amount of paste you will not have problems with shorting because it won't ooze out. You only need enough to cover the surface with a thin layer. You are simply filling microscopic irregularities and voids from warping because the paste is not as good as direct metal contact but it's better than air.

chadinark
10-23-2012, 08:36 PM
Is it actually overheating? I mean have you monitored temps leading up to a crash/shutdown?
Oh yeah, it's definitely getting really hot. I used GPU-Z and it runs pretty hot even at idle... anywhere between 60-80 degrees C. Under full load like a game or Furmark it gets up in the 120 range and shuts down.


You can use any of the premium pastes really. They're all going to be within maybe a degree or two at most. The only thing you might do differently is that the GPU may also have thermal pads in addition to paste and those should be reused or replaced with pads.

As long as you use a small amount of paste you will not have problems with shorting because it won't ooze out. You only need enough to cover the surface with a thin layer. You are simply filling microscopic irregularities and voids from warping because the paste is not as good as direct metal contact but it's better than air.
Thanks so much b/c these are things I didnt really understand about the purpose of the thermal paste! So basically what I think you're saying is it's when the paste oozes out onto other components that you might get a short. Yeah, I have to watch that b/c I tend to want to use a lot even though I've read so many times all it takes is a tiny amount like the size of a grain of rice. I'm not really familiar with thermal pads. Is that something you use in conjunction with the paste or instead of it?

fostert
10-24-2012, 03:41 AM
With paste, less is more. If there is **any** oozing, you've used waaaaay toooooooo much. You want a layer so thin its almost transparent. Put a spaghetti thin "worm" on one end of the CPU, press a flat plastic card (like a credit card) down on it and drag it slowly across to the other end, keeping a good solid constant pressure downwards.

Thermal pads are used instead of paste, not with it.

A more permanent solution is thermal epoxy, which is permanent, but ever so slightly better conducting. While it will never need a repaste again, it is permanent and your CPU will be forever stuck to the heatsink. You've already voided your warranty by getting this far anyways, so that does not matter. If you never plan to upgrade you CPU (and you can't upgrade the GPU anyways since its soldered to the mainboard) this would be a good option. I have used themal epoxy on lots of things in my desktops, and it is fantastic. I am considering doing this in 1-2 months time when my G74's warranty is toast.