Cooling desktops & laptops

carlmart

Gawd
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
630
For several days I have been gathering information on how to lower temps on my Asus N56J laptop.

There are not that many options, except disassembling the whole thing, clean the fan and (most important) replace the white/silver grease joining hot parts and heatsink.

To start with I wonder if there's some way to put a proper heatsink there, as space is minimum. Having the heat sucked away doesn't look very effective to me. Apparently the air flow comes through the keyboard, and I wonder if that's really happening.

Average temp on my, when "cool", is around 50 C. Apparently it's 10 degrees higher than the default temp. Maybe that's related to where I live (Brasil), even if my average inside temp in summer is around 30 C.

If someone here does have this Asus model, please do comment.

The next problem is my desktop, which I hadn't really watched CPU temps of, and now I realize it climbs to 90-100 degrees when processing video. BTW: it also goes up when using Firefox/Cyberfox with several windows open.

This should be easier to solve, as I can use a better heatsink than the standard Intel I'm using now. I do not overclock or anything, so maybe I can get faster processing times with better cooling.

I do not like liquid cooling, so if possible I will stick to simpler coolers. I do not want to spend too much and I want silence.

Some suggestions should be welcome.
 

pendragon1

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 7, 2000
Messages
16,945
dude you live in brazil, heat will ALWAYS be an issue! if your cpu is hitting 100c during encodes it could be starting to throttle, so yeah you might get better times if its cooler.
now as far as that laptop goes, you could cut out some of the fan grill fins and drill more holes in the bottom plastic to let it breath easier but there really isn't much else you can do.
its the hot environment that is the big issue. clean the laptop like you said, make more holes, replace the hsf on your tower and maybe get a portable a/c unit for the room they are used in.

or make one

 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
13,419
1. Replace the crap grease with something like Arctic silver ceramique II. That is what I sue on laptops. Easy to clean up, works really well, and spreads out really well. That alone can drop the CPU temps 10-20c.

When I redo laptops, I also replace the thermal pads. Using old thermal pads doesn't always work that well as they are already squished and sometimes tend to rip.

2. Use a 3rd party fan software.. HWMonitor64 should support it. It may be that the max fan speed by default is way below what the fan can actually do.

3. You may be able to find a different fan that outputs more cfm (look for higher amperage than stock). You will just need to make sure that the wiring, mounting, and size is the same.

4. Clean the heatsink fins and cut away the grill on the laptop case. You could also cut a hole in the bottom of the case where the fan actually is so it can pull in a lot more air. From what it looks like, it really is only able to get air from underneath the keyboard.
 

carlmart

Gawd
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
630
Well, now heat it's not really a big problem, because I'm taking precautions. Particularly on the HDDs, which I think never lasted too much because of heat issues. That's solved now.

The laptop questions are new one to me, because my wife had a Toshiba which lasted many years and I only had desktops.

Unfortunately cutting holes in the bottom will not help this model, quite the opposite. It's designed to have an almost vaccum around the cpu and gpu, with the fan as outtake only. New air enters through the top, through the keyboard.

People that tried holes had to tape them back. Do you mean cutting the external fins on fan cage? I'm not sure that would be any help.

When I get my mind to open the laptop (is not easy) I might think what might be done, if it's possible to increase the sinking area even with a flat metal copper plate.

About the desktop, when I assembled this one I thought I could get by with the Intel sink, which I never used since I turned to vertical types. I should have kept using them.

My last one was a Corsair which was very effective and ditched my temps. There doesn't seem to be non-liquid Corsair cooler anymore.

That's why I asked for some recommendations on other heatsink based coolers.

BTW: Brasil is hot in summer. The rest of the year temps are great. But even now, with my AC turned on, the cpu temps go from 50 to 70 C degrees.

So the external temp, inside a room, it's not really the problem, I need an effective heatsink cooler.
 

pendragon1

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 7, 2000
Messages
16,945
ok you already have ac, that's good. what is the room temp? laptops are designed for ~25c room temps. cleaning and replacing the paste will probably make a huge improvement if your room is already a reasonable temp.
the tower hsf, anything is better than the oem one. the best bang for buck hsfs are the reeven justice and the scythe fuma. see if you can find either of those.

heres a tear down vid of the n56**. I set it to the part I wanted to point out. I see why the fan cant breath and you are right about how it pulls air threw the keyboard which is an idiodic design! if you look where the big white blank area is on the base of the laptop(bottom left corner) there should be vents there! the fan is open ended and you can that see while the hsf is on its back. not to mention that poor little cooler is try to handle the cpu AND gpu!

 

carlmart

Gawd
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
630
Pendragon,

Do not count on AC for every day use. Expensive. Only very rarely, always in the summer.

If laptops are designed to work at 25C, then I will simply turn it off and use it very rarely. But I don't think I will get there.

I'm pretty sure that cleaning the paste and putting it properly will make a huge improvement on it. You can see how poorly spread it is on the video.

I will probably have to use a thermometer to see which are the fine temps I live with at home. A human being can accommodate himself better than a machine!

But as I said, I'm pretty sure the room temp is not particularly related to the cpu or gpu temp. It's heatsink related. A better fan will solve my desktop problem.

Aa a proof, I turned the AC on one hour ago. The room is quite cool, but the laptop and desktop cpus stay at the same "default" temps as before.

I am not sure cutting a large hole on the white area will improve things. Perhaps enlarging holes on the keyboard panel would.

Looking at the cooler, perhaps putting two copper square plates above the cpu and the gpu, secured by the same four screws and pressing down, might cool things down.
 

pendragon1

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 7, 2000
Messages
16,945
ok then just do the cleaning and repaste, see how it is and toss a new hsf on the tower cpu. but ambient room temp does play a factor. that is why every proper cpu and gpu test is done in a controlled environment. pc/laptop components are always designed for that ~25c zone.
 

carlmart

Gawd
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
630
Oh, I didn't mean to be rude with my comments.

Temperatures on computer elements has been something I have been fighting with for a long time. Heat and noise have been my targets.

Of course I know that computer parts are designed to work in 25C room temps, which I think is what they will argue when something does not last as long as we expect it to.

Laptops I expected to be designed for harsher conditions, but of course I had to be wrong.

Interesting that on laptop tests I've seen, working temps seem not to be an important matter.
 

pendragon1

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 7, 2000
Messages
16,945
don't worry I didn't take it as rude. (y)
and yes that's right, higher operating temps will result in a shorter life span
 

Koween

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 24, 2012
Messages
486
There isn't that much you can do with laptop cooling - the biggest issue is always the very minimal amount of surface area of the heatsink. Replacing the tim may improve things a bit, but usually the airflow is not the problem - the small heatsink is. And, unless you can gut the thing and mod something bigger into the laptop, the problem wil stay - the heatsink itself is the bottleneck.
I had a similar problem with my gf's msi gaming laptop - it has a bigger hsf, but even then the cpu throttles when gaming. Replacing the tim helped a couple of degrees, but even using a cooling pad didn't change the temps - there is a limit on how much heat transfer can occur with that surface area. So, your only real option is to lower ambient temp or add an external "sucker" fan that increases the airflow - but don't expect a large improvement (linus did a video on external laptop coolers and the results were bad).
As for the deaktop: you wont get low temps, low noise and low price - choose two. Any big heatsink will be better and quieter if you are using the stock hsf. Closed loop aio should give the best temps and be the quietest. Any high-end air cooler will be as quiet but won't give as good temperatures. So, the choice is pretty much up to you and availability/prices.
 

carlmart

Gawd
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
630
Until not too long ago, quiet fans were a major problem. Particularly because 8" to 10" were the usual sizes. They had to go faster for moving air, and that increased noise.

Things changed when 12" fans got down in price and took over most cooling tasks, moving slowly with much better noise. Now I have 5 fans inside my case and they make less noise than just one did 5 years ago.

Improving things on the desktop is not an issue, really. Totally feasible.

Even the Intel standard fan that I use now kept things cooler until recently: that's why I got lazy. Dry paste and dusty cooler are the probably cause for my temps now.

Moving to liquid cooling might make things cumbersome, wouldn't it? What about pump noise? Are liquid coolers more quiet than hs types? They are certainly more expensive.

What to do with laptop cooling seems to be an issue. Yes, you're right when you say the problem is heatsink area. It's plain physics.

It would be great if I could cut the bottom in order to fit a proper heatsink with a proper fan. Bulky and un-portable though.
 
D

Deleted member 184142

Guest
The problem is the ambient temp, 86F (30C) is quite a hot involvement for a laptop to run in, so having a 50C temp on the laptop is going to be normal, also, assuming its the 4700HQ CPU or something like it, that is no where near max temps. Best option is to open it up and lap the heatsink and apply some good thermal paste, clean everything. Most laptops the cooling is custom made and fitted, you will not fit anything else in there without extensive mods/custom work. A cooling pad/laptop cooler will probably do wonders with the extra airflow.

The desktop is at it's limits under load however if its hitting 100C, you are probably thermal throttling, have you cleaned it and checked to make sure the CPU is seated right with good paste? Even in those temps under load without an OC that seems quite high. I would take the HS off, clean it and reapply paste and see where temps are. If they are still high look at an aftermarket 120mm tower cooler. For a non OCed CPU a air cooler will do fine.
 

carlmart

Gawd
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
630
Well, first the good news on the desktop. Standard temps are now around 40C, which I think it was when I first assembled it with the Intel cooler, and I left it at that.

I disassembled the cooler completely, and it had to be working badly. The paste was all dried out and in lumps. The hs was almost completely blocked by dust, so the air wasn't even cooling it.

It's quite likely I have had a passive cooler on the last few months! ;)

No silver paste available, so I used regular white paste. Thin and well spread. It pays off to do things rightly.

I also cleaned the GPU cooler (also dusty) and it went down at least 5C degrees. Didn't change the paste, which I will do soon. It's at 33C now, I don't think I should worry.

My cabinet is a Lian Li (fantastic!), and it provides a hole on the top for a 140mm fan, which I have. Should I use it, sucking up the air out?
 
D

Deleted member 184142

Guest
Paste color has little to do with performance, a quality paste is what is needed. As I suspected, it was dirty and/or not seated well. I am assuming based on temps that you do not use an AC system and probably have fans and windows open? If that is the case inside dust will be high, I suggest blowing out a PC at least once a year, but in cases like this, it might need to be done twice or more a year to keep things from building up. If it's taken care of while its a light dust layer it will blow off easy, but if it's let to sit till it cakes on, many times it requires removing and washing the HS etc.

As for the fan on top, it depends on cooling setup and other fans in the system, you want a smooth path of air, all moving in a general direction for minimal turbulence. Such as a fan or two at the front pulling air in, and the fan at the rear and top pulling air out.
 

carlmart

Gawd
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
630
Yes, a correct air path is essential. I investigated that quite a lot in the past, looking at temps for several fan arrangements.

My present one has two fans up front blowing into the HDDs. Then the cpu cooler and the fan sucking it all on the back.

Pity the back fan is 100mm. Perhaps if I cut it and use the 140mm on the top, sucking out, might make a cooler environment.

You're right about having periodical cleanings. Believe it or not, air is not so dusty where I live. It's more than a year that I have this desktop, and this was my first cleaning.

But I will upgrade the heatsink. Processing video (or editing) heat things up quite a lot, so I do need things to get cooler and not throttle because of high temps.
 

pendragon1

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 7, 2000
Messages
16,945
yes if youre willing to do that, mod in a 140mm, it will help a lot! just be sure that the front fans are pushing equal to or a bit more than the exhaust fans are pulling. youll need to do a little math, just add the cfm and estimate. I tried looking for a cooler but holy shit are you choices limited in-country! can you import easily, like just order off amazon.com or newegg.com? if not just get the biggest, 120mm+, that you can. the 212x looks reasonable but any of the ones I saw will be better than the oem cooler.
 
D

Deleted member 184142

Guest
You might say dust is not a problem, but you said it was caked on, and pretty much working passive at that point, and just in a year? That IS a dust problem. My server runs 24/7, with high airflow, it can run for over a year and when I blow it out almost no dust, no less anything visible.

So if your system gets so bad with dust it is over heating in just a years time, I would suggest at least two cleanings a year, as you are in a very dusty environment.
 

carlmart

Gawd
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
630
Apparently we got into a matter of opinion here. Maybe where you live is too clean or with little dust, compared to an "average" ambiance.

My wife is clean obsessed, and I did ask her if this apartment was dusty. And she said it is not.

I'm not sure how you may scientifically measure "dustiness".

Cleaning once a year seems fine to me, though I should check things monthly, particularly higher temps.

The fact is I was used to my former vertical heatsinks (which are really sideways on a desktop), which kept the cpu always cool. And this one is different. No big deal.
 
Top