How many cooling fans are in the Alienware m18x? What size are they, what would be a good thing to replace them with? How's the heat sink working out, should i replace that as well? A while ago bought thermal grease to help with heating, but it was terrible. What brand of thermal grease actually does what it says it will?
Short answer: Leave it as it is. Nothing is (easily) user replaceable, especially the heatsink, or any of the fans. New thermal paste on a laptop is also bad.
Long answer and explanation: Because it's a laptop, I would highly recommend leaving it exactly how it is. Laptops are not meant to be modified to the extent of even putting new thermal paste on any of the components, because a lot of the parts are custom designed to fit within the chassis, and could break very easily if not handled properly. Also, laptops (especially high-end ones like that one) tend to run very hot compared to their desktop counterparts because of the lack of full-out cooling systems. this is generally 20 or so degrees celcius, but can sometimes be more. If you are worried about the heat, I would consider talking to Dell tech support, and see what they say about it.
They may not be easily replaceable but if they don't get replaced, there wont be any room to overclock. anyway i'm just going to buy the parts and let someone who knows how to replace them do it. I just need to know How many of what size cooling fans are inside, and if the heat sinks should be replaced. Why is it bad to put thermal paste in a laptop? is it not worth it, or will it cause damage?
To start, I would highly recommend that you just stick with Dell's proprietary heatsink/fan, mainly because they were designed to withstand a 4GHz overclock, but if you really do want to replace them, you'd have to measure the fans yourself. I can't seem to find anything online about the fans, size, etc.
And new thermal paste on a laptop won't necessarily damage anything, but it is for the most part redundant, and not worth it. Many high-end companies (Alienware, etc) use a generally very good quality paste during manufacturing, and you don't need to replace it with anything, as it will likely perform on par, if not only 1 or 2 degrees cooler.
Sorry c0oim4n is simply incorrect here, on -almost- all fronts. He obviously has no experience with the m18x or Alienware in general
yes the heat sinks and the fans would be quite a pain to replace, mostly because you would have to find compatible ones, however other then that, not difficult for someone with any experience tearing down and rebuilding a system. There are guides on youtube also on Notebookreview.com and their alienware thread.
If anything, you -should- repaste, if you can/have the skill to do so. You should see a drop between 5-8 Celcius on the parts you repaste. Dell paste is crap and its often poorly done. To say it would be redendant again shows c0omin4n has no experience with the m18x. Again on other threads this has been tested, there is a marked improvement in temps.
and as for 20 degrees C as a normal temp on the m18x ... idle temps should be between 45-55 C on your GPUs.
If your concern is Overclocking, they CAN be overclocked quite well with stock paste and heatsinks. I am getting almost a 30% OC on my GPUs ... but I Iam going to repaste in order to push farther I think.