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CPU exceeding TDP and is close to TJ Max, help needed

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November 20, 2010 8:59:05 PM

Alright, so I've got this HP Envy 17 laptop, it's got an i7 720QM processor. Now right off the bat, I noticed hot temperatures. I'd not be able to put it on my lap, it'd be too hot, but even on a desk or table, it would be quite hot. The battery life was also typically an hour under minimal usage, quite bad.

So I started to look into the issue. I clocked it at 80+ Celsius while playing Modern Warfare 2, and I've even had it shutdown to prevent overheating in Fallout New Vegas.

Naturally, I went to HP and said, here's my problem. They noted it and we decided we'd send it back for repairs. So I sent it back and they replaced the fan and heatsink, which was there solution to the issue.

However, I get it back from HP, and it's really not any better than before. I turn it on and right away, I'm getting 60 degrees, so I know something's wrong with it still. While I know that the TJ Max is 100 for this processor, that is the maximum, and under low CPU usage (2-20%), it shouldn't get that hot. I ran a stress test and I've gotten up to 11 from the TJ Max, which really isn't good. They say to stay outside 10 degrees from the TJ Max, and 11-15 away from it isn't so great. I get considerably close while just running games (on a gaming laptop no less).


My other concern is the fact I'm exceeding the TDP. I've done my homework on the TDP, enough to know it's not the theoretical maximum. However, Intel states that the theoretical maximum is unlikely to ever be met using realistic applications. And aside from that, whether or not we consider the TDP to be the maximum or not, I shouldn't exceed it at 20% CPU usage. I'm using and it fluctuates up to 20%, and then the CPU power clocks at 55W, which is 10W above the TDP. I am using CPUID Hardware Monitor to check it, which I was recommended by the chat support agent from HP to use to check my thermal sensors.


I've already sent it back for repairs and HP is telling me they'll gladly try to fix it again. I'd rather diagnose this issue because I'm tired of the poor performance of this expensive laptop. HP has confirmed this issue is indeed something that needs repairs.


I'm trying to diagnose what the causes to an issue like this could be. I believe it's likely a battery controller issue, but I noted to HP that I suspected the battery controller (which accounts for the poor battery life as well), so I assume they would check it (I'll confirm with the manager). The fluctuations makes me believe the battery controller is an issue, because it normally stays at 15W but frequently spikes to 55W, and with the poor battery life (less than they tell me it should be), it all suggests the battery controller.

If someone could provide me assistance in trying to sort out the issue, I'd appreciate it. I intend to contact the manager again next week, he is supposed to get the specifications for the thermal values I should get. I don't intend to repair the notebook until either Christmas break (depending on the time they quote me), or May because of a constant need for it (I'm in a CS major program). Thanks.
November 20, 2010 9:03:45 PM

Be careful when discussing CPU temps as MOD's tend to delete posts and close threads. Good luck though.
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November 20, 2010 9:29:21 PM

I see no reason for a moderator to have the decision to delete or close a post/thread because of the discussion of CPU temperatures. Their forum rules and terms of use state nothing about CPU temperatures specifically. As such, from what I can see about the forum, there's nothing to warn me before my post that it's something I shouldn't be doing.

If there's an unwritten rule that I shouldn't be doing such, they shall inform me about and deal with my posts/threads, but it is for them to do as they are the ones who enforce the rules. Please let them be the ones to deal with this.
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November 20, 2010 9:49:41 PM

It could be the CPU it self, could very well be defective or what you said too and you are sure that it is not the GPU and what GPU do you have?
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November 20, 2010 10:05:00 PM

I have a ATI Radeon 5850 mobility in this notebook. I'm sure it's not the GPU power I'm reading.

I suppose I shall need to get them to check/replace the CPU, blow compressed air throughout and check/replace the battery controller?

If not the CPU and not the battery controller, can I imply the notebook design is faulty?
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November 22, 2010 10:51:23 AM

I got some interesting readings last night.

I ran a Prime95 stress test, and while it was at a constant 100% usage, I was getting a constant 45W reading. It did spike to 55W in a time period of about 5-10 minutes at least once, because the max was 55W, but it seemingly stayed constant.

It seems the CPU only spikes to 55W when the CPU usage fluctuates.
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December 3, 2010 1:23:45 PM

I decided to run some tests to see what I could get, and here's what I have:

Battery 1, full charge: voltage measured at 12.5
Battery 2, half charge: voltage measured at 11

This is an 11.1V battery, so it seems as if the voltages coming from the battery are not too bad. I measured with a voltage meter, so I'm sure the voltages are accurate, I took them about two hours ago with a former computer engineering teacher of mine.


I also ran the HP Support battery tool. It shows me similar results, battery is producing in excess of 12V at some points or around 11V. HP quoted me 12 as the upper bound of the range, though I think 12.5 isn't an absurd value.

However, what it did tell me is that the current that it's measuring is, on average, greater than the capacity of my battery. Thus, the battery is going to last less than one hour. Clearly not a good thing, and I can conclude something is wrong if it's supposed to get up to 2.25 hours. This was under minimal load.


The temperature is still hot, minimal load at 60+ and maximums nearing the critical temperature (of 90 since they recommend to be below 10 of the TJ max).

I'm inclined to suggest a faulty battery controller. My tech teacher told me he thinks it might be with the thermal paste of the CPU (which I intend to tell them to reapply anyways). I still think though that it's not the paste cause it doesn't really account for the poor battery life adequately.


Any help is appreciated. I plan to send back in about 10 days.
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