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GPU overheating instantly

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 14, 2011 9:46:13 PM

I'm having cooling issues with my MSI FX400-063US Notebook. Out of the box, CPU temps peaked at about 57C but the GPU (325M) would always overheat all the way up to 80C. Then the GPU load would drop (taking me down to 2fps in games) and there would be a drop in temps by 3-4 degrees and then I would get my FPS back until it would overheat again. I was running SC2 on high with 35+ fps but it would overheat too fast so I lowered it to med settings, but in time it will eventually overheat again.

I figured that something was wrong with the heatsink/thermal paste. I cleaned off all the old thermal grease of the CPU, and removed the thermal pads off the GPUs and applied Arctic silver 5 to all of them.

Now It's so much worse off. My cpu will climb to 70C and the GPU overheats in less then a minute even with light graphical applications. I'm quite puzzled by this.

What's going on?
a b U Graphics card
March 14, 2011 9:55:39 PM

ok for starters... i dont know what would incline you to take a laptop apart to apply thermal paste to a gpu. second, what kind of surface are you trying to use your laptop on/around. are you laying in bed or near a bunch of papers and the bedsheets/papers are blocking fans/airflow? did you try to overclock your computer at all? theres a lot of reasons.

I have an HP elitebook 8740w which is known to be an incredibly hot laptop and i still never reach above 50-60C while gaming (without a fanpad)

so i have a feeling you're doin' something lol.
March 14, 2011 10:05:12 PM

As I mentioned I was having GPU issues from the beginning which a described in the first paragraph. I figured there's no way the stock paste/pads would be as effective as AS5.

And I'm using it on a clear desk free of obstructions and the notebook is new.
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a b U Graphics card
March 14, 2011 10:07:36 PM

Well that's really strange. Just try sticking something under the battery to get some elevation and airflow underneath the laptop.
March 15, 2011 3:32:16 AM

Ouch. There's a critical flaw in going from a thermal pad to thermal paste. Thermal pads are designed to fill a large gap as well as conduct heat over the gap, where thermal paste fills small imperfections between a CPU surface and an imperfect heatsink surface. The problem is that in every laptop GPU I've ever seen, the heatsink copper doesn't actually make contact with the surface of the GPU. It assumes and relies on a thermal pad to (cheaply) bridge the distance so the manufacturer can get away with using less copper.

I had the same thing happen when I was tinkering with the cooling system of an old Compaq. Basically, the thermal paste can't bridge the gap and if you apply the amount of paste needed to bridge the gap, it acts as an insulator moreso than a conductor. You need to keep the laptop off until you can order a piece of replacement thermal tape.

The CPU heat issue can be a result of one of two things. One, you may not have tightened the screws evenly on the heatsink over the CPU and it might be slightly off (made worse by the GPU end not making full contact). Two, the heat pipe isn't working correctly due to the GPU not making good contact with its heatsink, preventing the normal function of the heat pipe material inside. This can cause material that would normally evaporate and be cycled to the correct (finned) part of the heatsink to be deposited on the wrong end (over the relatively cool GPU block, due to it not reaching correct temperature).

Notebook coolers aren't designed to take a heavy, prolonged load. You might need to run a fan utility like speedfan to balance this out. In any case I hope this helps you resolve it.
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