7970m Thermal Pads

Discussion in 'Sager and Clevo' started by Raexaender, Oct 16, 2017.

?

Does replacing the stock thermal pads make sense?

  1. Yes, it definately would make sense

  2. Yes, but it won't make any real life difference

  3. No, the old ones should still be sufficient

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  1. Raexaender

    Raexaender Notebook Guru

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    Hi everybody, I just repasted and undervolted (vBIOS) my 7970m and the temps now never exceed 67°C, which is pretty noice.

    As the heatsink of the 7970m has two parts (GPU-die and vRAM+vrm) and I never took apart the vRAM part, I would like to know if it would also be good to get new thermal pads for the vrm's and vRAM modules?

    They should still be the stock thermal pads and therefore they are quite old (4-5 years I guess).

    BUT I don't know if replacing them makes sense as I don't know if they got worse over time and something becomes too hot now. This leads me to my second question; How can I check vRAM or vrm temperatures?


    Extra info: performance is normal, about 7800 Points in 3DMark 11. (P151em)

    I included a poll but written answers are much more appreciated hahaha
     
  2. bennyg

    bennyg Notebook Virtuoso

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    Failed thermal pads are imo the #1 cause of death of mobile gpus. Core temp by paste failure usually causes throttles and degrades the experience and is noticed by even incompetent users. However mobile GPUs dont have temp sensors elsewhere. (Unless you buy the stupid expensive ones) New pads are much cheaper than a replacement gpu... so if they look dry and shrunken, new ones are a no brainer if you want the thing to live longer.
     
  3. Raexaender

    Raexaender Notebook Guru

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    OK, didn't know that. Do you happen to know which thickness I need to look for when shopping for a new pad (or new pads)?
     
  4. bennyg

    bennyg Notebook Virtuoso

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    Look at what's on it currently or find a guide for your GPU/heatsink in your model (try the owners' lounge).

    1mm and 2mm is fairly standard but you may need 0.5mm on the inductors (big rounded edge squares with Rxx usually printed on top, though they don't really need cooling at all, being just a copper coil) or something thicker on the VRMs up the end opposite the slot (gold fingers) depending on the heatsink.

    You can find listings on ebay/aliexpress of a bunch of cheap silicone pads of varying thicknesses (I got 10cm squares of everything from 0.5mm thru 5mm for about $20 for example)
     
  5. kothletino

    kothletino Notebook Consultant

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    Make small balls (diameter ~ 2mm) using plasticine / modeline, then place on the individual graphics card parts, leaving for a moment to "cool". Mount the heatsink as it should. Remove the heatsink and check the thickness of the "squeezed" balls.
    I think the best way to check the thickness of thermal pads. For my it was 0,5mm 1mm and about 3mm.
     
  6. Raexaender

    Raexaender Notebook Guru

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    Good idea, but I don't have any of this stuff so I'm probably just going to measure the old pads and take something the same thickness or slightly thicker.

    Still I can't find anything on old t-pads going bad (like t-paste does).
    In other threads I read that replacing pads is not necessary and people sometimes even reuse the old pads when upgrading their gpu's.
    I just can't find anything where replacing pads helped a problem or where old pads caused one.

    I don't want to buy something useless but also want my gpu to live for some more years.

    Is there a way to determine if my old pads are still enaugh?
     
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