Alienware M17x R4 GPU VRM cooling solution!

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by Johndill, May 23, 2019.

  1. Johndill

    Johndill Notebook Consultant

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    Well... after the resent death of my GTX675M in the owners lounge (#5849), I now have a GTX770M in my system but found the VRM's still feel too hot for my comfort (unfortunatly this card has no VRM sensor), I have made sure all thermal pads are seated correctly this time but I still smell the slight odor of the GTX675M's passing lingering in my system even after cleaning, so I decided to try a solution to help cool the VRM's more to prevent another puff of smoke out the back of my system.

    I'm not sure if this has been done before or not but here it is, the sata power GPU VRM cooler. :)
    1.jpg
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    Video of the fan running:


    How does it work?
    As you can see, it gets its power from the 3.3V provided by the sata power connector, the sata connector I am using has been cut off a dead 2.5 HDD PCB and I have removed all unused pins in the connector to prevent any shorts, the remaining pins are 3.3V, Ground & 5V for if I ever want to put the fan to full speed later on I could work something out to switch to the 5V.

    Noise?
    It is absolutely quiet, running at 3.3V, it is barely audible but does blow a good about of air directly over the GPU VRM's and VRM end of the heatsink making it much cooler to the touch than without the fan.

    But does it actually work?
    As far as I can tell, yes :)
    Unfortunately, this GTX770M does not have a GPU VRM sensor for VRM temp monitoring like the GTX675M did, or at least HWinfo doesn't show GPU VRM temp at all like it did with the GTX 675M, I have to go by touch.

    While testing with a level in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 at 1920x1080 on high settings, without the fan, the GPU is around 64-65°C, but with the fan, the GPU is around 61-63°C, both temps are with the bottom cover on and 2cm elevation at the back of the laptop from my custom wood laptop stand.

    But this isn't about improving GPU temps, it's about GPU VRM temps, without the fan, the VRM end of the heatsink is hot to the point you cannot hold your finger on it for more than half a second, but with the fan on you can hold your finger on it for about 2 seconds before having to remove it.

    What about intake and exhaust?
    I would say it intakes mostly from the battery bay opening and other gaps in the bottom cover around the battery release area. It seems to exhaust out the small grill next to the name plate.

    So my final conclusion is...
    Yes it works, the card is working fine without the fan and is now cooler with the fan so it obviously works enough. :)

    Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts on this. :)
    This tread is dedicated to a little GTX675M, from "what ever date Dell last replaced it - 2019", RIP. :D

    *EDIT*
    It's finally here, the Alienware 17 R1 Ranger version can be seen here. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
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  2. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Nice creativity using the sata bay like that, I may have to try something similar in myschine next...
     
  3. Johndill

    Johndill Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks, I don't use that HDD bay much as I've already had a HDD die in that slot as the drive would get up to 60°C, the fan I used is from a Clevo N150SD. :)
     
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  4. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Oh thanks that bit of info would be very helpful to @Nomad who has been interested in doing something like this in his Ranger.
     
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  5. Johndill

    Johndill Notebook Consultant

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    The Ranger may need some modding as there is a bar blocking the space needed.

    M17x R4
    CV6K8-Stock__50362.1473698400 (1).jpg

    17 R1 Ranger
    4XWJJa1.jpg
     
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  6. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Yep, but modding the ranger is an easy ask when better Temps are on the table lol
     
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  7. Johndill

    Johndill Notebook Consultant

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    Haha, that is true :-D I don't like cutting or drilling holes but this mod could do with a vent here for the fan. :)
    s-l640.jpg
     
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  8. M18x-oldie

    M18x-oldie Notebook Consultant

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    Well, good stuff, also gonna try that smwhen in the future, rep up!
     
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  9. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Just cut out a fan hole and put a filter on the inside. Personally unless its CNCed I dont like the look of a hand drilled "Fan grill". Seen it on other mods and while it gets the job done for the most part it just kind of looks bad and I am a function over form kind of guy lol
     
  10. Johndill

    Johndill Notebook Consultant

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    I also ran it without the cover when touching the heatsink to compare and it was roughly 1-2°C cooler with the bottom cover off so not really much to worry about for me to cut holes, unless it was done properly on a CNC router of cause. :)
     
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