Dell XPS 9560 VRM Thermal Insanity As Seen Through FLIR

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by Dialup David, Jan 13, 2019.

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Have/Will You Look Into Thermal Padding Your XPS VRM/MOSFET's?

  1. Yes

    11 vote(s)
    78.6%
  2. No

    3 vote(s)
    21.4%
  1. Dialup David

    Dialup David Notebook Consultant

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    Howdy folks, I wanted to cross post this from the XPS 9570 thread I intended this analysis for so that people with the XPS 9560 would be able to find it a bit easier.

    Anyways, Today we take a look at the known poor VRM thermal design of the Dell XPS 9560 (effects XPS 9570 as well). We find that the CPU stress test while running hot, is at least under control. Then, switching over to the combined CPU/GPU stress test we find massive runaway/saturation issues for the VRM/MOSFET's. Installing thermal pads and optimizing airflow can help to mitigate this issue almost entirely.


    Please let me know if you have anything you'd want to be seen through the FLIR as well (Picture or Video), I'm always interested in using my equipment for new purposes.

    I also took this opportunity to do some thermal modifications outside of padding the VRM's.
    -Installation of Liquid Metal on CPU/GPU
    -Removal of copper air divider over bottom vents
    -Installation of Aluminum Ducting Tape over Fan shrouds to optimize air flow through Bonded Fin Assembly.

    UHD Image Gallery for part numbers or just a better perspective:
    https://imgur.com/a/XCR3rD6

    Link to original thread:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...of-vrm-thermal-pads-in-xps-9570.826873/page-3

    Thanks for looking!
     
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  2. htaige

    htaige Notebook Enthusiast

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    I've always wondered if directly padding the VRMs would just lead to isolating the heat from the ambient sensor so I've always just padded the grey chokes to the bottom panel of the xps. Furthermore, in the CPU section of your youtube video there are 3 fets getting extremely hot, but what about the ones under the metal shield (labeled power on the underside) next to the cpu fan? (I feel like everyone only focuses on the xposed fets and not the ones under the shield.) Would it be possible to get some data on those as well?

    Would it be possible to get some thermal images of your xps with prime+heaven running to see where the heat spots are on the bottom panel?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  3. Dialup David

    Dialup David Notebook Consultant

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    I actually have some images of the whole machine to see if there was anything else I'm missing, the only other part that really gets warm is the power MOSFET that's near the battery connector. This is going to be the main regulator for the general system. Although this one doesn't even get close to the levels we're seeing with the CPU/GPU VRM.
    [​IMG]

    I'll run some tests and get you an image of the machine closed up under those tests. Give me a few minutes! :)
     
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  4. htaige

    htaige Notebook Enthusiast

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    The area on the left side (near the cpu fan) where the metal shield is is obstructing the thermal camera's ability to measure the temperature of the components on the board is it not? Always been curious as to what the temps for the fets and chokes in that area are like.

    edit. Didn't see that you were already on the run and collecting data at the bottom of your post. my bad

    As for the heat generated in the area next to the display connector, I've padded both the choke and charge IC (i think that's what it is) and the PCH next to it and it had led to a noticeable decrease in palmrest temperatures under load.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  5. Dialup David

    Dialup David Notebook Consultant

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    Funny enough, you should see what the SSD does to that palm rest. From the FLIR it looks like it cooks right through.
    So, with the back panel on I scratched my head a few times as to why it looks like the bottom panel is hotter with the VRM soak through than at load.
    Then I realized that at idle the fans very rarely kick on, as the aluminum cross bars are over the inlets they must suck up most of the heat when under load.
    [​IMG]

    *EDIT* I guess that is the main power regulator next to the battery? Must have had the SSD side and VRM mixed up. Also, ignore what shows in the display, that's an emissive reflection and not real readings.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  6. Don16

    Don16 Notebook Guru

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  7. htaige

    htaige Notebook Enthusiast

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    This is the current state of my XPS 9560 in terms of thermal cooling mods:

    Reduce CPU+GPU+VRM temps
    - Custom heatsink with 4 heatpipes and copper fins with the electrical tape "mod" to force more air through the fins and repasted with Gelid GC extreme
    - Thermal pads on all the offending VRMS (1.5mm x 3-4 stack)
    - Kapton tape on the copper sheet on the bottom panel where my taller heatsink makes contact with it (Did this to reduce heat transfer from the pipes to the bottom panel and heat up the VRM)
    - Undervolted CPU by -0.126mV and GPU is locked at 1657mhz at 875mV

    Reduce Left Palmrest temperatures
    - Thermal pads on the thermal pads on the giant grey inductor near the battery connector (1.5mm x 2)
    - Thermal pads on what i'm assuming is the charge controller since it heats up a lot while charging (1.5mm x 4)
    - Thermal pads on the PCH (1.5mm x 4)

    This combination of mods to my XPS has let play CSGO with the CPU @ 3.00GHZ around 70-75C, GPU hovering around 65C @1657MHZ and the VRMS hovering around 70C
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
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  8. abujafar

    abujafar Notebook Evangelist

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    what do you mean by this?
     
  9. htaige

    htaige Notebook Enthusiast

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    There's a Chinese seller on taobao selling a custom heatsink for both the 9560 and 9670 that has a second set of heat pipes (identical to the original ones) stacked on top of the original ones with the aluminum heatsink fins replaced with full copper ones for better heat extraction.

    If you feel that the heatsink is a bit too extreme for your tastes, they also have a normal heatsink with just the copper fins

    You can see the heatsink stack in my picture if you look closely
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
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  10. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    How do you think those custom heatsinks are working? Is the exhaust hot as hell?
     
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