[GUIDE] Installing a new CPU in the M17x R3... an illustrated guide

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by SlickDude80, Oct 26, 2011.

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  1. SlickDude80

    SlickDude80 Notebook Prophet

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    Difficulty level: Beginner to Moderate
    Time Required: 30 mins

    So i got my package from ShirleyFU today...a brand new core i7 2820 QS. I figured i'd take some pics and share my experiences with everyone here.

    1) Remove the Battery and remove the back panel

    After removing the battery, remove the 2 screws (GREEN). Slide the back panel towards yourself and put it somewhere safe

    [​IMG]


    2) Remove the CPU fan, then heatsink assembly

    With the m17x on its front and the battery at the top, the CPU is located at the bottom left side.

    First you have to remove the CPU fan. Unscrew the three screws from right to left (GREEN). Next, unplug the fan's power connector (RED)

    The heatsink comes off next. The screws (ORANGE) are labelled 4-3-2-1 ... starting with 4, turn the screw 3/4 turn, then go to 3 (do the same), then go to 2 (do the same),then go to 1 (do the same). Continue in this pattern until all the screws are undone. You do it this way so you don't warp the heatsink.

    [​IMG]


    3) Remove the CPU

    With the heatsink removed, you can finally see the CPU. The CPU is attached in a ZIF socket. To remove the CPU, turn the screw (GREEN) counter clockwise one full turn until it stops. Then remove the CPU

    [​IMG]


    PIC of core i7 2630:

    [​IMG]


    PIC of core i7 2820:

    [​IMG]


    4) Install the New CPU

    Next, install the new CPU. Notice that the triangle (RED) is pointing to the top right corner.

    To tighten it, turn the screw (GREEN) clockwise one full turn until it stops.

    [​IMG]


    5) Apply Thermal Paste on New CPU

    Here is what i used: Prolimatech PK-1...apparently the best thermal paste on the market. We will see how it fairs later. Before applying the paste, make sure you have some isopropyl 99% alcohol (i bought a big bottle at the local drug store for $3). Clean the CPU die with some paper towel. Some recommend using a coffee filter, but i've never seen the need. The cool thing about isopropyl alcohol is that you apply it and it evaporates off so you don't have to worry about residue. Just be careful to not leave paper fragments on the cpu die. Any contaminents on the CPU die will lead to higher cpu temps. Another method is to take your time with some Q-tips dipped in isopropyl alcohol and clean it thoroughly. It is also necessary to clean the copper surface of the heatsink that touches the CPU die. Just put some isopropyl 99% alcohol on a paper towel and clean the copper shim on the heatsink...again, beware of leaving any paper residue

    Look on the above pic for how i applied the paste. Because the CPU die is not square, a dab in the middle will not allow the paste to sufficiently reach the far sides of the rectangular CPU die. So i solved this with 2 smalls dabs on each side of the cpu die

    [​IMG]


    6) Reassemble in reverse order

    First the heatsink goes back on. Turn the screws 3/4 turn at 1, then 2, then 3, then 4...continue until it is tight. Don't over tighten the heatsink.

    Next install the fan (3 screws), and plug in the fan power connector

    Put the back panel on and install the battery. That's it! Enjoy :D



    So how did the PK-1 paste do? Well...after 17 mins of Prime95...my max temp is 73c on core 1...with the other cores at 72c-71c-71c These temps are ice cold for a core i7 2820 so i'm completely happy :D

    [​IMG]


    Enjoy the new CPU :D
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
  2. Tigress Orchid

    Tigress Orchid Notebook Consultant

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    with this guide its piece of cake. Or it looks like. thanks rep +1
     
  3. devillucifer

    devillucifer Notebook Consultant

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    ... o___o
    is this a newer model ? when did dell redesign it ?

    mine had 3 copper pipes too .. basically inside's design is the same !
    but not the backcover, i don't have that vent near the nameplate.
     
  4. widezu69

    widezu69 Goodbye Alienware

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    You have 3 heat pipes?! Show please!
     
  5. alienwolf

    alienwolf Notebook Deity

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    Great job, my ShirleyFU 2820 comes Thursday and I'll be installing it by your guide. My m17x R3 is exactly set up like this one.:cool:
     
  6. edd666999

    edd666999 Notebook Guru

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    Mines the same as yours, im based in the uk, delivered on 5th september
     
  7. Tigress Orchid

    Tigress Orchid Notebook Consultant

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    can you please show us photo (3 pipes) thx.
     
  8. Dr. J

    Dr. J Notebook Deity

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    Nice Job Slick. Your temps are outstanding.

    I know I overtightned my heatsink after reading your write up.
     
  9. SlickDude80

    SlickDude80 Notebook Prophet

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    It is a piece of cake ! Thanks for the rep :D

    I received my m17x R3 in the first week of Sept 2011, its relatively new

    ShirleyFu is awesome! I'm not buying from anyone else.

    Have fun with it! :D

    Thanks Dr J.

    Don't overtorque the screws. You want all 4 screws to be evenly turned to keep the copper plate as flat on the CPU die as possible

    i think my temps will drop another degree today. There really isn't any curing time with the PK-1 paste, but from what others have told me, the temp will drop 1-2 within the first few hrs. Give it a try...my temps prove that this thermal paste is potent
     
  10. widezu69

    widezu69 Goodbye Alienware

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    What is this talk of 3 pipe heatsinks?!?!? I want one!
     
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