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How to FIX AW17R4/15R3/13R3 CPU Core Temperature Differential Issue

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by alexnvidia, May 18, 2017.

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Does your AW13R3/15R3/17R4 suffer from CPU core temperature differential?

  1. Yes, over 20C difference

  2. Yes, over 10C difference

  3. Tolerable, within 5C difference

  4. No, within 1C difference

  5. Yes, over 10C difference, received after March 2017

  6. Tolerable within 5C difference, received after March 2017

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Virtuoso

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    The other 2 pads are on the components.

    But the paste was quite soft compared to the stamp which crumbles when you try to remove it. Have to try other screw patterns to remove the thermal gap I think for the heatsink even though it seems to make good contact.

    But so annoyed about those 2 clips. Even though they dont seen to do anything, it just irritates me to know end knowing they are not there now. New palm rest is going to cost 40 euro's and have to fully dissemble it. So for the other users, DONT USE A PRY TO TO UNLOCK THOSE CLIPS! Just pull upwards. First time I ever saw those plastic tabs/clips break.
     
  2. Gumwars

    Gumwars Notebook Guru

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    Well, I figured I'd throw my two cents in, for what its worth. I picked up a 15 R3 a few weeks ago after my Aorus X5V7 went belly up. The choice was based on Dell's reputation and my personal experience in getting my wife's XPS 13 fixed after it had some issues. Here's what I can add to the discussion:

    My unit does not have the HK processor. It is bone stock except for an additional PCIe SSD I added (because the 128 GB primary it came with is too small). I have considered a repaste but haven't yet because I have no problems with thermals. No big difference between cores; the last time I checked using CPUID and HWINFO it reflected a difference of < 5 degrees between cores, which in my experience is within tolerance for longevity and performance needs. I haven't hit it with OCCT, Furmark, or Prime95, but I do a fair bit of rendering using Maya and Blender that does hit the CPU fairly hard. Temps level off around 80C after sustained workloads of 30 to 45 minutes. Gaming sees similar results, depending on the title. Ghost Recon Wildlands hits the CPU harder than Rise of the Tomb Raider, for example.

    I don't think I'm a statistical anomaly either. Here's my logic for why I believe that to be the case:

    Dell is the 3rd largest segment owner for laptops worldwide. The market for laptop sales is around 150 million globally in 2017. Their market share is roughly 16%, which is around 24 million units total. Obviously, that isn't 24 million Alienware laptops but we can conservatively assume it to be a single digit percentage, say 5%. That would be 1.2 million Alienware laptops sold in 2017 worldwide. That may seem like a lot but considering market sizes in the west and east, I don't believe that number to be too far off. The poll on this thread had 83 respondents with 49 stating they had a less than an ideal unit, or roughly 59%. Now, if that percentage was representative of the 1.2 million sold in 2017 and well over half having annoying to serious issues with thermal management, I would imagine a class action lawsuit being in the news, which we don't see.

    Here's what we can learn from the data; the number of complaints must be viewed in the context of the number of units in the wild. Forums like this typically exist for owners to find solutions to problems they might be experiencing with their product, not to rejoice over how awesome and flawless it is. Meaning, more often than not, the posts found on Reddit, here, and elsewhere are not representative of the number of units that are working fine. It is a sample that is nearly entirely comprised of individuals that are having problems (or in this case 59%).

    It isn't that @alexnvidia is right or wrong, or that @rinneh is right or wrong. The sample, in this case, is loaded because of the audience and the reason why those people have found this thread. Most folks are looking for solutions to the same problem and congregate; they are not a fair sample of the total product owner base. I found this thread because I've been toying with the notion of possibly fixing something that isn't broken and wanted to see if it was something I would benefit from.

    I don't think the 2016 Alienware model line is critically flawed. There is, however, some sort of manufacturing issue that results in an X number of units being assembled incorrectly. I say this because nearly every person on this thread has stated that the thermals are manageable after repaste, even with units with overclockable CPUs. That would indicate a less than ideal assembly process, not necessarily a flawed thermal solution. Rather than looking at who manufactured the heat sink, I would look at where Alienware laptops are assembled. Something in my gut tells me that these are likely put together at two or three different locations (maybe more) and one or more of those locations has shoddy management or overworked labor that aren't taking the time to do this part of the assembly correctly.

    FWIW.
     
  3. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    So did anyone try out the aftermarket heatsink?
     
  4. Falkentyne

    Falkentyne Notebook Virtuoso

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    More paste at the top than the bottom = higher core temp on the core #1 and #3 and lower core temp on #2 and #4.....right??
     
  5. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Virtuoso

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    With the stock paste on the photo I did not have a large core temperature difference. Only about 3c but not in the usual pattern. Core 1 and 2 where a tad warmer than 3 and 4. Now I have the usual pattern after repasting it. But the overall temperature is lower. But core 3 and core 4 about 6c lower but only in prime 95. In Assassins Creed Origins which I use as a real life situation (also shows about 100% CPU usage and 100% gpu) there are no core temperature differences. GPU is reaching 70c. So I leave it be for now since the overall result is better.

    I would if they sold a 15inch 1070GTX version.
     
  6. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Virtuoso

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    I can only agree with this. Also a lot seem to forget the time factor. Earlier units where definitely worse than current units that come from the assembly line.
     
    Gumwars likes this.
  7. Shark00n

    Shark00n Notebook Evangelist

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    I'm really curious about it but I haven't tried it yet. Would like to see some testing first.
    Anyone willing to be a guinea pig? :p
     
  8. Zerpy

    Zerpy Notebook Enthusiast

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    If anyone finds good aftermarket heatsinks I'll give it a shot too.
     
  9. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018 at 8:34 PM
    Vasudev, alexnvidia and Papusan like this.
  10. c69k

    c69k Notebook Evangelist

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    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/official-alienware-13-r3-owners-lounge.797884/page-687

    Just a quick follow up after a month with the above re-paste job.

    Luckily, I still experience EXACTLY the same 0-1 C core temperature differences and the same good overall temperatures (maybe even better) after a month of heavy use.

    I write this because a month ago this was my 4th liquid metal re-paste and this was the first time I took the processor thermal pads off. Before this last re-paste, after re-pasting with liquid metal the core differences/temps would slowly grow after few days.

    Basically my theory is that if I had no 'perfect touch' between dies and heat-sink while heat-sink being unscrewed the LM would get pushed to the sides during reassembly and then dry during use (heat-up, cool down etc.) the gap between dies and heat-sink would be 'pulsating' up and down. I remember that LM would simply look DRY with 2-3 small liquid spots in a corner of the die after a week of use. Definitely the 2 thermal pads were causing all this.

    During my previous re-pastes I used 2 stripes of thin paper, placed them on Proc and GPU, screwed the heat-sink ON to see 'proper' contact by not able to move them at all. Now I think that even the stripe of paper is a gap itself. Really, while unscrewed ... heat-sink VISUALLY not going down and no sound produced when tapping on top of Proc and GPU is so far the best way to get a good fit and stable LM job. It includes a lot of ALL AXIS heat-sink twisting but once good contact is achieved it pays.

    Imagine. You have a perfect contact without tightened screws. Tightening them should take care of any gaps + LM >>> way to go :)

    Peace from city of coffee_\|/_.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    +1 to this.

    I had huge core differentials (over 20c) and they completely went away once I removed BOTH the thermal pads from above the CPU. Going to replace them with this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00K...95c-4720-be21-c25f9965f6be&pd_rd_i=B00K04D3UK (thanks to Papusan for the link). If anyone else has issues with core temp differentials, the first thing I would try is removing the thermal pads and briefly testing to see if differentials improve. If so, just use that gel, re-paste, and you will have major temp improvements compared to the stock setup .
     
    Vasudev likes this.
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