M11xR2 Teardown for Thermal compound application & question about pads

Discussion in 'Alienware M11x' started by dab89, Dec 18, 2016.

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  1. dab89

    dab89 Notebook Consultant

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    Hi guys

    I was wondering if there are any specific Alienware M11x r2 teardown vids / threads for purposes of application of thermal compound? there were a few threads but they were from 2011/12 or so and all the picture links are now dead.

    There are a few teardown videos but they are quite generic. I've been able to perform a 80% or so teardown myself etc so this isn't too much of the issue, im more confused about where specifically i should be focusing on applying thermal paste apart from the CPU.

    Ideally i'd LOVE to see some pictures simply with some arrows going: "paste here, here & here. heatsinks here and here".

    In terms of the compound i have got myself a:

    GELID Solutions Extreme Performance GC-3 Cutting Edge Thermal Compound

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002P5W4RU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I'm also wondering whether i should get myself some pads but dont know whether to get copper or silicone:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chipset-Th...8&qid=1482064990&sr=8-4&keywords=thermal+pads

    or

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arctic-The...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=4DC0ZB54JBFE78CFJV3G

    (but these seem too big)

    or

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/BQLZR-10x1...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=4DC0ZB54JBFE78CFJV3G

    (confused about why these are conductive whilst the arctic ones are non-conductive?)

    Finally, does it make a difference if i get a branded thermal compound remover such as:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arctic-Sil...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=30YX5NYM8MMKCW9BRSGV

    or just go with the standard isopropyl alcohol.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Merry christmas & Happy holidays to all.

    i guess these are the closest to answering my questions that i have found in terms of pics but doesnt answer my other qs i think

    https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/10749-m11x-heatsink-copper-mod/

    http://www.alienowners.com/threads/m11xr3-heat-sink-mod-images.3343/

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/m11x-r1-heatsink-mod.585720/
     
  2. kosti

    kosti Notebook Virtuoso

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    Taking the M11X apart is very simple. Just use this guide:


    Once you do it once, the next time will be easy and you probably won't need the guide again.

    You probably already know this but you need a small precision Philips screwdriver and I would recommend using a thin guitar pick or similar plastic tool for prying off the power button bezel. Once the motherboard is out, removing the heatsink is easy. For cleaning the old thermal paste you do not need any special solvents. I personally use regular rubbing alcohol, although at times when thermal paste has hardened enough, I will first use some Zippo lighter fluid (a.k.a Naptha; available at most hardware stores) on a cotton swab, followed by alcohol for final cleaning.

    Gelid GC Extreme is already a great compound so you are covered there. Just put a small drop on the center of the GPU core and on the two CPU cores, mount the heatsink, then remove the heatsink and observe how it has spread. If it has spread over the entire surface area of the cores in a thin layer, then re-clean and repaste using approximately the same amount. Add a bit more if it is not spreading well but don't overdo it with too much compound.

    Leave the thermal pads alone; unless they are damaged, they can be reused. If this is the first time the heatsink is being removed, they should be clean and undamaged. If you do get new thermal pads, you want them to be the same thickness as the originals! Those Arctic thermal pad sheets can be cut to size using scissors and you are better off getting one of those sheets rather than individual ones made for RAM modules like you linked. In fact, the M11X R2 heatsink uses two strips instead of individually cut pieces for each module. Thermal pads are not conductive and come with clear plastic protective backing on both sides which needs to be removed. Remove one layer, mount the thermal pad on the heatsink, then remove the other plastic layer before attaching the heatsink. There should be engravings on the heatsink to show where the thermal pads should be positioned.

    The copper shims you linked are used for other purposes; primarily for bridging large gaps between heatsinks and GPU/CPU cores which you should not need to do.

    A couple of tips:

    I would recommend when taking the laptop apart, be careful with the screws as they are easily stripped. Make sure you are using a precision screwdriver with a head that fits snug, and don't over-tighten the screws when putting it back together. Another thing you will want to do is label the screws so you know where they need to go when putting it back together. I use Post-its. For example, for the keyboard screws: take a Post-it, fold it in half, drop the screws in there, close the Post-it so the adhesive backing creates a mini envelope, then label the outside "keyboard." It's simple and will guarantee the right screw goes in the right place. Also be gentle with the flat ribbon cables as they can be easily damaged when removing and replacing.

    Hope this helps and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you as well :)
     
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  3. Henry Eko Hapsanto

    Henry Eko Hapsanto Newbie

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    Hi,

    in my experience tearing down a m11x r2, one to watch out for is when taking in back.
    specially on the lcd hinge. I broke one of the four small holder for the hinge. just because I force the hinge to move before the screw is on place.

    and i broke the ribbon. two of them. thankfully these ribbon are easy to made. I'm lucky enough in my city, someone possessed a machine to create custom ribbon cable. it would be nightmare if you have to search for replacement.
    so just for safety purpose, do not pull the ribbon from its place. as in the video. if the system is never open for such a long time, the clip is often jammed. and broke the tiny connector in the ribbon head.
    pull out the clip / ribbon holder using your nail. do not use extra force. do not pull the ribbon as in the video. i broke mine because of it.

    putting back the keyboard is also a bit tricky. because the large ribbon holder is a bit loose. it might not be 100% connected. resulting in some keys not functioning or lagging in response. i have to undo my work twice just because the keyboard.

    do not put all the screws back.
    stop until the step you reconnect the palm rest to the motherboard. then reconnect the keyboard.
    you can also reconnect the wlan card too.
    plug the memory back. and test to turn on the system and test it using linux usb live (i recommend linux mint, since the gui is friendly and almost all driver is already on the distro. download the iso, burn it into live usb / live cd)
    goto http://www.pendrivelinux.com to download yumi to burn iso into live usb.

    after the system successfully boot, install the termal sensor application (psensor) to test the temperature of the system stability. also check if the keyboard is working fine. i went here http://keyboardtester.com/

    Or, you can avoid all the hassle of building linux live usb, just plug on the hdd / ssd. boot into windows and monitor the temperatures.

    Or, you can boot into alienware system diagnostic. press F12 when boot and select system diagnostic.

    after everything is normal and stable, then you can continue putting back all the screw in its place.

    In my experience, i broke one out of four LCD hinge holder, two ribbon head, almost crack the keyboard because using a different screw which apparently longer than the default screw.
     
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  4. kosti

    kosti Notebook Virtuoso

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    Also, regarding the ribbon cables, don't forget the one on the keyboard for the backlight. Those are really fragile especially at the bend where it comes out of the keyboard, not just the part that connects to the motherboard.

    I broke two of those and the only fix was to get a new keyboard. If it bends back and forth too much from removal of the keyboard it ends up severing a couple of wires or it can break off completely (happened to me).
     
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