My M17x R4 blew up - literally - or the 980M did

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by Solo wing, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. Raidriar

    Raidriar Notebook Virtuoso

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    I had a Clevo card that matched exactly in that first pic of yours, discoloration/burn in that area. The solution would be to use better quality MOSFETs as well as a good quality thermal pad that can make contact with the heatsink.

    For those with cheap mosfet, better to not run a higher voltage vBIOS and would probably be better to stick to stock or a UV BIOS if you can find one. Rudementary EE, probably more complicated than this but Power = Voltage * current so lets not up the voltage for components that might not be able to handle them.
     
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  2. woodzstack

    woodzstack Company Representative

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    You have one broken like this ? One of mine ? Send it to me, lets get it fixed, and try and better our service with the new findings.

    You know, every company's cards always have a shelf life, from what I am seeing these Maxwel cards have 2 -3 years of hard work on average. Which is still the highest to date from any of the cards over the years, but I knew the time would come when eventually people would start having dead cards. I would rather get them repaired or replaced then have them saturate up the black market with scammers trying to pawn off dead cards and stuff in the end (Not that I am suggesting anyone here is a scammer, but dead cards lying around cause grief..)
     
  3. Raidriar

    Raidriar Notebook Virtuoso

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    Not your card, a generic Clevo 980M (no stickers like yours has). It was failed in the corner by one of the MOSFETs and on the back near the memory VRM.

    Your card has no warning signs, it's just behaving funny. No scorch marks, no burn smell, nothing really funky. Just blacks out under load. I looked at Ashtrix's thread and I thought maybe about undervolting and checking pad placement so I will do that first before we proceed. Usually the failure points on dead 980Ms are fairly obvious, and I haven't seen one with a dead core (yet). Core seems very robust. ALL 5 of the dead 980Ms I had have been memory VRM failures or MOSFET failure.
     
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  4. woodzstack

    woodzstack Company Representative

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    Yeah, I warn people now to make sure these components are coolers to perfection in the corners to last the longest. To be fair, those MOSFETs are not really taken care of very well by any of the heatsinks.
     
  5. MahmoudDewy

    MahmoudDewy Gaming Laptops Master Race!

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    On the 17R1 I noticed that the pads arrangement in the area that is supposed to touch the MOSFETs would never in a million years actually touch them. So, I used hard 2 mm pads followed by very soft 1.5 mm pads to safely reach them from the right location to be sure they have proper contact.
     
  6. woodzstack

    woodzstack Company Representative

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    given the distance , or size of the gap I should say rather between the heatsink and the component, you would need to cover it in a silicon paste to increase surface area and then make a greater contact with the heatsink, and possibly cool it from underneath the card too to be triple sure. That is my best guess. Once you hit 2.5mm thickness most thermal pads are nothing but an insulator

    heat, like electricity travels path of least resistance, thus it would saturate the area first and then slowly dissipate to the pads, so might as well add mass to the area and then cool it from both sides.

    I think I will see if we can modify the TEP modules we have to do this, and I think I would start making suggestions to those with Clevo backplates to add some thermal pads to the back of the corners.

    If someone like myself sells these cards and doesn't learn from mistakes and faults on these cards and how to use them, then whats the point in even being your main seller/resource for this, you know what I mean ?
     
  7. Solo wing

    Solo wing Notebook Consultant

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    The problem with the R3/R4 (don't know about the AW17 R1) is that the PCH is right under the MXM area and it reaches crazy temps. So even with the big thick pad between the card and the MB it still broke. I had Fujipoly 11mk pads with a straight heatsink and no gaps at all & this happened.
    To change the subject, I received the 1060 and need to mod the heatsink, will report soon.
     
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  8. woodzstack

    woodzstack Company Representative

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    Nice !

    Then I suggest something to Isolate the heat from the PCH
     
  9. MahmoudDewy

    MahmoudDewy Gaming Laptops Master Race!

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    Same for 17R1 ... DELL uses a super thick sticky strange kind of thermal pad I would say around 10-15 mm to keep the card well away from the motherboard ... Maybe PCH killing cards in 17XR4 is more common than what is reported on the forums and they fixed that in the 17R1
     
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  10. stray647

    stray647 Newbie

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    wow thats some bad luck there
     
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