p870TM help me out please

Discussion in 'Sager and Clevo' started by EverNight, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. EverNight

    EverNight Notebook Enthusiast

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    TLDR: Is your lid as warm as mine, can you check? Do you know what might be causing weird vertical lines, but is not a LCD panel connection issue? Do you know where I could find a replacement part reseller in Europe? Do you know where I can get a replacement HDMI port for this motherboard?

    It's officially 3 years since I bought and received this thing and apart from the nightmare that was dealing with XMG's customer support, and some issues with Windows in the beginning, I'm quite happy with the 5k+EUR investment. On top of that, I also bought a power adapted from Eurocom, and I love that thing.

    3 things though....

    1. I'm about to replace the keyboard again. As far as I'm concerned it's a consumable. Not a big deal apart from the fact that this component seems to be increasingly difficult to find.

    Any up-to-date information on european clevo part resellers which actually update their inventory, or can order specific parts on-demand would be great.

    2. Some time ago, I gave up plugging stuff into the HDMI port because there's a problem with it. The intermittent kind, which seems to change without doing anything. i.e. sometimes the peripheral gets a signal (albeit with random pixel artefacts ... always red for some reason), sometimes it cuts out, sometimes I can't figure out what to do to get the image back. I've since updated the graphics drivers numerous times, enabled and disabled SLI for the 1080s a few times. nothing worked. All evidence points to either a motherboard issue, or that HDMI connector. Whenever the signal reaches the peripheral, the image looks ok (albeit sometimes the colors are wrong). Haven't gotten around to checking that port out because getting to it implies taking off the heatsinks and graphics cards ... and I put it off for about a year.

    Any information on faulty HDMI ports regarding this platform would be greatly appreciated. Bonus points if someone could tell me where to get a new one. ... and the part number would be great as well.

    3. This is pretty much the reason I'm writing this. Yesterday, "for no reason at all" I've started getting some weird vertical bar artefacts on my screen. Mechanical interference with the laptop lid seems to trigger changes. Troubleshooting didn't reveal much. Research suggests that there could be an issue between the LCD panel itself and it's controller board.

    I've taken apart what I could without extracting the graphics cards and associated assembilies (which mask some screws that hold the top hand rest) and through careful wiggling and prodding, I've reached the conclusion that the underlying issue is most likely not related to the motherboard, connection to motherboard, etc. (in case that HDMI issue was somehow spreading or affecting something else).

    "fine, whatever I guess, I'll get a new one (LCD Panel) before trying to fix the old one just in case" ... BUT here's one thing thing I'd like your help with.

    The area on the lid, just above the power button, and below the LCD panel (see picture) is kind of hot. Primarily towards the center of the hinge. I'm pretty sure this was also the case, and seeing as though I'm currently gettting a clear, flawless signal to the LCD screen, there shouldn't be any shorts or reasons for it to ...gulp... melt.

    Coincidentally, this issue manifested itself after working on a computationally intensive project for work. Primarily CPU-intensive... and I'm pretty sure the CPU is nowhere near any components which are liable to be affected by me moving the lid and therefore triggering those vertical lines.

    so... Please touch the equivalent area on your p8** laptop and let me know if it's warm... let's say about as warm as a coffee is after it cools down for 1 or maybe 2 minutes. For example, the are on the lid is warmer than the area next to the power button (3% CPU load, 0%GPU load)

    The attached image contains a heat map. Resting fingers in the red zone isn't uncomfortably hot. This laptop has gotten waaaay hotter, but I never paid much attention to anything that wasn't in the main chasis.

    [edit] I forgot to mention that that the issue with the LCD panel showing multi-colored vertical lines is in fact affected by moving the lid - especially when pulling on the top-left corner. Also, interestingly enough it's accompanied by a flickering dimming effect ... kind of like when an old neon tube flickers before warming up (i.e. oscilates between 90% - 100% brightness for a while, then stays at 100%).
    This, as well as the fact that it seems to go away by itself after a while is a bit perplexing...

    Essentially, If the laptop is on for a while, this problem "goes away". Additionally it seems to primarily happen when the laptop is cold (has been shut down for a while).

    Either it busted a cap ... though whenever i dealt with popped capacitors in lcd panels the problem usually manifested in the panel essentially turning on and off and that's not the case.

    ... or ... it's one of the LCD panel -to- LCD controller connection ribbons which is just worn out enough to partially disconnect itself, and the heat in that area essentially dilates that material enough to make contact.

    ... or it's something completely different, though i doubt it.

    Any info on this would help as well.

    Thank you!
     

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    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
  2. aarpcard

    aarpcard Notebook Deity

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    Below is a heatmap of my P870TM1. Picture was taken after it had been on at idle for about 3 hours. The screen always gets hot there - I don't think that is abnormal.

    EDIT: This is ancedotal, but I've daily driven this laptop for the past 3 years - probably about 12 hours a day up time. The panel has been in daily use for the past 5 years (swapped it in from my P377sm-A when I bought the P870TM barebones). Heat related failure is not my first suspicion in your case.

    img20210121_101433.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
    EverNight and jc_denton like this.
  3. EverNight

    EverNight Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thank you for replying!

    I was interested in the temperature of that part of the panel because I was afraid it might be an overloading mosfet/transistor. Your reply is a load off my mind.

    Since posting that thing I figured that since the image is displayed correctly, there shouldn't be a short happening anywhere so it should be safe enough to operate normally, and the only real risk would be (in the event of a short) to have it on while those lines were present on-screen.

    I've been working since I made the post and the only time I had those lines pop up was during manual adjustments of the lid's tilt angle. More specifically when I pull/push on the top left corner (from my perspective). Before posting previously, I had the plastic around the lcd panel apart to confirm the motherboard-lcdPanel cable wasn't stuck and pulling on the connector ... and it isn't.

    The only real thing I noticed is that when the assembly holding the LCD panel in place flexes just enough to not rotate the hinge, a faint click noise comes out from beneath the protective plastic around the LCD panel's controller board. This faint click noise is almost always accompanied by the vertical line issue.

    This points to a contact issue somewhere in the lid, close to the LCD controller (click noise origin). What caused this? ... don't really know since lately that panel has moved a hell of a lot fewer times since I don't have to pack my laptop and go to and from work every day.

    The LCD panel is the 4k variant available for this model.

    My money's on a combination of heat and my idiotic habit of pulling it by the corner having worn it out to the point it's still partially connected, and the heat buildup in the lid eventually distorts the connection back into place.

    This video is my best bet as to what I think is going on ...



    Although his line shows up directly above the problematic ribbon connector and mine can show up and randomly span the entire screen.

    There doesn't really seem to be a problem with this connector... but I've taken a picture of it so here it is...

    [​IMG] https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hipyFpUUzvpHGBD0pjZKGCJz5J3FAjyP/view?usp=sharing

    It looks a bit crooked to my eyes, but the plastic over is pretty solid and doesnt' look like it slipped. Additionally, I've jiggled the wire and no artefacts popped up.

    Your thoughts?

    Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
  4. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    That's where the drivers for the panel sit and they are sealed so will get a bit warm.
     
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