Thermal Pad Guide for Alienware Area-51m (9900K + RTX2080)

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by S.K, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. Biker Gremling

    Biker Gremling Notebook Evangelist

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    Yes, and you are replacing them with new ones.

    No, you don't have to rip of the heat shield from the GPU.

    Enviado desde mi HTC One M9 mediante Tapatalk
     
  2. Miso86

    Miso86 Newbie

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    Hey guys!!

    I want to share my experience with you about repasting CPU and GPU and changing the thermal pads based on the guide @S.K shared. I own an Alienware Area 51m with a Intel Core i9-9900K CPU and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU, stock and last bios for both (1.10.0 and 1.0.0.5).

    First I want to say that I live in Costa Rica, a tropical Central American country. We are currently at an average of 26 degrees Celsius per day. I have experience as a technician in disassembling computers and this kind of stuff. I am a software developer and this is my first post ever in this forum. Please excuse me if my English is not 100% perfect.

    Before doing any change in my laptop, I did some benchmarks to have a starting point to compare after the repaste and thermal pads change. The benchmark tools I used were: Cinebech 20, Unigine Superposition, Unigine Heaven, Unigine Valley, LuxMark 3.1, Anno 1800 benchmark DX12, and Red Dead Redemption 2 benchmark test. After getting the results, I proceeded to disassemble and here what I found:

    The original pads thickness:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, some of the original thermal pads I had in my laptop were slightly different than the ones on S.K post. I measured many times using a micrometer gauge, some of them were a little squashed. There were 2 pads missing in the area below the CPU, next to the GPU.

    Here some photos of the most squashed original pads:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the lower GPU pads were more squashed on the right side of the image (red border, 1st image). On the other hand, in the CPU the difference was greater in the lower area (green border, 1st image). Also some CPU pads were very misaligned (green border, 1st image). The most surprising thing was that some pads on the top of the CPU were extremely crushed (red border, 2nd image).

    I proceeded to clean everything and remove the original pads, then cut and place new pads with some thickness adjustments, and cut the silver cover in the GPU to expose the mosfets. I used the Panasonic thermal pads from Digi-Key store (ordered them in many sizes before starting the repaste/repad process):

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then I assembled the heatsink again, without using any thermal paste on the CPU and GPU, just to check the pads were making good contact. I removed the heatsink after a while and took this photo (with new thickness adjustment applied):

    [​IMG]

    I confirmed the pads were making good contact. Some of them did not stick to the heatsink but I did not forget them ;), they were sticked in the electronic components on the other side (no photo).

    Finally, I used the Thermalright TF8 paste for the CPU and GPU and assembled the whole thing again. I did the benchmark tests again but I had the exact same results. My computer is running fine with no problems but I think there should be an inprovement since the Thermalright TF8 paste is way better than the stock paste Dell uses. I can't repaste again because I ran off thermal paste, I'm planning to disassemble again when I get some more paste, but I would like to know what you think about the process I did and if you think I can inprove something to get better results.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  3. TriBeard

    TriBeard Notebook Evangelist

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    The only thing that made a significant difference with mine was doing as someone suggested and replacing the screws with ones that don't have the built in springs/stops like the dell ones. I used m2x6 screws for the GPU and they seem to be working well for the day or so they've been installed. You could also remove the stock screws, set a small washer in the hole in the top of the heatsink and then put the stock screw back in and this would also slightly increase your mounting pressure in a little bit safer way (less chance of cracking the GPU die if you tighten them too much/not all together.
     
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  4. Miso86

    Miso86 Newbie

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    I'll try the washer mod you mention soon, I'm waiting for the new thermal paste to arrive, I ordered Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut this time. I want to check if my CPU clamping mechanism is loose or something like this guy mentions (http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...-owners-lounge.826831/page-1622#post-10963837). As soon as I get my order I'll repaste again and post the update here. Meantime I appreciate any other suggestion from you guys.
     
  5. Normimb

    Normimb Notebook Evangelist

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    I confirm. Replacing the screw on the CPU (yours was the GPU) have reduced temps of mu CPU by 6C (i used m2x6 but i will need washer or warsher because the screw almost goes thrue the hole). I wish i could find the correct write up about it, but that really made a big diffrerence. I am now ordering correct washer. Also i only used the pressure of my thumb and index for the correct torque, not too much just tight.
     
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  6. Tonymontanaroach

    Tonymontanaroach Notebook Enthusiast

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    Are the pad sizes for the late 2020 version the same ? 10900k 2080super first time adding pads wanna make sure before I get anything.

    does adding pads make a big difference in temps?
     
  7. S.K

    S.K Batch 80286

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    Oe`
    Open it up, measure them and go from there. And yes, if done correctly and with the right pads, it can improve both thermals and stability.
     
  8. Vanilik

    Vanilik Newbie

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    Hello. I have followed this post to change the pads of my area 51M r1, as I wanted to improve the quality of them (and some where also dry or just broken).
    I purchased some Panasonic pads and followed the measurements in this thread. I had repasted a couple timesin the past and wouldn't get past 50° in most games (I do not play at full quality and actually own a 2060), but now, it goes over 50° in the most demanding games.
    I'm wondering if I either did something wrong or if these pads are just not the best to use.
    Also, I am wondering if there is a need for a VRM heatsink for the gpu (that you find usually on the 2080 models).
     
  9. S.K

    S.K Batch 80286

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    There are a lot of variables involved. Press the heat sink rightly into position and give it some "bake in" time and the temperatures could reduce overtime. However if you place a wrong sized pad somewhere where it needs to be thinner, or you used a thermal paste that doesn't work as well, you will have problems. I used Phobya Nanogrease Extreme but Gelid GC Extreme also works great. Both of them work better than kryonaut hands down in all tests.
     
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  10. Vanilik

    Vanilik Newbie

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    I always give it a bit of time after doing some repasting, and I made sure that the new pads made contact. There didn't seem to be any problem (like no contact or pads being too thick)
    I don't think the paste I use is a problem since I repasted before and it was fine, the temps became "worse" after the new pads were applied.
    I checked a second time also and added pads behind the gpu (even if the 2060 doesn't have any heatsink behind) and repasted but the temps were just the same, going above 50° when it was slightly under before with a strong use and performance ventilation profile.
     
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