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Alienware 17 R1 heatsinks upgrade(?)

virax_clone

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Jan 12, 2020
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Hi All!

I was wondering if the copper quad heatpipe CPU heatsinks on ebay are worth the expense? Not in the matter if it would cool better, which theoretically they should, but more than the quality is up to snuff?

My experiences in custom PC cooling solutions, and previously reviewing several different desktop CPU coolers back in the AMD Socket 939 days, taught me about the importance of a uniform and flat contact surface, against the die of the CPU.

With these china sold all copper laptop "upgraded" coolers easy to find on ebay, I am weary to make the investment in one, in fear of poor quality control. Specifically, whether or not the custom quad heatpipe cooler would make positive contact across the CPU die, and if not, the stock cooler outperforming one that should technically be better.

I upgraded the stock i5-4210m CPU of 37W, to an i7-4900mq of 47W and have noticed the increase in heat output.

Does anyone have any experience with these?

This is one example:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/All-Copper...535971&hash=item3d40af11c8:g:jSAAAOSw8HBZMWj2
 

Hiro

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Nov 18, 2019
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I have a cpu 4 pipe and gpu 5 pipe both from cicichen...its the good stuff!!
My i7-4910mq doesnt go much past 75c playing assissins creed....gpu is about 73-79c on gtx980m
with diamond thermal past and stock fans on aw17r1

I will soon upgrade to gtx1070 and 4930mx though...so then we will see build quality
 

virax_clone

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While on the topic of heatsinks, in terms of GPU cooling...

If I were to upgrade to a 780m or an 880m, would an OEM Dell tripple pipe heatsink be enough to cool it? Also, will an M17 R4 cooler work in my 17 R1? This is an example of what I am referring to:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Alien...sh=item3b39e91ac9:g:-rYAAOSwhfNdkakA&LH_BIN=1

I will be forced to use this R1 as my primary computer for the next month or two, absolutely no desktop use, and need a near identical spec system to use in the mean time, so the push for an upgraded GPU is more pressing now than before.
 

Hiro

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Yes...my 980m at first used a triple pipe and was oh k...but 5 pipe much cooler. If you keep 3 pipe OEM use VERY good thermal paste and lots of thermal pads.
IMG_4621a.thumb.jpg.c82b89745b9bdd769e5936d9a2c20157.jpg

No..the M17 R4 heatsink is about 5mm different. I first bought wrong heatsink for my ranger, got m17r4..I had to return in and buy m17 r5 to fit right.

Also what is your power supply? The 980 or better needs 330w. The orginal 180w will give power throttle problems.
 

virax_clone

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Jan 12, 2020
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Glad I asked! So the r5 heatsink fits okay?

I currently have the 180w power supply, but will be upgrading to a 330w(?) Once I can secure a gpu.
 

virax_clone

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So, the 780m GPU arrived, and I tested it to be sure its working okay. It performs as expected, nice GPU.

One concern, should the backside VRAM chips have a heatsink or any cooling on them? I noticed the stock 860m has a metal plate"heatsink" attached to the rear bracket, that makes contact to the chips with a thermal pad. The 780m has nothing.

Using the stock 2 heatpipe heatsink from the 860m, I did a 10 minute counter-strike:GO deathmatch, and temperatures hit a max of 98c, so clearly the cooling isn't adequate, but this was just a test to be sure the GPU was functional.

I am waiting for the copper 5 pipe GPU and 4 pipe CPU heatsinks to arrive from hong kong, they were ordered about a month ago, and hoping to see them soon.

Does the 5 heatpipe really make a 20-30 degree difference in cooling, or should I be looking into a fan replacement as well?
 

MattyB

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The 5-pipe heatsink is really for the 980M, 1060 or 1070 but it should really reduce your temps. You also have to make sure you get all the thermal pads in the right places at the right thickness. Put a 1-2mm strip of thermal pad on the rear side on the card along the vRAMs.
What does it say on your current GPU fan? There should be a Dell Part# or CFM rating. There are different ones available and the M17x R4 fan was always considered a better one that the stock 17 fan.
 

virax_clone

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The current GPU fan is the stock one, rated at 1.66CFM or something low. I did order a 10.053 CFM fan for an M17X, part F603N.
 

MattyB

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Awesome. I don't know why they bothered releasing machines with those crappy fans
 

virax_clone

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So it looks like the fan I ordered won't work. I wasn't paying attention to the connector or wire count, and this one has five wires instead of four. On the look out again...
 

virax_clone

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I got heat sinks and the fans installed, temps stay below 85 under real world load, now, for both the CPU and the GPU, both using Grizzley Kryonaut TIM.

I noticed that after removing the original thermal compound on the CPU heatsink assembly, that the contact surface for the die seems to be warped, as if the copper plate was soldered into place, but with uncontrolled heat. The surface is wavey and uneven. I do not know how much of an impact this made with the temps, but it does make good contact with the die when testing contact with thermal paste.
 

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MattyB

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I would think that would really hurt the temps. It's very important to have a flat face on the heatsink to make contact with the die as thermal paste is only designed to fill in the microscopic gaps that are between the die and heatsink, not large holes. Thermal paste is not actually that good for thermal transfer but it is better than air. You're best to find a new heatsink.
 

virax_clone

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Yeah, I'm very familiar with heat sink design and contact surfaces, but was surprised to receive an item like this, as cicichen seems to have some good recommendations, and I wasn't expecting him to send something like this.
 

MattyB

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Yes it's very surprising from what I have heard. Have you contacted him?
 

MattyB

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I think that is a cop-out on his behalf. There is no way that the heatsink should look like that. Thermal paste or silicon grease is used for the microscopic grooves, not for what you have. Post it over on NotebookReview and see what they say.
I thought he was based in the US but I've noticed an eBay store with his name in Hong Kong. I hope someone hasn't copied his name to sell more heatsinks. Maybe he was in Asia though, can't quite remember.
 

virax_clone

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After a bit of back and forth on this, with cicichen, he has agreed to send out another heatsink. I am hoping the replacement is in better shape.
 

MattyB

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Yeah I saw that over at NBR. Good luck! Maybe he saw people talking about your post and didn't like the bad attention it was getting.....
 

virax_clone

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I really hope he follows through, I love supporting the niche DIY community, as they are doing everyone a favor by sharing their solutions to improve upon things. If he does follow though, I will be sure to support him by recommendation and praise!
 
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