Dell’s gaming line of laptops are notorious for how bad they handle heat. Although I must admit they did their best cooling the CPU and GPU with dual fan exhaust and multiple heat pipes, it just can’t handle the high temperature peaks during games. Furthermore after 3 years a nice fur of dust had formed on the cooling fins, effectively reducing the cooling abilities. When idle, the fans would constantly run at average speed with CPU/GPU temperatures of 60/70 degrees Celsius respectively. In games however the fans would go ballistic running at full speed with the GPU temperature peaking at 90 degrees Celsius! At some occasions the system would shut down due to overheating!
I wanted to solve this by doing three things: ‘overclock’ the fans of my Zalman laptop stand, remove the dust on the cooling fins and apply Arctic Silver thermally conducting compound between the CPU and GPU core and their heat sinks. Arctic Silver is fantastic at conducting heat! I already wrote an article about overclocking the Zalman (link), so this article will only handle the XPS itself. Continue reading