Laptop heat and longevity

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
frank1985
KVRist
263 posts since 4 Jun, 2018 from Wiltshire, Uk

Post Fri May 24, 2019 6:08 am

Distorted Horizon wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 9:42 am
One thing of course.. If your machine is 7 years old, the thermal paste may have dried out. It happened to my pc, and squeezing new one in, dropped the heat a bit.
Thanks Dh, I never considered that...will look into it

frank1985
KVRist
263 posts since 4 Jun, 2018 from Wiltshire, Uk

Re: Laptop heat and longevity

Post Fri May 24, 2019 6:11 am

BertKoor wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:44 am
AudioAlien wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 11:49 pm
Keeping any computer cool is key to its longevity.
Heat can be a serious issue for all components.

I always add some extra fans, they are cheep.
How do you add (cheap) fans to a laptop?
I could use one of those cheap USB fans with the flexi-arm blowing into the vent.

User avatar
donkey tugger
Boss Lovin' DR
6228 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from the grimness of yorkshire

Re: Laptop heat and longevity

Post Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:31 pm

This may be of use to you;

https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/detail ... ntrol.html

Basically, it enables you to set a target baseline fan speed which can help avoid the sudden spikes in temperature you get say when you stop playing your project and the fan powers down, only to slowly power up again when you press play. There's an 8560w preset (which nicely works with my 8570w too!)

codec_spurt
KVRAF
3829 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: Laptop heat and longevity

Post Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:47 pm

frank1985 wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:04 pm
...

How long have you all been using your laptop specifically for music production? Has its performance diminished dramatically over time? Does it run hot, and if so, what are your temp readings?
...

I’d be grateful for a little advice and perspective...

I recently had my main laptop blow up on me after about 5/6 years.

I had the majority of it backed up, but still.

Thankfully it was not the hard disk that died. So I could get all my work off. In fact the drive was golden. WD Black. 5 year warranty. Still solid.

It was the mobo (motherboard) or rather it looks like it was the graphics chip - same difference. This is what I did:

I went on ebay and bought another exact same laptop that cost me a £100. Bit cheeky of them - it was battered, but it worked. I will use this as a base to fix my other one, or so I reasoned. Then I found out I could buy a semi-official mobo from China that was certified. This cost me about £50.

So now I have two laptops exactly the same and cloned. One is a triple core cpu, the other a dual core. One has 5GB of RAM the other has 8GB. But they are in the same ball park.

I cloned the disk from the old laptop using Terabyte image for windows. I then bought a few cheap but fast 2.5" 1TB Toshiba hard disks. I put the cloned HD in and it booted. I tweaked it. It works perfectly.

I then made a clone of the update (had to install a few drivers). It was surprisingly easy. I now have 2 spare clone drives. One in the main machine that I bought, and 2 others on top. I will keep one as a backup and put the other one in to my original laptop when I put the new mobo in.

I will put the OS partition on SSD (got a Kingston for 30 quid), and keep the Data partition as was. I bought a caddy that goes in the DVD tray and that houses the new/old HD, with the SSD going where the old HD went. Lose a DVD but mine was busted anyway on my old laptop. New laptop that is working in. Bonus.

The problem with old laptops is heat and gunk and fluff building up. Very often it's not the CPU that blows but the on board Graphics chip. You can watch vids on youtube of baking it with a hairdryer and it words sometimes, but really, if you can get a certified replacement mobo you are better off. The baking trick works, but then the chip and mobo dies after a few months. It is worth doing though if you just want to get your work off.

I bought some Arctic silver to reseat the CPU with. I bought some heat pads to soak up some heat as well from certain points (fiver from China). I've watched loads of vids of how to disassemble my laptop and now it's just a case of putting it all together.

I would advise you to make sure that you can take it apart though first. That is why I bought this stuff, because I know I can get in and swap stuff out. You can't always do that.

My old laptop will have a new SSD in, a bigger faster 1TB drive and a nice new clean gunk free interior. I got win7 loading in to about 1.5GB of RAM with only about a dozen or so processes running in Task Manager. It is highly tweaked over a period of years. Lots of hard work.

I'm not connecting this to the internet ever again. Except for having to reinstall licenses/authorize stuff. I've already backed up all the important stuff like my music projects and I've got a most recent system OS image too.

All good. I didn't need to buy that other laptop, but that's ok. I should have just bought the mobo and parts. But it's a nice feeling having a clone of an actual machine that works, even if it is slightly slower/more battered.

I also got to rip out the old HD (WD Scorpio Blue 320GB) and put it in a caddy just for basic transfer stuff (wouldn't rely on it).

The people that sold me the laptop sold it to me with screws missing and with unmatched RAM. And a few other things wrong. But it works and I was lucky to find the exact same model. I don't think they thought anyone would open it up after putting all that security stuff on there: DO NOT OPEN THIS LAPTOP - IT WILL BLOW UP AND WE WON'T GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY BACK.

HP do about half a dozen different machines of that exact same model laptop. I got one that was close enough. Same drivers. That's important.

If you look on youtube you can see people fixing laptops and it's pretty much the same old tricks. It's surprising what you can do to fix stuff up. So even if you have an old messed up machine, there is a good chance it can be made good again, enough at least to get your work off there.

I plan to put mine in a corner of the studio and use it for reference and to pull stuff off. Hopefully get it all transferred in a meaningful sense. Sure, I have all my important Data on several drives now, but there is no substitute for seeing it in action on the actual machine it was written on.

This is the hardest part of computing. It's not so easy maintaining several machines. No one seems to have solved the problem yet. You have to throw a lot of money at it and a lot of time to get a workable solution. Virtualisation software is promising, but it's time and effort and still in its infancy.

Pro tip: If you have an old laptop that is getting hot (feel the underside) then take the time to strip it and blow out the insides (forget about anything else like compressed air - you will just make things worse). Strip it down and clean it out.

If your hard disk fails you can lose work if it's not backed up. If your CPU overheats you need to find the exact same one to replace it. If your mobo fails, ditto. But seeing as how Graphics chips are hard wired to the mobo anyway, that goes for them too.

Look up your manufacturer for mobo faults. On the HP website they tell you to hold down tab or something when you boot, and it will give you a series of flashes to let you know the diagnostics: 3 flashes - CPU failure. 4 flashes - mobo failure. 5 flashes - Graphics chip failure.

It's a moot point if your Gfx chip fails. They can't be replaced so you need to find a new mobo. A CPU can be bought and put on to a working mobo though.

Be wary of taking laptops to repair shops that will get your laptop back and working for you like magic. They won't tell you that even though they get it working again, it will likely fail within 3 months, depending...

Make sure you have everything backed up to start with. Use a laptop cooler if you can or even raise the laptop a few inches off the resting surface to let heat dissipate. I use a couple of bacofoil cardboard tubes either end and it reduces temps by at least 5 degrees. Find out the TJMax of your CPU. That is the temperature where it shuts down or blows up. Use a cpu monitoring program to make sure it does shut down well before that point.

If your laptop is just shutting down for odd reasons, then this could be an indicator. There is stuff built in to the OS to do this to protect the chip. A monitoring program gives added security.

Newer laptops are not immune either what with the demand for speed and keeping up with latest tech. Some of those chips run HOT. Get to know your laptop. Pay it a bit of attention and you will be good.

Oh, and did I mention backing stuff up?

:lol:

If nothing else, don't use an old laptop to surf the internet. That is how mine blew up. 40 tabs open and it just went Kaput! The CPU will shut the machine down usually, but the Graphics chip is happy to over-heat. That's my limited understanding anyway. If the chip doesn't fry itself it will fry the mobo.

If your machine won't boot, check RAM first. Does the HD light come on? The screen? Check diagnostics for your manufacturer. If you have no screen and no boot you are looking at either a mobo/gfx chip/cpu replacement.

Having a replacement laptop with the same specs allowed me to test the RAM in a working machine, so that is one approach as well.

Sometimes it is just easier buying a new (old) laptop that your working images can be cloned back on to.

You did back up didn't you?

:o

codec_spurt
KVRAF
3829 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: Laptop heat and longevity

Post Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:51 pm

donkey tugger wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:31 pm
This may be of use to you;

https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/detail ... ntrol.html

Basically, it enables you to set a target baseline fan speed which can help avoid the sudden spikes in temperature you get say when you stop playing your project and the fan powers down, only to slowly power up again when you press play. There's an 8560w preset (which nicely works with my 8570w too!)

CoreTemp is a useful program too.

https://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/


So is Why so slow. https://www.resplendence.com/whysoslow

Made by the same bods that do Latency Monitor that we all know and love.

https://www.resplendence.com/latencymon

frank1985
KVRist
263 posts since 4 Jun, 2018 from Wiltshire, Uk

Re: Laptop heat and longevity

Post Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:23 am

donkey tugger wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:31 pm
This may be of use to you;

https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/detail ... ntrol.html

Basically, it enables you to set a target baseline fan speed which can help avoid the sudden spikes in temperature you get say when you stop playing your project and the fan powers down, only to slowly power up again when you press play. There's an 8560w preset (which nicely works with my 8570w too!)
thank you, i'll give that a try

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