Tl;Dr version:

From my understanding, stripping off the plastic shell from the back of laptop, which would expose the heatsink and fan, and adding a couple of desktop fans pointing at the laptop heatsink definitely should improve thermal performance, to significantly reduce temps, correct?

Non tl:Dr version

Currently my cpu is pushing 75-80c under load (i3 2130m), and the laptop gets exceptionally hot when doing anything gpu intensive (7670m)- it just shuts off.

Ive just upgraded the laptop's ram and storage so I am not keen to give up on it just yet, as now it runs very well for a 2013 laptop, EXCEPT for overheating.

I am certain that it's an overheating issue since it's getting very warm under load and the fan spins up like crazy. It has been cleaned a few months ago so I know it's not just dust.

My idea is that getting a pc case and a couple of big fans to cool it off would be much more efficient (and safer) than trying to repaste / add some custom heatsink to improve thermals.

I understand that putting it into a desktop case would mean I'll have to keep the laptop mostly in its shell unless I'd be prepared to drill custom standoffs for its motherboard.

I'll need to get a custom psu (like a mains to molex brick adapter) to drive the desktop fans as no psu will power on with just the fans attached to it (?). If my research is correct, most psus require being plugged into a pc motherboard to work, unless you short the 24 pin connector (something that I am not prepared to do). Not to mention that a 10w load (2 fans) would be very inefficient for even a 400w psu.

My only concern is that I am overestimating the cooling abilities of such a setup and that it won't keep my overheating laptop cool enough to work under load. Is this a valid concern? Am I simply throwing money away (um, I mean, getting a pc case for my next build a little earlier).


Edit: model number: hp envy m6 1232sa (build year 2013).

Specs (for completeness). 2x 512gb ssd 16gb ram I3-2130m Amd 7670m (2gb)

  • 1
    I've achieved big results from moving a desktops innards to a large (ATX/EATX) case, and adding additional fans, so yes, that can have a big impact. Whether its big enough or whether you have removed enough of the shell to make a difference is something we can't really estimate for you. – Frank Thomas Aug 13 '18 at 0:31
  • Please edit your question: What is the exact make and model of the laptop you are dealing with? – JakeGould Aug 13 '18 at 1:06
  • Have you thought about buying a new fan for the laptop? I had a laptop that used to overheat. The fan would run, but it was not hitting the correct RPM's when it would get hot. After replacing the fan, I had no problems. – DrZoo Aug 13 '18 at 1:35
  • For the Tl;Dr version Yes, increasing air flow thru the motherboard circuitry and components will definitely help them run cooler assuming the air is not hot of course. Be sure you've blown it out with some pressure to remove dust, etc. which could restrict the flow while powered off. Check to ensure it has not already gotten heat damage while the motherboard is exposed. Lastly, consider checking BIOS/UEFI settings to see if you can increase fan cooling speed in thermal settings and such. – Pimp Juice IT Aug 13 '18 at 1:37
  • Motherboard doesn't support any fan speed adjustments unfortunately. – Thomas E Aug 13 '18 at 6:33

In case anyone does come across this and thinks it's an amazing idea...

Well it's not.

While it has "only" taken about 6 hours to transfer the guts from the laptop to the desktop case, there still exist some limitations, which aren't easily fixable.

I would say that unless you have recently upgraded your machine, it's not worth the trouble.

While it does run cooler there are quite a few issues:

  1. Laptops have small heatsinks with small fin spacing, so adding a big 120mm fan doesn't actually help the Temps that much.
  2. Many (most) laptops rely on outer casing to keep components together. Once you take it apart you run the risk that you can't easily transfer it into the case because of some proprietary ribbon cable

The pros

  1. Idle Temps dropped about 20c off the bat, in the low 40s.
  2. System is now inaudible in a fractal design define s. Can now run prime 95 without exceeding 70c,which is a breakthrough for this machine

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.