Solved Dell E6400 heatsink thermal pads

July 15, 2014 at 04:30:25
Specs: Windows XP
Can anyone advise me what thickness of thermal pads I need for a Dell E6400? The original pads appear to be two different thickness (two different colours). The gap between the GPU and heatsink is too big for paste alone and I don't think I'm brave enough to try a copper shim.

I've tried phoning Dell to try and get replacement pads but I got nowhere fast.


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✔ Best Answer
July 17, 2014 at 19:24:08
Here is an interesting item:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-OEM-Del...

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.



#1
July 15, 2014 at 20:22:08
Are you absolutely sure about that? Thermal transfer is best when the space between the surfaces is negligable. The thermal compounds thin out and fill in the microscopic imperfections and otherwise is very thin. Thermal pads like what come with some heat sinks that are factory installed or intended to be quickly installed in a similar manor are typically pretty thin. I have removed the original pads and reinstalled with thermal compound without problems and the heat sink mounting system has either springs or flexible metal or plastic components that act like a spring to maintain tension. I have not replaced many factory installed ones and none from Dell, but find it hard to believe that there would be a measurable space if dry assembled (obviously not for use that way). I would recommend double checking that all parts of the hold down mechanism are assembled correctly and nothing is reversed (flipped over) that would provide this tension.
Others may have more experience with your system type and may add or correct this opinion.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#2
July 16, 2014 at 04:08:12
The gap between the heatsink and GPU is quite visible. I tried it with thermal compound (half a grain of rice size) and although it did obviously make some contact, it didn't spread it out the way it was on the CPU - that was totally covered. Same for the chipset. Possibly if I used a bigger amount of thermal compound it would spread better - but would that affect performance?

I'm a bit nervous about not using the pads - rightly or wronly, I assumed they were there for a reason (though I can understand them being used for speed in assembly).


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#3
July 16, 2014 at 04:42:13
Are you asking about a Dell laptop or a Dell desktop with a Core 2 Duo E6400 CPU? And why are you removing the heatsinks from everything - CPU, GPU, chipset?

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#4
July 16, 2014 at 09:54:05
It's a laptop - Latitude E6400. It was overheating so I removed the heatsink to make sure it wasn't clogged with fluff. The heatsink goes over the cpu, gpu and chipset. There was thermal paste on the cpu but pads on both the chipset and gpu.

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#5
July 16, 2014 at 17:20:24
Look:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/del...
And here:
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Dell+L...
They treat the CPU area but ignore the thermal pads like they are just leaving them to be reused?? You may need to purchase the replacements for these thermal pads from Dell or a Dell service center. A copper shim with thermal compound MIGHT work, but there is no sure way keep it exactly where you want it, it will be difficult to determine the exact thickness, and there is no way to guaranty that the three components are EXACTLY parallel to each other which is probably why the flexible thermal pads are used for the other two components and just compound for the CPU.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#6
July 17, 2014 at 04:03:14
I've contacted Dell four times now. Dell USA know what I'm talking about but Dell UK were useless. Had no clue what I was talking about and told me to pack the gap with paste - not ideal.

If I could just find out the thickness of the pads, I could order them from somewhere.

I don't even know if I bought say 1mm thick pads and it was slightly too thick, would it actually compress down in the gap?

I've got paste in just now and it's OK for now, but I know it's not going to be sufficient long term.


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#7
July 17, 2014 at 19:24:08
✔ Best Answer
Here is an interesting item:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-OEM-Del...

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#8
July 18, 2014 at 10:32:50
I saw that. I've found new heatsinks in the UK on eBay and I think I'll just have to order that - better than trying to work out what size/type of pad that is needed.

I can't believe that Dell don't even know!


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