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Helix type 3702 - How to improve thermals?

2020-07-26, 10:11 AM

Hello!

I have a Thinkpad Helix type 3702 with a Intel Core i5 3427U @1.8GHz and it's getting pretty hot, even on light tasks. I got it second hand, and I think it's not been opened for cleaning since it's been bought by its previous owner back in 2015.

It's idling at around 40-50 degrees Celsius (at room temperature of about 30), and when under load it gets up to about 50-60, even 70+ under heavy load. I've enabled the bios setting for "keeping the exterior cool", which I assume reduces the throttling threshold, and I am getting quite some throttling, but the thermals are still pretty bad - the tablet part of the device is almost too hot to touch at times.

 

I've heard that Helixes have thermal problems (especially the i7 versions - so much so that the screen adhesive starts making bubbles), but that is too much.

I plan on opening it up and cleaning all vents, fans and heatsinks with compressed air, and also changing the thermal compound if possible.

 

My question is, can I do anything else beside that to improve my thermals? I think I've got pretty much everything covered on the software side (I'm running a debloated version of Windows 10 with almost nothing CPU-intensive running in the background - Idle it stays at 0-5% load, 1.2-1.5 GB ram usage)

Also, any PDFs and materials how to properly disassemble and clean the helix would be helpful.

 

On a side note, is it possible to replace the CPU with a more thermally-efficient (and more powerful?) one that fits the same socket? Or is the CPU welded to the motherboard?

Same goes for the RAM, my model only has 4 GB, which is pretty bad for 2020, can I upgrade it in any way? I know it's welded but perhaps there is a way...?

Thanks for reading :3

 

EDIT: After some more research I found out that the CPU and RAM are soldered to the motherboard and it would be near-impossible to swap them out. I'm not playing soldering jesus with my laptop. The other questions still stand though.

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4685 Posts

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Re:Helix type 3702 - How to improve thermals?

2020-09-02, 0:03 AM

Hi,

 

Seeing as  how the fan is in the display makes it much more noticeable than a normal laptop that has it in its base.  The first generation Helix had a full featured processor which gives good performance, but also gives out more heat.

 

The 2nd generation Helix had a milder processor because they tried to address the problem of heat, heat has always been a problem with the first generation.

 

Both of mine run in the high 40s C at idle and easily reach mid 70s C under load, the display does get hot, I redid the paste on one of mine and there wasn't much difference.  So, I left the other one alone. If this was happening on a normal laptop, you probably wouldn't notice it much just because on a normal laptop, the processor is in the base.  I have both of mine running at high performance, I don't notice much throttling, but I do see some heat.

 

On yours, you might notice some difference in redoing the thermal grease seeing as how yours is running like mine, but with an i5.  Thermal grease should probably be changed about every 2 years or so, it does dry out.  It's not the easiest thing to do on a first gen. Helix.

 

Dave


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Re:Helix type 3702 - How to improve thermals?

2020-08-30, 7:13 AM

...Bump?

Any help would be appreciated, it's still running uncomfortably hot :/

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Re:Helix type 3702 - How to improve thermals?

2020-08-30, 23:04 PM

Hi,

 

I have 2 of these and yes, they do run quite warm.  The fan is located just right of top center of the display and that is where it is the hottest.  Both of mine have the i7.

 

Here is the Hardware Maintenance Manual, it is fairly easy to take apart.  You just need a plastic tool, like a guitar pick to open it up.  Follow the instructions about how to disable the onboard battery and make sure you take out the pen before you undertake this.  

 

https://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_pdf/helix_hmm_en_0c10337_03.pdf

 

There are also thermal fans located on the keyboard dock assembly, make sure they are running ok.

 

Dave

 

 


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Re:Helix type 3702 - How to improve thermals?

2020-09-01, 7:00 AM

Thanks for the reply!

I did open it up and cleaned it up as far as I could with a can of compressed air, but to my surprise there almost wasn't any dust in there whatsoever. I cleaned the fans, all of them seem to be spinning nicely, and unsurprisingly, the thermals did not improve. I did not dare go as far as disassembling the motherboard to change the thermal paste, would you recommend that or would it have no impact either?

 

The problem is that its (already underpowered) Core i5 is getting severely thermally-throttled down, giving me an even worse performance than it normally does. I've enabled the "cool mode" in BIOS which I guess makes it throttle more, but I'm afraid that disabling it might cause the device to overheat even more and damage my components. It currently reaches about 68 degrees celsius max, which is pretty **bleep** hot to the touch.

 

Laptop cooling pads are obviously not a solution, since the CPU is behind the screen. Any other ideas?

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Re:Helix type 3702 - How to improve thermals?

2020-09-02, 0:03 AM

Hi,

 

Seeing as  how the fan is in the display makes it much more noticeable than a normal laptop that has it in its base.  The first generation Helix had a full featured processor which gives good performance, but also gives out more heat.

 

The 2nd generation Helix had a milder processor because they tried to address the problem of heat, heat has always been a problem with the first generation.

 

Both of mine run in the high 40s C at idle and easily reach mid 70s C under load, the display does get hot, I redid the paste on one of mine and there wasn't much difference.  So, I left the other one alone. If this was happening on a normal laptop, you probably wouldn't notice it much just because on a normal laptop, the processor is in the base.  I have both of mine running at high performance, I don't notice much throttling, but I do see some heat.

 

On yours, you might notice some difference in redoing the thermal grease seeing as how yours is running like mine, but with an i5.  Thermal grease should probably be changed about every 2 years or so, it does dry out.  It's not the easiest thing to do on a first gen. Helix.

 

Dave


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Re:Helix type 3702 - How to improve thermals?

2020-09-03, 13:18 PM

Thank you for the reply.

I think I'll try to reapply the thermal paste next time I open it up (when I install my new bluetooth adapter), see how that goes.

So basically you're saying I shouldn't have any problems running it in high-performance mode, even if it gets a bit hot? I heard heat can shorten the life span of the components and even separate the adhesive on the layers of the screen (on the i7 variants). I have a fair bit of LCD ghosting (burn-in) on my helix, no idea if it has anything to do with heat or not.

I'm still a bit concerned when I hear the fans spinning at maximum and touch my tablet only to flinch because it's almost too hot to touch...

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Re:Helix type 3702 - How to improve thermals?

2020-09-03, 21:19 PM

Yes, heat can  shorten the life of the components, especially the display.  I've heard of a few that developed spots on the screen, most likely because of heat.

 

70 normally isn't an issue when the heat is in the base, it is when the heat is in the display. Then, 70 becomes an issue.

 

I'll run mine like I do and if I have a problem with the screen, then I'll fix it.  Paste will probably give you a bigger difference than  mine did.

 

Dave  

 

  


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11 Posts

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Re:Helix type 3702 - How to improve thermals?

2020-09-04, 7:18 AM

Thank you for the help, I really appreciate it.

I'll write back when I change the thermal paste, but that could be in a month or so (because I don't want to open it more times than necessary, I think I cracked the screen a little bit the first time I did it)

If the screen burn-in gets any worse I might need to order a new screen. I've tried those "fixes" that flash your screen rapidly in red/green/blue, but that didn't help a whole lot. I think it might be related to the heat, because it's most severe in the center and right-hand side, where it gets the hottest.

I guess I'll do a bit more research when buying my next TabletPC. It's not that the Helix is bad, but it does have a couple of things I'm not a fan of (pun not intended), heat being one of them. It's also a bit outdated, lol.

Thanks again :)

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