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Mod To Prevent Video Card From Over Heating

When upgrading the video card in the Inspiron 8500 with the Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro Turbo, over heating can be a serious issue. Even though the BIOS recognizes the 9600 correctly and it does work in the 8500, there is no BIOS support for the over heating issue. The BIOS shut-off temperature is set low enough that the heat generated by the upgraded video card will shut the notebook off. Here is a method that manages to combat the heat issue with a modification to the video card. Thanks go out to Dell Community Member MadMax for supplying the pictures and the instructions.

NOTE: Pictued is the GeForce 4200 and not the ATI 9600. Since MadMax5 had the NV28 readily available because that was the card being replaced, and its form factor is the same, he just did the mod on this card for the purpose of the pictures. I have included actual pictures of the ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro Turbo (M10) at the bottom of this page.



Required Supplies:

  • copper plate: 3cm x 3cm x 1.5mm thick
  • heat sink compound such as Arctic Silver 5 or better
  • rapid glue such as cyanacrylat from Loctite
  • soldering paste to clean the copper
  • Acetone (not shown)
  • Philips head screwdriver
copper plate

Use the soldering paste to clean both sides of the copper plate. Smear the soldering paste on both sides of the copper and give it enough time to dissolve the oxides. Then remove the soldering paste.

You can get the copper plate from a plumbing store or anywhere that they make copper gutters for a house. They will cut you a piece. You can also get it from McMaster-Carr, part number 8963K42 (Alloy 110 Copper Sheet 0.062" Thick, 12" X 12")

Instead of using soldering paste, you can use any kind of acid for cleaning the copper.

The main issue is with the not-so-good thermal pads that Dell uses for contact between the chip and heat sink on both GPU and CPU.  Since these pads are pretty thick, you need to replace them with the 1.5 mm thick copper plate so the heat sink and GPU chip would make contact.

Remove Pad

Disassemble the video card so that it looks like the picture. Remember how it goes back together.

Remove the pad that covers the die of the GPU and then clean the die with Acetone. If you do not have Acetone handy, you can use Isopropyl alcohol that is over 99% pure. This is readily available in drug stores.

Acetone is found in nail polish remover, though I would suggest pure acetone ONLY due to the various other contaminants found in nail polish remover

Thermal Compound Apply the thermal compound to the copper plate as shown. Then apply the rapid glue to each corner of the copper plate. Here are some instructions on how to apply Artic Silver. Ignore steps 3 to 9 as the Radeon Mobility 9600 seems to have a heat spreader.
Fix copper plate

Fix the copper plate to the metal as shown. Make sure the side with the heat sink compound and glue is facing the metal.

Next, apply some thermal compound on the die.

Screw the parts together

Next, screw the parts together making sure that you do not tighten the screws too much which would put too much pressure on the die. Copper expands when it gets warm so you want to make sure that it can.

Now install the GPU back into your notebook.

Before the modification, the GPU would run in excess of 100°C. After the modification, the CPU temperature is about 50°C and the GPU heats up to 75-80°C in 3D games.

ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro Turbo (M10)

Actual pictures of the ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro Turbo (M10)

ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro Turbo (M10)

Actual pictures of the ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro Turbo (M10)

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