Overheating Dell Precision M4500 “the dust collector”

Author : Ingmar Verheij

I’m very happy with my Dell Precision M4500 equipped with Intel Core i7-740QM, 8GB RAM, nVidia Quadro FX 1800M and Seagate 500GB FIPS self-encrypting disk.

But there’s one major setback; it overheats extremely quickly (as mentioned by TechRadar). This is especially true after a certain period of using the system. The fans suck in fresh air  and (after cooling the processor, gpu and chipset) blows it again. In the meantime it collects dust on the fan and the vent.

After removing the dust my CPU temperature decreased from 83C/181F to 51C/124F.

High CPU temperature

I’ve been using the laptop since February 2011 and I noticed the CPU temperature was getting pretty high (and the system was slowing down). Yesterday I worked the whole day with the Remote Desktop Client (a low impact process) and recorded a peak temperature of 83C/181F. My collegaue Remko Weijnen even measured a whoppin’ 96C/205F!


The dust collector

Because dust is collected in the fan and the vent, the cooling capabilities decreases resulting in a higher temperature. So the most logical thing to do is to clean the dust. I’ve opened the laptop, removed the fan and blew the dust out. Today I’ve worked with the Remote Desktop Client again and recorded a more acceptable peak temperature of  58C/136F and a nominal temperature of 51C/124F.


Cleaning the dust

Step 1 : Remove the central screw (1), screws that hold the HDD (4) and slide the back to the front.



Step 2: Remove the screws (7) that holds the fan and thermal block in place (the screws are marked with a number, remove them in the provided order) and slide the whole unit to the right and up.



Step 3: Remove the fan from the fan-holder by removing the screws (3)



Step 4: Remove the dust from the fan, vent and back using a air-duster, compressor or vacuum cleaner.

















Step 5: Insert the fan in the fan-holder, re-apply cooling paste on the processor and GPU and re-assemble the laptop (step 1 and 2 in the reverse order).