Sunday, February 14, 2010

Inefficient cooling system design in Inspiron 1525

For a couple of months, I had a problem with my Inspiron 1525 shutting down in the middle of nowhere. For some time it wasn't a very serious problem, so I just let it do all its mischief. Then, a week ago I started playing Counter-Strike. The problem repeated like anything. After every ten minutes or so, the laptop shut down. Then I thought, enough is enough I have got to find out a solution.

Ten minutes of googling led me to find a solution, thanks to Andreas .The problem was due to inefficient cooling system design in the Inspiron 1525.

The cooling system consists of a heat transfer system, which transfers heat from the processor to the sink, fan and heat sink. The sink then radiates the heat out of the laptop. The affect of radiator(heat sink) is enhanced by the fan which helps to keep the heat sink cooler. If the fan doesn't work or the heat sink can't get the effect of fan, then the sink can't radiate the heat efficiently, and thus the temperature of CPU rises causing the computer to shut down.

The problem with my laptop was that there was dirt in between the heat sink and the fan. This meant the heat sink couldn't get the proper air-flow to cool it. The result, the heat sink wasn't functioning up to its optimum level and thus the processor was getting heated. This led to my computer getting shut down repeatedly.

The solution was to remove the dirt that lied in between the fan and the heat sink.

This is something I have to do every 2-3 months. But, this could have been avoided if the cooling system had been designed in a much better way. In the above paragraph, I have described about the parts of a cooling system. There is one thing missing. And that is a filter. Basically, when the fan is operating, it takes in air from some place (some vents) and then blows the air towards the heat sink. As the name suggests, the filter filters the air coming to the fan through these vents. The result is that the air flowing from the fan to heat sink is dirt free. Thus, there is no way dust can accumulate in between the fan and heat sink.

The filter system in the laptop seems to be absent which led to occurrence of this problem. I don't know if they didn't add filter to the cooling system design for some advanced reasons or they just forgot.

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