Problem with mah Acer Aspire 7720.

jp

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Hey fellows, been a while since I posted in this section, can't ever remember that I did.

About a year ago I bought this Acer Aspire 7720, it was cheap, about 650 euro's and it had a lot of power for its money.

It came with Windows Vista preloaded, along with a recovery partition + utility so that you could simply restore Vista when it would go bonkers on you.
Compare it to ghost image if you will.

I played some games on it in the next months, such as Doom 3, C&C generals, Jedi Outcast, relatively old but rather good games which my laptop could handle very well.

After 8 months of usage, the laptop became increasingly slower after an hour of work, and I noticed the keyboard began to get really warm.
The fan exhaust next to the power supply cable connection was extremely warm, and I feared there was a lot of dust in my laptop.
After opening the laptop, there was some dust but not a lot so I closed it again and all was well.

I restored Windows Vista multiple times, just to have a fresh start with the Operating System.

About 2 months ago I downloaded the Windows 7 RC from Microsoft to try it out, it worked outstanding and thought it was much better then Vista.
However, it again got really warm and at a certain point it even shut itself down.

I found out the max temp in order for the emergency shutdown to activate is 85 degrees celcius, and using the application "Coretemp" I found out my laptop's cores were getting to the 80 degrees quite easily.

After 2 months of using Win 7, I decided I installed Win XP Pro on the laptop.
It works fast and well, but it still gets very hot.
I even restored the BIOS version to 1.34, which according to certain Acer Guru's would make the fan work better which in order would solve the heat problem.

But alas.

The problem is so bad now, whenever I run an CPU/GPU intensive application, a game, a movie (youtube & avi, mp4, etc), or even music, the laptop gets so hot it will simply shut itself down.

I'm quite frustrated with this, I tried to bring it back to the shop I got it from but they actually came up with a story that might be my fault for installing a "faulty application".

So my question after this rant is: does anyone know what to do? has anyone experience with this? or should I just wait till the laptop dies..?

I can't even play a simple game as bejeweled on this thing, it just gets overheated and it shuts down.
 
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The laptop should still work fine. Mine now is nearly 2 years old (state of the art back then :p) and it still works fine. Are both you CPU and GPU getting warm? Problem with laptops is, both CPU and GPU share the same heatsink, so basicaly, if one gets hot, so does the other. Still, 80 degrees shouldn't be that bad if under full load (with full load, I mean using 100% of your CPU) My laptop shuts down at 105 degrees.

In any case, I highly suggest using RMClock to undervolt your CPU. I save about 15 degrees under full load (normally it was 75 degrees, now only 60 degrees, massive difference). It is not harmful for the CPU, hell, it even prolongs its life.

Next, get Rivatuner and downclock your GPU when you are not using it (like watching a movie) Newer GPU's do it on their own, but still don't do it properly. While watching a movie, they still tend to clock to their maximum clocking capabilities while the extra power isn't even needed. I also suggest experimenting with different [beta] drivers. Some drivers tend to heat up a lot, while others don't. The nVidia Beta driver 186.60-ish made my GPU go up to 91 degrees when under full load. While the 1860.68 DOX Optimised only make them go up to 81 degrees under full load. Now I don't know if you have ATI or nVidia, but I am sure ATI will have similar drivers.

Last but not least, weather also effects on your laptop temperatures. In the winter my laptop is about 10 degrees cooler (!) than in the summer.

Undervolting guide: http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=235824
I must stress, do NOT forget the stress tests, or you will be getting quite a few Bsod's (it's not harmful for you laptop, but it is quite annoying). My laptop's standard full load voltage is 1,250 volt @ 2.0ghz. I managed to get it all the way down to 1.050, but just for safety reasons I upped it to 1.075 volts. Lowers my tempratures by about 10 to 15 degrees and lengthens my battery life by about 30 minutes.
 
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jp

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Hey Sicron, thanks for your reply,

I can see that those tools can come in very handy, I will take a good look at them when I get home from work. (have to go to work now lol)

The odd thing at this moment is that when I run Coretemp, it usually shows 2 numbers, namely the 2 core's heat.
Usually both numbers are identical, core 1 is about 31 degrees for example and core 2 32.

But now Core 1 is 30 degrees and core 2 is 62! that's double the warmth!

Oh well, have to take a look at it when I get home.

On a side note, my laptop shuts down at 85 degrees celcius, so even if it would be surviving 100 degrees celcius it won't come to that because it simply shuts down after 85.
 

jp

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Sorry for the double post,

But I must be doing something wrong..

I'm using RightMark Clock Utility to undervolt my CPU.
I went through all the steps but it is as if it won't change
the voltage settings of my computer.

I use the ORTHOS cpu tester, and after 30 seconds the cpu gets from 50 to 80 degrees celcius while the link you gave me instructs me to test for 10 whole minutes.

I'm kind of scared something's wrong with my laptop...

I'll try Rivatuner now, perhaps it'll help.
 
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It really depends on where your thermal sensors are placed in your laptop. My Core 2 is usualy about 3 degrees hotter than Core 1. But make sure that you have selected the right profile in RMclock, or it still won't work.


This pictures shows my RMClock powersaving profile. You can cleary see the 6x multiplier of the core (= 1.2ghz) @ 1.000volt.


This one shows the full power management profile. You can see the 10x multiplier (= 2.0ghz) working at 1.075volt.


This is the no management profile. Where RMclock does absolutly nothing to the voltage as seen by the 1.250 volt on a 6.0x mutliplier.

Make sure that the maximum mutliplier is shown with the voltage you applied. Now by using ORTHOS, 80 degrees might be 'normal' as ORTHOS fully loads your cores to 100%. Something that will probably never happen in real life. ORTHOS isn't made to check your temperatures at max load, it is made to stress test the system to check that it won't crash under any circumstances. So don't be afraid, 80 degrees at full load is still better than 85 degrees at any time.

I will also show you this picture:



The first picture shows Idle temp and ORTHOS temp, full load at 1.2ghz @ 1.000 volt.
Second picture shows ORTHOS temp, full load at 2.0ghz @ 1.075 volt.
Third picture shows ORTHOS temp, full load at 2.0ghz @ 1.250 volt. (Gaming with this profile, would probably only make my CPU go to 80-ish degrees, to show you the difference between gaming and ORTHOS.)

Now my laptop is still perfectly fine after that, as soon as the scale hit 81 degrees my fan jumped to maximum cooling. But notice the near instant drop as soon as I turned off ORTHOS. It jumped from 90 degrees to 60 ish degrees in just a couple of seconds. As long as that happens, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the cooling in your laptop, and undervolting should probably stop most of your problems. My temps got 16 degrees lower by just undervolting by 0.175 volts.
 
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Sometimes the thermal sensors arn't correctly read by the software. If core 2 is listed at around 60 degrees, I promise you core 1 is roughly the same.

Undervolting is a very good idea in this case, but if it proves to be not enough, you can buy a cooler for your laptop. Look around here and you'll find some: http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=319&name=Laptop-Accessories

Undervolt first since that's probably more effective and free. If you really still need to lose some more degrees, I'd look into buying a cooler. On a side note, laptop CPUs are typically undervolted already, so be careful. Use Prime95 for CPU stress testing, it is excellent.
 
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If you buy a laptop cooler, I'd have to say get the Zalman NC2000, it's apparently the best notebook cooler around.
 

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