Dell XPS L502X Disassembly – Overheating Issues

Dell XPS L502X Disassembly

Had some fun yesterday with a little project that I had been putting a side for too long. I’ve owned a few computers and laptops in the past years, and my Dell XPS L502X is by far the toughest and best laptop I’ve purchased so far (bought new in 2011). This machine was subjected to many difficult environment since it was used as a DJ laptop (clubs, outdoor & indoors events, parties, etc.) and my everyday computer as well. Now I use this laptop mainly for my music and internet browsing, but it’s still powerful and fast enough for much bigger tasks.

Overheating Issues

Overtime, I noticed my CPU fan was always running high, even when the system was idling. And I was also having a few issues with 1 USB port on the back. So I decided to venture into cleaning and replacing the following :

  • USB Port 3.0 IO Circuit Board (replacement)
  • CPU Fan (replacement)
  • CPU & GPU Heatsink (cleaning & applying new thermal paste)
  • And since I was already opening up the laptop, I decided to boost my memory from 8GB to 16GB.🚀

Dust and Melted Thermal Paste

After I’ve successfully disassemble my Dell XPS L502X, I immediately notice the dust on the heatsink and fan, which was expected with a 10 year old laptop. But what really surprised me was the amount of thermal paste remaining on my CPU after removing the CPU/GPU heatsink. 🙀

Almost all the original thermal paste (from Dell) was melted off the CPU Chip, obviously causing my high temps and making my CPU fan running high all the time. 🌡

So here was the repair process in order :
  • replace the CPU fan (since the original one was VERY dirty, and I also wanted to rule out the possibility of a bad or defective fan)
  • I replace my USB I/O board.
  • Cleaned and removed the CPU/GPU heatsink
  • Removed the old CPU/GPU thermal paste and applied new Artic MX-4 thermal paste.
Assemble back the laptop and voilà! … No CPU Fan noise after booting up the laptop. SUCCESS! 🎊

Results & Conclusion

After monitoring my CPU temps, I’ve notice a drop of 15-20 degrees in heat while processor is idling, which is excellent. The new CPU Fan, USB I/O Board are working without any issues and my Memory Upgrade has given the laptop a very noticeable speed boost. 🚀

Got issues with your old PC or MacBook fans running full speed all the time? You might need a new thermal paste job done by JS Information! 😉