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05-24-2010 11:11 AM
I really do not know how to describe this product, I could even cook eggs with my computer, could HP just offer us some service or some solution about this?
Ever since the first day I bought it from Bestbuy, I have been suffering this problem, please HP, do you want to make a recall process about this?
07-14-2010 07:52 PM
I can confirm this as well on the dv4-1120us. Bought mine off Newegg in Dec. 08. (For obvious reasons, didn't test it out b4 I bought it.) Had the heat issue (over the HDD bay) since day one. Finally sent it to HP to analyze a few months later. They sent it back to me claiming it was a problem with the HSF on the CPU. Still have the problem till this day. Now my warranty is over. My left thigh cooks to about medium-well when I have this this on my lap for over 30 minutes. Would love to get rid of this stove-of-a-laptop, but I have no money to buy another. HP, this is all your fault!
08-10-2010 01:39 AM
I'm rather amused by this forum. My first encounter with Compaq/HP was in the late 90s. I disliked them from the start and every PC and laptop that I've had to repair made by Compaq or HP, I've had nothing but difficulties.
I first got my hands on this DV4-1225dx when I was fixing it for a friend. It had Vista Home Edition on it and it was SLOW and HOT. It took me two days to downgrade it to Windows XP (I tried x64 edition so as to be able to utilize the 4GB of ram, but that was near impossible). Two weeks later, the hard drive failed (although not directly HP's fault, they may have purchased hard drive lots that were considered lower grade - Hitachi Travelstar 5K250 250GB SATA/150 5400RPM 8MB 700mA rated, failed within the first year; come to think of it, I cannot recall a hard drive made in the last decade with a 5400 RPM drive that used >500mA of energy; I just bought a Seagate Momentus 7200 RPM drive that runs at about 500mA).
I now have this laptop (along with the freedom to install what I wish to fully test it) and this heat issue is NOT solely a Windows issue. I run Ubuntu and it's a good thing I have a cooling pad (Thermaltake Massive23). I'm also booting it off an external drive (there is no internal drive, as mentioned it was toast - keeps it a bit cooler, unfortunately, I only have a USB case, will upgrade to eSATA as soon as I can).
I plan on reinstalling Windows XP and trying x64 edition. Currently, under Ubuntu 10.04 with only Opera running, CPU1 is averaging 30% and CPU2 is averaging 15%.
My old Gateway Centrino 1.6Ghz with a single core (made in 2003) has a CPU utilization of about 3-5% in Windows XP and 5-10% in Ubuntu 10.04. It runs cool and if it weren't for the hard drive giving me the death rattle, I'd rather use that as they perform comparatively (even with the bum hard drive in the Gateway - a PATA Hitachi 60GB hard drive manufactured in 2004).
I've owned three Gateways and they've run beautifully (I got them used, some heavily and even the worst of them was better than this HP). I'm so glad I didn't pay a dime for this piece of junk.
To all of you who have purchased an HP, fool me once ...
08-10-2010 09:45 AM - edited 08-10-2010 10:20 AM
As I sit and read, yet again, all the different forums on this overheating issue with the DV4 series laptops (DV4-1222nr), I'm again confronted with the same issue... after 2 CPU fan replacements [Jan '10 and April '10].
Now we're in August '10 and AGAIN the system is severely overheating requiring at least 30 min to cool down before it can be brought back up. I've resorted to putting a cold pack on the bottom of the laptop to keep it running for just an hour.
HP's response now - as it's "out of warranty" (by 8 DAYS on the old CPU fan when I returned from holiday to report it!!!) is to buy a CPU fan online (and they even gave me the link via email : http://www.notebook-keyboards.com/product.php?id=4
Of course, the best part of their "suggestion" to buy it myself and replace it, is that #1 - no directions, and #2 - what they're telling me to buy is incomplete at this 3rd party site of the parts necessary!
This is NOW getting to be past the joke stage. It is *very sad* that HP doesn't realize the flaw in this system design and makes the customer pay for their mistake. No wonder their systems are getting so "cheap" [inexpensive] on the market. They're going the way of Dell and Gateway - build 'em cheap and shove'em out the door without worry or consequence to the customer, or THEIR reputation.
Now - minus my little rant, Can ANYONE tell me if there is actually a long term solution to this problem??
08-11-2010 01:29 AM
Yes, there is a solution, but you won't like it.
1. Sell your laptop for parts.
2. Never buy an HP/Compaq again.
3. When choosing a laptop in future, you may have to do a bit more reading up. Compare processors and their TDP (Thermal Design Power). It seems to be that this is under rated either by AMD or by HP. If the cooling system is insufficient in dissipating the heat and the processor cannot throttle its speed, you'll end up with an electronic frying pan.
If you can, download Prime95 (www.mersenne.org) on a USB key and if you're shopping for a computer in store, see if you can ask the associate if you could run a torture test for a few minutes to see how hot the system runs when the system's processing resources are used to their fullest.
07-01-2011 07:33 PM - edited 07-01-2011 07:41 PM
I've been working in laptop thermal repairs for a good part of my PC career... boredom being what it is, and money being as scarce as it is, I often spend hours, even days, researching and Googling the inner workings of these systems, to solve the problem itself, not just replacing the parts and hoping for a better outcome (you know what they say about "insanity"...). I know that replacing the heat sink won't solve the problem, replacing the fan just mutes the symptoms (I haven't yet had a reason to replace the fan itself, BTW - laptop fans are nearly indestructible).
Here are my findings with my overheating dv4-1225dx:
- The overheating is caused by a too-high TDP processor paired with a lackluster heat pipe design. This is a raw, inexcusable marketing/design flaw by HP. Amusingly, the CPU itself isn't even advertised on the PC case. It's like this just fell through the cracks of the design/marketing guys.
- CPU is an AMD Turion 64 x2 (Athlon 64 x2 - don't understand AMD's Turion/Athlon thing), RM-72, "Lion" core. Claims a TDP (thermal design power) of 35 watts.
- The 780G (Radeon HD 3200 IGP) chipset, paired with the same heat pipe as the 35w CPU, is found to have about a 15W TDP under load (THAT was a pain in the arse to find, AMD seems to have the TDP specs pretty well guarded). But here's the kicker: the 780G chipset is a DESKTOP chipset - commonly used in MiniATX boards and PCs! Most results in searching for 780G refer to their desktop counterparts.
- This equates to about a 50-watt thermal load on the tiny heat pipe under full load. Let's go on and see why that's a problem.
- Some heat pipes in HP laptops I've seen from the Pentium 4 era are able to, somewhat uncomfortably, exhaust the heat from a 125W 3.8GHz Pentium 4 with Hyperthreading. How? Extensive, thick-built heat pipes, and multiple channels of dissipation from the source (CPU). That's only a little over twice the heat produced by this chipset+CPU combo under full load. This laptop, though? It gets a tiny stick of a heat pipe.
- Heat pipes are miniature phase-change heat exchangers. Inside the heat pipe, there is a somewhat-complex system of spongy material and refrigerant, which, when it becomes heated, will transition to the inner channel of the pipe, carrying the heat with it, until a point where it becomes cooled and flows along the outer edge again to get re-heated. It's an amusingly efficient system, but it does involve physical movement within the pipe (much to many peoples' surprise). This also adds a little bit of complexity...
- If the heat pipe is kinked or damaged in just the slightest way, or even improperly angled or oriented, it significantly restricts the flow of this cooling material and causes a "hot spot" on one side of the obstruction. Many instances of first-hand experience to back this up... however, it can sometimes be repaired by padding the edges and "nudging" the edges of the pipe to get the dent out. I've had luck with this on my main PC, where the bottom panel got banged and slightly dented the pipe - frustratingly causing my Mobile i5 CPU to go 85C+ under load, without turbo (thermally throttled). After "massaging" the dent out and slightly expanding the height (into more of a square) in the process, my temperature is down to about 72-75 C under full turbo. Night and day difference.
- However, at the same time, temperature variations can cause "partitioning" as well. I've found that heat pipes can be rather picky when it comes to their thermal distribution - cool off a part too fast and it will "lock up", it'll stop moving heat! Except for the copper conductivity, but that's very limited. The further you push the heat pipe's thermal conductivity, the more likely you are to "crash" the pipe, causing it to stop (or significantly slow) moving heat. In the case of the 50W TDP design of the dv4-1225dx, this "heat pipe overload" is nearly inevitable, and most people have it happen without even noticing (other than the roaring fan and throttled performance).
- Now let's consider the dismal heatsink attached to the end of the pipe. It's only connected on one face of the heat pipe, leaving the top side of the heat pipe completely un-conducted. It's blocked by the LCD hinge, and most of its exhaust facing is pointed downward in a half-ellipse shape. That also means that much of the air moved by the fan is dropped through the shortest point - the bottom. It both relies on, and is hindered by, the fact that the notebook sits on a table. Without sitting on a table, the air escapes the "short route" of the heat sink (downward) - but if it's sitting on a table, the LCD hinge typically obstructs most of the airflow. There's only one specific angle where the LCD obstructs the airflow the least, and that is with the LCD at a 90* angle to the keyboard.
- Of course, in traditional HP style, the cooling fan only has one air inlet: directly through the bottom of the unit. If that's blocked, airflow go bye-bye! No alternative airflow channels as in most PCs (my primary notebook, an Asus, pulls in air from the whole underside and is completely unimpeded by being covered by a bed or lap). It's pretty much entirely desk-bound due to this design. The cooling fan is 2-sided internally, but 75% of the area is blocked by the left speaker, while the rest is blocked by the fact that there's no inlet channels in the keyboard. The hole in the bottom is absolutely *IT* for cooling.
HP is 100% to blame for this terrible design, as it could have happened no other way. These are not defective one-off products; every single owner of a similarly-configured dv4-1225dx or related models will run into this thermal issue if they know what to look (or listen) for. Of course, being that it's a configuration problem and not a product-line problem (like the dv6000/9000/tx1000 nVidia northbridge/GPU failure), it's almost entirely unlikely that HP will do anything about it. One more, HP will probably not even issue any official forum response here either, as admission of fault nor denial of fault is actually possible in a business sense. Admission of fault would mean HP would be obligated to repair the issue or reimburse users. Denial of fault is pretty much made impossible by the proof posted by myself and others. Sooooo... we're pretty much screwed!
Now for a few solutions.
There aren't many options for making it work better - due to the thermal conductivity rating of the heat pipe in this model, it can *never* match the TDP of the CPU and chipset, it's simply impossible to exhaust the heat this CPU produces in a reliable manner. However, there are a few options for reducing the maximum TDP of the processor and making it run within specification of the shoddy heat pipe.
- Replace the CPU with one of a lower TDP. As previously linked, cpu-world.com is an amazingly useful resource for finding and comparing CPUs that will work in the restricted notebook environment. Socket 1 is nororiously unforgiving, so you will have to be sure to match up S1G2 with another S1G2 processor (contrary to some sources, I've first-hand found that S1 or "S1" does not work in the dv4's S1G2 board). Through a brief comparison, a suitable replacement may be the AMD Turion 64 X2 RM-70 (2.0GHz), It has a 31W TDP but a lower idle state (500MHz) which should help reduce heat. This is somewhat of an untested crap-shoot, but it's almost guaranteed to plug-n-play work in the dv4, so someone might want to give it a try...
- Reduce the maximum state of the CPU. This is a pretty drastic step, as the RM-72 only has 3 clock states: low, medium, and high (in layman's terms). Low state is 520MHz, 0.8v, 5W, reported to Windows as "28% Maximum Frequency". Medium state is 1050MHz, 0.95v, 11.4W, reported to Windows as "51% Maximum Frequency" (bouncing between 50% and 51%). High is, of course, 2100MHz, 1.125v, 31.50W, and reported as "100% Maximum Frequency".
- So, with this information, you can modify your Balanced (or "HP Recommended", big fat "[sic]" there) power scheme, and set your Processor Power Management -> Maximum Processor State -> "Plugged in", to 51%, and set "On battery" to 28%. This is what I'm using now. I typically recommend setting On Battery to 50% to keep a CPU at its lowest state on battery (that's what the throttling is there for, IMO!), but apparently this CPU uses a <50% state as its lowest clock. Also BE SURE to change "Minimum Processor State" to 5% for both - there's absolutely no reason to prevent the CPU from downclocking, as it will always instantly speed up on demand when the need arises (there is zero performance hit for allowing it to clock down).
Hopefully these tips help someone, as I sure did spend a good amount of time typing this out
And hopefully HP's learned after all these years: use good, thick heat pipes, and exhaust to an unobstructed side, like a side vent! You'd think they learned with the dv6000's, the "first time"!
Oh, and HP, yes, I would absolutely love to work there.
07-17-2011 11:04 AM - edited 07-17-2011 11:17 AM
Thanks for the great post! Glad to see some empirical data and exploration, rather than "what a piece of #!@#".
Our DV4-1225 fits the symptom list of all the others, including the HD/Motherboard failures almost exactly 1 week past warranty. I never got to experience the thermal issues firsthand, as this laptop was in the hands of one of our schoolkids, but I (and she!) feel much better knowing that she likely didn't do anything to cause the early demise.
So the machine is on my desk, and I was about to order parts. Thanks to your review, I'll put that money towards another product with a proven reliability record. BTW, 1 'Kudo' your way!
09-15-2011 09:36 PM
Wow. FalconFour, YOU ROCK. I'm honestly awestruck right now, because merely changing "Minimum Processor State" from 100% (default in High Performance power plan) to 5% seems to have solved this problem that has plagued me for a long time.
Why would the processor have to run at 100% all the time??? Agh!
I know my way around a PC fairly well, yet this simple solution has managed to elude me somehow. Thank you so much.
09-27-2011 05:46 PM
I purchased this same unit back in 2010 in January, I have purchased other low end laptops before from hp, that still work fine accept for the battery.
Anyway, This Model is absolutely flawed! I am a computer tech with over 16 years experience, I should have returned this laptop within the first 15 days of ownership. I orignally purchased it for my daughter when she was starting college, she is not that tech savvy, so she had issues I never knew about until it was too late to return it.
I am very pissed off at HP! for not doing a recall on this product. I spent over $600 dollars and the best offer i can get from tech support is a repair charge of $329?!! for an issue they are well aware of . I wish I purchased this laptop from Costco! That way, I could have returned in even 2 years afterwards and gotten all my money back, plus Costco keeps track of all their unhappy customers and will begin to blacklist the manufactuer (like Liteon) and stops selling it in their stores.
Now just to be fare, HP released newer models after this one , that does not have that over heating issue and shutdowns after only 20 minutes of use. But, they corrected the new model designes at our expense. My advice to you is to seek action from your attorney generals office if your out of warranty. If HP decides to own up to this mistake (unlikely!) and offers to fix it for free? Take them up on the offer, I believe they will make good on it. Outside of replacing the motherboard or heatsink and Fan with a more durable version, seriously think about dumping it. Sell it for parts, you may get $240 out of it, learn your lesson, and go buy an Asus Laptop or Sony VAIO with the I5Core processor and Bluray Disc player for $549 and it will last longer than 3 years! All in all, you are not alone via this issue and you won't be the last.