Throttles and tribulations of one HP 6730s

noobie_one_kenoobie

Commendable
Jan 9, 2018
20
2
1,515
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Hello there,


I have an older laptop, an HP 6730s manufactured in 2008 I think, which generally works fine. But I have noticed that there are some issues related to heat. This is apparent when I watch Youtube or stream an online sports match. It works fine generally, and it usually runs a 720p youtube video rather nicely. However, sometimes even a 720p starts to stutter even as temperatures remain below 70 degrees Celsius. I investigated the matter and I found out that my particular CPU model, the 2 GHZ T5870, should withstand a maximum operating temperature of 100°C. I have reached perhaps 80°C - 81°C when my laptop was at its dustiest and throttling and sudden shutdowns were pervasive. These temperatures were reached by merely running a Youtube video.

Those were truly dark times.

I disassembled the computer and cleaned everything and changed thermal paste on both cpu and the integrated graphics unit. The improvement was noticeable in performance and the cooling fan was much quieter than before. Yet, it still tended to start stuttering if it reached beyond 65°C. And occasionally it would again overheat, even though it generally ran cooler and quieter.

That was three months ago. Today I disassembled it again and found some dust bunnies in the heatsink again, while the fan was rather clean. I cleaned everything again, except this time I didn't touch the cpu and Intel gpu. I left those as they were and cleaned every other component.
After reassembly I ran some Youtube videos and it worked fine in 720p but it stuttered in 720p60.

That is when I learned that frames per second also play a role in the resolution. I never knew that, I just assumed that a 720p video is the same as another in the same resolution.


Interestingly, it can run nicely a 1080p30 youtube video.

I still notice that over time, if I leave it running Youtube video after video, sometimes for hours, the temperature slowly creeps up over the hours and if it goes above 60°C it starts to show, ever so slightly, signs of stuttering even though the CPU temperature remains far below the thermal juncture of 100°C. And if it goes much above 60°C like 65°C then the problem becomes more noticeable. Even before I performed the second cleaning today I think it never reached above 65°C in regular use as described above. But still, stutters over 60° C puzzle me. This is the case even if the resolution is not with 'p60' suffix.


It usually idles at around anywhere from 40°C to 50°C. I guess it depends on environmetal factors as well.

I also ran a Prime95 program to burden the entire computer to see the temperatures after the today's cleaning, though only for 35 minutes, and the maximum temperature the CPU reached was 70°C but it was mostly around 68°-69° with occasional dips to 67°C.


None of this is actually a horrible problem for me, but I am rather curious about what you, people who are well versed in computers, make of this.


I have been thinking about this lately. It is an old laptop and it seems to me that the ventilation for this particular model is rather lacking since it likes to heat up and is rather laborious to take apart and put back together. I honestly think I did an adequate job applying the paste but again it is possible I made a mistake. But even if that were the case why would it experience problems at over 30°C lower than TJ temperature?


So the question(s) is (are): Why does CPU tends to throttle above 60something degrees when running a Youtube video, for example, if it is still well below its maximum operating temperature? Or is the integrated graphics that acts as a chokepoint? Or perhaps motherboard?

Here are some of the basic specifications:

T5870 2GHZ CPU

4GB DDR2 RAM (upgraded from 2GB)

INTEL GMA 4500MHD integrated graphics

250GB Fujitsu HDD

I also apparently lost a screw when I reassembled it. (This has no bearing on anything, I simply wanted to share my pain.)

As is evident with my resolution revelations described above there is much I don't know so I thank you for any insights you can offer.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
I suggest upgrading the system to 8gb and swapping the standard drive to an SSD then seeing if the stutter is still there if you don't want to simply replace the thing with something newer for about $120-140 that has a Core i5 CPU in it. The Core2Duo CPU you have is just about at the limit for being able to run HD video well, but a SSD will help the system run faster overall. CPU should not throttle at that low of a temperature.
 

noobie_one_kenoobie

Commendable
Jan 9, 2018
20
2
1,515
0
Thank you for your suggestion. I will most certainly give some thought to upgrading the hard drive to an SSD.

As for the RAM, it is more than sufficient for my needs as I only do work in Word, email, surf the web and run Youtube. For these I find RAM more than adequate.

I agree, it is an old computer but it still works fine other than this strange idiosyncrasy at around two thirds of the thermal juncture. I am rather curious about that.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Thank you for your suggestion. I will most certainly give some thought to upgrading the hard drive to an SSD.

As for the RAM, it is more than sufficient for my needs as I only do work in Word, email, surf the web and run Youtube. For these I find RAM more than adequate.

I agree, it is an old computer but it still works fine other than this strange idiosyncrasy at around two thirds of the thermal juncture. I am rather curious about that.
You may think the RAM is enough but modern web browsers use a lot of RAM. Have you checked Task Manager to see how much of your RAM is being used during the normal tasks you do with the programs you have open.

If it was my system, I would just replace it, used laptops are cheap enough that holding on to an old system that needs upgrades anyway does not make sense. If you need to spend $100 to re-sole shoes and replace leather on them when new, nicer and more comfortable shoes are $120, the choice is pretty clear.
 

noobie_one_kenoobie

Commendable
Jan 9, 2018
20
2
1,515
0
Hello hang-the-9

I have checked the task manager and you are absolutely right, it does consume a lot of RAM in Windows, somewhere close to 1GB when idle, and 1.5GB to almost 2GB when on Youtube. It must be rather more when opening other programs on top of that. But I honestly never had any problems there probably because I don't have 30 tabs open or something like that. And in conjunction with Word it worked just fine.

However, as I lately only really use it to try out various live Linux distributions and doing aforementioned stuff on them like Office, surfing, and occcasional sports match stream, 4GB turns out to be really nice in normal use, with Youtube video, several tabs (anywhere from 3-8,) and a Libre Office open. Linux Mint 20 XFCE is around 500-550 MB on idle desktop and it is really performing well in a use case I mentioned before. Same goes for some other variants i tried. Even with a dozen various tabs opened with one of them playing youtube video and with a Libre word open, task manager showed that memory never reached 3GB of 3.8 GB ( as far as I could tell, but it sure didn't exceed it). It was usually around 2.2 to 2.7 GB. It is a lot, but then again a lot was going on and in large quantities. Performance - solid.

And to cheekily flip your argument around a bit, why should I buy new $120 shoes just for an evening walk around the park when my old well worn but comfortable ones still fit. This is precisely the reason why I do not want to spend money to buy a new laptop when the old one works well for its intended purpose, namely horsing around on the web a wee bit and doing some work in Office. Youtube works too, if on a lower resolution perhaps.

It is not really a choice that has to be made from my perspective. Buying a new one 'just because' does not cut it for me as a compelling reason. Of course, when it breaks down irreparably (as in 'not economically viable to repair it') or unable to run Word processing anymore it will be replaced like all things.

I do understand what you are saying and I agree with you that browsers and Internet in general have become rather taxing on an older hardware.
This thing works fine except that strange 65°C+ temperature barrier it seems to have in terms of normal operation.

That is the specific issue I am curious about.

Of course I respect your opinion and I am grateful that you have taken the time to offer an answer to my question. So, thank you :)
 

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