The Chuwi Lapbook 14.1 just might be on of the best budget laptops I’ve reviewed on the site and YouTube channel, it has 4GB of RAM, 64GB eMMC, a decent keyboard and trackpad, great screen and a good build quality. Even the option to add an SSD if you wanted to speed it up and increase storage, but it has one big flaw when it comes to gaming.
Gaming on the Chuwi Lapbook 14.1, eventually saw temperatures reach over 95 degrees C on the CPU and iGPU, far too hot for my likely, part of the blame lies with the fact Chuwi used some type of thermal insulator pad onto of the metal heating and shielding, ensuring the Lapbook 14 stays cool on your lap, but trapping all that heat inside the machine.
My copper heatsink mod is rather simple and most of you should be able to perform this without too much difficulty. And the results are nothing short of amazing, lowering maximum temperatures on the Celeron N3450 by over 25 degrees C!
While under normal use temps aren’t an issue, it’s only when gaming it will get really hot and even at 95 degrees there is no thermal throttling however, this will lower temps and increase gaming FPS as it will allow the GPU to clock up higher.
You’ll need the following:
- One 20mm x 20mm x 1mm copper shim or
- One x 15 x 15 x 1mm copper plate if your worried about how close the copper is to surrounding resistors and components (I’ve had no issues with my 20mm copper shim)
- One 2mm thermal pad 50 x 50 or larger if you want
- Thermal adhesive (Or thermal glue it’s often called)
- Thermal paste, I used Artic MX4 but anything similar will be fine. Don’t use expensive stuff this is a 6W chipset, not an i7 7700K
- Optional Sata3 spec M.2 2242 SSD if you want to add an SSD, you might as well do this at the same time.
As per my video guide, the process is as follows:
- Remove the 8 screws on the bottom of the Lapbook 14.1, remove the plastic bottom plate.
- Remove the battery plug, let’s play it safe and reduce the chances of shorting something out
- Earth yourself, use anti-static gear if possible. Don’t touch your long-haired cat or dog just before doing this etc!!
- Remove the heatsink / Electromagnetic shielding over the RAM, eMMC and Celeron N3450
- Remove the stock thermal pad on the CPU die. Leave the other thermal pads (The blue ones)
- Clean the CPU with alcohol. I used Artic cleaner.
- Add a small dot of thermal paste (Yes I went overboard in the video, but it wasn’t an issue)
- Carefully place the 15mm or 20mm thermal pad on top. Be sure it doesn’t touch any resistors near the CPU die.
- Remove that black pad on top of the silver metal heatsink/shielding. This is what is stopping heat being transferred over to the bottom of the case of the laptop.
- Place some thermal paste on top of the copper shim (Again I used too much, but no harm was done. Just rather have more than not enough on my own Lapbook
- Place the metal factory heatsink back on and press down to ensure the paste spreads out nicely.
- Place your 2mm thermal pad on top of the metal heatsink, make sure you removed that thermal insulator/firewall pad.
- Plug the battery back in!
- Replace the rear plastic cover and 8 screws
- Boot up your Labook and enjoy up to 25 degrees less max CPU temps and improved GPU performance!
So far in my use and gaming over 2 hours it only gets slightly warm on the rear, about 35 degrees. Well worth it and I really wish Chuwi had used a thermal pad on the heatsink to transfer heat over to the foil they adding to the inside of rear plate.
With this mod complete you now have of the best 14.1″ notebooks for the price.
This mod should work on other N4200 and N3450 tablets and laptops, mostly ones with plastic housings.