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[Guide] Nexus 9 Cooling Mod

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So I've modded my nexus 9 with a copper heat spreader... unfortunately, it seems the temperatures are around the same, maybe a few C lower... why?

Maybe its too thick of a thermal pad used? I'm hoping I could get some light shed on the issue.

I'm using a 2mm thermal pad.

The heat spreader is a copper 0.025" sheet. It's pretty thick and I'd imagine it would conduct alot of heat from the CPU...which isn't the case so much...

The die was cleaned off from all the non-conductive electrical coating that google puts over the chip. This stuff is probably terrible for thermal conductivity. Which i'm surprised its not lower temps just from that...

The tablet has a small bulge now, but I'm still amazed i'm seeing 70C+ temperatures with it..
post #2 of 6
Watercool it! Jk biggrin.gif
To be honest I don't think you will achieve better cooling that a few degrees less... The copper hs can help but there is not a fan moving the heat away (or is there? I'm not fond of the Nexus 9).
Anyway, I'd suggest to ditch the thermal pad and use an excellet thermal paste.
post #3 of 6
I don't you can meaningfully improve heat dissipation through any simple modifications (maybe if you could replace the plastic back cover with a metal back cover). I think what this modification likely helps with is delaying the inevitable throttling; the copper absorbs some of the heat which increases the time it takes for the chip to reach 70c (or whatever the throttling temperature is). However, the overall rate the heat is dissipated from the tablet isn't improved much.

This was basically what the Nexus 4 mod did. I'm guessing its a similar case with the Nexus 9. You'll basically still hit the same max temperatures, it just takes longer to reach them. Probably marginal improvements in tasks with consistently high loads (like gaming), but more noticeable improvements in task with short bursts of loads.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I can't use thermal paste because the bracket that protects the motherboard is too tall and the copper heatsink wouldn't even touch the die. Now that I have the electrical glue removed, I might be able to add a shim and use thermal pastes instead... The issue is the 0.025" copper is so thin I've bent it from cutting it...which makes it difficult to get flat again...
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
OK so I'm able to now have a flat shim and I tested it this morning with glue and the 0.5mm thermal pad... Much better temperatures. I'm now working on recutting the copper and hopefully that will be very flat. I'll pick up some thermal paste and that should solve my issues... Finally!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
I officially finished my mod. Finished by sealing up the tablet with some krazy glue. Lol
Temperatures are about 10c less. The thermal paste was the key.

I needed a copper shim between the k1 chip and heat plate to bridge the gap.
I also needed a thermal pad on the opposite side of the heat spreader to apply constant pressure to the chip. This ensures proper contact with the k1 chip.
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