"Are my temps good, or do I need to repaste?"
"When should I consider a repaste?"
"Asus says that the chip is designed to operate up to 114C, so my 102C load temp is ok, right?"
"My laptop is idling at 62C. Is this OK?"
According to AMD, the 5870M can operate safely up to 114C before requiring a thermal shutdown, and our BIOS is designed to do just that. However, I believe that we should operate well below this to allow for headroom. And Asus knows this as well, since new G73's operate at about 80-85C on load, and about 54C idle. Unfortunately, the thermal paste they use, and sometimes a loose mounting screw for the heatsink makes this worse, will dry out over the course of 1-3 months. During this period, you will see a slow rise in operating temperatures. Dust accumulation and smoking will help clog the heat vents making this a faster transition.
Then you will see people with idle temps in the 60-70C range, and load temps at 100C+. Despite the official statement about 114C, this is not a good scenario. Why? Because your heatsink and cooling system is operating subpar to what it is capable of, and it will only get worse if allowed to continue.
So as a guideline, I suggest the warning temps should be:
64C+ idle temps
98C+ load temps
If you are seeing temps in this neighborhood or higher, you are due for a repaste of the GPU.
Since I haven't done a Furmark in awhile, I did a 1 hour run:
1) The vBIOS is updated to the current beta.
2) Operating temps are still quite low, even 4 months later. Ambient temps are reported at 23C. She's currently idling at 49C.
3) On 211, the fan ramps up when she hits 77C on core, and turns down at 76, which is why she hovers at this point.
After repasting with ICD7 four months ago, I've had no degradation of thermal cooling performance. This is what our G73 cooling system is capable of, so why should you settle for subpar performance?
On Thermal Pastes
"Which thermal paste is best?"
"What should I repaste with?"
There are many on the market, and every forum has their favorites. But we should consider what physical properties would most benefit our G73's. Since our heatsinks' contact surface is not the greatest, and the potential for a loose mount screw exists, we should consider using a paste with a higher viscosity. (thicker and heavier vs light and thin)
Why? A thicker grease will be more forgiving when surfaces aren't 100% flat and operate better should the mounts loosen slightly. In my opinion, Arctic Silver 5 is too low in viscosity for our purposes. When I repasted, I had 2 tubes of AS5 on hand, and I still went out and bought a tube of ICD7, because of that very same reason. And seeing how complicated opening up our chassis is, I didn't want to have to do it again.
So along these lines, here's a short list of various pastes I would recommend in no particular order:
1) IC Diamond 7
2) Arctic MX-2
3) OCZ Freeze
I recommend using the small pea-sized drop method, since that should minimize air capture, and insures the center of the chip is properly coated. Pastes like ICD7 still work optimally if you put too much, as the excess will just pour over the edges. They are also non-conductive.
On Doing The Repaste
"Should I do it myself, or should I have a tech do it?"
"Where can I get my service done?"
Only you can answer this question whether to do it yourself. It takes about 2-3 hours following the BTOTech Disassembly video (). If you take your time, and be gentle, you can succeed. (I did!) I recommend using an edge to take the tape off from the back of the keyboard, like maybe a small ice scraper.
If you are not comfortable doing the disassembly, then either get a friend who is better at it, or hire a tech. Asus lists their ASP Partners (promos.asus.com/US/ASUS_NB_Warranty/NB_ANSP/index.html) for doing warranty service, so they should be able to do the job. You may even get it done for free if you can get Asus to give you a RMA #. This is best since you do not need mail it to Asus and wait a month, plus you can specify what paste you want used, and can inspect it before taking it home.
If you notice your fans are working harder than usual, check the outtake vents on the back, and make sure they aren't getting clogged with dust and cigarette ashes. You can blow them out with compressed air as a quick fix, tho the best way to clean them out is to lift off the top of the casing and keyboard. Don't use a vacuum unless it's meant to be used on a PC. Household units can create static charges, which are bad for laptops.
Also, a laptop cooler is not needed if your G73 is cooling properly. My 1-hr run listed above used no laptop cooler, and the underside was not opened.
I hope this guide helps you make an informed decision about maintaining a properly cooled G73.
Metro Vacuum ED500 DataVac 500-Watt 0.75-HP Electric Duster
Its way more safe,cost-effective and better than one-time-use compressed air cans to clean your G73 series notebook air vents. Do not open your notebook chassis unless you have expired your warranty. If you do then your warranty would be cancelled. Use IC Diamond Thermal Compound if you want to repaste your CPU and GPU, its really cheap compared to your laptop. It will increase your notebook's lifetime and gaming performance.