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[GUIDE] [INSANE HARD MOD] Improve Nexus 7 ( 2013 ) cooling and overclocking potential

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By Gorgtech, Senior Member on 29th April 2015, 12:44 PM
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Warning: This MOD will void your warranty. You will have to open the device and leave traces behind by performing it. Only perform this Mod if you´re willing to take a risk.

While you´re at it, you might consider having a look at this too

Since the Nexus 7 ( 2013 ) is quite old now and many people will be out of warranty soon ( or are already ), this MOD won´t hurt you much but it will prevent your fingers from burning when the device heatens up after a while.

Improving the cooling of the SoC will reduce thermal throttling intervals and also enhance overclocking potential while still keeping your fingers cool.

Material needed:


- some thermal paste
- some piece of metal ( Aluminum or Copper of about 0.5mm thickness ) ( worst case you could use Aluminum Foil and fold it many times in order to build yourself the needed spacer )
- rubbing alcohol
- a thermal pad of about 0.5mm thickness ( optional , if you prefer to use one of these, you can skip the piece of metal and the thermal paste )
- some sanding paper ( optional, only needed if your piece of metal has many scratches and you need to smooth the surface )

You need to open your device and to make sure that you lay down your display on a soft surface in order to prevent it from being scratched.

This is the area we are interested in:


Now you need to carefully remove the copper foil without destroying it since you will need to reattach it later ( it serves as a EMI shield too ).

Once removed, you will see 3x closed containers, we´re only interested in the middle one since there is the SoC we want to cool. Use gentle force and use eg. a screwdriver in order to remove the lid, make sure not to bend it. You will need to reattach the lid again since this one also serves as a EMI shield. Be patient while trying to remove the lid and make sure not to damage the PCB.

Once you have removed it, we can see the SoC and the 2x RAM modules ( 2x are on the back of the PCB ).
Since I forgot to make some pictures, I had to borrow one from ifixit in order to show you how it will look like :P The SoC is marked red.



Now you need to either a) attach a thermal pad on the SoC and carefully attach the lid back or in case you don´t have one, b) use the other ingredients mentioned..

Attach a thin layer of thermal paste on the SoC ( I used Arctic Silver 5 but any similar paste will do the job equal ).

Cut a small piece of metal ( about 16mm x 16mm x0.5mm will be enough but it would be ok to cover the SoC completely ), make sure to clean it with rubbing alcohol and carefully put it on the SoC.

Hold it in place, attach another thin layer of thermal paste on your piece of metal and make sure to put the lid back on. It´s ok if it bulges a little, just make sure you don´t use too much pressure.

The result:

While the SoC was designed to be used without a heatsink, it can use the EMI shield now as a heatsink

Now all you need to do is to carefully attach the copper foil again, make sure that your Touchscreen Connector is still in place and put the back on.

You can use Antutu to perform a stress test now and check your temperature. The device won´t run as hot as before while remaining stable, even if you overclock the SoC.

I´m really happy with this MOD and I use it for a while now without any negative experiences The temperature increase remains constant and the back of the device as well as the touchscreen don´t feel as hot anymore.

Feel free to tell me your experiences

Advanced MOD : give the RAM and the NAND storage some love too




As you can see, I´ve also attached some coolers on the RAM

Material needed :

- a sharp knife ( you´re right, I mean it )
- rubbing alcohol
- cue tips or toilet paper or whatever you find
- screwdrivers

Basically you need to make some extra spacers out of scrap material, I used eg. this junk :



Now comes the tricky part, you need to remove all the small screws which hold the mainboard in place, carefully disconnect the Touchscreen connector, Speaker connector and the side buttons.



You see the ugly sticker on the display metal ? Guess what, now we need the knife but we only have to remove a part of it because it needs to maintain a electrical connection. Don´t forget to carefully remove the sticker from the NAND storage too. Did I mention that handling these things require you to be extra careful ?

This can look like this:



I went through the trouble of removing the glue with alcohol.

Now you need to proceed like you know and the result can look like this:



Carefully attach the mainboard and make sure not to use too much force when you tighten the screws.
Make sure that all connectors etc. are set in place now, close the back and enjoy
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30th April 2015, 11:53 AM |#2  
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Here is a Screenshot after having performed the Antutu Stability Test:



The back of the device feels warm but not hot at all and also the screen has a mild temperature too.

I´ve overclocked the CPU @ 2Ghz and the GPU @ 477 Mhz :P
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1st May 2015, 12:58 AM |#3  
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@Gorgtech thank you for your great tutorial! I just did it myself and indeed the screen temperature in games and benchsmarks feels alot cooler . I managed to do some camera shots. I will upload the next day if someone is interrest.
1st May 2015, 09:46 AM |#4  
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You´re welcome, I´m glad you could improve your device too
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1st May 2015, 10:24 AM |#5  
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Here are the pics that i promise . You can see my piece oft metal are about 14mm x 14mm x0,5mm big. Should be okay?
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1st May 2015, 10:31 AM |#6  
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Yes, it´s ok The size of the metal has to be big enough to partially cover the SoC and to connect it with the lid The piece I used is similar in size, slightly smaller than the SoC itself
1st May 2015, 11:00 AM |#7  
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@Gorgtech I see thank you for your help . I attach an antutu stabilty test with stock 5.1.1, is the temperature graph alright? I always use glitch kernel with OC so i have wait for his update.

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1st May 2015, 02:22 PM |#8  
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The values are great, mine are worse because I´ve overclocked the CPU and GPU But still, the temps are quite low for such a device now

I use ElementalX without any undervolting. I use the Stock 5.1.1 Kernel at the moment too :P
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1st May 2015, 08:42 PM |#9  
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I think I´m crazy I opened the device again and made some extra coolers for the RAM ( 4x ) and 1 for the NAND storage ( Uh Oh, risky risky ).

This time I made some pictures but the effort in order to add the extra cooling to the other components requires some extra work and patience.

Now all I need to do is to perform some tests and to check if the temps can improve further but I guess there is barely anything left to Mod in this device.

I can post the pictures if there is any demand for them
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1st May 2015, 09:01 PM |#10  
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@Gorgtech Nice, please post the pictures you made .
1st May 2015, 10:17 PM |#11  
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OP updated, have fun
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improve performance, nexus 7 (2013), thermal paste

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