• Introducing XDA Computing: Discussion zones for Hardware, Software, and more!    Check it out!

Copper shim thermal test

Search This thread

probaina

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2010
100
57
So I decided to tear my device open and see if I could install a copper shim on the CPU to make better contact with the metal frame. I took some pictures as well and I'll have a link to that below. I didn't have the time to go into a lot of testing but I did have some interesting results.

For starters I was surprised to see a cut out on the RF shielding for the CPU. The CPU actually already had some sort of silicone pad about .5 mm in thickness that contacted the frame. I was really surprised to see this since it's not common to see that on other phones with qualcomm chipsets. This probably explains why the phone gets so warm even with relatively low CPU temperatures sense the heat is being transferred to the frame already. I noticed this as well when I added a copper shim to my Galaxy Nexus. CPU temps dropped but the frame got warmer, after all the heat has to go somewhere.

Although it already had a thermal pad I decided to try to add a .5mm copper shim with diamond thermal paste since they're known to conduct heat better than thermal pads. You can see in the link below pictures of the teardown and copper shim install.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lw20gdye88welct/AAA0aH26jZbb41zSoJ1fjpjwa?dl=0

As far as results I just ran some benchmarks and compared them to results from before the copper shim. I don't have as much as I'd like to have so perhaps some of you can run some of these test on your device to see what results you get with no copper shim.

Antutu 26C no Shim
49,133

Antutu 26C with copper shim. I also let the it cool down for 10 seconds between each run.
1str run 54,604
2nd run 49270
3rd run 48769
4th run 46165
5th run 42739
6th run 43145

Geekbench 3
No copper shim
28 celsius soc temperature.
Single score 1137
Multi score 3724

With copper shim
28 celsius soc temperature.
Single Score 1200
Multi score 4085

2nd run
Single 1176
Multi 4057

3rd run
Single 1136
Multi 3247

4th run
Single 732
Multi 3060

5th Run
Single 698
Multi 2551

6th run
Single 702
Multi 2664

GFXbench 3.1
Manhattan ES 3.1
No copper Shim
Start temp 31C
End Temp 36.5C
GPU 100mhz drop after 50 seconds

GFXbench 3.1
Manhattan ES 3.1
With copper Shim
Start temp 31C
End Temp 35C
No GPU speed drop through the 60 second test.

So it did help but eventually it still thermal throttles quite a bit.
 
Last edited:

goldlocke

Senior Member
Jan 28, 2009
422
73
Vienna
@probaina Speaking out of experience from my days as CPU/GPU desktop overclocker, I recommend using less thermal paste. You should only really barely see a thin layer of paste on the die, especially when you are not able to apply any kind of pressure within a mobile device.
 

Intub8

Senior Member
Mar 3, 2012
1,128
372
@probaina Speaking out of experience from my days as CPU/GPU desktop overclocker, I recommend using less thermal paste. You should only really barely see a thin layer of paste on the die, especially when you are not able to apply any kind of pressure within a mobile device.

I agree 100% less is more when it comes to thermal compound. The thinner the layer the better it will transfer the heat.

Sent from my LG-H950 using XDA Premium HD app
 

probaina

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2010
100
57
I agree 100% less is more when it comes to thermal compound. The thinner the layer the better it will transfer the heat.

Sent from my LG-H950 using XDA Premium HD app

I agree as well. I was just testing how much of a gap there was on that picture. It seems like .5mm wasn't exactly making enough contact for a thin layer of thermal paste. I actually tested two 5mm shims and then the thermal paste layer was a lot thinner seemed to delay thermal throttling a just bit longer as well. I'm just waiting on a 1mm shim to finally exchange it with. I'm now playing with the phone's thermal configuration settings. I'm trying to experiment with different settings with thermal hotplug and throttling of individual cores to find out what's a good compromise between heat and performance.
 

probaina

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2010
100
57
I finally bought a 12x12mm and that fit perfectly. 1mm thickness worked better for me as well. 1mm of thickness needed a lot less thermal paste and just fills the gap better.
 

probaina

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2010
100
57
I got another new G Flex 2 to replace my current yellow screen one. So now I can do some testing with and without a thermal Shim comparison with another device side by side. Also on the plus side the screen on my new device has no yellow at all and colors just look better. I'm not sure if this newer device is better built or what but it seems to have better thermal cooling than what I recall my first G Flex 2 having. Maybe one of you want to test this on a non AT&T model and let me know your results. I'll probably take it apart and see if anything is different later. For now here are the results. I did two tests running Geekbench 3 with no rest in between. Both devices where running the default Thermal configuration file. I measured device temperature, scores, and also measured frequency with Trepn Profiler. I ran the first test with both devices starting the benchmark with a temperature of 26C.

1st Benchmark

W/shim No Shim
1308 1214
3878 3741

1233 1179
3690 3705

1204 1172
3510 3658

969 1106
3342 3303

681 894
3004 3173

700 722
2812 2927

708 692
2884 2883

705 698
2658 2674

Final temperature:
41C 40C

2nd Benchmark

1348 1228
3820 3882

1295 1207
3775 3661

1222 1150
3457 3440

1109 928
3439 3246

881 667
3149 2820

670 702
2814 2639

706 703
2570 2512

Final Temperature:

41C 41C

These results seem very similar but when I compared the frequency graph I can see the big cores stayed at a higher frequency for longer than the device with no copper shim. The graph only shows big core activity to keep things simple. I've attached the graphs if you want to compare.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: PhantasmRezound

probaina

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2010
100
57
I have to admit that this new device I got from AT&T does seem to have better thermal capability than my original one did. Just running Antutu it scored 55,500 which my original device never even came close to before adding the copper shim. So either this newer phone has a better thermal pad or it just runs cooler. I'll be opening this new device today.
 

probaina

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2010
100
57
So after taking this new device apart I can see that's there's nothing different about it. However I did notice the thermal pad had evidence of making better contact with the metal frame. It was obvious on the pad and the frame. Even then it looks like a bit over half of the pad was really touching the frame. On my first G Flex 2 most of the thermal pad was smooth with no pressure indentations so that probably explains why it throttled easier. So if you're lucky to get a device with a thermal pad that's making good frame contact then it'll perform close to as good as the copper shim. It's just unfortunate that LG didn't use a slightly thicker thermal pad to guarantee good thermal contact with all devices.
 

Attachments

  • 20150526_175109_HDR.jpg
    20150526_175109_HDR.jpg
    274.2 KB · Views: 1,568
  • 20150526_175304_HDR.jpg
    20150526_175304_HDR.jpg
    263.1 KB · Views: 1,534

probaina

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2010
100
57
I saw a video that showed a teardown of the LG G4 and it clearly shows extensive modifications to the SOC's thermal transfer pad. The layout is very similar to the G Flex 2 but there's a strange gold mesh on top of the SOC. It's also protruding some as if maybe there's a pad between the SOC and the gold mesh. On the frame where the thermal pad contacts the frame, it now has grey pad that sticks out some. This would definitely be a huge improvement to the really bad thermal pad contact our devices have. I've attached pictures that I've found of the G4’s thermal pads.

Taking a look at the LG G4 thermal configuration it shows the little cluster dropping only to a minimum of 48C vs 42C on ours. The G4 big cluster throttles by default at 53C but only drops to a minimum of 51C vs ours of 48C max and a really low 38C minimum. Even their big cluster hot plug settings run hotter for longer. They have a similar maximum temperature at which they hot plug as our 5 and 6 core but their cores quickly come back on at 54C and 56C. In our devices the cores stay off until the temperature goes down to 45C.

I read an article on Arstechnica that says that it looks like the Snapdragon 808 in the LG G4 runs cooler because it won’t thermal throttle as much. To me it looks like it runs hotter looking at the configuration file. It’s most likely not thermal throttling as much because of the combination of more reliable thermal transfer to the frame, lower clock speed and thermal configuration that allows the SOC to not thermal throttle as much.
I just found this interesting and though I’d share. However it really makes me wonder if the Snapdragon 810 would perform better if it came with the same thermal pad parts, as well as configured with a thermal configuration that allows the SOC to run hotter as in the Snapdragon 808.
 

Attachments

  • Frame3.JPG
    Frame3.JPG
    86.4 KB · Views: 1,148
  • SOC.JPG
    SOC.JPG
    47.9 KB · Views: 1,160

kutulu32

Senior Member
Apr 25, 2014
594
105
40
I saw a video that showed a teardown of the LG G4 and it clearly shows extensive modifications to the SOC's thermal transfer pad. The layout is very similar to the G Flex 2 but there's a strange gold mesh on top of the SOC. It's also protruding some as if maybe there's a pad between the SOC and the gold mesh. On the frame where the thermal pad contacts the frame, it now has grey pad that sticks out some. This would definitely be a huge improvement to the really bad thermal pad contact our devices have. I've attached pictures that I've found of the G4’s thermal pads.

Taking a look at the LG G4 thermal configuration it shows the little cluster dropping only to a minimum of 48C vs 42C on ours. The G4 big cluster throttles by default at 53C but only drops to a minimum of 51C vs ours of 48C max and a really low 38C minimum. Even their big cluster hot plug settings run hotter for longer. They have a similar maximum temperature at which they hot plug as our 5 and 6 core but their cores quickly come back on at 54C and 56C. In our devices the cores stay off until the temperature goes down to 45C.

I read an article on Arstechnica that says that it looks like the Snapdragon 808 in the LG G4 runs cooler because it won’t thermal throttle as much. To me it looks like it runs hotter looking at the configuration file. It’s most likely not thermal throttling as much because of the combination of more reliable thermal transfer to the frame, lower clock speed and thermal configuration that allows the SOC to not thermal throttle as much.
I just found this interesting and though I’d share. However it really makes me wonder if the Snapdragon 810 would perform better if it came with the same thermal pad parts, as well as configured with a thermal configuration that allows the SOC to run hotter as in the Snapdragon 808.

Thanks for your effort ,did you test the lg g4 thermal to gflex2?I made the changes you mentioned above i still havent spotted much difference.i dont know if qualcomm can provide us more info
 
Last edited:

probaina

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2010
100
57
Thanks for your effort ,did you test the lg g4 thermal to gflex2?I made the changes you mentioned above i still havent spotted much difference.i dont know if qualcomm can provide us more info

I've been wanting to test the G4 thermal settings as well. Although they really don't look that aggressive so I didn't think it would make a big difference. It may be that running at 1.8 Ghz max helps as well. I also have no clue how much cooler the Snapdragon 808 in the G4 really runs. I can't find any tests that show how much cooler the G4 runs compared to the G Flex 2 that I can compare with. The one test I did find was tested on a Geekbench beta app that's not available to the public. I did however order an LG G4 for my wife and when it gets here this week I'll be doing a side by side runs with it with my LG G Flex 2.

At least we know that changing the thermal settings on the Flex 2 can significantly lower thermal throttling and boost performance by a lot without making the device much warmer. Surprisingly it runs better than I ever expected with the thermal mods. I also can't find any phone that won't thermal throttle after a while. Even when Arstechnica tested thermal throttling on the S6 it thermal throttled down to 1.4ghz after 330 seconds of benchmarking. There seems to be a lot of criticism towards the Snapdragon 810 but I kind of blame more of this on the settings than on the chip. Under normal use I find that the Flex 2 feels cooler to the touch than my S4 or G2 did. I guess when the G4 gets here I'll know if it's really that much better or not.
 
Last edited:

kutulu32

Senior Member
Apr 25, 2014
594
105
40
I agree that the software/settings is that causes the most issues not the cpu. Lg tries to save us from overheating lol
http://developer.lge.com/resource/mobile/RetrieveBootloader.dev?categoryTypeCode=ANRS
LG can no longer guarantee the full functionality of your device after you unlock the bootloader. Unlocking your device may cause unexpected side effects that may include but are not limited to the following:
- Your device may stop working.
- Certain features and functionalities may be disabled.
- Your device may become unsafe to the point of causing you harm.
- Your device becomes physically damaged due to overheating.

No other comment..... I hope that experienced devs will build custom kernels for our device after the forthcoming bootloader unlock.
 

Top Liked Posts

  • There are no posts matching your filters.
  • 6
    So I decided to tear my device open and see if I could install a copper shim on the CPU to make better contact with the metal frame. I took some pictures as well and I'll have a link to that below. I didn't have the time to go into a lot of testing but I did have some interesting results.

    For starters I was surprised to see a cut out on the RF shielding for the CPU. The CPU actually already had some sort of silicone pad about .5 mm in thickness that contacted the frame. I was really surprised to see this since it's not common to see that on other phones with qualcomm chipsets. This probably explains why the phone gets so warm even with relatively low CPU temperatures sense the heat is being transferred to the frame already. I noticed this as well when I added a copper shim to my Galaxy Nexus. CPU temps dropped but the frame got warmer, after all the heat has to go somewhere.

    Although it already had a thermal pad I decided to try to add a .5mm copper shim with diamond thermal paste since they're known to conduct heat better than thermal pads. You can see in the link below pictures of the teardown and copper shim install.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lw20gdye88welct/AAA0aH26jZbb41zSoJ1fjpjwa?dl=0

    As far as results I just ran some benchmarks and compared them to results from before the copper shim. I don't have as much as I'd like to have so perhaps some of you can run some of these test on your device to see what results you get with no copper shim.

    Antutu 26C no Shim
    49,133

    Antutu 26C with copper shim. I also let the it cool down for 10 seconds between each run.
    1str run 54,604
    2nd run 49270
    3rd run 48769
    4th run 46165
    5th run 42739
    6th run 43145

    Geekbench 3
    No copper shim
    28 celsius soc temperature.
    Single score 1137
    Multi score 3724

    With copper shim
    28 celsius soc temperature.
    Single Score 1200
    Multi score 4085

    2nd run
    Single 1176
    Multi 4057

    3rd run
    Single 1136
    Multi 3247

    4th run
    Single 732
    Multi 3060

    5th Run
    Single 698
    Multi 2551

    6th run
    Single 702
    Multi 2664

    GFXbench 3.1
    Manhattan ES 3.1
    No copper Shim
    Start temp 31C
    End Temp 36.5C
    GPU 100mhz drop after 50 seconds

    GFXbench 3.1
    Manhattan ES 3.1
    With copper Shim
    Start temp 31C
    End Temp 35C
    No GPU speed drop through the 60 second test.

    So it did help but eventually it still thermal throttles quite a bit.
    4
    So after taking this new device apart I can see that's there's nothing different about it. However I did notice the thermal pad had evidence of making better contact with the metal frame. It was obvious on the pad and the frame. Even then it looks like a bit over half of the pad was really touching the frame. On my first G Flex 2 most of the thermal pad was smooth with no pressure indentations so that probably explains why it throttled easier. So if you're lucky to get a device with a thermal pad that's making good frame contact then it'll perform close to as good as the copper shim. It's just unfortunate that LG didn't use a slightly thicker thermal pad to guarantee good thermal contact with all devices.
    3
    I saw a video that showed a teardown of the LG G4 and it clearly shows extensive modifications to the SOC's thermal transfer pad. The layout is very similar to the G Flex 2 but there's a strange gold mesh on top of the SOC. It's also protruding some as if maybe there's a pad between the SOC and the gold mesh. On the frame where the thermal pad contacts the frame, it now has grey pad that sticks out some. This would definitely be a huge improvement to the really bad thermal pad contact our devices have. I've attached pictures that I've found of the G4’s thermal pads.

    Taking a look at the LG G4 thermal configuration it shows the little cluster dropping only to a minimum of 48C vs 42C on ours. The G4 big cluster throttles by default at 53C but only drops to a minimum of 51C vs ours of 48C max and a really low 38C minimum. Even their big cluster hot plug settings run hotter for longer. They have a similar maximum temperature at which they hot plug as our 5 and 6 core but their cores quickly come back on at 54C and 56C. In our devices the cores stay off until the temperature goes down to 45C.

    I read an article on Arstechnica that says that it looks like the Snapdragon 808 in the LG G4 runs cooler because it won’t thermal throttle as much. To me it looks like it runs hotter looking at the configuration file. It’s most likely not thermal throttling as much because of the combination of more reliable thermal transfer to the frame, lower clock speed and thermal configuration that allows the SOC to not thermal throttle as much.
    I just found this interesting and though I’d share. However it really makes me wonder if the Snapdragon 810 would perform better if it came with the same thermal pad parts, as well as configured with a thermal configuration that allows the SOC to run hotter as in the Snapdragon 808.
    1
    I got another new G Flex 2 to replace my current yellow screen one. So now I can do some testing with and without a thermal Shim comparison with another device side by side. Also on the plus side the screen on my new device has no yellow at all and colors just look better. I'm not sure if this newer device is better built or what but it seems to have better thermal cooling than what I recall my first G Flex 2 having. Maybe one of you want to test this on a non AT&T model and let me know your results. I'll probably take it apart and see if anything is different later. For now here are the results. I did two tests running Geekbench 3 with no rest in between. Both devices where running the default Thermal configuration file. I measured device temperature, scores, and also measured frequency with Trepn Profiler. I ran the first test with both devices starting the benchmark with a temperature of 26C.

    1st Benchmark

    W/shim No Shim
    1308 1214
    3878 3741

    1233 1179
    3690 3705

    1204 1172
    3510 3658

    969 1106
    3342 3303

    681 894
    3004 3173

    700 722
    2812 2927

    708 692
    2884 2883

    705 698
    2658 2674

    Final temperature:
    41C 40C

    2nd Benchmark

    1348 1228
    3820 3882

    1295 1207
    3775 3661

    1222 1150
    3457 3440

    1109 928
    3439 3246

    881 667
    3149 2820

    670 702
    2814 2639

    706 703
    2570 2512

    Final Temperature:

    41C 41C

    These results seem very similar but when I compared the frequency graph I can see the big cores stayed at a higher frequency for longer than the device with no copper shim. The graph only shows big core activity to keep things simple. I've attached the graphs if you want to compare.
    1
    great job man! you really did a great job for Flex 2.

    Thanks a lot. Although I feel like the thermal configuration file tweaking helped out more then this mod. I'm just glad that LG allows the thermal settings to be changed. I just love doing this stuff so if it can help someone out there it's even better.