Cooling Down or Slowing Down? Unraveling Your Laptop’s Post-Cleaning Woes


“Why has my Legion 5 laptop experienced a significant drop in performance post-cleaning? Initially, I was getting 40-60 FPS in Elden Ring with temperatures around 80°C, which spiked to 90°C with loud fan noise, prompting me to clean it. I followed a video guide, using a toothbrush and blowing into the fans. However, after cleaning and restarting, the performance plummeted to 14 FPS, and the temperature won’t exceed 50°C. What could be the cause of this issue, and how can it be resolved?”


When a high-performance laptop like the Legion 5 shows a drastic decrease in frames per second (FPS) and a significant drop in temperature after a cleaning procedure, it’s a cause for concern and warrants a thorough investigation. Here’s an exploration of potential causes and solutions to this perplexing issue.


Thermal Paste Displacement

: The use of a toothbrush and the act of blowing into the fans might have inadvertently affected the thermal paste application between the CPU/GPU and their heat sinks. If the thermal paste is not evenly spread or has been removed, it can lead to poor heat conduction and, paradoxically, lower temperatures due to inadequate heat transfer.


Fan Disruption

: Blowing into the fans can sometimes cause them to spin in the opposite direction, potentially damaging the fan bearings or disrupting the fan speed regulation, leading to insufficient cooling and performance throttling.


Dust Particles

: While the intention was to remove dust, the cleaning process might have pushed particles deeper into the system, obstructing airflow or even short-circuiting components on the motherboard.


Sensor Malfunction

: Cleaning might have caused a sensor to malfunction, leading the system to misread temperatures and unnecessarily throttle performance.



Check Thermal Paste

: Inspect and, if necessary, reapply high-quality thermal paste to ensure proper heat conduction from the CPU/GPU to the heat sink.


Inspect Fans

: Verify that all fans are intact and functioning correctly. If any damage is found, consider replacing the fans.


Deep Clean

: Use compressed air to blow out any dust from the system, especially from the heat sinks and motherboard. Ensure the laptop is powered off and the battery is removed before attempting this.


Diagnostic Test

: Run a hardware diagnostic test to check for any component failures or sensor errors. This can often be done through pre-installed software provided by the laptop manufacturer.


Professional Help

: If the problem persists, seek professional assistance. A certified technician can provide a more in-depth analysis and solution.

In conclusion, while cleaning a laptop is essential for maintaining performance, it must be done with care to avoid unintended consequences. If performance issues arise post-cleaning, the steps outlined above can help diagnose and potentially resolve the problem. Remember, when in doubt, professional services are recommended to prevent further damage to your device.

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