Important I am not affiliated with Dell and this is my personal experience with overheating issues on the Dell G7 17″. I am not paid by Dell and bought the Dell G7 17″ outright myself. If you find this helpful and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee or consider buying my non-tech book on Amazon. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!
In our home, we have a 17″ Dell Gaming Laptop. It’s one of Dell’s G series gaming laptops, the step before you go to Alienware. It has great specs for the price but is prone to overheating.
I’m going to outline four (4) things that may help you fix the problem. They have made a difference to us and we hope they help you too. The range from the basic (suggestions 1-3) to advanced (suggestion 4).
I don’t give any warranty, guarantees and I can’t provide you technical support if you try anything, this information is provided “as is” in the hope that our experience helps other owners.
I do recommend using HW Monitor to benchmark temperature performance. HW Monitor is especially helpful if you’re concerned about thermal throttling of the Dell G7.
Four (4) Dell G7 Cooling Options to Stop Overheating
There are essentially 4 options for cooling your Dell G7. There are instructions or reviews below on each. I have had amazing success with the first 4 and I know good quality thermal paste can make a difference, so it’s worth considering if you’re more technically advanced.
- Upgrade the BIOS
- Customize Dell G7 BIOS Settings
- Use a Cooling Pad
- Replace the Dell G7 Thermal Paste
I recommend you try each of these in order and check the temperature at each step just to see if you’re satisfied with the results.
Option 1: Dell G7 Drivers and BIOS Updates
The best place to start is ensuring you have the latest drivers and BIOS updates. These are typically automatically installed through Windows Update or the Microsoft Store. If you factory reset your Dell or removed any of the default software, you can download the official drivers here.
As of November 2020, the latest BIOS version for the Dell G7 is 1.114.0 and it was marked as an urgent update.
It’s also really important to have both the Alienware Command Center Application and the Dell Power Management Software. Together these apps help balance performance while maintaining a more stable operating temperature.
Option 2. Edit Dell G7 BIOS Settings
This is easy and yields dramatic almost incredible improvements.
If you’re on running an Intel-series Dell G7, then you can disable Intel Turbo Boost. Turbo Boost is an Intel proprietary technology that boosts the frequency of your processor when needed. There’s a write up on Wikipedia about if you’re keen to learn more.
Turning off Intel Turbo Boost had no side effects and you can always turn it back on. Some users may shy away from turning it off because technically you paid for an Intel chip to get this feature.
How to turn off Turbo Boost on Dell G7
- Shut down your Dell G7, but leave it connected to power.
- Restart and at the Dell Logo, press F12 to enter the Dell G7 BIOS.
- Select BIOS Setup
- In the menu tree, select the Performance
- Select Intel TurboBoost
- Make sure the box is unchecked
- Save all the changes and restart your Dell G7.
We have seen a 25C drop in peak temperature (not a typo) as a result of this change.
We have not seen any issue with gaming as a result of turning off Turbo Boost on the Dell G7. I am still getting 144FPS on games. Although, worth noting that we have also upgraded to 32GB of RAM.
Seriously, the laptop runs so much cooler and quieter that if you haven’t at least tried this, you’re set to be very happy and pleasantly surprised.
Option 3: Dell G7 Cooling Pad
The Dell G7 fans are located more at the rear of the laptop, making it tough for the laptop to get good airflow. So I cooling pad is a must. Finding the best G7 Cooling Pad requires a bit of trial and error. The right cooling pad does make a difference and we had more luck with an unknown brand we found on Amazon.
We first used the Targus Chill Pad and it is not recommended. The Dell G7 still suffered overheating issues with the Targus. The problem with the Targus Cooling Pad is the two (2) fans are underpowered, poorly positioned, and noisy.
Next up we tested the KLIM Laptop Cooling Pad. We had never heard of the brand but size-wise it the KLIM pad is the best-sized cooling pad for a 17″ Dell G7. We opted for the one with white LEDs because while you can’t turn the LEDs off and white lights felt more subtle.
The KLIM pad is the best-sized cooling pad for a 17″ Dell G7. This is because 2 of the 4 fans on the KLIM, 2 are mounted further back and almost directly under the Dell G7 fan intakes. This is workable, even if the KLIM Cooling Pad is slightly smaller than the size of the Dell G7. One major observation of the KLIM is that it is whisper quiet, we leave it on all the time because you can’t hear it running.
I will update this from time to time with any other cooling pads I test. If you make or sell Laptop Cooling pads and want me to test and benchmark its performance on cooling the Dell G7, contact me.
Option 4: Dell G7 Replace Thermal Paste
This is for more advanced users and I am not a lawyer but it could void your warranty. If you don’t want to adjust the BIOS settings, then this is almost a must-do option.
We have not taken this step, but it is worth considering as a last resort. Especially if you’re not keen or don’t want to turn off the Intel Turbo Boost. There is a how-to apply thermal paste on the Dell G7 video embedded at the end of this post.
In terms of thermal paste, I have (although not on my Dell) used Arctic MX-4 Thermal Paste but someone has also written in to suggest Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. The latter provides better thermal conductivity but it’s a little more expensive and you do get less for your dollar.
You will need to remove the large blue heat sink inside the Dell G7. You will require the following
- Prying Tool or Spudger, this is the cheapest iFixit Prying Tool
The prying tool is absolutely needed for opening the case. It is also useful (but not necessary) to remove disconnect the fans during the process but if you are careful, you don’t need to disconnect the fans.
- Isopropyl Alcohol, you can get this one but if it’s out of stock, try this one.
This is needed to clean off the factory default thermal paste. You’ll also need a roll of paper towels, but I am assuming you have that already.
- Thermal Paste, Arctic MX-4 or Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
Arctic MX-4 is one of the better more-affordable thermal pastes on the market. It has yielded good results on my fanless Raspberry Pi 4. It has a great price to cooling ratio. I have had people email and suggest Thermal Grizzly, it’s (slightly) more expensive but is rated better.
You will also need a screwdriver set.
Steps in the process, again a reminder this may void your warranty and I accept no liability.
- Disconnect the Dell G7 from power.
- Remove the back panel on the Dell G7.
- Unscrew the cooling fans
- Disconnect both fans (optional) from their power cable using the prying tool
- Remove the fans.
- Remove the heatsink, important you must follow the numbered order (there are number markings at each screw point), check it twice before you start.
- Clean the old paste off the GPU and CPU chips and the large blue heatsink with Isopropyl alcohol.
- Carefully apply a thin layer of Thermal paste.
- Reassemble. Keep in mind, the heatsink needs to be screwed back in using the numbered order.
Again, we haven’t replaced the thermal paste on our 17″ Dell G7 but judging by the video it’s easy enough to do. We plan to give it a try when our Dell is out of warranty. This YouTube video by SRC Tech does show you how to do it. From what I have been told, you can reduce the temperature of the Dell G7 by several degrees by replacing with Arctic MX-4 or Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut thermal paste.
Bonus: Dell G7 Memory Upgrade Tip
I have had a few people email me since I originally posted this asking if I have upgraded the memory on the Dell G7. The answer is yes! I have and it’s not difficult. We found the best compatible memory for the Dell G7 is this 32GB of Memory from Crucial, but you can get it on Amazon. It’s about a 15-20minute job to upgrade the memory on the Dell G7. You do need to remove the back panel but it’s all standard screwdrivers mini screwdrivers. You will need a guitar pick or prying tool to remove the back panel.
I hope these tips helped you, if you’re using a different cooling pad and have had more success let me know. Adjusting BIOS settings, new and better Thermal Paste will deliver the best result in combination with a cooling pad.
I have not tested using free tools like ThrottleStop to adjust CPU power consumption. It’s easy to use but personally not a fan of this because testing for stability can be a nightmare. If you want to use ThrottleStop, this site has a good overview of how it works or watch this video. Just remember that if you use ThrottleStop you will need to also schedule it to run every boot (use Task Scheduler).
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