I will outline what Huawei has and has not fixed in the 2019 MateBook X Pro compared to the 2018 model. You can find the more obvious talking points on The Verge and other normie sites, but here are the small engineering changes that I noticed during my teardown and testing.
Screenshot from my teardown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxf_bU6OZXE&t=11974s
- Huawei has perforated the regions of the heatsink above the CPU VRM. Whereas 2018’s VRM would overheat and cause the laptop to abruptly shut down when the CPU is pushed to around 15W, 2019’s VRM can supply over 30W continuously just fine. The CPU starts thermal throttling way before the VRM has any problem keeping up. I did manage to find the VRM’s limit though: with a fan blowing at the laptop’s bottom, the VRM bumps into a hardware current limit when the CPU reaches about 48W. That’s the maximum power the VRM is designed for.
Previously, the Huawei MateBook X Pro’s speakers would produce distortion because they rattled against the laptop body. As shown in this unit purchased in November, Huawei has addressed this issue by putting small pieces of foam underneath the speakers. Is this because they saw my original post, where I both pointed out the issue and introduced this very solution? We may never know.
Forget CPU and GPU thermal throttling — charge rate throttling is now a thing.
Exposed charging circuit with shielding cover peeled off. Plugged in, CPU idle.
- The charging circuit doesn’t have enough cooling and tends to overheat.
- Since the charging circuit and the CPU use the same heatsink, the heatsink already warmed by the CPU does not have a low enough temperature to efficiently cool the charging circuit.
- The charging rate is temperature-dependent, but the charging circuit doesn’t seem to have a temperature sensor, so Huawei probably went super conservative about protecting the charging circuit and modeled its temperature after the CPU temperature.
Therefore, even when the CPU is a little bit warm, the charging rate thermal-throttles.
I will discuss solutions to reduce this as part my throttling elimination project.
Also, the recent BIOS updates seem to have slightly improved the charge rate.
If your touchpad is loose or rattles, read this.
If you want to get rid of throttling and unlock more performance, read this.
Update: This is actually a bad idea. I ended up using Netgear’s stock heatsink with Fujipoly XR-m thermal pads. It runs the coolest (below 60℃) and retains the router’s original aesthetics.
A friend’s Dell Inspiron N5110’s screen cracked. Instead of a screen replacement, he wanted me to remove the screen so that he can use it as a desktop computer plus keyboard and touchpad.