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Enhancing the Acer Aspire 3 Ryzen 5 laptop

December 13, 2022 — BarryK

Posted about buying this yesterday:

One reason it was bought is to do OpenEmbedded builds, freeing up my main workhorse Lenovo desktop computer. It is doing that right now, and indications are the build will take about three days.

I never timed the build on the Lenovo, as it stopped many times and had to fix recipes. Now it looks like will run right through. This is the new OE Kirkstone build, and compiling a whopping 1,620 packages, including biggies such as Chromium and LibreOffice.

When the build started yesterday, the CPU temperature crept over 80°C, which was a concern. I read somewhere that at 90°C there will be possible CPU damage. EasyOS has Wcpufreq, launched via the "System" menu, and I played with some frequency scaling. Settled on "powersave" mode, running at a constant 1.4GHz. CPU temperature dropped to around 50°C.

Then I remembered that I had configured OE to use only 3 cores. That was because the Lenovo desktop has an Intel i3 CPU. But this new Ryzen 5 has 4 cores and 8 threads.

Don't want to abort the build now, let it run through on only 3 cores. next time, will bump to more cores and see what happens to the temperature.

Watching some videos about how to cool down a laptop, learnt something very interesting. In one video, the guy exlained that he had used three different fan cooler stands, but abandoned them in favour of just a passive tilted stand. He got significant temperature drop just by having the laptop on an angle.

I propped the rear of the Acer up about 1 inch, and CPU temperature dropped 2-3°C. Very interesting, so have ordered this:


Watching a few more videos on the Aspire 3, model A315-23, it was a very pleasant surprise how easy it is to open up and access everything. There is a teardown here:

Also extremely interesting is that a second SATA drive can be added. Yes, it came with a NVME SSD; however, the box contained this bracket:


This video shows how to insert the extra SATA drive:

Never had a laptop like this before, where can get at everything so easily.

Weight is about 1.9kg, quite heavy. But, the Aspire 3 is a budget mass-produced family, excellent specs for the price.   

Tags: tech