I had to try this experiment.
Do note that following procedures will void your warranty.
You have been warned!!!
Remove the Four screws (Orange) below on Bottom case.
Two screws are hidden beneath the rubber feet. One of them has a Void warranty if tapered sticker.
Below in circled Red are where the catches/ hooks are. Two polished screws in Yellow are used to tie down the PCB to the Bottom Case.
PCB with mediocre Thermal Pads
Thermal Paste and Heatsink re-applied
The router is placed in my living room in non aircon environment with Merlin's latest stable firmware.
Temperature results were 2-3°C lower on average with/ without Cooling Pad on CPU after replacing stock thermal pad and applying with Arctic MX-4 thermal paste.
No significant Temperature differences on 2.4/5Ghz cores.
just to share, previously i did a factory reset and everything turned out wonderful. (Edit: for a while)
because of that, i have 2 suspicions as of now. (1) that the lag is related to some logging or some other function that accumulates over time and affects performance negatively. (2) that the lag is related to firmware upgrades without factory reset.
as of my last factory reset i have upgraded firmware (merlin) once.
since i've eliminated the temperature factor, will factory reset tonight and test 5GHz over the next few days.
the temperature thing may have triggered throttling though. previously there would be occasional stuttering / slowdown in performance during heavy loads even on 2.4GHz. now that seems to have been eliminated.
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