Easy Fix for CPU Throttling?

Easy Fix for CPU Throttling?

Much has been said about the overheating and subsequent throttling issues surrounding the Snapdragon 810, but XDA forum member schecter7 thinks he may have found a simple fix.

What is CPU throttling caused by? Excess heat.

How do you get rid of excess heat? Add a bigger heat sink.

This is essentially what XDA member schecter7 has done to his Sony Xperia Z3+ phone. By sandwiching some aluminum foil between his phone and his third-party TPU case, he’s created a sort of poor man’s heat sink, better dispersing the concentrated heat generated by the Snapdragon 810 over the whole case of the phone.


It probably seems more than a little bit silly to use aluminum foil as an external heat sink, but schecter7 has produced some real-world results. By measuring temperature and benchmark scores while running AnTuTu Benchmark multiple times consecutively, drops in performance can be seen as the phone heats up—this is CPU throttling in action. He ran through this test several times: once with a phone case; once without a phone case; and once with both a phone case and foil.

The results, shown below, indicate a ~1–2°C drop in temperature and a performance boost upwards of 5%. XDA member nfs2010 reported even better results if you have access to some copper foil.

Throttling w/ and w/out case + foil

The AnTuTu experiment: temperature and performance vs. consecutive runs both with and without case & foil. While a 5% boost may not be much, it might be worth it for some power users looking to stave off CPU throttling and eek out even a slight boost in performance. Further, it’s easy to do, and it utilizes materials (aluminum foil) that nearly everyone has in their kitchen. If it even slightly improves performance, maybe it’s worth a shot.

Also, while it may seem like this DIY hack could adversely affect your wi-fi and cell reception, there have been no complaints, thus far, on the Xperia Z4/Z3+; of course, your mileage may vary depending on your particular phone and antenna design.

Does this simple DIY heat sink work for you? Let us know in the comments!

About author

Brian Young
Brian Young

He is currently a graduate student studying earthquake seismology, but has always had a keen interest in all things related to science, technology, and gadgets. His first smartphone was a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and he has had an interest in all things Android ever since.

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