Thermal design enhancements in a thermally-limited, fixed-size compact notebook system are investigated in this paper. System temperature, power, and fan speed are characterized under a range of activity levels. A finite element model is developed, and validated against measurements. Design enhancements improve cooling with minimum intrusion to the existing mechanical design, and with no growth in size. A passive secondary heat pipe in the system reduces the CPU temperature by 5 degrees C, and improves the system performance through increased CPU + Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH) thermal design power (TDP) by 6.4%. When such a secondary heat pipe is considered with an integrated off-the shelf Peltier cooler module, the CPU temperature is only reduced by 2.3 degrees C and CPU+GMCH TDP is improved only by 4.9%. The results demonstrate a successful methodology to claim performance and/or energy efficiency improvement opportunity in an existing notebook box with minimum redesign effort.