Why Do Laptop Computers Get So Hot?
My laptop is definitely one of my favorite gadgets. It’s a nice powerful machine – an i5 – which lets me have computing power wherever I go. Even if you just want to move to a quieter room in the house from time to time, a laptop computer is a great solution.
One of the biggest problems with laptops these days, and one that my own laptop has suffered from in the past, is overheating. Laptops have been getting progressively more powerful over the last few years, and that means that more heat is generated.
However, there is no additional space available to match the increased power and heat. We all want small and light machines which we can take with us wherever we go, and that means that laptop fans are often smaller and less powerful than the cooling fans in an equivalently powered desktop.
So, more heat and less cooling capacity. It’s hardly surprising that some laptops get very hot in use – sometimes they can be very uncomfortable to use balanced on your knee.
It’s annoying and inconvenient that some laptops get too hot to live up to their name, but that’s not the worst of it. The thing is, most electronic devices die of old age; old age brought on by thermal ageing.
Simply put, the hotter the operating temperature of an electronic or electrical device, the shorter that its working life will be. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the relationship between working temperature and ageing is non-linear; a fairly modest increase in temperature can result in a significant reduction in the working life of an electronic device.
Thankfully, the converse is also true; a small reduction in the running temperature of your laptop can lead to a significant extension of its working life. And that is fairly simple to achieve.
Using A Laptop Cooling Pad
If you want your laptop to run cooler, then all you have to do is use a laptop cooling pad. Your laptop will be a lot more comfortable to use on your knee and it will last longer as well.
There are two main types of laptop cooling pads; passive cooling pads and active cooling pads. Either type will help your laptop to run cooler.
Passive Laptop Cooling Pads
Passive cooling pads provide a firm base for your laptop to sit on, but they have no fans. The firm surface will ensure that there is sufficient space beneath your laptop for cooling air to circulate and get into the laptop cooling intake vents.
The advantages of passive cooling pads are the fact that they draw no power and, since there are no fans, they generate no noise. Some designs are thin and light and suitable for transportation should you want to use them when you’re out and about.
They are simple, but effective and can make a significant difference to the running temperature of lower powered laptops. They can even be effective for high powered laptops which are not operated for long periods of time (say more than an hour) at any one sitting.
Active Laptop Cooling Pads
Larger, more powerful, laptops will probably benefit most from the use of an active laptop cooling pad. These usually have one or more fans which blows large amounts of additional cooling air into the laptops cooler intake vent. This drops the temperature of even powerful laptops quite a bit.
The large majority of laptops have their cooler intake vents located on the underside of the machine, so a cooling pad which blows air vertically upwards is appropriate.
There are a few (less than 10%) laptop designs which have the exhaust vents on the underside of the machine. Owners of this type of laptop will want to draw air away from the base of the machine.
You can tell where the cooler exhaust vents are by holding your hand near them. If you feel warm air blowing onto your hand then that is an exhaust vent.
You can also hold a piece of single ply tissue paper near to a vent. If it is drawn towards the laptop, then the vent is an intake. If it is blown away from the computer, then the vent is an exhaust vent.
The Benefits Of Laptop Cooling Pads
By helping your laptop to run cooler, laptop cooling pads will make it more comfortable for you to use and extend its working lifetime. The data which is stored on your laptop’s hard drive will also be safer – although you should still perform backups on a regular basis.
Laptop cooling pads cost just a few dollars. When you think about how much your laptop costs, and how inconvenient it would be for you were it to suffer a thermal failure. you can see just what a smart idea they are.