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Laptop Cooling and Gaming Temp

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  • Laptops
  • Gaming
  • Cooling
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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September 4, 2013 8:55:26 AM

Realtemp says that my temperatures are ~40*C at idle and ~89*C after a half-hour of heavy gaming. I have the laptop elevated ~1" off the desk in a room with an ambient temp of ~24*C. None of the laptop's vents are blocked.

Seeing temps approaching 90 is scaring me a little. What is my best option for keeping it cool duning gaming? A cooling mat/pad? Which one?

Laptop Specs:
Dell Inspiron 17R (N7110) built Jan 2012
i7-2670QM
6GB DDR3, 1333MHz
17.3" LED
GeForce GT525M
250GB 5400RPM
Windows 7

More about : laptop cooling gaming temp

a b 4 Gaming
September 4, 2013 8:59:26 AM

I wouldn't worry, laptop hardware is built to withstand high temperatures due to the closed nature of laptops.

The fans will spin up and keep it from getting too hot and being damaged, no need to worry :) 
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a b D Laptop
September 4, 2013 9:00:58 AM

Welcome to the world of laptop gaming. Has you done some research this would not be a surprise to you.
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September 4, 2013 10:21:30 AM

I has done a little research:

de5_Roy ("CPUs Authority" and "Laptop Expert") states that, "for good performance and longevity don't let your cpu temp go higher than 60-65c."

Pinhedd ("Laptop Expert") states that, "The threshold for "too hot" is between 95 and 100 degrees centigrade for both the CPU and GPU...The cores will automatically throttle when they hit 90C under turbo mode."

DJDeCiBeL ("CPUs Master") states, "Laptop CPU's are made to run warmer than desktop CPU's because they HAVE to, and the max temp (Tjunction) for that CPU is 100C (that's where it'll throttle). When it gets to 90C and above for long periods, that's when you should really worry...cooling pads don't really do much anyway. Unless it's blowing air into the the vents on the laptop (most don't), all you're doing is cooling the case..."

Others say disabling turbo boost or limiting maximum processor state helps with high temps:
control panel-->power options-->change plan settings-->change advanced power settings-->processor power management-->maximum processor state-->set to something less than 100% (~80%?)

So, for now, I guess I'll try cleaning the vents/fan/heatsink and limiting the max processor state. I might also get a cooling pad, which might help (it can't hurt).
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a b D Laptop
September 4, 2013 11:17:22 AM

FlyingHigh85 said:
I has done a little research:

de5_Roy ("CPUs Authority" and "Laptop Expert") states that, "for good performance and longevity don't let your cpu temp go higher than 60-65c."

Pinhedd ("Laptop Expert") states that, "The threshold for "too hot" is between 95 and 100 degrees centigrade for both the CPU and GPU...The cores will automatically throttle when they hit 90C under turbo mode."

DJDeCiBeL ("CPUs Master") states, "Laptop CPU's are made to run warmer than desktop CPU's because they HAVE to, and the max temp (Tjunction) for that CPU is 100C (that's where it'll throttle). When it gets to 90C and above for long periods, that's when you should really worry...cooling pads don't really do much anyway. Unless it's blowing air into the the vents on the laptop (most don't), all you're doing is cooling the case..."

Others say disabling turbo boost or limiting maximum processor state helps with high temps:
control panel-->power options-->change plan settings-->change advanced power settings-->processor power management-->maximum processor state-->set to something less than 100% (~80%?)

So, for now, I guess I'll try cleaning the vents/fan/heatsink and limiting the max processor state. I might also get a cooling pad, which might help (it can't hurt).


Obviously your "research" didn't provide solutions to hot gaming portables mostly because there aren't any. Once you plug a cooler into the wall it isn't a portable any longer and you might as well have a desktop.
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Best solution

a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
September 4, 2013 11:23:45 AM

Points:
1) Unless your laptop is fairly old, or in a dusty environment there should be little need to clean it.

2) Using VSYNC in a game caps the game, usually at 60FPS which can reduce GPU and CPU usage, especially if you turn down the quality to maintain the cap. When VSYNC is OFF, either the GPU or CPU runs at 100% (usually the GPU) which really increases the temperature a lot.

In some cases you may wish to try the ADAPTIVE HALF VSYNC option to run at 30FPS.

3) If you are NOT CRASHING then I wouldn't worry too much about it. While heat can wear out a computer prematurely that takes years. If your CPU gets too hot it has protection circuitry to downclock, or in a worst-case scenario crash the PC to avoid frying (like a fan dying or gaming in the desert).

4) COOLING SOLUTION:
I'm not familiar with fan-based cooling solutions which blow air over the back of the laptop. It's something you may wish to research. Research points:
a) Make sure there IS a benefit
b) USB and/or AC adapter?
c) NOISE level?
d) COMFORT if on lap.
e) FLAT or RAISED? (Some like a slight angle).

*Never get a cooler that affects the air flow of your laptop. I think most laptops have the intake and exhaust on their sides but verify that.


SUMMARY:
- VSYNC ON
- VSYNC Half Adaptive (30FPS)
- tweak game quality to maintain VSYNC
- cooling solution?
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September 4, 2013 2:39:08 PM

Thanks, photonboy. Very HELPFUL and INSIGHTFUL. I'll try using VSYNC to cap at 60FPS and adjust the quality to maintain it. My laptop isn't crashing, I just want to keep temps down to promote longevity. I hope to have this laptop for at least a few years. As for cooling solutions, even if a cooling pad just cools the laptop case, it would still cool the internals to a degree through conduction, right?


As for the other guy...
(/begin rant)
I know desktops make better gaming rigs for less $, but it would be difficult to toss a desktop into my backpack and walk around campus with it. I didn't buy the laptop JUST for gaming. If I do use a cooling pad for my laptop while gaming at home, it won't make the laptop any less portable, will it? After all, I'm pretty sure (with a few seconds of incredible effort) the cooling pad can somehow be detached from the laptop. I'll admit, I'm not entirely sure of this because I haven't researched it in depth yet. I'm still on the steep side of the learning curve when it comes to computers. Everytime I visit tomshardware.com, I learn something new. You, ram1009, have taught me that laptop + cooling pad = desktop. One day, when I know nearly everything there is to possibly know about computers (and the universe in general as you clearly do), I'll be closer to the flat side of that curve.

I know there are people out there who loathe laptops, people who have to focus every ounce of their strength just to avoid upchucking at the mere sight of them, but I wish they wouldn't take their disdain for them out on we poor souls who own them. Remember: WE'RE the victims.
(/end rant)
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September 8, 2013 7:34:25 PM

Update:

Using VSYNC seems to help and I didn't have to lower the games' quality settings.

This may have been due to the flight simulator I was playing was utilizing the onboard Intel HD 3000 gpu instead of the discrete Geforce 525M. To change this, I went to the NVIDIA control panel, and under global settings of the 3D settings, I selected the "High-performance NVIDIA processor," instead of the default setting ("Auto-select" NVIDIA processor or integrated graphics).

It seems like I'm getting a consistent 60FPS with med-high graphics settings and after an hour of playing, my cpu temps are 60*C. Much better than 89*C. Thanks again, photonboy.

I haven't bought a cooling mat yet, but I plan to. While gaming, I have been using a book to prop-up the laptop so that there is a half-inch-or-so of space between the bottom of the laptop and the top of my desk.

Considering the laptop was built to lay on a flat surface, I'd say it's a pretty big design flaw to put the intake for the laptop's cooling fan on the bottom of the laptop. If the designing engineers couldn't find a way around this, then they should at least have incorporated little legs on the bottom-back of the laptop that flip-down so that I don't need to keep using an effing book to prop it up.
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