Help with FPS slowdown/overheating in some games

I've been using the same laptop for gaming/everyday activities for a little over a year now. Here are my specs:

Dell XPSL 15 501X, Windows 7
GPU: Nvidia GeForce 435M
CPU: Intel Core i7 Q740 @ 1.73 GHz

The main game I play is League of Legends, and I've never had any problem with it. Recently I started playing Skyrim. It worked fine at first but now I experience some FPS slowdown after maybe around 30 minutes of playing it, sometimes to the point of my computer shutting down. I checked Speedfan and my GPU is getting up to around 98C while I'm playing, with the processor not far behind. I played LoL some more and the GPU is getting up to low 90s now as well, with some FPS slowdown (sometimes not so bad, sometimes rendering it unplayable). I don't know if it has always gotten this hot during LoL or if this is a new thing. I tried putting an ice pack under the computer and running the games, they both dropped by around 10-12C and I didn't have any slowdown. So, my problem is presumably GPU (and/or CPU) overheating. The skyrim problem was remedied somewhat by deleting all my old saves; apparently having too many saves can worsen the problem. Still, this only helped by 3-4C. My computer runs around 60-65C baseline, when just surfing the web and such. All graphics settings are on minimum. Graphics drivers are updated all the way as well.

My questions are:

1. What, if any, steps can I take to cool down my comp so that I can run Skyrim? If a laptop cooling pad is the way to go, does anyone have any recommendations?
2. Since LoL is slowing down now whereas it never did before, is it possible/likely I have caused lasting damage to my hardware? =O
3. Another factor is that my battery stopped working a long time ago. I always run my comp on outlet power, but should I go ahead and replace my battery? The error message says that since my battery isn't working my "computer might shut down suddenly," could this be contributing to my problem?
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More about help slowdown overheating games
  1. To quickly answer your questions:

    1. Use compressed air cans and dust off your video card, and its heatsink. In order to do that, you'll need to open your laptop's case. Dust is your enemy, heating is what you will always get when playing on a laptop. Use a cooling pad, it'll help, not by a lot, but enough so you can tell the difference. Check out your laptop's size, because cooling pads are made like that, for 15", 17.1" and so on. Get one with as many fans as possible.

    2. It's slowing down because your system is overheating, the temperatures you listed are high; even the idle temps are too high. I don't think you caused damage to your hardware (yet), you'd know it by now (artifacts on your screen, related to a defective video card, no image at all, the impossibility to boot up your system etc.) but you will if you aren't careful.

    3. Battery has nothing to do with your lag/slowdowns as long as you use the power outlet; I've played games on a laptop with a dead battery inside, it had no effect whatsoever.

    Bottom line: dust off the card, the heatsink, and use a cooling pad. Also you could check (at a repair shop, in this case) if you'd need some new thermal paste for your CPU.
  2. Hi :)

    Good advice above but it probably wont work (i own a laptop repair company)

    Those sort of temps mormally mean you need a NEW heatsink/cooler for your Graphics chip /cpu and take my word its NOT A diy job.... AND it can wreck your motherboard if allowed to continue....

    Take it to a local laptop repair shop.....NOW !

    All the best Brett :)
  3. You're Laptop's integrity is degrading because of heat issue. First of all a Laptop is not really good for gaming (Though there are some like Alienware for example) and second even with a cooling pad it is not enough to dissipate the heat effectively. You should try have a desktop as possible for gaming.
  4. most common issue is dust in vents and heat sink. another likely issue is thermal compound degradation with time. and third likely issue is your cooling system was underdesigned from the start (common on big brand laptops that offer upgrades to hardware without considering the parameters the cooling system was designed for)
  5. no offence but buy a PC for gaming
  6. what led you to conclusion that he has a mac?
  7. I think what Spoony was trying to say is that I need to get a desktop. That's not really an option at this point because I'm back and forth a lot between school, work, and home, and I need it everywhere. I'm probably going to take a look inside the system to see if there is a lot of dust buildup. Otherwise, yeah I will probably have to take it to a repair shop, though I'm afraid that will be really expensive =/
  8. Hay virus can also cause this try superantispyware its free and avg free edition. After delete al spyware in u r system, 2 restart, then uninstal superantispyware, before scan update both
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