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Running a laptop CPU at 100% for hours everyday is fine right?

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January 18, 2010 1:56:17 PM

I like to run emulators and emulators are CPU intensive and if it's a hard to emulate system, the CPU could be at 100% for hours at a time each day of the week. Now, I never overclock anything and if it's running at that capacity, I'll keep it on a nice flat surface, of course. So, I'm wondering if this would be a problem in a laptop. I was wondering about this for three different laptops:

1)Intel C2D T5200 @ 1.6Ghz from Toshiba (using GMA 950 graphics, so no heat there) I don't do so much with this one (maxes out sometimes on N64 games), but I thought I'd ask anyway.

2) AMD Athlon Dual Core QL-62 @ 2.00 from Compaq (the sticker on the computer says Athlon 64 X2, but I don't see the computer listing it like that) (using Nvidia GeForce GT 8200M integrated graphics, so litte heat coming from the GPU, besides emulators don't rely on GPU nearly as much) This computer gets hot all the time. (from the heat it is putting out, not measuring the heat with software) Even when not doing much of anything (think MS word or internet explorer). I'm going to say the problem with this at 100% would be the heat.

3) Intel C2D T6600 @ 2.2 Ghz from Lenovo (Ideapad line, so not their business class, but I'm guessing it will be built well enough to not get hot) (using a Nvidia GT 240M 1GB GDDR3, so it would produce a little more heat from this, but emulators don't nearly use all GPU capacity, mostly just CPU) Would mainly be using this one, not so much the others.

So, I've heard different conflicting things about running a CPU at 100% a long time all the time, but I'm guessing it won't be a problem in the Intel C2Ds, but would be in the AMD (since it is Compaq too)?

Also, I think I saw in the advanced power settings that you can change what % speed the CPU can go up to (on the Toshiba is was set to 80% last I checked), so I'm guessing for true 100% (without OC'ing), I'd have to change that to 100%? I don't care about battery life (most I use it for is to take it into another room, then plug in), but I do care how long my computer lasts. So I don't know if I should change that setting, but I'd like to know if that would help my performance and be fine or help it, but harm my computer.

I think that's all the necessary information. Thanks.
January 18, 2010 2:24:28 PM

I do not know about laptops You mention but most of the laptops have poor cooling systems and are not designed to run constantly at 100% load. Check the temperatures to be sure.
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January 18, 2010 4:27:46 PM

I'd service the laptops cooling system once every 6 months at least - you know, make sure has no dust blockages inside air ducts / HS fins etc

I'd say worst that could happen is the fan might premeturely wear and need replacing when it starts to make an annoying vibrating noise if it has to run at 100% load a lot.

That should be the only issue you would run into really...

Good luck with you emulation missions ^^
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January 19, 2010 1:30:21 PM

Frankly if you want portability and some processing power look for one of the new core i7 / i5 based notebooks ... but it will cost you plenty.

The core2 duo based laptops have a higher IPC (more throughput given the same clockspeed) than the AMD dual core units, and they use a little less power.

There are a few quad core (core2 quad) based laptops out there ... they probably rank just a big lower than the i7 based units ... possibly these might fit your budget a bit better too.

Load it up with plenty of RAM (4Gb).

Good luck.


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January 19, 2010 2:00:21 PM

Pailin said:
I'd service the laptops cooling system once every 6 months at least - you know, make sure has no dust blockages inside air ducts / HS fins etc

I'd say worst that could happen is the fan might premeturely wear and need replacing when it starts to make an annoying vibrating noise if it has to run at 100% load a lot.

That should be the only issue you would run into really...

Good luck with you emulation missions ^^


+1 cleaning it is very important. My gf has an Alienware, it was running very hot, and not performing to well. I opened it up cleaned it out and it ran warm under heavy use.

From the computers that you have listed I would trust the lenovo the most. Personally I would read reviews on different laptops in your range and find the one that sounds like it runs the coolest. Also keep in mind that you want a chip that is powerful enought to do what you need, but I think keeping cool will be your biggest problem.

Working the cpu is not going to kill it, but overheating it will.
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January 29, 2010 2:21:28 AM

Best answer selected by mrguy45.
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