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Should I get one of those laptop cooling pads? Temps of up to 90C!

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  • Laptops
  • Temperature
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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May 16, 2012 10:31:27 PM

The laptop I'm currently using to play Diablo 3 is great, maintaining 60FPS on medium settings, but the CPU core temperatures are frightening me. I've been monitoring the CPU temperature during gameplay and I'm seeing average temps of 80C spiking up to 85-90C within only my first 20 or so minutes of gameplay.

I'm unfamiliar with laptops and their ideal temperature ranges, but I know that on a desktop temperatures like this are considered dangerously high. I want to do anything I can to ensure the longevity of this computer, so if anyone has any recommendations for things I can do internally or externally to cool things down, I'm all ears.

Any recommendations on a cooling pad I could go pick up at my local Best Buy?

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May 16, 2012 10:58:23 PM

With those kinds of temperatures I'm not sure a cooling pad will be enough to bring you back down to safe levels. That said, I did pick one up for my sister because her laptop ran too hot playing Sims 3 and would reboot. It cooled her down enough that she no longer has any problems playing.

Wish I could remember which one I bought her, but alas it was just something I picked up on a trip to Fry's and I haven't really looked at it again since. (Ninja edit: I think it was the CoolerMaster NotePal Infinite EVO, I trust the CoolerMaster brand.) I did spend a while comparing different models as best i could, and I think I settled on one that was about $40 - $50. There were cheaper ones, sure, but they didn't look like they would do as good a job. I think the one I chose had some numbers to back up their claims, showing something like a 10 - 15 degree improvement on whatever system they were using.

D3 makes my desktop CPU run hot too, but in my case it's around 65 or so (50 is my normal).
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May 16, 2012 11:08:39 PM

I know on my laptop (HP dv5-2047ca) if I were to run Prime95, in less than 5 minutes, I would be looking at 90C, and I stop it once it reaches 95C. Now obviously Prime95 (my uses of it) is meant raise temps, but that is insane. Your first option is, just as you said, a cooling pad. If your laptop is on your lap, it obviously helps, if it is on a desk, it will still lower temps, but not by a lot (depending on your interpretation of a lot).

The other option you have, which depends on your CPU, is undervolting. Note that only some laptop CPUs can have their voltages changed.

I want to make this clear, I am not responsible if you do irrecoverably crash your laptop, HOWEVER, from what I've read, and in my own experience with undervolting, the worst that can happen is a Blue-Screen (on Windows).

Before anyone gets on me, http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/undervolt-cpu-pheno... read that briefly (Although the article is for desktop CPUs, I am running a phenom 2 in my laptop). You can search for yourself about undervolting / if it is possible in your own laptop, and if you need a hand, feel free to ask. :)  (I was able to reduce heat by around 10 - 15C undervolting alone on max load.)
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May 16, 2012 11:25:32 PM

i have samsung and when i used to game on it it would reach temps of, cpu- 95 degrees and the gpu would reach 92 degrees. after that i decided to modd my laptop and i also bought a coolmaster u2 cooling pad which both of tham brought my temps down to cpu- 84 degrees MAX and gpu 80degrees MAx.
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May 16, 2012 11:45:45 PM

Robert Pankiw said:
I know on my laptop (HP dv5-2047ca) if I were to run Prime95, in less than 5 minutes, I would be looking at 90C, and I stop it once it reaches 95C. Now obviously Prime95 (my uses of it) is meant raise temps, but that is insane. Your first option is, just as you said, a cooling pad. If your laptop is on your lap, it obviously helps, if it is on a desk, it will still lower temps, but not by a lot (depending on your interpretation of a lot).

The other option you have, which depends on your CPU, is undervolting. Note that only some laptop CPUs can have their voltages changed.

I want to make this clear, I am not responsible if you do irrecoverably crash your laptop, HOWEVER, from what I've read, and in my own experience with undervolting, the worst that can happen is a Blue-Screen (on Windows).

Before anyone gets on me, http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/undervolt-cpu-pheno... read that briefly (Although the article is for desktop CPUs, I am running a phenom 2 in my laptop). You can search for yourself about undervolting / if it is possible in your own laptop, and if you need a hand, feel free to ask. :)  (I was able to reduce heat by around 10 - 15C undervolting alone on max load.)


Thank you for the suggestion Robert, this is the first I've heard of undervolting. I'm hesitant to try it because this laptop is not my own, I'm borrowing it until I've built my new gaming PC. I don't want to do anything that even runs the chance of causing significant damage to the system, unless specifically requested by the owner of the laptop with their full knowledge of the potential consequences.

I don't keep the laptop on my lap, but on top of a desk its idle temperature is about 50-55C which doesn't seem too bad. It's only when the game has been open and running for a while that it starts to get into the 85-90C range. Since it seems to be one of my only options right now, I'm going to go pick up the best cooling pad I can find from a local store and try it out to see how much it helps. Worst case scenario there's no difference and I return it. But I'd be satisfied even with a 5-10C decrease, though more is always better. I'll post the results after I've tried.
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May 16, 2012 11:46:40 PM

A cooling pad is not a long term solution for an overheating laptop. Generally speaking, they can reduce temps by 3C - 5C which is not much. You need to check for dust build up around vents.

A more extreme step will be to take the laptop apart and replace the thermal paste which may or may not help with temperatures. Other than that you can use Windows 7 Power Management Advanced Options to lower the CPU clock speed. This can be done in the Processor Power Management section in Maximum Power State and is done in percentages. It does not work the way you think it will work though. For Intel CPUs setting it to 99% means Turbo Boost will be switched off and the CPU will not run faster than stock speed; for an i5-2410m CPU that means a max of 2.3GHz. Setting the Maximum Power State to 78% - 98% brings down the clock speed to 1.8GHz.
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May 17, 2012 12:10:58 AM

If it's for an older laptop, I agree with above poster about taking it apart. You can find videos on youtube to get you familiar with the process. That's all I really had to go by when I took mine apart.

Initially, I bought a great laptop cooler, but it didn't do much for lowering the temperature. You will still need to clean and reapply thermal paste to get the best use from a laptop cooler.


Unless you have great retention for details, get a lot of small cups or shot glasses to organize all the screws you take off. Take your time and try to mark which cables go into which socket as you will have to do everything in reverse when you put it all back together. Don't try to force anything open, if something seems stuck, chances are there is a screw in a hidden or off the wall place you overlooked.

Once I got to the motherboard, I discovered that only ONE heat sink and fan was used to cool BOTH the CPU and GPU. Once I detached the two-way heat sink and fan from the motherboard, I removed the dust from both as much as I could. Then I cleaned the surfaces of the chips and reapplied the thermal paste (probably used too much too).

After putting everything back together, I had two extra screws of one type and I was missing a screw for another haha. On the bright side, the difference was practically night and day. My laptop gets no where near as hot as before (let alone warm) and the cooling fan doesn't even run at max. In the end, it was all worth it.
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May 17, 2012 12:27:53 AM

I'd replace the thermal paste with a good variety, (arctic silver or something with diamond) and if there is direct contact between heat sink and gpu, Id add some there too...sometimes they use a foam like material, which case I'd leave it alone. I am comfortable with laptop dissasembly/reassembly though...some of todays lappys give rather good access to the heatsink assembly. Definitely clean out the lappy though, whether you replace paste or not.
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May 17, 2012 2:40:15 PM

I appreciate the ideas, to all of you recommending I reapply thermal paste, but as I am 1) very unfamiliar with laptops, having never looked inside one before and 2) not the owner of this laptop I am unwilling to risk doing anything that may cause any trouble, mechanically or aesthetically, and would only consider doing something like that if the laptop were at risk of dying in short order.

jaguarskx said:
Other than that you can use Windows 7 Power Management Advanced Options to lower the CPU clock speed. This can be done in the Processor Power Management section in Maximum Power State and is done in percentages. It does not work the way you think it will work though. For Intel CPUs setting it to 99% means Turbo Boost will be switched off and the CPU will not run faster than stock speed; for an i5-2410m CPU that means a max of 2.3GHz. Setting the Maximum Power State to 78% - 98% brings down the clock speed to 1.8GHz.


Thank you! Lowering the processor to 85%, coupled with the cooling pad I picked up, has brought me down to a PEAK of 75C during gameplay (and that's with the charger plugged in), averaging around 68-72C, and I have taken no noticeable hit to my FPS.
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May 17, 2012 2:40:24 PM

Best answer selected by AntaresX.
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