Overheating laptop

If your laptop is more than two years old, chances are that the keyboard surface often gets unbearably hot that you’ve already caught yourself sliding your hands away just to cool them down before they go a-tapping again. Setting your computer on your lap is also no longer an option.

Overheating laptop

This does not necessarily mean that it’s time to drain your wallet and get yourself another computer. Address the problem of your overheating laptop. It might not only prolong the life of your computer but also make your computer function more efficiently.

Here are some tips on how to maintain an overheating laptop.

Dust Buildup

Do you remember the vents at the bottom and the back or side of your laptop? Have you noticed the whirring near those parts of your computer and the host gusts of air that blow out?

If your computer frequents a dusty environment, your overheating problem might be a simple problem of dust build up. The vents of your laptop might be blocked by thick layers of dust that keep the hot air trapped inside your machine.

You can bring your laptop to the service center of your computer vendor and ask them to clear these up for you.

If you are handy with your computer and are not worried about voiding your warranty, you can consider opening up your laptop and getting rid of the dust yourself. This HowToGeek article recommends against using a vacuum cleaner and suggests how to get rid of the dust.

Degraded Thermal Compound

Whenever your laptop is running, the central processing unit (CPU) and the graphics processing unit (GPU) of your computer heat up so much that your laptop actually has an entire system inside dedicated to cooling these down.

Intuitively, we know that a laptop has a fan that facilitates heat transfer by almost continuously pulling cool air in and blowing heated air out. But this alone can only do so much.

CPUs and GPUs are very small components, and on their own they would have very little direct contact with air which is what can be blown out. In order to increase the surface area that is in direct contact with air, computers (and a lot of other electronics, in fact) have heat sinks that improve the dissipation of heat that will be further helped by the fan.

But yet again, in order to optimize the transfer of heat from the CPU and the GPU to the heat sink, heat sinks are usually attached to these using specialized highly efficient thermal compounds.

If your computer didn’t come with high quality thermal compound like mine didn’t, it could have been degraded or completely burnt through the years.

Thermal compounds come very cheap that, whenever I have to open up computers in my household to hunt down dust bunnies near the vents, I make it a point to just replace the thermal compound as well.

You can bring your laptop to the service center of your computer vendor and ask them to replace the thermal compound for you.

If you are handy with your computer and are not worried about voiding your warranty, you can consider getting some replacement thermal compound, opening up your laptop, and replacing this yourself.

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