Laptop Cooling Myths Good to Know

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The more thermal paste, the better

Laptops tend to have more overheating problems than desktops. First of all, this is due to the compact size of the case, in which it is physically impossible to put powerful coolers. But there are many myths about laptop cooling. Let’s consider the most common ones.

First, let’s say a few words about the types of laptop overheating protection. Passive cooling is used in low-power budget models. The main load on heat removal in these systems is borne by aluminum radiators, thermal paste, and heat-dissipating copper pipes. Water cooling has not yet become widespread. In performance laptops, coolers are usually used. The presence of fans is a sign of an active cooling system.

The main purpose of the thermal paste is to fit the heatsink closer to the cooled chip, forcing air out of the space between the base of the cooler and the upper part of the processor. It is important to remember that the thermal conductivity of entry-level pastes is ten times lower than that of an aluminum radiator. Therefore, a thick layer of thermal insulator is just as undesirable as not enough paste.

Myth # 2: With regular cleaning, you don’t need to clean your laptop

The laptop needs to be cleaned periodically, even if you do wet cleaning every day. Otherwise, dust accumulating inside the case will lead to a decrease in heat dissipation, overheating, and, possibly, short circuits and failure of parts.

With regular cleaning, you don't need to clean your laptop

If the laptop is not cleaned, the cooling pad will not save it from overheating

Recommended cleaning frequency:

  • in a dwelling without pets – once a year;
  • in a room where people smoke – every 8 months;
  • in an apartment or house with dogs or cats – every six months;
  • in a building located near the construction site, on the ground floor, by a busy highway – once a quarter.

Myth # 3: Passive cooling systems are maintenance free

Systems with passive cooling work quietly, but they are not very efficient. They cannot be constantly loaded with resource-intensive tasks. They, like active systems, require periodic cleaning. At the same time, it is worth considering that their thermal paste dries faster, so you will have to change it more often.

Myth # 4: A cooling pad will keep you from overheating

The effectiveness of cooling pads is highly overestimated. If the ventilation holes are clogged with wool, the boards are covered with a layer of dust, and the user forces the system to work to its limit, you should not expect miracles from additional air blowing on the lower part of the laptop.

Myth # 5: The more coolers the better

This is not really a myth. Additional fans can improve laptop cooling. However, the efficiency of heat removal depends not only on the number of coolers, but also on a number of other factors:

  • location of ventilation holes and other design features of the laptop;
  • load on laptop hardware;
  • room temperature;
  • air flow directions;
  • the quality of the cooler lubrication, a layer of thermal paste under the radiators.

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