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Cooling a hot laptop – avoiding a computer meltdown


laptophot small Cooling a hot laptop   avoiding a computer meltdown

I noticed a while back that my laptop was running a hard disk temperature of around 56 degrees centrigrade plus. Actually the only reason I noticed was because of installing HD Tune which immediately flashed up a warning.

Since then I’ve been on a mission to cool things down, even to the extent of buying a very pink and plastic cooler with a fan. It’s helped, but I’m still plagued with over-heating if I travel with the machine, which is tres annoying. I’ve also just installed Notebook Hardware Control which is showing my CPU as running at 80C, which is not good. Sigh.

Apparently the key numbers to remember are:

  • HDD danger temperature is around 60-65C (CPU 70C)
  • HDD threshold temperature, usually above 65C is bad (CPU 90–100C)

If you want to learn a little more about how to keep your notebook cooler, then this forum post at Notebook Review should help (although some of the advice is a little hardcore for my liking). My question is, shouldn’t the design of these laptops be enough to keep the darn things cool? Answers on a flame retardant blanket to…

 Cooling a hot laptop   avoiding a computer meltdown

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



  • Kainnon

    "shouldn’t the design of these laptops be enough to keep the darn things cool?"

    Yes, I think they do, as long as you use them the way they were intended to be used, which I theorize as "sparingly, and primarly on battery power," thus limiting many heat concerns. As desktop replacements… well, laptops might run into some trouble there.

    I don't think most laptops were designed to run processor intensive programs or for extended periods of time, like desktops, and thus lack the larger cooling apparati. Kinda like expecting a motor bike to tow a trailer.

    Btw, Nigel, your comp might need to have the air intakes cleared out for dust and debris. My laptop's cpu runs at 42 C normally (HD at 38 C), and very rarely spikes up much higher.

    Some laptops are designed with heat dissipation in mind. Others, cut some corners here and there, and pass on the savings.

    Oh, and I have an unconfirmed, but reasonably sound theory. Plastic based laptop chassis act as insulators to hard disks, while metal based ones act as heat sinks. Problematic, when laptop cpu fans are no where near the hard disk, as they are in nearly all cases.

  • wayne

    If you don't like the plastic fans, which are bulky and noisy try using a HeatShift pad. It's a laptop cooling pad that uses no energy. It's awesome because you can take it anywhere and it works better than the fans. visit http://www.thermapak.com

  • http://www.dealsvista.com laptop deals

    Man, so fancy

  • http://www.lgblog.co.uk Chris – LG BLog UK

    If you're using a mac, try SMC fan control. It's very good at letting you manage the fans to keep the temp down

  • http://red-laptop.com decey

    it is very eary , dont link power .http://red-laptop.com

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