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For PC gamers, an overheating laptop is a common occurrence, whether it’s because they run big games or maintain high FPS throughout the session. However, when a laptop overheats too often, you’re risking more damage than you think. As the most cost-effective way of manufacturing a circuit board, modern laptops undergo PCB panelization using embedded board array to help them quickly move through the process. This avoids the extra costs caused by having additional boards. However, since the components are non-removable, an overheating CPU, GPU, or other parts can cause some irreparable damage to the entire hardware.
To prevent this from happening, here are a few ways to keep your laptop from overheating:
Buy a cooling pad
Since laptops are placed flat on a desk, a lot of the heat gets “trapped” under it, causing the device to become hotter than normal. This shouldn’t be a problem if you have your AC on 24/7, but for those who keep their windows open most of the day, or whose tables are located near sunny areas, get a cooling pad. Not only do cooling pads provide extra air, but they also elevate your laptop slightly so it can breathe better.
Get an external SSD
Every PC and laptop is built with a set amount of RAM. If you’re running high-end games or multiplayer titles on high FPS (60 and above), then it takes a lot out of your CPU. Once the RAM reaches near maximum, your laptop overheats. If you’re still in the process of building your gaming laptop (or PC), it’s recommended that you get an SSD, since they process data a lot faster, ensuring that temporary files don’t stay in the CPU too long. Otherwise consider buying a plug-in SSD, which you can find at your local hardware shop.
Underclock your GPU
Instead of buying a better card to run graphic-intensive games, plenty of PC gamers opt to do the cheaper alternative: overclock their GPU. Every GPU is built with a standard frequency, but overclocking can increase its power limit and RAM beyond what it’s made for. This process causes your GPU extra stress, making it overheat. The opposite is also true, however. If you underclock your GPU or purposefully lower its settings, it won’t heat up as much. Of course, you’d be sacrificing performance, but it’ll extend your laptop’s lifespan.
Reapply your thermal paste
Thermal paste is a compound that’s placed between your PC’s heat sources and sink to eliminate air gaps. Any component that heats up has a layer of thermal paste on it, such as your CPU and GPU. If you take care of your laptop well, you could go years without replacing it.
However, if you’re neglectful and allow your circuit boards to gather dust (which blocks airflow) or let it heat up often, the thermal paste loses its heat-transferring properties. In this case, open up your laptop and reapply it. We’ve written a step-by-step guide for replacing thermal paste for those who are interested.
Gaming laptops overheat for a multitude of reasons, whether that’s because of the intensive hardware power the title requires, an outdated CPU, and more. As such, to discover the most effective fix, you first have to determine what your biggest problem is. From there, it’s all about trying multiple solutions to see what works best.