by Kup Kup Land
Dealing With Hot Notebook
If you’ve read our article on the causes and potentially devastating effects of notebook heat, you know that thanks to external temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, some notebooks can feel more like portable grills than portable computers. While inadequate heat dissipation is the manufacturer’s fault, users aren’t helpless. If your notebook is getting a bit too warm for comfort, there are several settings you can change to make it cooler. While none of these is guaranteed to transform a 110-degree palm rest into an ice machine, the changes can help. A poorly cooled notebook is extremely uncomfortable to use. In fact, though heat-related injuries are rare, some systems actually carry warning labels. For example, many current Toshiba Satellites have stickers affixed to their bottoms which state: “Caution: PC base can become hot! Avoid prolonged contact to prevent heat injury to skin.”
Some of the tips below involve editing the advanced power settings in Windows Power Options. To access the advanced power settings:
1. Open Power Options either by clicking the icon in the All Control Panel Options menu or by double-clicking the Windows battery icon in your system tray.
2. Select Change plan settings next to the power plan you are using (balanced, power saver, etc).
3. Select Change advanced power settings.
The amount of heat given off by a component will be the same no matter what notebook it’s used in. The differences from notebook to notebook, however, are based on air and heat flow within the system, the amount of power consumed, and notebook chassis material. While notebooks made from sleek-looking aluminum and other metals are increasingly popular, such systems tend to feel hotter. That’s because of differences in thermo-mechanical properties of the materials, according to Rajiv Mongia, principal engineer for Intel’s Thermal Technologies team. For example, an aluminum chassis will feel hotter to the touch than a plastic chassis of the same temperature.
1: Enable Active Cooling
Make sure that, in the Windows power settings or in your notebook’s proprietary power management software, the highest level of cooling is enabled. The menu option for enabling active cooling varies from notebook to notebook, but in some cases, the option will actually say “active cooling” and in others the option will say “maximum performance” as opposed to “maximum battery life.”
2: Enable all power saving options for the CPU, graphics, wireless card, etc.
It’s simple physics. The more power your notebook consumes, the more heat it generates. If you’re willing to sacrifice a little performance by running your notebook’s key components in low power modes, it will generate less heat.
To use less juice and generate less heat, we recommend changing the advanced settings in the Windows power manager’s, both for “on battery” and “plugged in” states:
* Wireless Adapter Settings: Maximum Power Saving
* Link State Power Management: Maximum power savings
* Graphics Power Plan: Maximum Battery life or the equivalent, based on what video card your notebook has installed.
* PCI Express -> Link State Power Management: Maximum power savings
* Processor power management -> Maximum processor state: Set to a lower percentage such as 30-percent.
3: Unplug Your Notebook
Some notebooks are manufactured to consume more power (and generate more heat) when plugged in than on battery alone, even with the exact same power settings enabled. After lowering all your power saving settings (as in tip #2), you may want to try pulling the plug.
4: Put the notebook on a table or desk
Many of a notebook’s vents are located on the bottom of its chassis, so when you put the notebook on your lap, you’re partially obstructing those vents. And if you put the notebook on a on a fabric surface like a bed or couch, you’re really choking its airflow. If the bottom of your notebook is getting really hot, consider putting it on a table or using a lapdesk that sits between you and the notebook.
5: Using a cooling pad
Some might say that this is the most obvious tip and should appear first, but cooling pads add bulk to your notebook bag and make your system less portable. So while cooling pads like the great Cooler Master Notepal U2 may be the only choice for a burning hot notebook, they shouldn’t always be your first.
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