Let's be honest. Laptops tend to heat up, no matter what brand or model they are. With most of these portable computers designed for high performance and high graphics activities that use a lot of RAM speed and processor power, overheating has typically become one of their downsides. There’s no one to blame; it’s just how laptops with powerful specs work.
While more advanced cooling systems are now added on many high-end laptops, sometimes, they are not enough to keep their temperature cool. That’s why many users have opted for external support like cooling pads. But, do laptop cooling pads work, and are they worth your money? Let’s find out in this article.
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Laptop Cooling Pads (How They Work & Benefits Explained)
Laptop cooling pads are platforms where you can put your device every time you feel like it’s heating up more than its average temperature. Basically, the fans inside the pads will provide cool flowing air to your laptop. In some cooling pads, the coolness can be adjusted depending on your laptop’s needs, so it can pass enough air to balance out its temperature.
Through this additional cooling system, your laptop’s performance is enhanced while providing you with a better user experience. This is because a cooled-down computer can process information faster and more conveniently since its components are not overworked.
To better understand how it works, think of your cooling pad as your room’s air conditioner. If the weather is too hot, you won’t be able to do all your tasks efficiently, correct? But when you turn on your AC, you’ll start to cool down, allowing you to perform better. It works the same with your laptop and a cooling pad.
Faster CPU & GPU Performance
Laptop cooling pads themselves don’t improve your computer’s CPU and GPU performance. What they do is that they help the two most important components of your laptop--CPU and GPU--to cool down as these parts can lower their temperature themselves.
While your internal fan is responsible for this, the added support of the cooling pad can make it quicker for these parts to get back to their average temperature, allowing them to perform more efficiently.
If you're looking for more ways to increase your computer performance, check out our detailed guide on improving gaming laptop performance.
Ideal Resting Places
Since laptop cooling pads improve the airflow of your device, it’s a good practice to place your device on top of it as opposed to a soft surface.
For example, it’s common knowledge that fabric or soft surfaces such as your bed, blanket, and pillow aren’t good places to rest your laptop since they don’t provide good airflow.
So instead of directly placing your computer on any surface, a cooling pad is a better resting place as it doesn’t restrict your computer’s ventilation. This also allows you to work safely on most surfaces.
As you might have guessed, one benefit that cooling pads can provide is to lower your laptop’s temperature. The best part is that cooling pads don’t require you to modify anything in your device. Apart from internal temperature, the environment you’re in can also affect the temperature of your device.
So, if you’re working in a hot room, it can heat your laptop faster than it usually would. Laptop cooling pads can help blow cooler air to your computer while pushing warmer air away from it.
Greater Physical Comfort
If you’ve ever tried to use your laptop in bed or even on your lap, you’ll understand how uncomfortable it can be, especially when it overheats. Using a cooling pad can help regulate its temperature making your computer more physically tolerable to use against your lap.
Even if you don’t use your device on your lap, the heat coming from the laptop can also affect your workspace and alter your working conditions. Cooling pads can help balance the heat, making you feel more comfortable.
In addition, the added height can also be beneficial to your posture. Some cooling pads can also work as a laptop table, which can help level your screen to your eyes, reducing the neck strains you get from working.
Easy To Use
There’s no complicated installation process required to use a laptop cooling pad. Unlike many laptop accessories that need you to connect to your system before using them, cooling pads are easy to set up and operate. You just need to put it under your laptop, turn it on, and you’re all set.
Many laptop cooling pads come with additional USB ports allowing you to connect other devices to your laptop. This can come in handy primarily if you work with a lot of different wired laptop accessories.
Do Laptop Cooling Pads Actually Work? (Our Test Results)
We tested how cooling pads work based on four different aspects: how it affects the device’s temperature, its effect on the external environment or workplace, effect on computer processor performance, and changes in gaming performance.
When it comes to the device’s internal temperature, laptop cooling pads are very effective in keeping the computer from overheating.
In fact, the internal heat levels have dropped to as much as 30 degrees Fahrenheit on the two laptops we tested.
In addition, the external temperature also dropped by 1 to 2 degrees compared to when we hadn’t used any cooling pad. This makes the cooling pad very beneficial for those working in hot climates as it can help cool down both your laptop and workplace.
We also tested whether cooling pads can help the CPU’s performance as a result of cooling the components down. While it does cool down the laptop internally, the impact on its processor’s performance is very minimal. In our results, it only improved by less than 2 percent, which isn’t noticeable in your daily use. Nevertheless, it still has a positive impact on the device.
Lastly, we have found that cooling pads provide some improvements when it comes to gaming performance. However, it isn’t magical. If your laptop cannot play some game titles before, cooling pads won’t change that.
How To Make Your Own DIY Laptop Cooling Pad
If you want to make your own laptop cooling pad, follow the instructions below. Do note that it requires you to handle some power tools, so if you haven't used any of them before, please ask for help from someone familiar with them.
Materials & Tools Needed
Step By Step Instructions
- 1Use the tape measure to get the width and length of your laptop. Write them down for reference.
- 2Cut the plywood slightly larger than your laptop’s measurements. Add 2 centimeters or 0.75 inches on each side for extra space. Ensure that the wood you’re using is about 1.25 centimeters or 0.5 inches thick.
- 3Using the driller, drill holes in the wood. Make the holes about 2 centimeters or 0.75 inches apart in a grid-like pattern. To check if it’s already the correct measurement, you should be able to put the pencil through it, but not much more. However, if it can’t go in, it’s too small. If your laptop overheats much, drill the hotels closer together.
- 4Then, glue the fans underneath the holes you made using the super glue.
- 5To avoid splinters, use sandpaper to smooth rough edges.
- 6Next, add some feet under the pad. This will ensure adequate air circulation and can add height to your laptop. You can also put rubber stands on it to prevent it from slipping on surfaces.
- 7Lastly, decorate your pad using paint if you’d like.
Laptop Cooling Pad FAQs
How well do laptop cooling pads work on macbook pro?
Yes, cooling pads work on MacBook Pro. However, Apple has designed its products to make them work efficiently even without external ventilation support. But, if you’d like to use a cooling pad, it won’t hurt your Macbook Pro.
Why is my belkin laptop cooling pad not working?
There are many reasons why your Belkin laptop cooling pad isn’t working. First, check if the power source is properly plugged in. This is a common reason why this brand of cooling pad or other brands doesn’t work. Other causes include clogged with dust or damage from accidental dropping.
Does the cooling pad drain the battery?
Cooling pads rely on your computer’s battery, so it’s likely to affect your battery’s life. However, it shouldn’t be the main reason why your battery is draining.
How can I cool my laptop without the cooling pad?
First, make sure that it’s not placed on a soft surface as it may trap the heat of your laptop. Next, keep your vents always clean and free from dust. Lastly, use a laptop stand to keep the air flowing from your vents.
If your laptop suffers from overheating frequently, laptop cooling pads may be the answer to your problem. However, using a laptop cooling pad isn’t the sole solution to fix your overheating problem.
While they do work, it is best to always practice proper maintenance and care to ensure that your computer works smoothly and correctly.
Jake Redman is a UK-born-digital nomad & founder of Ultimate Quality Content, a collective of high-end copywriters formed to provide detailed insight into everything technology-related. Jake is the definition of a man-nerd. He gets excited over things like processor architecture, ray-tracing, & is an avid E-Sports fan, specifically League of Legends. When he isn’t writing detailed tech-related articles, Jake can be found performing fire-breathing shows & wields a dragon staff, or on the sofa playing Mario Kart.