Gaming laptops have come on leaps and bounds in the last five years. Constant innovation in gaming technology means that the parts are more powerful and more compact, making them perfect for installing into a laptop.
Unfortunately, to generate the power and ability to play the latest AAA+ games, the parts put out a lot of heat. This means that keeping your laptop cool is incredibly important while playing games.
A laptop running too hot will bring a whole host of problems. The first problem is that hot components will throttle their power to stop the temperature from getting higher. This means that the part might only be running at 50-90% of its full potential.
The second problem and the most problematic is when parts are run too hot for too long and burnout. This causes catastrophic failure and will most likely require you to purchase a new laptop as a result. Unlike gaming computers, laptops do not usually come with a modular system. This means you might not be able to swap the part out if it fails.
In this article, we will show you the best way to keep your laptop cool while gaming. This will help you prevent overheating by controlling the amount of heat your parts give off or by dispersing it more effectively.
Keep Your Gaming Laptop Cool By Using a Cooling Pad (Easy Fix)
One of the easiest ways to keep your laptop cool during gaming is to use a cooling pad. Cooling pads are made up of a platform for your laptop with fans built in that are much stronger than the ones usually found in your laptop.
The heat that is being funneled by your laptop out of the fan vents is then dispersed much quicker allowing cooler air to enter the laptop. This keeps your components cool and stops your laptop from overheating.
They are also great for using your laptop on your lap as they stop you from being in contact with the laptop, which is probably pretty hot if you have been gaming for a prolonged period.
Cooling pads are usually pretty cheap. You can usually pick up a decent model for less than $40. This is a small price to pay, in our opinion, to keep your gaming laptop cool.
Investing in a cooling pad is the simplest and easiest way to prolong the life of your gaming laptop, especially if you use it from day one of owning your laptop.
Other Cooling Options For Gaming Laptops
1. Replace Thermal Paste
If you are looking for a more serious fix, you might want to consider replacing any old thermal paste. Laptops often come with poor quality thermal paste that can degrade over the first few years of use.
When this paste degrades, it means that your laptop will struggle to disperse the heat generated by your processor and graphics card. This will slowly increase the temperature that your laptop runs at, eventually causing serious problems.
Many gamers decide to change the thermal paste straight away when they buy a new gaming laptop. This ensures that they get to use the highest quality thermal paste on their laptop.
Make sure that before you change your thermal paste, that you have done the research and preparation necessary. The act of opening up your laptop can void warranties and guarantees and should not be a task taken lightly.
Make sure you use only the highest quality thermal paste or liquid metal and follow a good guide. Our advice would be to follow this video.
This solution can really help keep your laptop cool while gaming, especially if you pair it with a cooling pad.
2. Clean Your Laptop
If you have had your laptop for more than 6 months, there is a high likelihood that it needs a good clean. To efficiently disperse heat from the parts inside, your laptop needs to be as clean as possible inside.
When dust builds up, it can block the heat sync vents that lead from your fan and cooling system to the outside of your laptop. When these block up, your temperature will sky-rocket as the heat cannot escape your laptop.
The easiest way to clean your laptop is to get a cheap aerosol cleaner. They only cost a couple of dollars and can be found in most computer or hardware shops. Simply spray the aerosol into your computer's fan pipes and your laptop's nooks and crannies every couple of weeks.
If your laptop hasn't been cleaned in a long time, it may be a little bit too severe to clean out with a simple spray cleaner. When this happens, you might want to look at taking the main panel off your laptop case and giving your laptop a more thorough clean.
Again, if you are going to do this, you should make sure you follow a good guide. It is also critical that you do this in a sterile environment. When your laptop's main components are exposed, it can be easy to damage them, and small amounts of static or dust can ruin your laptop.
3. Be Careful of Multitasking and Unnecessary Programs
Certain programs have the potential to cause a serious drain to your computer's resources. This can cause problems if they are left running in the background when gaming.
One major culprit of this is Google Chrome. Chrome is designed to make use of multiple core processing. This means that each tab you have open in Chrome is given its own percentage of processing power. While this is great for multitasking, it can quickly add up to a serious drain, especially if, like me, you have many tabs open at once.
To find out what resources are being used by the programs on your laptop, simply open the Task Manager by pressing CTL+Shift+ESC. There you will be able to see the CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network tabs as well as a percentage.
This percentage tells you what allocation of your computer's potential resources are being used, as well as what percentage each individual program is using.
If you find that a certain program is using an unreasonable amount of resources, then you can end the task and free up the power.
4. Turn Your Settings Down
One way to take the strain of your laptop's cooling system, CPU, and GPU is to turn the graphical settings on your games down. Gaming laptops are pretty powerful nowadays, but they still lack the raw power that a desktop does.
This means that sometimes games are designed and optimized for a higher hardware spec. Examples of games like this are Final Fantasy and Call of Duty.
Reducing your graphics and video settings is an easy way to ensure that your cooling system can keep your CPU and GPU running at optimal temperatures.
You could also reduce the frame rates of your games. This means that the game will refresh less often, taking some strain off your system.
5. Watch Out For Faulty Fans
If your laptop has been running perfectly fine since you purchased it but has begun to run into problems with temperature, it may be due to faulty fans.
Most laptops come with a dual fan system. One on the left one on the right. Each one covers an important component, either the GPU or the CPU.
If one of these fans breaks, you lose 50% of all your heat dispersion, and one of your components will be exposed to high temperatures. If the processor is too hot, this will bottleneck the GPU and vice versa.
Not only will this make games run less smoothly, but it will also lead to catastrophic failure later on down the line if not sorted.
Luckily, most laptops nowadays are designed to show an error message when a problem like this happens. This means you can take your laptop into a repair shop in time to save your parts.
The last tip we will give you is to keep an eye on the environment that you game in.
If you live in a hot area (95 degrees or more), you might want to consider turning the AC on when you game, as a hot environment will raise the temperature of your computer before you have even begun.
You should also keep the area around your devices clean and free of dust as much as possible. Your fans suck in air in order to disperse the hot air inside your case, and this means any dust in the air will get sucked into your laptop.
How to Cool Down your Laptop for Gaming?
The best way to cool your laptop down is to close all applications and let it run idle for a few minutes. If you turn your laptop off to cool it down, the fans shut down with it. This means that the hot air inside stays inside, taking longer to cool down.
Putting your laptop on a cooling pad or in the direct flow of a desktop fan are also good ways to initiate a rapid cooldown.
Which Gaming Laptops have the Best Cooling?
Gaming laptops that have a good focus on cooling technology are the best for gaming. Look for things like copper heat syncs and pipes, as well as multiple fans that have been designed specifically for gaming.
Good examples of brands that have excellent cooling technology are Acer and MSI. Their gaming ranges have excellent innovation when it comes to cooling technology.
Keeping your laptop cool can be a challenging task. Space-saving parts emit a lot of heat, and in an enclosed system, this can be hard to disperse.
By following the tips in this article, you should be able to keep your temperatures low enough to ensure you get many years of life from your gaming laptop.
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.