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How well do external cooling solutions work for laptops?

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How well does a laptop cooling pad work? - Candid.Technology

Ever wondered if your laptop is getting too hot? Or perhaps it just starts fine but after sometime lags a lot? Laptops are compact machines. A bunch of components neatly tucked away in a small and light chassis. But all those components generate heat, which is a big problem.

Too much heat means that eventually, these components will start slowing down. To fix this, most laptops are equipped with fans and various cooling solutions — the more powerful the laptop, the more aggressive cooling systems it has.

The thermal cooling paste on top of several components (CPU, GPU) also plays an integral part in the cooling process. As a laptop gets older, eventually this paste will need to be reapplied.

However, a large number of average consumers seem to either ignore this or are completely unaware of this. As the machine ages, it starts developing overheating issues.

These issues can cause a lot of problems. BSODs (Blue Screen of Death), internal component damage, you might end up melting your laptop.

Also read: Why you should DIY (Do It Yourself): 5 reasons why DIY is cool

The easy solution: External cooling devices

Now unless you want your laptop to serve as an induction cooktop alternative, you might want a solution for this problem.

Most people ask around for advice and usually, end up buying a cheap plastic laptop stand cum cooling pads that claim to bring the temperatures down.

Now I’ve had a love and hate relationship with these cooling pads. Yes, they work well as stands, but don’t expect them to solve your overheating problems.

To break the common myth, no, cooling pads won’t fix your overheating problems. At most, they might help bring the temperatures down by one or two degrees, that’s it.

Now depending on your machine, that can theoretically fix your problem, but only temporarily. Once your computer starts degrading more, a cooling pad won’t be of much help.

The correct solution

How well does a laptop cooling pad work? - Candid.Technology

The right thing to do here is to re-apply the thermal paste and clean the laptop air-vents out. These fan vents get clogged up by dust over time, and that elevates the problem.

Unless you’re a pro, we suggest leaving the thermal paste part to an authorised technician; they’ll also clean the air vents for you.

You can clear the air vents yourself as well by using a can of compressed air.

This will in maximum cases breathe new life into your machine. As the overheating problem resolves, so will a bunch of other issues.

For more information on how laptops overheat, check out this article: How hot is too hot for a PC to handle?

Also read: DSLR Maintenance 101: How to clean your camera sensor and lenses


Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: