No matter how high-end your gaming laptop is, you’d still need the help of a cooling pad whenever the gaming laptops overheat. Gaming laptops go a long way in keeping your gaming laptop’s temperature in check. It is important you get one, which is why we have made this guide to show you the importance of using cooling pads in gaming laptops.
What is a Cooling Pad?
A laptop/notebook cooler, cooling pad, cooler pad, or chill mat is an accessory for laptop computers that helps reduce their operating temperature, which is normally used when the laptop is unable to sufficiently cool itself. Laptop coolers are intended to protect both the laptop from overheating and the user from suffering heat-related discomfort.
A cooling pad may house active or passive cooling methods and rests beneath the laptop. Active coolers move air or liquid to direct heat away from the laptop quickly, while passive methods may rely on thermally conductive materials or increasing passive airflow.
Why You Need Cooling Pads
- Staying Comfortably Cool
As you game on your laptop, it’s going to get warm and/or blow warm air around. That warmth is going to transfer to your body and unless the room you’re in is cold, you’re probably going to feel uncomfortable.
You can change that by elevating the chassis of the laptop even slightly. By elevating the chassis, you’re allowing more air to circulate under and around the laptop, thus allowing the heat to disperse and dissipate.
- Controlling Temperature
It’s going to be hard to cool down a laptop that is already overheated. By using the cooling pad every time you turn your laptop, you have a better chance at maintaining an even temperature so your device doesn’t overheat the longer you use it.
If you’re like many other laptop users, you probably use the laptop in bed or on the couch, with the laptop perched on a pillow, cushion, or blanket. The fabric of these things blocks the airflow that is crucial for keeping the gaming laptop cool. However, if you were to use a laptop cooling pad, you could notice a 13-degree drop! If you think about it, that’s a pretty big difference!
- Boost Performance
We mentioned that these cooling pads aren’t going to be able to perform miracles, but that doesn’t mean they can’t and won’t give your laptop a slight boost – like a 2% improvement in processing speed or a few more frames per second on a computer game.
How Heat Affects Your Laptop’s Performance
In order to understand how heat affects your laptop, it’s important to first understand what components generate heat.
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) and Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) generates heat while it is performing algorithms and processing images. Gaming laptops will generate more heat than your average notebook because they require more GPUs to render those stunning graphics without a drop in frame rate.
Along with the CPU and GPU, your hard disk drive is going to cause your laptop to generate more heat than normal, especially if you’re copying large files like video and audio files.
The optical disc drive can also produce a large amount of heat when playing a DVD or a CD. Not only is heat being generated because it forces the disc to spin, but it also generates heat as it’s using the laser to read the contents of said discs.
How Does Overheating Affect Your Gaming Laptop?
A gaming laptop that overheats is going to damage the components inside the laptop. Before damage can be done, your laptop should shut off. Unfortunately, damage can still occur to certain components:
When the processor overheats, you will notice that it slows down considerably and it isn’t going to work as efficiently. With a properly functioning system, the fans should turn on when the processor starts to overheat.
Most laptops use a lithium-ion battery that is susceptible to heat damage. As the computer gets hotter, the ions in the battery will begin to move faster. That extra heat is going to increase a chemical reaction that is going to affect how long it holds a charge, but the general life of the battery.
By letting your laptop overheat, you could be footing the bill for a new laptop battery – and they aren’t the cheapest thing to buy.
Your motherboard is made of major components that are necessary for your laptop to work, such as the CPU and memory banks. As part of the cooling system, your motherboard will restrict some applications from running like normal. Your motherboard can even instruct some parts of the computer to shut down completely as a way to protect itself from damage.
Sadly, overheating can affect your hard drive. Due to thermal expansion, components in the laptop can expand and warp so that it doesn’t work properly. Just increasing the ambient room temperature to more than 5 degrees could take up to two years off your hard drive’s life expectancy.
You can apply new thermal paste to the heat sink and the processor surface, but unless you are tech-savvy and don’t want to ruin your laptop, we recommend leaving that to the professionals – or at least someone who knows what they’re doing!
How Does A Laptop Cooling Pad Work?
In order to understand how a laptop cooling pad works, it’s important to know that there are four types of cooling pads:
- Active cooling pad
- Passive cooling pad
- Multi-surface cooling pad
- Multi-purpose cooling pad
- Active Cooling Pads
Active Cooling Pads
An active cooling pad uses small fans to create extra airflow around the chassis of the laptop, thus pulling the heat away from the laptop. Depending on the model, there can be as many as 6 fans working to pull the heat away from the laptop and/or blow cool air onto the chassis so that it doesn’t overheat.
These pads are generally powered when you plug the USB cable into the USB port on your laptop. Many of these pads will have a built-in USB hub so that you can still use other USB peripheral devices.
- Passive Cooling Pads
A passive cooling pad doesn’t require any electricity in order to cool your laptop. Instead, the pad will be filled with an organic salt compound that absorbs the heat that’s created while using the laptop and they can provide a limited amount of cooling time, typically for up to 8 hours.
The passive cooling pads are not recommended for laptops with the fan vents located on the bottom because the pad is going to block any airflow. Before going with this type of cooling pad, we recommend checking the bottom of your laptop to make sure there aren’t any air or fan vents.
If you have a choice between an active cooling pad or a passive one, you should always go for the one with fans. The fans work better to keep your laptop cool, whereas the passive cooling pads do not. Also, with a passive pad, you have to be extra careful not to damage the pad because the salt compound could leak out if the pad was damaged.
- Multi-Surface Cooling Pad
A multi-surface cooling pad is going to let air flow between the chassis of the laptop and the cooler itself, but it will also let air flow between the cooler and your lap. These cooling pads are great regardless of what surface you plan to work on, as they can be used on hard surfaces like tables and desks, but also on a soft surface like a bed or a couch.
- Multi-Purpose Cooling Pad
There have been advancements in cooling pad technology and there are more pads available that can do other functions. For example, there are some cooling pads that have card readers for key drives or memory cards. Some cooling pads will function like a small workstation where you can take notes with pen and paper.
Advantages Of Cooling Pads
Playing games can cause overheating, as earlier stated. People use laptops in beds, on their laps, or by putting a pillow below the laptops. So, they block the airflow without realizing it. This is where laptop cooling pads are necessary.
A laptop that is a bit older and is prone to overheat is more likely to shut down or reboot when under pressure. It may also feel too hot to touch. Here, a laptop cooling pad will make wonders and make the laptop work a bit more than usual.
Another benefit is that the laptop cooling pads with adjustable heights can improve your posture and comfort. You can raise the laptop screen and adjust the viewing angle which will provide you ergonomic comfort.
A laptop cooling pad may also be needed when the under-powered system of a laptop is pushed to its limits. If a Pentium-powered laptop can run a very big game, that doesn’t mean the game was built to work well for all systems. In this kind of circumstances, the cooling pad keeps things a bit cooler.
Gamers are big fans of spending most of their time on laptops or desktop computers but luckily, desktop computers come with pre-installed fans. Playing games like Assasin’s Creed, Tomb Raider and Grand Theft Auto 5 for a very long period of time cause an extra burden on the laptop. So, this is where you also need a laptop cooling pad.
If You’re Willing To Buy a Cooling Pad
By reading the article, you may have thought of buying a cooling pad for your laptop. If the answer is YES, then keep some factors in mind before buying a laptop cooling pad which is discussed below.
- A number of fans: The number of fans matters a lot while buying the cooling pad as laptops vary in size, their needs also vary.
- Size of fans: The size of fans is also an important factor because they may be one big fan of more power than three small fans working together.
- Fan Speed: Fan speeds should be considered an important factor because the more the speed of the fan, the greater the airflow.
The importance of using cooling pads on your gaming laptop can not be overemphasized. Hence it is important you get one for your gaming laptop. After reading through the above review, you should not make any mistakes in selecting a good cooling pad.