Laptop Cooling Pads - Do they really work?

Discussion in 'SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs' started by wallacengineer, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. wallacengineer

    wallacengineer Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you Google search for the best Laptop Cooling Pad you may instead find yourself surrounded by forums with many users arguing that cooling pads do not make a considerable enough impact to be worth the money while others say they saw considerable performance increase from their cooling pads.

    So what do you guys think? Laptop Cooling Pads - Yay or Nay? Well below are the current arguments out there followed by my personal opinion.

    Many people say that Laptop Cooling Pads are useless because they only lower your Laptop's Temperature 2-3°C during gaming which is not enough to make a difference in performance. They say that these cooling pads are just to elevate the laptop up off or legs and blankets to play while you are in bed.

    Other people; however, say that nicer gaming laptop cooling pads have lowered their temperature as much as 17-20°C while gaming and if you know computers, you know that is an amazing drop in temp and will mean a very substantial increase in performance.

    My personal opinion: Laptop Cooling Pads work, without a doubt, but there are two major issues worth considering: A.) Cooling Pads may work but have their limits. They are NOT liquid cooling systems and cannot drop a laptop's temp by 20°C on their own. B.) It highly depends on the type of cooling pad you buy.

    A Wal-Mart $20-25 cooling pad will only lower a laptop's temperature by 2-3°C and those are the ones meant for laps of lazy people. They only produce 25-40 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) of airflow and are made out of plastic and will break very easily.

    On the other hand, modern high-end GAMING laptop coolers cost anywhere from $40-$65 normally and have innovative features such as fan speed control, better building materials, and even sometimes adjustable fans or direction of airflow. Such cooling pads can reach 70-80 CFM or sometimes even more. Set up one of these monsters correctly and you very well may find a nice 7-10°C drop in temp while gaming. Its not enough to be a world-changer in performance but does make a more-than-noticeable difference.

    My evidence? I am running a Dell Latitude business laptop (only because it was free). It has a 1st-Gen i7 CPU at 2.66GHz (3.33 under Turbo Boost), and 4 GB DDR3 1066 RAM. It, being a business laptop, has NO graphics card, just Intel GMA HD. Running with my Targus $40 twin-fan chillpad, I see a 6°C drop in temperature and a 2-3 FPS on average increase while playing Hawken on HACKED resolution 800x600 and lowest settings (yes this laptop is that terrible at gaming).
     
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads - Laptop Cooling Pads Forum Date
    Inspiron 7568 Laptop Fan Will Not Spin SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs May 29, 2017
    Need a laptop that feels COOL on your lap! SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs Oct 31, 2016
    Assistance Needed on Buying Laptop Cooling Pad SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs Sep 2, 2013
    Laptop Cooling PAds? SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs Jul 22, 2004
    Laptop cooling gel pad SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs Jun 13, 2003

  3. Talaii

    Talaii Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a desk stand with a couple of fans. My gaming laptop seems slightly quieter with the extra fans pointed at the intake vents, but I'm quite willing to admit it could all be in my head.

    I mostly keep it around because it keeps the laptop at a better height/angle to use on the desk, and it has a USB hub built-in. Much easier to plug in the two cables (Displayport + USB) rather than trying to plug almost half a dozen things in manually.
     
  4. fralexandr

    fralexandr Golden Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,758
    Likes Received:
    6
    It probably depends on how the cooling system is setup in the notebook :p
    The notebook cooler may help if the fan is underpowered and can't remove heat from the heatsink fast enough, or if the case is made of a thermally conducive material, like aluminum (this might also be an instance where a cooling pad would help dissipate heat).
     
    #3 fralexandr, Feb 12, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  5. wallacengineer

    wallacengineer Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well the reason I bring this up at all is the fact that I am looking into a gaming laptop soon and want to know if a new cooler will be necessary. My Targus twin-fan is over 3 years old now and is suffering from it's age. It is time to replace it.

    I was thinking either the Cooler Master NotePal X3 or the Cooler Master SF-19. The SF is MUCH more powerful but requires an outlet and from reports, is extremely noisy. The X3 is still a gaming cooler and can push 75 CFM easily but isn't quite as powerful as the 90+ CFM SF.

    The X3 is $45 and the SF is $55. Which do you think would be best?


    Posted from Anandtech.com App for Android
     
  6. GTRagnarok

    GTRagnarok Senior member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Raising the back of the laptop up a little bit is like 90% effective as having a cooling pad. I bought a Cooler Master NotePal U3 for my M17x and it barely made a difference so I just removed the fans and used it as a plain old pad to have the M17x at an angle.
     
  7. wallacengineer

    wallacengineer Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    I tried what Ragnarok said and it seemed to help but not quite as much as having the cooling pad. I think the reason is the constant supply of a high quantity on moving cool air being pushed straight at the laptop's hottest components (CPU, GPU, RAM, HDD), anything mounted on the bottom, of course.


    Posted from Anandtech.com App for Android
     
  8. marcplante

    marcplante Senior member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    1
    The time I needed a laptop pad was when I was bedridden after surgery using a notebook that vented out the bottom. The fan helped, but mostly, the pad provided breathing space for the notebook that was in my lap for work and got VERY hot. my current notebook vents out the back and is not as subject to overheating.
     
  9. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 1999
    Messages:
    22,378
    Likes Received:
    1
    My opinion is that pads help with 2 things.

    1) Keeping bottom vents unobstructed when operating on a soft surface (lap or bed).

    2) Raising the unit so that existing fans can move more air.
     
  10. wallacengineer

    wallacengineer Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well while I agree that they aren't a world-changer, I still say they make a difference that is much more significant than simply lifiting up the rear end of the laptop off the surface a couple inches.

    I have actually tested all three instances (Laptop standard on desk, rear end proped up 2" to allow airflow, and with Targus Twin-Fan chill pad) and using CineBench got average CPU temperatures of:

    Standard Laptop: 91 degrees C

    Laptop propped up: 88 degrees C

    With Targus chill pad: 83 degrees C

    My question is though, will there be a similar drop in temp on a gaming laptop, is this change going to be enough to improve performance on a gaming laptop, and in general for their uses and abilities, are they worth the cost?

    Also, if I do get one I have decided to ditch the Cooler Master models and get the new Thermaltake Massive 23cm ultra edition based on its reviews all saying it is the most effective pad on the market, as well as being at just $34.99 on NewEgg it is less expensive than either Cooler Master. It was tested and dropped a Sony Viao Gaming Laptop with 1st-Gen i7 Processor's temperature down nearly 15 degrees C.
     
    #9 wallacengineer, Feb 14, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  11. fralexandr

    fralexandr Golden Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,758
    Likes Received:
    6
    I have an m11x r1 and while it has a pretty beefy cooling system, it still seemed to throttle on borderlands 1 at some times. Sitting near an open window (obviously only when it's cooler outside), or using a notebook cooler helped (thermaltake mobile fan 12 mounted to a laptop stand).

    Big fans are nice because you don't need to worry if the intake vents on the laptop line up with it :p.

    Most gaming notebooks have pretty extensive heatsink setups, but are still limited in the fan department, so should benefit significantly from a notebook cooler.
     
    #10 fralexandr, Feb 14, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  12. wallacengineer

    wallacengineer Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ya I think I will go ahead and get one just to be sure. $40 after shipping is a small price to pay to keep a $1000-$2000 gaming laptop cool.

    Oh by the way the reason you are seeing such high temps is because while the M11x is indeed a gaming laptop it isn't the best out there, however, it is the best in its size class, allow me to explain...

    You see, normally a gaming laptop ranges from 16 to 18 inches. Because the M11x is just 11 inches, the laptop body can only accommodate an i5 processor and a NVIDIA 650M graphics processor. While this is enough for most games and quite impressive in an 11 inch, it is by far dwarfed by its larger sister systems...

    Standard 16-18" gaming laptops can accommodate the quad-core i7 processor and the NVIDIA 680GTX which is more than twice as powerful as the 650M.

    My advice?: Great Platform, I love the idea of an ultra portable gaming solution, but if u want to keep our system stable, when you see it struggling, turn the graphics down just slightly. Its not like you have to run on low, just don't try to run the most demanding games on ultra, as a 670GTX can barely do that.


    Posted from Anandtech.com App for Android
     
  13. SHIROI RAKUEN

    SHIROI RAKUEN Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    If u're gonna buy a cooling pad for your laptop u might as well buy a desktop PC...
     
  14. wallacengineer

    wallacengineer Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0


    I agree with both of you completely.

    A desktop is always the optimal choice for gaming, but what about for those of us who need portability in a gaming system? For example, why do people buy PSP's, or Nintendo DS's, or even GameBoys?

    First off, a Laptop's cooling power is never ever going to get anywhere near that of a desktop's (This is why cooling pads were even invented). Second, it does largely depend on who you buy your laptop from. I find that some of the best laptop cooling systems are sold in the ASUS Republic of Gamers 17 inch gaming laptop series.

    So far as I can tell, they feature two completely seperate cooling systems on each side of the laptop. The left intake, fan, and exhaust apparently does the CPU, while the right does the GPU. The fans are enormous considering they are in a laptop, and have very impressive RPM rates.

    Having two seperate, deticated cooling systems that powerful means that the ASUS ROG series is going to have just about the best cooling performance you could ever get out of a laptop, in my opinion.
     
    #13 wallacengineer, Feb 20, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2013
  15. coco_F

    coco_F Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    From my experience, a cooling pad really works, on the one hand, it depends on the cooling pad itself, on the other hand, it depends on the user how to use it.

    i use a not famous brand laptop cooling pad, coolcold, not very expensive, but really with high cooling performance, i always using for whole days when playing games on my laptop, it works
     
  16. budbud99_

    budbud99_ Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  17. TeknoBug

    TeknoBug Golden Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Messages:
    1,991
    Likes Received:
    10
    Yes depends on which one you buy, some just don't work at all but I bought a Coolermaster one that actually dropped my laptop's temp by nearely 6C compared to without the pad.
     
  18. sandtrooper

    sandtrooper Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    They are worth the money but .. it is wise to buy the one which was really tested and you can see that they work. For me the winner was Zalman NC 2000. I have dell vostro 1500 and while gaming the added cooling effect is significant also due to steel bottom part of the notebook in my opinion. However the most important thing is it does help a lot. My notebook fan is not running on full speed while gaming and using Zalman NC 2000 :).
    I dont have experience with others, I remember at the time I bought it, it was one of the most expensive but it did work and is still working. Plus - dissasambling and clearing from dust is also simple :)
     
  19. Puffnstuff

    Puffnstuff Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    7,491
    Likes Received:
    1,208
    The truth is that some work better than others so you have to pick the correct one for your application. I've tried them with dual fans near the laptop intakes (works best) and a large single fan in the middle (works poorly for my laptop but great for my router) so YMMV depending on what you get.