Why Is My Gaming Laptop So Hot? How To Prevent Overheating?

Gaming laptops are different from standard or business laptops in a way they come with a more powerful processor, high-end graphics card, and higher-speed ram.

Gaming laptops have upgraded hardware because they are supposed to run heavy graphics games, but sometimes or most of the time gaming laptops get hot which affects their performance and ruins the gaming experience.

It raises the user’s concern about how come to spend big bucks on a machine that gets too hot and it starts game lagging.

When gaming laptops run all the latest games on high graphics settings without compromising FPS (Frame Per Second), it puts a load on the graphic card and processor to carry out billions of cycles per second, as it mentions 3.0 GHz clock speed.

Once the processor is under pressure produces a lot of heat along with other hardware such as RAM, Graphic Card, and SSD, since they are all installed within the tight space which causes the gaming laptop to build up the heat and eventually it gets hot.

The same thing happens with the gaming laptop when doing any other hardware-intensive tasks such as video editing or game development which consumes almost a hundred percent of processor power.

Overheating should be a concern for users because it either depreciates the hardware life or it may be a sign of premature hardware failure already.

Possible Reasons May Cause Gaming Laptop To Overheat

It is important to know the following possible reasons to prevent overheating issues.

  1. There are always unused programs running in the background which consume the processor power for nothing productive, clean out all those unwanted files to reduce stress on the CPU.
  2. The temperature is already high in your room which fails the gaming laptop’s cooling mechanism to prevent overheating.
  3. Your computer’s thermal paste has failed to provide a cooling solution.
  4. There is poor configuration and setup of the cooling fan inside the machine which limits its spinning speed.
  5. Your laptop’s cooling fan needs to be replaced which fails to cool down the gaming laptop and it’s running hot.
  6. The air vents of your gaming laptop are blocked by any object placed next to it, remove that object.
  7. Keep the air vents clean from the dust which also blocks them and causes laptop overheating when gaming.
  8. If you place a laptop on a bed or uneven surface like a pillow, it will block the airflow. So you should get a laptop bed stand which keeps air vents open.
  9. Your GPU or CPU has been overclocked for a long time, you might be playing too heavy games for your laptop.

What Should Be the Optimal Temperature of Laptop During Gaming and Heavy Usage?

On the idle, GPU optimal temperature should be in between 35 °C to 55 °C. As far as its heavy usage is concerned means gaming and video editing, it should not be higher than 80°C which otherwise damages the GPU.

The same range of temperature applies for processor on idle and heavy usage respectively. A continuous rise in temperature and buildup of heat is very damaging for both GPU and CPU.

Gaming laptops are designed as automatically shuts down the system if its temperature has reached at a point which can permanently damage the graphic card, processor and other components soldered onto the motherboard.

There are online free software available which helps you in monitoring the temperature for your processor and graphic card, its names are MSI Afterburner and HW Monitor.

What Happens When Gaming Laptop Starts Overheating?

There are certain signs which tell the user that your gaming laptop has started overheating and this issue needs to come to the user’s notice. Overheating signs and symptoms are discussed in the following.

  1. Your laptop suddenly shutdown for no any apparent reason. This is a standard safety mechanism to prevent hardware failure.
  2. The cooling fans inside gaming laptop become loud and starts running faster, because fans needs to be more powerful to maintain normal temp.
  3. Game you play starts lagging is a sign of laptop overheating; you might be playing a game which system requirements are higher than what you have.
  4. The touchpad area will be very hot and player would not be able to use it to play the game. (The components heat has been transferred to touchpad area)
  5. You get a pop-up message which shows the warning sign indicating abnormally high temperature of CPU/GPU.

What Measures Should Be Taken To Prevent Laptop From Overheating?

We can definitely take certain measures and perform actions to prevent our gaming laptop from overheating, as discussed in the following.

1. End Task the Unnecessary Programs Running In Background

On starting the operating system(Windows, Mac, Linux), it automatically starts running certain programs even if you never opened them.

Furthermore, there are also other programs running which you launched earlier but not using currently. All these unproductive programs need to be End Task from the Task Manager.  

These unused programs are consuming the ram and processor both for no good and putting stress on the hardware which makes the system inefficient.

You can use combination of keys “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” to open task manager and then select all unused programs running in background to perform End Task function.

In the above photo, it shows the tab “Startup” which lists the all software which the system automatically starts running on the Windows/Linux/Mac startup, you can disable them by performing the right-click and then clicking on Disable option.

2. Reapply Thermal Paste On CPU and GPU?  

Thermal paste is a substance made of chemicals applied on a processor before installing a CPU cooler. It provides the highly scientific solution as helps in transferring the heat from the processor to the CPU cooler which absorbs all heat produced by CPU because water absorbs heat faster than air.

Thermal paste loses its effectiveness over the time and lasts up to 7 years after installation. However, manufactures recommends the removal of thermal paste or replace with the new one every 2-3 years to be on the safe side.

As far as liquid metal is concerned as an option, there are high risks involved during its application. Liquid metal is only recommended to those who really know how to apply it while making sure it does not come into contacts with other components.

Liquid metal is more effective in keeping the CPU cooler and prevent overheating as compared to thermal paste, but it is also more expensive.

3. Set the Fans Minimum Speed in BIOS To Prevent Overheating

Laptop fans have to be running faster while loading the heavy graphics, but when it does not spin faster causes the laptop to get overheated. Then, its settings need to be checked in BIOS which needs to be changed to fix the issue.

You can access on BIOS by pressing any Function Key – typically F2 to go to its settings.

Once you have entered the BIOS settings, go to the advanced settings and then further move to hardware settings. Here, you need to be looking for an option which allows configuration settings of the fan and can also set the fans minimum speed.

If you are still unable to adjust fan speed by using the BIOS, then there is software available to perform same function, try SpeedFan software. However, this software requires advanced technical skills and probably you have to learn it from the online tutorial videos available on YouTube.

4. Clean Your Gaming Laptop Once A Month

Gaming laptop requires care and proper maintenance to offer best performance. Gaming laptops runs heavy graphic games which makes CPU and GPU run at their maximum clock speed. During this operation, they produce and release lots of heat which needs to flow out.

If user fails in keep the air vents cleaned from small dust particles will result as blocking of heat to flow out and it will remain inside to damage the all components.

5. Buy the New Cooling Fan

The average life of computer fan is listed between 35,000 hours to 50,000 hours which can be translated as 4 to 6 years if fan runs non-stop.

If you have a fan inside which is quite old and have already been used for number of hours as mentioned earlier then it needs to be replaced which surely causing your laptop to get overheated. 

6. Do not Use Laptop On Bed or an Uneven Object

Gaming laptops have their air vents on sides and bottom of the body, if using it on bed which blocks its vents and prevent the machine to flowing out heat from inside.

You should be using a laptop on hard and flat surfaces; also make sure putting it on something which does not cover its from bottom where it has air vents to keep the laptop cool and its internal components.

If you still cannot find a hard and flat object which improves air circulations inside and outside the laptop, then must buy a laptop cooling pad which is specifically designed for the same function.

7. Disable the Overclocking and Enable Underclocking For Your Laptop’s CPU and GPU

Overclocking is a technique applied by user to increase its clock speed in desire to run and play those heavy graphic games which requires otherwise CPU and GPU does not meet.

If you have enabled the overclocking for your CPU and GPU, both hardware will be producing extra amount of heat and without extraordinary cooling mechanism will definitely get your laptop extremely overheated within short time period.

Either makes other arrangements to keep laptop temperature cooler or set back the CPU and GPU into its original settings and make them run at the clock speed designed by manufacturer.

You need to transfer your data stored in internal storage to external storage as a backup, you might lose the important files during the process.

8. Lower Your Graphics Settings To Decrease GPU Usage

When a player runs the game at High / Ultra graphics then it requires the processor and gpu to run faster in order to render heavy graphic three-dimensional images with all realistic details such as more natural looking shadows and sunlight.

A little compromise by lowering graphics settings can help you in preventing the laptop from being overheated and can smoothly enjoy gaming experience without lagging. Low game settings requires less usage of GPU and in result produces less heat which does not build up inside the laptop.

Gamers often believe that lighting and shadows looks more realistic in ultra settings comparing to low settings, but during game play this is not noticeable.

9. Maintain the Room Temperature at Normal Level

Hot environment is extremely bad for any electronic product including game and it affects the performance especially during the summer.

Temperature must not be higher than 35°C in a room where playing games on laptop; otherwise an extreme temperature will also build up the heat along with produced by its own components.

You can keep the room temperature cooler by using the Air-conditioner and sets the thermostat between 18°C to 25°C to avoid laptop overheating issue.

Furthermore, top floor room is usually hotter because it is affected by direct sunlight and not an ideal place for a gamer. They cannot survive without an efficient cooling system in a room.

10. Use the Warranty If Having Overheating Issues Again and Again     

You may have received a faulty unit which cooling system was not properly designed and it needs to be replaced with the new one. This is very common with gaming laptops as its manufacturing quite complicated as requires several powerful components together within the small space.

All big brands with a good reputation are willing to refund your payment or get you the same new laptop. They expect that 2% to 3% laptops of in total production can be faulty ones and accept the claim to take it back.

It is advised to read the all reviews and see the rating before going to buy that laptop. Reviews and ratings definitely help in making a better choice.

Conclusion

A gaming laptop needs high maintenance in order to enjoy heavy graphic games without lagging. It requires the user to keep the machine clean and remove dust particles from its air vents, reapply thermal paste and buy a new cooling fan after every few months; a gaming laptop would not be a one-time investment to play games.

Secondly, it also requires the user to pay some cautions when playing the games on the laptop such as do not use it on the bed and rather putting the laptop on hard or flat surfaces or turn off the GPU overclocking when having overheating issues.