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0800 FIX NOW 
(0800 349 669) 
160b Selwyn St, Christchurch

Overheating Laptops

Overheating Laptops

The Sizzling Reality of Causes, Consequences, and Solutions


In our fast-paced digital age, laptops have become an indispensable tool for work, entertainment, and communication. However, as laptops continue to evolve in terms of power and performance, one persistent issue haunts users worldwide: overheating. As laptops get smaller and smaller, the laws of physics do not change and heat must be dissipated through smaller and smaller heat sinks. This silent menace not only threatens the longevity of your device but also poses potential health hazards and productivity setbacks. In this comprehensive blog, we will delve deep into the world of overheating laptops, exploring the causes, consequences, and effective solutions to keep your device running cool and efficient.

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laptoptop chch overheating

Chapter 1: Unveiling the Culprits

Overheating laptops don't discriminate; they affect users across all brands and models. Whether you have a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Acer or Asus Microsoft Windows laptop the results of overheating can be expensive. Understanding the culprits behind this issue is the first step in combating it effectively:

1.1. Dust and Debris

One of the most common causes of laptop overheating is dust and debris accumulation in the cooling system. Over time, fans and vents get clogged, obstructing airflow and causing the temperature to soar. This is normal and a part of usage of all computers but more so in dusty environments. Even a clean house will add dust to your laptop’s fan and cooling system.

1.2. Intensive Tasks and Multitasking

Running resource-intensive software, playing graphics-heavy games, or juggling multiple applications simultaneously can push your laptop's CPU and GPU to their limits, generating excessive heat. The more the CPU is used the more power is used, the more heat is generated.

1.3. Poor Ventilation

Laptops, by design, are compact and portable, but this comes at a price – limited space for effective ventilation. Blocking or obstructing the airflow paths can easily lead to overheating. This is especially true for laptops that do not have fans but only heat sinks such as MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

1.4. Age and Wear and Tear

As laptops age, their thermal paste, heat sinks, and other cooling components can deteriorate, reducing their efficiency in dissipating heat.
The thermal paste is the connection between the cooling fan & heat sink and the CPU is vital in an efficient transfer of heat. This tends to dry out over time, and this dryness causes the heat not to transfer well.
Fans tends to get slower overtime as the ball bearings wear out and this lowers the cooling ability of the laptop.

Chapter 2: The Hot Consequences

The consequences of laptop overheating extend beyond a simple inconvenience. Understanding these repercussions can emphasize the importance of addressing the issue:

2.1. Reduced Performance

When a laptop overheats, it often resorts to throttling, which means the computer reduces CPU and GPU performance to allow it time to cool down. This can result in sluggishness and poor multitasking.

2.2. System Crashes and Data Loss

Excessive heat can lead to system instability, causing sudden crashes and Blue Screen of Death scenarios. In extreme cases, data loss may occur if overheating damages your storage device (though not common)

2.3. Shortened Lifespan

Consistent overheating accelerates wear and tear on your laptop's internal components, potentially leading to a shorter lifespan. This is a major issue and the primary concern for laptop owners.

laptop cooling Christchurch

Chapter 3: Tackling Overheating Head-On

Now that we've explored the causes and consequences, it's time to look at what practical solutions you can do to prevent or mitigate laptop overheating:

3.1. Cleaning and Maintenance

Regularly clean your laptop's vents and fans to remove dust and debris. Consider using compressed air to blow out stubborn particles. You can buy cans of air at your local hardware store (or from our workshop) to do this. Always keep a can handle. This cleaning should be done about once a month, depending on your environment.

3.2. Cooling Pads

If you are having trouble with your laptop overheating you could consider investing in a good-quality cooling pad with built-in fans to enhance airflow around your laptop, keeping it cooler during heavy usage. These are available at stores such as www.pbtech.co.nz

3.3. Monitor Temperature

Install software that can monitor your laptop's temperature in real-time. This way, you can take action before it reaches critical levels. If you want this options please call us as there are a variety of different software options available depending on your what computer you have.

3.4. Optimize Software

Close unnecessary background applications, reduce screen brightness, and use power-saving modes when performing less demanding tasks. If you don’t need it, close it down!

3.5. Repasting and Upgrading

If you're comfortable disassembling your laptop, consider repasting the CPU and GPU with high-quality thermal paste. Upgrading to a more efficient cooling solution or adding more RAM can also help.
WARNING: Be aware that this is a very difficult process in most cases and if done wrong will destroy your laptop.

Chapter 4: Prevention is Key

Preventing laptop overheating is far more efficient than dealing with the aftermath. Here are some preventative measures:

4.1. Choose Wisely

When buying a laptop, consider its cooling system and thermal design. Gaming laptops and workstations often have more robust cooling solutions. We recommend Acer Travelmate and several series of Asus.

4.2. Use Proper Surfaces

Avoid placing your laptop on soft surfaces like beds or sofas, as they can block ventilation. Opt for hard, flat surfaces like a desk or laptop stand.

4.3. External Cooling Solutions

For heavy users and gamers, investing in an external GPU (eGPU) or a desktop computer may be a more suitable long-term solution. Desktop computers have a vast array of cooling solutions that are much more efficient than anything a laptop can do with it’s limited size.


Overheating laptops are a persistent challenge, but armed with knowledge and the right strategies, you can keep your device running cool and efficient. Regular maintenance, software optimization, and preventive measures are your allies in the battle against laptop overheating. Remember, a cooler laptop not only enhances performance but also extends its lifespan, ensuring that your trusty companion stays with you for years to come.

If you need help with your laptop’s cooling system or any matters, please call.

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