On average mobile computers are on eight hours per day and
run like new for about three to five years. Within five year
many mobile laptops out date themselves in hardware and especially
software. Because of their limited size any heat generated with
in the computer is potentially lethal. To cool mobile computers
tiny fans are used within to cool them. However, we know that
the cpu graphic board give off a lot of heat and in a mobile
computer fans are sometimes replaced by using a heat sink. Even
when fans are used their size will not cool adequately. Depending
on the computers' design heat will decrease the life of the unit.
Not all computers are equal.
How Laptops Are Cooled
1. Some mobile computers have at least two fans venting
towards the bottom sometimes. If the computer is placed on a
table this type of venting system is limited by the height space
under the computer. Venting from the bottom is limited by the
height of the feet used to raise the computer off the surface.
Place it on your lap if you dare and you might block a vent or
2. Some mobile computer use fans
that vent from the side of the unit. Side venting is less likely
to be obstructed or blocked.
3. Some fans vent through speaker
grills, on top a long side the key board.
Most mobile computers heat up from the bottom area closest
towards the LCD screen where the CPU is normally found. The faster
the speend of the CPU is or how hard it is working to let you
play your favorite game. The hotter the CPU will present its
self. The hotter the computers components are in side, the shorter
the life of the mobile computer will be.
It was not until I bought a G4 PowerBook from an Apple reseller,
did I learn how hot laptops get. Included with Apples operating
Tiger (10.4) was a software program called a widget. Widgets
are independent programs which do simple tasks. Much like a clock
which tells current time. The widget that cames free with Tiger
are little programs which run independant from the operating
system. One of many free widgets shows you internal heat in Celsius
or Fahrenheit. After seeing how hot the G4 got, I went out and
bought an infrared temperature reader to verify what I was reading
from the widget. I took readings from the top alumin side near
the back closes to the monitor. Sure enough and darn close to
the wedgit reading confirmed how hot this computer really got
using amost any software.
At the time of purchase the Apples PowerBook G4 was running
Apples Panther (10.3) operating software. Two fans helped to
cool the internal parts. These two fans are controlled by a sensor
which occasionally ran the two fans. In Apples Tiger (10.4) operating
system the two fans were on almost always. During monitoring
in Tiger, fans came on when temperatures reached 150 degrees
Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celsius. Confirmed by the infrared reader.
Why are mobile computers called lap tops? Laptops get hot
enough to seriously burn skin if left on your lap to long. More
and more mobile computers are not using the term laptops because
of the intense heat. Manufactures may include with their specs
what operating range the cpu works best at. Manufactures know
that the computer will be running much hotter. Many mobile computers
use tiny fans which can not keep up with demands to cool the
computer with in the range given. Manufactures agree on an average
guide to follow is that the computer should not exceed 60 % over
the temperature range or exceed 60 to 65 Celsius that is about
150 Fahrenheit degrees. When computers get extremely hot they
can function different from the normal. Sensors with in the computer
will shut the CPU down. If sensors fail the extreme heat inside
of the computer can cause a fire. After learning about how hot
mobile computers can get I looked around for ways to cool the
ones I have.
I tested four products that can be used with any mobile computer.
Most products claim to be able to drop temperatures by a few
degrees. At most computer cooling devices slow down the steady
climb of heat. Some coolers helped enough to cause computer fan
not to go on as often. There are other products that I was unable
to find during this review and may add at a later date.
Two of these products can be bought at most computer stores.
The next two are of my own design. I used a infrared reader by
FlashPoint to measure how hot the plastic unit got and how hot
the cpu got with and with out some form of cooling device.