All devices with active cooling (a fan for example) will eventually build up dust inside, this is simply due to the circulation of air and dust being contained in the air. So why is this such a problem for electronic devices?
Causes of Laptop Overheating
All devices suffer from the same problem, including desktop PC’s but it’s more common in laptops as the space for the air to circulate is so confined. Often, when we disassemble a laptop with overheating issues we will find similar to this:
So, why does this pose a problem? Well, the cpu, chipset and sometimes if installed, dedicated GPU will nearly always all depend on the same fan in a laptop, to save space. This is a lot of heat to try to dissipate from such a small fan. The dust clogged in the “heatsink” you can see in the above photo prevents air circulation at all, the heat then builds up in the laptop.
Why is laptop overheating a problem?
Overheating and dust accumulation in all electronic devices are major concerns and they drastically reduce the lifespan of your product. If the fan circulation is so low that it cannot exhaust the heat effectively, it builds up within the laptop. When the chips inside the device reach a certain temperature, something called “throttling” occurs. This basically means that the laptop knows it is too hot and will now reduce it’s speed in order to attempt to reduce heat – yes, overheating can cause a slow machine!
Okay, so things will be a bit slower, is that it? No. If the laptop cannot cool down and continues to reach higher temperatures it will have a thermal cut off in order to protect the components within. This will result in anything you are doing or any unsaved work being lost, it is also a major cause of hard drive corruption. Still not a major problem? Read below.
Why does laptop overheating reduce lifespan of the product?
Most chips on the motherboard are attached using something called solder, this only has a finite lifespan and nowadays isn’t very flexible due to lead being removed from the solder. The hotter a laptop gets, the more things expand – naturally they then contract when cooled down. This expansion and contraction can cause cracked and brittle solder joints, resulting in a major motherboard issue which can render the laptop beyond repair.
So what can I do about it?
We can service your machine, whether it’s a laptop, desktop pc, business server or a games console – it is very important this problem is avoided and being proactive will save you money in future. We disassemble the device, giving it a thorough clean – we then replace the thermal compound which allows for the conduction of heat from the main processors to the fan area. Costs are normally around £30-£40 dependent on the device and usually will be done in the same day – so why risk rendering the laptop useless?