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There comes a time when we’re all desperate to get some sort of cooler for our laptops, and I admit, I was one of them. A few years has passed since then, and machines have become more efficient than they have ever been. Are laptop coolers still relevant – especially during gaming?
There is no clear answer though, but for me, I have my trusty Lenovo Y580 still alive and kicking strong for 3 years already (talk about how time flies!) and it’s no exception that the laptop is really kicking some heat – about 90°C while doing some slightly intensive tasks. Heat is particularly easy to build up in laptops, and heat is also one of the killers of electronics too.
Thus begins my task in searching for a brand new laptop cooler, since the one that I have was rather inexplicably bulky, and totally ineffective. At that time of searching, I was ordering stuff from Taobao, and I thought to myself – hey, let’s have a look at what China has to offer instead. I found this cooler.
It looked like some random laptop cooler with some random model number slapped onto it, placed on an online store page for people to buy it and finally calling it a day. The truth however, is a lot different. This particular design of laptop cooler is actually very well-known (and also well-copied) throughout the Chinese market. Since I’m a banana myself, I just the cheapest of these “exhaust type radiator”, just for lolz.
About a month after that, the cooler reached my doorstep and I found that the cooler is made out of some cheap plastic. The cooler itself is relatively bulky – about the length of my ASUS ZenFone 2, and definitely about 3 times thicker. However, this is still a lot easier to carry around as compared to something like the Cooler Master Notepal U2 for example.
That aside, this Chinese laptop cooler is actually rather cheaply made, with a complete plastic body, some rubber feet around the corner and even on the slider piece, a random circular brushed aluminium sticker around the power jack, and the shameless name called “COOLER” on the top of it.
Those rubber pieces included in the box itself actually helps to create a better seal on the cooler itself and on the vents of any laptops. These Chinese dudes aren’t playing around, and thus the cooler comes with a total of 4 different types of rubber pieces – so you can pretty much try which of these piece can create the best seal with your laptop.
Once I found the best seal for my Lenovo Y580, I pulled out the slider feet and placed it under my laptop, then positioned everything nicely and connected the power into the cooler itself. First thing I realized – this thing is inexplicably loud!! There are no fan speed controls on the cooler itself – not even a simple rheostat to change the resistance of the live wire and decrease the voltage to decrease the RPM. It runs in a total of 2 speeds – on or off. No in-between speeds at all.
Enough about the cooler though – let’s see the performance of this cooler. I did these tests at the same time when I was cleaning the internals of my laptop, so here’s a very nice comparison of how much the fan helped before and after the cleansing of my Lenovo Y580’s internals.
First off, let’s start off with a baseline. The temperatures I got in idle before cleaning up all the dust gunk (as seen here, it’s gross – don’t say I didn’t warn you!) were pretty intense – easily clocking in at 90°C when Dota 2 is running. Once I placed the cooler in and let it stabilize after about 10 minutes or so, the temperature dropped a massive 6°C on average for both the CPU and GPU – resulting in my CPU temperature at about 85°C, whereas my GPU dropped from 93°C to 88°C. To be honest, it’s not too bad.
Once I got all these data, it’s time to clean the dust inside once and for all. Goodbye forever to all the dust that has been accumulating in my laptop through the many months, and through thick and thin.
Naaaaah, screw the dust. As a matter of fact, never come back!
Reassembled everything, and retried my test again – by comparing both temperatures with and without the cooler. And there it was, the biggest temperature drop ever. However once I placed the cooler at the vents, the temperature difference was rather spine-chilling.
Seriously? There were literally zero changes? At most, there’s a single degree Celsius changed. Nothing else changed for that matter – although my SSD and hard disk temperature did rise, but that’s totally unrelated since all these are from the other side.
The question is – do I really need a laptop cooler at this time and age? The answer is a very strong no – since a little elevation from the laptop’s vents from the surface that’s it’s going to sit on really does make a difference, particularly for comfort and ergonomics. However if your gaming laptop is running really hot at about 90°C all the time while gaming, clean up the your laptop’s guts. We even shared our adventure while cleaning my personal unit of the Lenovo Y580. If that fails, pick yourself a laptop cooler. Albeit in any cases, the temperatures should be kept at as nearest to room temperature as possible.
This laptop cooler really cheap as well, pricing in at just 15.90 Yuan, which was about RM10.60 (excluding shipping) when I got it at that time. This cooler isn’t available for sale at that price anymore though, but the cheapest one that I found is at a relatively high price, but has a certain extra feature, like the fan control (you’re gonna need it).
In conclusion, the cooler does work, but seems like only for certain specific conditions. It wouldn’t hurt to have some extra airflow for your laptop, but the noise it produces is like a mini airplane forever taking off from your desk.
However the case may be, just remember to stay frosty!
Got a new laptop. Great – if you’re lucky, the laptop survives for years to come, maybe 2 years or more. Here’s the real kicker though, as the laptop ages, we get the illusion the machine slowing down. Assuming that there are no hardware failures at all, that’s not caused by age!! It’s actually is due to two main things – super-bloated operating system, or the system is thermal throttled due to dust clogging up. Here’s how to fix your problems!Read More
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