Home » Do Cooling Pads Work For Laptops and Are They Worth It?

Do Cooling Pads Work For Laptops and Are They Worth It?

Do cooling pads work for laptops

Do cooling pads work for laptops? Well, they must work if millions are sold each and every year. And that number has risen since lockdown due to many more people working from home.

To get a definitive answer, I would need to buy a decent laptop cooling pad and put it through its paces. And see just how well a cooling pad works with a laptop.

And that is, exactly what I did.

In this post, you will find a detailed answer to the question, do cooling pads work for laptops? In addition, I will explain how I tested my cooling pad. And, give you my honest opinion if laptop cooling pads are worth it and should you add one to your gaming accessories.

Not only that, you will find answers to other related laptop cooling pad questions, with additional tips on how to keep your laptop cool.


Contents of the page: 


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What we used for the test

On this page, you will find the results of our testing. We only tested the temperatures differences of the components. First without the cooling pad and then with the cooling pad.

The cooling pad worked on my HP Omen laptop
The HP Omen 15 gaming laptop with an RTX 2060 graphics card paired with an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H mobile processor.
A Cooling will help to raise your laptop for better airflow
The MV Power Cooling Pad we tested to see if they work with laptops
I tested the MV Power laptop cooling pad to answer the question. Do cooling pads really work with laptops?
The MV Cooling Pad has five adjustable heights
Side View of the MV Power Laptop Cooling Pad

We tested the MV Power Laptop Cooling Pad to work with Laptops?

To help me understand if laptop cooling pads really work. I decided to browse Amazon, and after sifting through the over 8000 results, I decided on the MV Power laptop cooler below.

Ok, it may not be the thinnest or the lightest laptop cooling pad. But it looks good, and it has an adjustable height you can position to five different levels.

Ideal for me because I use my laptop for work and gaming. Additionally, the MV Power laptop cooler also comes with two USB ports, which is a nice bonus.

Also, the price was another deciding factor because the price of the MV power cooler is somewhere in between the most expensive and the least.

havit Cooling Pad 12'-17' Laptop Cooler with 3 Ultra Quiet Fans, Ergonomic Comfort Notebook Cooler with 2 USB Ports, HV-F2056
24,825 Reviews
havit Cooling Pad 12"-17" Laptop Cooler with 3 Ultra Quiet Fans, Ergonomic Comfort Notebook Cooler with 2 USB Ports, HV-F2056
  • Ultra-Portable: Slim, portable, and light weight allowing you to protect your investment wherever you go.
  • Ergonomic Comfort: Doubles as an ergonomic stand with two adjustable height settings.
  • Superior Cooling, Whisper Quiet: Three large 110mm fans provide optimal air flow at barely audible levels.
  • Optimized for Laptop Carrying: The high-quality multi-directional metal mesh provides your laptop with a wear-resisting and stable laptop carrying surface.
  • Extra USB Ports: Extra USB port and power switch(LED light and fans control) design. Built-in dual-USB hub allows for connecting more USB devices.

Last update on 2021-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Do Cooling Pads Work for Laptops: How we tested?

We used the HP Omen gaming laptop to test to see if the MV power cooling pad really works.

The HP laptop is a good choice for several reasons, and the first, the laptop has large ventilation grilles across the base.

Therefore, the laptop should benefit from the fans hitting directly onto the hardware. Unlike, other laptop designs with a solid base.

Secondly, the HP Omen pairs a powerful AMD 4000 series Ryzen CPU with an NVIDIA RTX 2060 graphics card and paired together, they will generate heat.

As expected, the laptop does run hot in gaming scenarios.

That said, the improvements to the latest gaming laptops are huge, with the majority now having excellent cooling systems and the Omen is no different.

The cooling system is so good I have been able to keep my operating temperatures down through thick and thin. Amazingly, way below the 105°C max temps allowed for the Ryzen 4800H CPU and the 80 °C for the NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU.

The laptops 3-sided venting and 5-way airflow cooling system helps and I have never had to think about buying a cooler for my laptop.

Having said that, I would always be up for accepting a helping hand to improve the cooling further, and if a cooling pad can do that, then so be it.

What Did We Do?

To answer the question, do cooling pads work for laptops? We carried out the following tests.

For the first test, I ran Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro video editing software. And, this included creating an image using dark colours and editing video clips.

In the second test, I played my favourite fast-action first-person shooter, Battle Royale game, Call of Duty Warzone and the game time was 20 minutes.

Each test was done without using the cooling pad and then again with the MV Power Laptop cooling pad placed under my laptop and turned on to full power.

What We Used To Monitor The Hardware Temperatures

The software I used to monitor the hardware temperatures was Speccy which is a decent system information tool that will provide technical details about your processor, motherboard, graphics card, and RAM.

And the tool dives deep into your PC or laptop and offers you real-time temperatures of your components. Speccy is a great FREE tool and will work with any Windows PC or laptop.

If you are serious about taking good care of your laptop, then you should try Speccy. After all, it’s FREE so what have you got to lose?


Idle Temps Used For All Tests to See if Cooling Pads Work on Laptops

Please Note: My laptop fans were also running during the tests. But they were set to run on the same settings for all tests and the idle temperatures were also the same.

Idle Temps: CPU 32 °C and GPU 30 °C.

Idle CPU GPU Temps Test 1 to see if coolings pads work with laptops

Test 1 to check if cooling pads work on laptops: Graphics Editing

After achieving the temperatures mentioned above, I then waited 5 minutes for my system to settle.

Then, I ran Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro, and at the same time, I had my browser and my email client running.

Below are the results after 20 minutes, first without the cooling pad and then with the cooling pad.

Test 1: Results after 20 mins without the Cooling Pad

CPU GPU Temps After Test 1 NO Cooling Pad

Test 1: Results after 20 mins with the Cooling Pad

CPU GPU Temps After Test 1 to see if the cooling pads worked on a laptop

Test 2: Gaming Scenario

Again, using my laptop’s internal fan system, I ensured the CPU temperature was 30 °C, and my GPU was 32 °C. 

After achieving these temperatures, I waited 5 minutes for my system to settle. Then proceeded to run Call of Duty Warzone using the Battle.net game installer and the Speccy software.

Here are the results after 20 minutes of gameplay.

Test 2: Results after 20 mins without the Cooling Pad

CPU GPU Temps Test 2 no cooling pad

Test 2: Results after 20 mins with the Cooling Pad

CPU GPU Temps Test with cooling pad

Conclusion: Do Cooling Pads Work for Laptops?

TEST 1 EVERYDAY TASKSAverage CPU TemperatureAverage GPU Temperature
NO COOLING PAD49 °C45 °C
WITH COOLING PAD44 °C40 °C

TEST 2 GAMINGAverage CPU TemperatureAverage GPU Temperature
NO COOLING PAD51 °C47 °C
WITH COOLING PAD50 °C47 °C

As you can see from the results above, there are positive differences in the hardware temperatures when using a laptop cooling pad.

From the first test, the CPU and the GPU temperatures improved by +5 °C. Whereas, the gaming tests were slightly different.

There were only minor differences. A +1 °C difference in the CPU temperature when using the cooling pad and the GPU temperatures were identical. 

The main point to take is that cooling pads do work with laptops, and for the small price you would have to pay, I believe they are well worth a punt.

Besides, I would much rather buy a cooling pad than result in opening up my laptop to mess around with thermal pasting. Or overclocking the mobile hardware.

Which is not an easy task, and especially with AMD HP laptops. Not only that, you could void the warranty and you could quite easily add too much paste… Then Boom.

Luckily, the HP Omen gaming laptop I currently use came with a superb cooling system.

The cooling is not the main reason I have decided to keep the MV Power cooling pad. There are many other benefits of adding a cooling pad to your laptop accessory list.


READ: WHY USB-C IS BEST | WHAT IS A GAMING LAPTOP?


How do cooling pads work for laptops?

Understanding how cooling pads work for laptops is hugely important. This will ensure you are using the laptop cooler correctly, and you purchase the correct cooler for your needs.

A decent laptop cooling pad should reduce the operating temperature of your device. And help to cool down the surface of your laptop so you don’t suffer heat-related discomfort.

Even though gaming laptops have come a long way over the last few years with much improved cooling systems they are still some way behind desktop computers.

This is mainly down to PCs having bigger chassis allowing for more fans and more fans equal better airflow, cooling, heat dissipation and overall better performance.

Laptops have to be thin and as portable as possible and they must contain powerful hardware to handle the latest game titles.

Powerful mobile CPUs, and GPUs, will generate a fair bit of heat. And why the latest gaming laptops are now equipped with big loud fans to help with cooling these components.

On occasion this may not be enough, therefore, if your machine is unable to cool itself, then you may need a laptop cooling pad.

Although, there are many other benefits to adding a laptop cooler to your gaming which is something I will discuss later in this post.

Do all Cooling Pads Work with Gaming Laptops?

There are several types of cooling pads, and they all have the same job. Or very similar. But for this article, I will concentrate on the two most common, passive cooling pads and active cooling pads.

  • Active Cooling Pads
  • Passive Cooling Pads
  • Multipurpose Coolers
  • Air Vacuum Coolers

Active Cooling Pads

Active cooling pads are the most common type of cooling pad used with gaming laptops.

This type of cooler has between 1 to 6 fans of varying sizes that will generate airflow around your device to help shift the heat away from your components.

An active cooling pad can be operated by either a USB port, although not recommended. Others can be plugged directly into an electricity source, recommended.

An Example: Active Cooling Pad

KLIM Wind 4 Fan Active Laptop Cooler
20,664 Reviews
KLIM Wind 4 Fan Active Laptop Cooler

  • COVERS LAPTOPS FROM 11″ TO 19″
  • RECEIVE A FREE EBOOK TO MAXIMIZE YOUR LAPTOP
  • Fan speed: UP TO 1200 rpm
  • TWO USB PORTS AVAILABLE
  • DIMENSIONS: 40.1 x 27.2 x 3.1 cm

Last update on 2021-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Passive Cooling Pads

Passive laptop coolers are not as commonly used and can be more expensive than an active cooling pad. They work similarly to your CPU heat sink as a conductor of heat and passively radiating heat away from your components.

This type of laptop cooler is not ideal for laptops with grilles or vents on the chassis base. But, if the air vents are only on the side, then it’s OK.

Finally, a passive laptop cooler does not use a power source, so there is no fan noise, unlike with an active laptop cooler.

Air Vacuum Laptop Cooler

Another type of laptop cooler is an air vacuum cooler that plugs directly into your USB port. Unlike the others that sit underneath your laptop. This one plugs into the USB ports or side exhausts.

The Air Vacuum cooler is a small block about 17cm in length and 10cm wide. And you attach the device to the exhaust vents on the side of your laptop and they can be made of metal so will act as a heat sink.

The great thing about these coolers is that they are small and can be slipped into your bag without taking up to much room. But, will they be better than the MV Power laptop cooler? Maybe not.

An Example: Vacuum Cooler

Sale
KLIM Air Vacuum Laptop Cooler
241 Reviews
KLIM Air Vacuum Laptop Cooler

  • MAXIMISES THE LIFESPAN OF YOUR LAPTOP
  • THE MOST EFFICIENT ON THE MARKET
  • COMPATIBLE WITH MOST LAPTOPS
  • NOT IDEAL ON UNEVEN SURFACES
  • Fan speed: 1000 rpm / 2000 rpm

Last update on 2021-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


What Are The Benefits Of Laptop Cooling Pad?

The benefits of adding a laptop cooling pad to your gaming accessory collection will most definitely outweigh the price. 

Ok, a cooler will not replace your laptop’s cooling system. Especially not in a gaming scenario when your fans are hitting full speed.

What a cooling pad will do, is control your laptop’s temperatures when working in normal mode. Therefore, reducing the noise levels created by your internal fans.

Additionally, if your cooler has an adjustable height, it will help position the laptop at a more workable angle. And possibly reduce neck strain by bringing the display closer to your eye level.

The ergonomic benefits of placing a cooling pad under your laptop are huge. I find this to be the best part of owning a laptop cooler and the main reason I have decided to hold onto the MV Power device after this post.

Other benefits include enjoying a slightly better performance from your CPU and GPU by reducing the operating temperatures.

And the additional USB ports will help charge or power other devices you may have.

Although, only some laptop cooler models have more than one USB port. The MV Power cooling pad has two, and I have been able to charge my tablet using the port and attach my camera.

8 Benefits with a Laptop Cooling pad

  • Additional USB Ports
  • Reduce Operating Temperature
  • Faster CPU & GPU Performance
  • Low Ambient Temperature
  • Positioning for Gaming & Writing
  • Help Keep the Laptop Raised Up
  • Increase Life Span of Components

How to choose a laptop cooling pad?

A laptop cooler is one of only a few gaming accessories that are not expensive, a decent cooler will cost anywhere between £30 – £50.

Your choice of the cooling pad will come down to the kind of laptop you have.

If your laptop base is solid and the exhaust vents are on the sides, then you need to go with an air vacuum cooler, I mentioned earlier. Or a passive laptop cooler.

Whereas, if your gaming laptop has grilles across the base, then an active laptop cooler would be a better fit for you.

Next, look where your laptop components are seated and see if you would benefit from more fans. And decide whether you need one fan or five, or would you prefer adjustable fans.

Ideally, you want the fans positioned directly under your CPU and GPU.

There are other questions you need to answer, like, do you need additional USB ports? If you do, then look at cooling pads that come with USB ports like the Havit cooling pad above.

Or, will you be carrying the cooling pad about in your backpack? If so, look for a lighter cooling pad like the TopMate C11 Laptop Cooling Pad  which is a superb cooler for under £30.

Maybe, you could benefit from a Klim USB vacuum fan . Small, light and easily portable.

These questions only you can answer.

But the main feature to get right is the size, some cooling pads only cater for laptops up to 15″. Although most coolers would be fine for laptops between 12″ – 17.3″.

It is important you decide on a laptop cooler that will fit the footprint of your laptop any bigger or smaller, and you may run into problems.


5 Tips for Cooling Gaming Laptops

Ensuring the hardware in your gaming laptop stays below the maximum temperature allowed is hugely important. Literally, your laptop’s life depends on your CPU and GPU not overheating.

My gaming laptop gives me more grey hair than the cat next door who seems to choose my garden as its dumping ground.

I’m sure you get my point.

Luckily, my Omen gaming laptop is a superb thermal performer, even in decent settings. I can comfortably enjoy 130+ FPS in COD Warzone and still stay below max temps.

And when I say below, I mean 20-30 °C below.

But, before we go any further, I have to confess. I have tweaked my power settings and optimized my game settings to achieve this.

Possibly a story for another day. Please let me know in the comments if you would like some information on how I achieved this.

Cooling Tips

  1. Raise your laptop from the surface
  2. Clear clutter from around your laptop
  3. Regularly clean your air vents and fans
  4. Turn settings down that don’t affect performance
  5. Edit Power Plan: Lower your processor management numbers

havit Cooling Pad 12'-17' Laptop Cooler with 3 Ultra Quiet Fans, Ergonomic Comfort Notebook Cooler with 2 USB Ports, HV-F2056
24,825 Reviews
havit Cooling Pad 12"-17" Laptop Cooler with 3 Ultra Quiet Fans, Ergonomic Comfort Notebook Cooler with 2 USB Ports, HV-F2056
  • Ultra-Portable: Slim, portable, and light weight allowing you to protect your investment wherever you go.
  • Ergonomic Comfort: Doubles as an ergonomic stand with two adjustable height settings.
  • Superior Cooling, Whisper Quiet: Three large 110mm fans provide optimal air flow at barely audible levels.
  • Optimized for Laptop Carrying: The high-quality multi-directional metal mesh provides your laptop with a wear-resisting and stable laptop carrying surface.
  • Extra USB Ports: Extra USB port and power switch(LED light and fans control) design. Built-in dual-USB hub allows for connecting more USB devices.

Last update on 2021-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final Thoughts…

There we go, test complete, and the results confirm cooling pads do work with laptops. Ok, you are not gonna pull up trees from investing in a cooler for your gaming laptop.

Nor will you climb to the top of Everest. But, what you will do, is take more control over the life span of your pride and joy. Because a laptop cooling pad will help to reduce the operating temperature of your machine and extend the lifespan of your hardware.

Not only that, a decent cooler with an adjustable height will offer you a more comfortable platform to work from, and that is possibly the biggest thing I can take from this venture.

Hopefully, you have got the answer you were looking for. If not and you would like further information, please get in touch. I would be happy to oblige.


Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading our cooling pad post. If you have any questions related to laptops, gaming or anything in between.

Please do not hesitate to get contact me or drop me a comment below.

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Happy Laptop Gaming!

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