Learning how to keep a gaming laptop cool while gaming will stop you wasting energy. I mean, wasting it worrying about your laptop overheating and that’s not a nice feeling, I know.
We also know, keeping your laptop cool while gaming can be a challenge. It’s important to know what you should do to keep it from burning out and shutting down. Especially when you’re in the middle of an epic game!
As a gamer and a laptop user myself. I understand, there’s nothing worse than pulling up your system vital software and seeing your CPU or GPU temperatures too far in the red.
So here are some tips for how to keep gaming laptop cool while gaming. Plus, some of the best laptop cooling solutions to help reduce your laptops temperature. Ones that won’t break the bank either.
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Why Do Gaming Laptops Overheat?
The latest gaming laptops have come a long way in a few short years. They’re now able to handle high fidelity gaming with ease. They also have improved cooling systems. Plus, better ventilation that is able to dissipate heat and deal with the increased power.
But even with all these advancements your gaming laptop can still overheat. Why? because you may be running too many programmes or your graphic settings are set too high. In that case your CPU and GPU would need to work twice as hard. This will generate even more heat. If your laptop cooling system is not able to dissipate heat fast enough it could lead to burn out.
The key is not to push the boundaries too much set by your laptop manufacturer, but if you do. You must ensure your cooling system is working how it should. Or you must provide extra cooling, like buying a laptop cooling pad.
So what else can you do? You can take care not to use too many external devices which may suck power away, such as USBs and speakers. Keep your screen brightness and volume at 50% or less when possible. Also, avoid running anything else on your computer that is demanding of resources. Only run programmes you need. Running programs such as Photoshop, or Solidworks etc can create a lot of heat for a laptop.
Keep reading for more tips to help keep your gaming laptop cool. Note, every laptop is different, so what works for you may not work for everyone. Yet, if your laptop is hot any of these steps are worth a try.
What Generates Heat?
- Editing and Rendering Videos
- Streaming/Watching Movies
- Large Data Transfer
- High Fidelity Gaming
- Block Air Vents, Exhausts
Reading this will help: Tips to Improve Laptop Performance
1. The Best Laptop Cooling Solutions, Laptop Cooling Pads
A laptop cooling pad is one of the best laptop cooling solutions you can buy. To help with cooling down a laptop if its getting too hot. Although, they will only reduce your core temperatures by a few degrees. (no more than 10°C)
How do I know? Because I tested a laptop cooler with the HP omen 15 gaming laptop. Even though the HP Omen has excellent cooling. I wanted to see if laptop coolers actually work.
First, I tested a laptop cooling pad with everyday task. I was able reduce my CPU and GPU temps by as much as 5°C. So nothing to crazy but a reduction all the same.
Next, I tested the cooler in a gaming scenario. This time, it only reduced the CPU temp by 1°C, but there were no differences in the GPU temps. Which didn’t surprise, because gaming laptops do get hottest when gaming.
Check Out The Best Cooling pads Below You Can Buy Today!
Last update on 2022-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Last update on 2022-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Last update on 2022-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
A laptop cooling pad is useful in other ways as well, like helping to elevate your laptop allowing for better airflow. Which is another reason why their good laptop cooling solutions.
Besides, for a small price to pay, they’re worth their weight in gold. So, if your laptop doesn’t have the best cooling system. Buying a laptop cooling pad would go some way towards keeping your gaming laptop cooler.
2. Best Way To Cool Laptop: Create Custom Power Plan
One of the best ways how to keep gaming laptop cool is by creating a custom power plan. Done right can reduce your processor temperatures by as much as 30°C. Yes, that’s right, 30°C.
As an example, my HP Omen 15 gaming laptop that pairs an Nvidia RTX graphics card with an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor. My game of choice is Call of Duty Warzone, which is an high fidelity game. A game that definitely pushes the GPU and CPU to their limits.
When I first started running Warzone, my CPU was above 90°C+, which is ok for the short term. But for long periods running above 90°C will effect your laptops lifespan.
So, by creating a custom power plan, I am now able to pick and choose the extent at to which my processor runs at. So, while I’m gaming. I can turn it down if I wish. Or boost it up depending on what I’m doing.
What is a Power Plan?
A power plan is your hardware and system settings that manages how your gaming laptop uses power. It’s designed to help save energy and maximise your gaming laptops performance.
You can optimize the power plan for performance and the ability to generate heat. This would allow your games to run at their optimal settings and capacity. Without risk of overheating your processor or cutting your battery life too short.
Gaming laptops often have a power plan that’s set more aggressively than other types of laptops. Because they don’t need as much protection from overheating.
By default, manufacturers would have set this to aggressive mode. Which is also the one they will recommend you use. This should balance your laptops performance with energy consumption and will work fine. But, the problem is you’re limited to what you can change in the advanced power settings tab.
So by creating your own custom power plan and then using the Windows Registry. You can add extra fields called Processor Performance Boost Mode. (It is not there by default).
By adding this tab, you can then disable or reduce boost mode. Which will help reduce CPU temperatures. In my eyes, it’s one of the best laptop cooling solutions, plus, it’s free.
See the image below, this is my Windows 10 Power Options. Processor Performance Boost Mode is visible. Because I have enabled it. If you check your power options, it won’t be there.
How To Check Power Options
- Press “Windows Key”
- Type “Edit Power Plan”, then “Enter”
- Select your custom power plan
- Click “Change Advanced Settings”
- Click “Processor Power Management”
- Is the option there?
- If not, don’t worry we will create it
My Laptop Processor Power Options
How to Create a Custom Power Plan in Windows 10?
As I said before, one of the best ways to cool a gaming laptop is to bring down the temperature of your processor. Simply, by creating a custom power plan and then enabling processor performance boost mode.
So, follow the steps below to create your custom power plan. It’s best to keep the default power plan, so to give you something to fall back on later. Do not delete that, or overwrite it. Use that plan for everyday use, watching movies etc and your new custom plan for gaming.
Step 1: Creating a Power Plan
- Press “Windows + X Key “
- Click on “Power Options”
- Related Settings, Click “Additional Power Settings”
- Click On “Create Power Plan”
- Select “High Performance” & “Name Your Plan”
- Click “Next”
- You have created a power plan, Nice Work!
The next step is to enable the processor boost mode option in the power option setting. This way, you can choose to either disable boost mode to limit the amount of power the processor can consume.
Alternatively, you can choose to reduce boost mode from Aggressive to something like Enabled. Or Efficient Aggressive. It is worth testing the different options to find which will work best with your laptop.
Please Note: Reducing the processor boost mode will result in a small loss in performance. But it will be worth it, especially if your gaming laptop is overheating.
Next Step, Enable Processor Boost Mode
- Press “Windows Key”, type “Registry Editor”, Press “Enter”
- Select “Yes” to Make Changes to your Device
- Click the folder “HKey Local Machine”
- Then the folders “System” and then “Current Control Set”
- Now Click “Control”, Scroll Down and Click “Power”
- Then “Power Settings”
You should see the same sheet below
- Next, Click on the folder starting with “54533251-82be-4824”
- Now find the folder starting with “be337238-od82”
- Look on the right panel see “Attributes” double click this option
- And change the file data from “1” to “2” and Click “OK”
When you’ve clicked OK, shut down all the sheets and follow the steps below to get back to the custom plan you previously created.
- Press “Windows Key”, type “Edit Power Plan”
- Select your Custom Plan “Change Plan Settings”
- Then “Change Advanced Settings”
- Click on “Processor Power Management”
Now you have completed the steps above. There should be another option called Processor Performance Mode. Which you can disable or change to whatever setting suits your laptop.
Disabling processor boost mode is a great laptop cooling solution. Especially if your laptop has inadequate cooling. Or if your processor temperature’s are too high. As I said before, by disabling boost mode can help reduce your CPU temps by as much as 30°C.
Below you will find the settings I use for gaming. So test them and see how it suits your laptop. You could always play around with these settings to find the best settings to help keep your gaming laptop cool.
My Power Option Settings
- Min Processor State: Both on 5%
- Max Processor State: Both 95%
- Processor Performance Mode: Disabled
- Switch back to the default plan when you not gaming, and test the different options to see what works best for you.
3. Best Way To Cool Laptop: Reduce In-Game Settings
Learning how to make your laptop cooler will go a long way to extending its life. One way is to reduce your in-game graphics settings. Which can be one of the best ways to keep a laptop cool.
Unfortunately, hot or warm gaming laptops are part and parcel of portable gaming. You’re never gonna get the absolute perfect laptop temperature.
But, a tweak here and a tweak there, you can at least get some way towards the best temperature. Then you can enjoy your gaming without having to worry about much else.
So if you’re experiencing high laptop temperatures during gameplay. Which are much higher than normal. It could be because your graphics settings are set too high.
These could be your global settings or in-game settings. You must consider toning these down to help bring down the temperature of your laptop. Before you experience irreparable damage
Nvidia Graphics Cards will Automatically Shut Down Your Laptop
Nvidia’s graphics cards have a maximum specified temperature which they should be able to operate safely. Most Nvidia mobile GPUs can run between 45°C and 90°C. But, running upwards of 80°C over long periods will have a severe effect on the lifespan of your laptop.
A cause of this could be that your settings are too high. And without proper airflow or cooling your GPU will continue to reach high temperatures. Luckily though, if this continues Nvidia designed their GPUs to shut down to prevent damage to your laptop.
What happens is, the drivers will attempt to bring the temperature back underneath the specified temperature. By throttling down performance. If it fails, your system will shut down.
But don’t worry because restarting your laptop it should ok.
What Graphics Settings Should You Change?
If your laptop has a dedicated Nvidia GPU, you can jump onto the Nvidia control panel. There you’ll find many settings you can change to help keep your laptop cool while gaming.
One of the best settings to change is the “Power Management Mode”. Set this to “Optimal Performance” it will provide the best Idle power savings. And will also improve your gaming performance.
If you have the Max Performance setting enabled, which is also the setting most people recommend. Because it will keep the GPU at the greatest performance regardless of the GPU usage.
This would be the same even when your laptop is idle. Although, this setting will generate the most amount of heat for your laptop. But perfect if your GPU temps are already decent. Thus, the optimal performance setting would be best if your laptop temps are high.
For more information about this setting you should read this review here: thefpsreview.com. They show that the optimal setting is best. Especially if your GPU temps are hitting max levels.
Reduce Display Resolution
Lowering the display resolution in-game will help reduce the load on your GPU. But, your game may look the best. However, if you are suffering from high temperatures and looking for a way to keep your laptop cooler, reducing the resolution is one of them.
Reduce Textures And Details
Every PC game will have in-game settings you can tweak to help take the load off your GPU and cool down your laptop. The texture settings can have a huge impact on your graphics cards. And also heat. Reducing this can help bring down temperatures.
By reducing these down as far as possible without affecting your gameplay is a good way to cool a laptop. Graphics hungry settings like Ambient Occlusion and Anti-Aliasing. You can reduce these settings and it will only affect how your laptop renders images.
4. How to Keep Gaming Laptop Cool? Use MSI Afterburner
Using MSI Afterburner software is one of the best ways to improve performance on your laptop. It’s an excellent laptop cooling solution and suitable for both AMD and Nvidia chips.
Afterburner is used by many gamers around the world to improve their graphics card performance. I’ve used the software myself to tweak the exact laptop I am using to type this post on, which is also the same laptop I use for gaming. So it’s important my laptop performs well but also keeps cool at all times.
In my opinion, MSI Afterburner is one of the best laptop cooling solutions on the market. MSI Afterburner works by overclocking the hardware in real-time and changing the clock and memory speeds.
The first step is to download the software from the MSI official website. Then, follow the steps they’ve supplied.
Please Note: Be extremely careful using software to alter your hardware settings. If your laptop has an Nvidia GPU, it should automatically shut down if you have tweaked it too far. For all other graphics chips, you are best to further research the possibilities.
What Does It Do?
MSI Afterburner lets you check all sorts of information about your graphics card in real time. Such as temperature and speed. It also allows you to adjust the settings on the fly to maximize performance.
This process involves adjusting the clock speed, voltage, and fan speed. But, it’s not always possible to reduce the voltage or fan speed on every gaming laptop. Unlike you can with a gaming PC.
What you do is increase/decrease the clock speed by increments of 10MHz and apply the settings. Then, run benchmark software like Unique Heaven for about 10 mins. If everything seems fine, continue to change the clock until you feel you have what you need.
The latest version of MSI Afterburner has extra features such as recording video clips with overlay. Streaming online games without affecting your performance. Plus saving screenshots at regular intervals during gameplay.
For further details on how to set up MSI Afterburner, drop onto the MSI website.
5. How To Keep Gaming Laptop Cool? Reducing CPU Processes
Playing games on laptops requires more than just your game to be running. As you will also need your system vitals software running so you can your hardware temps. Plus, control your fan speed.
You may also have other unnecessary programmes running like your email client and your browser window. These programmes will also be taking up precious CPU resources.
The more programmes you have running at one time, the faster and harder your processor would need to work. And the harder the processor has to work, the hotter your gaming laptop will get.
So, consider closing unnecessary programmes and apps during game time. This way your CPU can concentrate on gaming performance only.
The easiest way to check which programmes are running is with Windows Task Manager. You will be surprised, with how many processes are actually running that you are not aware of. They will all need your attention.
Once you have opened the task manager sheet, go down the list of processors and decide which ones you need or don’t need. Then, right-click and click to end the task.
Disabling unnecessary processes is a great way to release resources. It will also help cool down your laptop. Not to mention, it will free up precious memory that would be better used elsewhere.
Another superb laptop cooling solution is to disable unnecessary programmes on start up. You can use the same Task Manager Sheet and select the Start-Up Tab. Go down the list and Right-Click and Disable the Programmes you don’t want running on start-up.
End Windows 10 Processors
- Click Windows Key
- Type Task Manager, then Enter
- Look at the Processors tab
- Right Click the process End Task
- This will free up CPU resources
6. Elevate Your Laptop To Keep It Cool While Gaming
The positioning of your laptop is vital to keeping it cool while gaming. First, your laptop should not be on a flat surface it needs some kind of elevation. Also, it’s not good to have it sat on soft material. Places like your bed, carpet, or couch and especially when gaming.
It’s important your intakes get good airflow for your laptop to function how it should and not get too hot. It may surprise you how easily your fans collects dust and dirt. The kind of stuff that will reduce its lifespan.
And why the latest gaming laptops now have rubber feet. In some cases, a strip of rubber across the base, front and back to help with elevation. But is it enough? I don’t think so, and I will explain why.
During the first week using my latest gaming laptop, it was sat on a flat solid oak table. The same table, I spent many hours blasting Call of Duty Warzone. Although the rubber strips did elevate the laptop. It wasn’t long until staining appeared on the grille (Fan Vents). So I made the decision the laptop needed more elevation.
Staining Without Proper Elevation
Looking at the image above it’s clear dust and dirt is getting trapped. This accumulated from roughly four weeks of use which is not good. It’s important there is decent airflow on all sides.
Yet, some will say you can use a book or a box to help elevate your laptop. But for one, it doesn’t look cool, and two, it’s not ideal because it means the laptop is still sitting on a flat surface.
The best thing to use is a laptop cooling pad. Even though they make laptops coolers to keep gaming laptops cool. They’re also perfect to act as a platform to help raise a laptop up and allow more airflow.
My laptop cooling pad and most others have a mesh base and these are best. This allows for the most amount of airflow possible. Since I’ve been using a laptop cooler for elevation, the dust and the grime is now non-existent. Even after a month of use, there is still very little.
Not only that, but a laptop cooling pad will also give you an ideal angle for typing and gaming. And for the small cost of a decent laptop cooling pad, not only will you keep your laptop cool while gaming. But you’ll be more comfortable when typing.
7. Cleaning Will Improve Laptop Cooling and Stop Your Laptop Overheating
One of the best ways to cool down your laptop is ensuring its cleaned on a regular basis. Dust is a gaming laptop killer and can prevent your fans from working how they should. Dust is a bit like a bad smell because it gets everywhere.
So 30 minutes of your time once a week or twice a month spent cleaning will go a long way to ensuring you keep dust at bay. That said, it’s impossible to eradicate dust altogether unless you live inside a bubble. Again, that’s not possible. But, what is possible, is what I do to ensure my laptop is clean.
Once a month I will open up my laptop and go the full-hog and give it a good clean inside. I will use compressed air, my vacuum cleaner, and cotton buds with a small cup of hot water. Also, I would attempt to clear dust from inside by spraying compressed air through the vents. This would get done once a week. Although not ideal because you cannot be sure you have removed all the dust. But it’s worth a go.
The way I see it, what’s the point in spending all that money on the best gaming laptop and not give it the cares it deserves. Plus, doing this, will help your laptop last much longer, and keep it cooler while gaming.
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How To Keep Gaming Laptop Cool: FAQs
Do Gaming Laptops Need Cooling Pads?
There’s always a debate about the necessity of some laptop cooling devices and gaming laptops are no exception. The assumption is that they generate more heat because you’re demanding more out of them. But it depends on your usage and on the machine itself.
For instance, there are some gaming laptops that run cooler than others. Like the MSI Alpha 17, which is one of the best laptops with best cooling. But does that mean it doesn’t need a laptop cooling pad? No, because as I explained even though they will reduce the core temperatures by a few degrees.
They will also help elevate the laptop allowing for better airflow. Just a few of the reasons why cooling pads make superb gaming laptop accessories. Besides, it’s only a small price you would need to pay and they’re worth every penny.
Is It Okay For Gaming Laptop To Get Hot?
Laptops in general do get hot when they are being taxed. But it would be advisable to prevent the laptop from heating up too much and damaging its internal components.
But they’re designed for gaming and to work very hard with crisp graphics, high frame rates and extreme playability. In order to cool the laptop, most manufacturers include a second fan, often on the underside of device.
So yes, typically your laptop is going to be bothering you when it is doing what it was made for! I would suggest a cooling pad or a cooling mat if this bothers you too much. Or has been happening frequently/extremely regardless of what kind of load your system is under.
How Do I Keep My Laptop Cool?
If you’re asking how do I keep my Gaming Laptop Cool. It’s a question that I asked myself a few years ago. This was when my processor temperatures were in the 90’s.
So I got to work looking for the best ways to cool a laptop and bring the temps down to optimal levels. Now I’m happy because my laptop, even in high fidelity gaming scenarios, is where it should be. And still, I enjoy high fps in games.
Simply, by following the steps listed on this page.
1. Reduced the CPU boost mode.
2. Reduced the graphic settings in-game.
3. Purchased a laptop cooling pad.
4. Cleaned my laptop to remove dust and dirt.
5. Reduced programmes running.
A combination of these tasks helped to keep my gaming laptop cool and ensure my laptop enjoys a long life. Which keeps me happy.
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It’s important to take care of your gaming laptop especially after forking out so much money buying it. A few simple steps will help you keep it cool and running how it should while gaming. Which is good for both the machine and your peace of mind.
Cleaning out old dust can make a huge difference in how hot your laptop runs. So be sure to do this every few weeks or so (or more often if necessary). Be sure not to cut corners either.
Also adding a laptop cooling pad could also save you some energy worrying. As well as reducing processor boost mode when playing games on high settings. And finally, consider turning off unnecessary apps that are always running in the background – these drain power too!
We hope our tips on how to keep a gaming laptop cool have helped make sense of what’s going on with all those numbers (high temps). If you’ve followed my guide, next time you look at them during your gameplay they will now be a lot lower. Which means your gaming laptop is cooler.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more helpful tips like these. Drop a comment below, if you managed to cool down your laptop and let us know by how much?
Happy Laptop Gaming!