Understanding how to keep gaming laptop cool while gaming will stop you wasting energy on worrying about your gaming laptop overheating. I understand that’s not a nice feeling,
Instead, using that energy to fully concentrate on improving your game skills, and enjoying what your laptop has to offer.
As a gamer and a laptop user, I understand, there is nothing worse than pulling up your system vital software and seeing your laptop processor or mobile GPU temperatures in the red.
Even though, in the short term it’s not all that bad, but long term the life of your gaming laptop will shorten and other components will suffer like your battery, and your laptop fans.
In this post, I will show you 7 simple laptop cooling solutions that will help reduce your gaming laptop temperatures. Following these simple steps will prolong the life of your laptop and keep you gaming much longer.
Contents of this page; Laptop Cooling Solutions
- Create Custom Power Plan to help with Cooling
- Reduce In-Game & GPU Graphic Settings
- Use MSI Afterburner to Cool Laptop
- Reduce Unnecessary CPU Processes
- Find the Perfect Position for Gaming Laptops
- Keep Dust and Grime Free for Best Laptop Cooling
- A Laptop Cooling Pad will help with High Temps
- Frequently Asked Questions
Read Next: Best Laptops with £500 Budget
Why does a Gaming Laptop Overheat?
Gaming laptops have come a long way in a few short years, they are now able to handle high fidelity gaming. With some laptops able to match the performance levels of an equivalent gaming PC.
They have improved cooling systems and with better ventilation able to dissipate heat and deal with the increased power of the hardware manufacturers have managed to squeeze into smaller spaces.
But even with all these advancements your gaming laptop can easily overheat. You could be running too many programmes simultaneously or your graphic settings are set too high.
If that’s the case your CPU and GPU would need to work twice as hard which will generate even more heat for your laptop and if your laptop cooling system is not able to dissipate heat fast enough it could lead to burn out. In some cases severe malfunction.
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.
Alternatively, you must provide additional cooling to compensate for the extra heat. And taking the necessary steps is required to help keep your laptop cool.
What Generates Heat?
- Editing and Rendering Video
- Streaming/Watching Movies
- Large Data Transfer.
- High Fidelity Gaming
Read Next: Tips to Improve Laptop Performance
1. Creating a Custom Power Plan will Help Keep Gaming Laptop Cool
Creating a custom power plan is possibly one of the best ways to help keep gaming laptops cool and done right can reduce your processor temperatures by as much as 30°C.
As an example, HP Omen 15 and it pairs an Nvidia RTX graphics card and an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor. Not the latest or the fastest but a decent mid-range gaming hardware able to handle the latest AAA games on medium to high settings.
My preferred game of choice is Call of Duty Warzone, an extremely high fidelity game. A game that will definitely push a GPU and CPU to their limits.
When I first started running Warzone, my CPU was touching 85°C. And, my GPU was stable at around 60°C, which is ok. But a laptop processor running for long periods above 85°C could have a severe effect on its lifespan. Therefore, I needed to bring this down.
It was then, I decided to create a custom power plan, and you will be amazed at what this can accomplish. I certainly was.
What is a Laptop Power Plan?
Windows 10 has built-in power settings that control the use of power called a power plan. Which is a number of hardware and system settings that manages how your gaming laptop uses power.
The power plan is designed to help save energy and maximise your laptops performance. By default, there will be a power plan that has been created by the manufacture. Which is also the one they will recommend you use.
It should automatically balance your laptops performance with energy consumption and will work just fine. But, the problem with that is you are 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 an additional field called Processor Performance Boost Mode. (It is not there by default)
And, by adding this tab, you can then disable or reduce boost mode. Which will help reduce the CPU temperatures and to some degree. In my eyes, it’s one of the best laptop cooling solutions.
As you can see from the image below of my Windows 10 Power Options, the Processor Performance Boost Mode is visible.
To check your power option, follow the steps below.
If processor performance boost mode is not there by default, do not fear Jimmtech is here. And I will help you enable the boost mode tab on your gaming laptop.
Steps to Show Windows 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?
The best way to cool a laptop for gaming is to bring down the temperature of your processor by creating a custom power plan. And then enabling the processor performance boost mode in Windows 10.
Follow the steps below to create your custom power plan and it is best to keep the default power plan, to give you something to fall back on later.
Or you can do what I do and use your custom plan for gaming and use the default plan for everyday use.
Step 1: Creating a Power Plan
- Press “Windows + X Key “
- Click on “Power Options”
- Scroll Down to Related Settings, Click “Additional Power Settings”
- Click On “Create Power Plan”
- Select “High Performance” & “Name Your Plan”
- Click “Next”
- Nice Work! You have now created a power plan
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.
Or you can choose to reduce boost mode from Aggressive to something like Enabled, or Efficient Aggressive. It is worth testing the different options and find which will work best with your laptop.
Enable Processor Boost Mode in Windows 10
- 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 have clicked OK, shut down all the sheets and follow the steps below to get back to the custom plan you have created.
- Press “Windows Key”, type “Edit Power Plan”
- Select your Custom Plan “Change Plan Settings”
- Then “Change Advanced Settings”
- Click on “Processor Power Management”
If you have completed all the steps above, there should now be another option called Processor Performance Mode. Which can be disabled or changed to whatever suits your laptop.
Disabling the processor boost mode can be a superb laptop cooling solution, especially if your laptop has inadequate cooling. Or if your CPU temps are too high.
And by disabling boost mode it can help reduce your CPU temps by as much as 30°C.
Below you will find the settings I use for gaming. Test them and see how it fits. If not, play around with the different settings and find the best settings for keeping your gaming laptop cooler.
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.
2. Make Laptop Cooler by Reducing the In-game Graphic Settings
Learning how to make your laptop cooler will go a long way to extending its life. But, unfortunately, hot or warm gaming laptops are just part and parcel of portable gaming.
So you are never gonna get the absolute perfect laptop temperature. But, with a tweak here and a tweak there, you can at least get some way towards the optimum temperature and enjoy your gaming safely.
The latest gaming laptops come equipped with high powered hardware, and the graphics card is top of the list. Therefore, your laptop must have proper airflow and decent cooling.
Especially the case for high fidelity AAA gaming, as it will push your hardware to its limits.
But, if you are experiencing extremely 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, so you must consider toning these down to help bring down the temperature of your laptop before you experience unrepairable damage.
Nvidia Cards will Automatically Shut off your Laptop
All Nvidia dedicated graphics cards will have a maximum specified temperature, which it should be able to operate reliably. Most Nvidia mobile GPUs can run between 45°C and 90°C. However, running upwards of 80°C over long periods will have a severe effect on its lifespan.
And without proper airflow or decent cooling, your GPU will continue to reach its maximum specified temperature if your settings are too high. Luckily though, if this continues Nvidia GPUs are designed to shut down, designed to help prevent damage to your laptop system.
So what happens if you GPU continues to reach max temps?
The GPU drivers will attempt to bring the temperature back underneath the maximum specification by throttling down performance. However, if it fails, your system will shut down.
Maybe this has already happened to you, and your laptop suddenly switched off? But don’t worry it’s ok and by restarting your laptop all will be good.
So if it has happened and continues to happen its time to start looking at your graphics settings.
What Graphics Settings Will Help Cool Laptop?
If your laptop has a dedicated Nvidia GPU, you can jump onto the Nvidia control panel. Where there are several settings you can change to help keep laptop cool while gaming.
One of the best settings to change is the “Power Management Mode”. If you set this to “Optimal Performance” it will provide the best Idle power savings and gaming performance.
But, if you have the Max Performance setting enabled, which is a setting most people recommend. The GPU will be kept at its maximum performance regardless of the GPU usage and even when idle.
Additionally, the max performance setting will generate the most amount of heat for your graphics card, although, perfect if your GPU temps are decent. Therefore, optimal performance would be best if your temps are high.
For more information about this setting you should read the review by thefpsreview.com Clearly, the optimal setting is best and especially if your GPU temps are consistently 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
Your games will have in-game settings you can tweak to help take the load off your GPU and cool down your laptop. Your texture settings can be reduced, and set too high can impact your graphics cards.
Reducing these down as far as aesthetically possible is a decent way to reduce the heat. And there are other graphics hungry settings like Ambient Occlusion and Anti-Aliasing, which can be reduced, and will only affect how your images are rendered.
3. How to Keep Gaming Laptop Cool? Use MSI Afterburner to Bring Down Laptop GPU Temperature
Did you know? You can use MSI Afterburner to improve performance on your laptop, and you can also use the software as a cooling solution. It is also suitable for both AMD and Nvidia mobile chips.
MSI Afterburner is possibly the most used software for improving graphics cards by overclocking the hardware in real-time. Personally, I have used the software myself to tweak the exact laptop I am using to type this post. Which is also, the same machine I use for gaming.
And, because I use it for gaming and work it is paramount my laptop performs well and is kept cool at all times. And MSI Afterburner is a decent laptop cooling solution.
Like I have said, use can use the MSI Afterburner software to help keep your gaming laptop cool by reducing the clock speed. The first step is to download the software from the MSI official website and follow the onsite steps.
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.
Unlike GPU overclocking, where you increase the clock speed to improve performance this process involves reducing the clock speed, voltage, and fan speed.
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to reduce the voltage or fan speed on gaming laptops using MSI Afterburner, unlike you can with a desktop PC. If you could, you could produce some serious cooling from reducing the voltage of the graphics card.
However you can reduce the clock speed by increments of 10MHz and apply the settings. Then, run benchmark software like Unique Heaven for about 10 mins and if everything seems fine, you can continue to reduce again until you feel you have the right amount of cooling.
Just remember, by reducing the clock speed, you will have to sacrifice performance. But, if you need a cooler gaming laptop, these things have to be done.
Before you proceed, have you considered a laptop cooling pad? Or, have you ensured your laptop is clean internally and externally? Both options are decent laptop cooling solutions.
For full details on how to set up MSI Afterburner, go back to the MSI website.
4. Reducing CPU Processes will help with Gaming Laptop Cooling
Gaming on laptops requires more than just your game to be running because you will also need your system vitals software so you can safely monitor your hardware and also control your fan speed.
But, you may also have other unnecessary programmes running like your email client and your browser window, taking up precious CPU resources.
The more programmes you have running simultaneously, the faster and harder your processor would need to work. And the harder the processor has to work, the hotter your gaming laptop will be.
Therefore, consider closing unnecessary programmes and apps during game time so your CPU can concentrate on gaming performance only.
The easiest way to check which programmes are running is with Windows Task Manager. And you may be surprised, with just how many processes are actually running that you are not aware of, and 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 end the task.
Disabling unnecessary processes is a great way to release resources and help cool down your laptop. And will also free up precious memory.
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
If you are unsure do not end task
Windows 10 Task Manager
Disabling Start up Programmes on Windows 10 is a Good Laptop Cooling Solution
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.
5. Keep Gaming Laptop Cool by Elevating with a Cooling Pad
The positioning of your gaming laptop is vital to keeping your laptop cool. First and foremost, your gaming laptop should not be positioned on a flat surface without some kind of elevation. Nor should it be left on soft material, places like your bed, carpet, or couch for too long and especially when gaming.
Although it would be nice, just not ideal.
You are just asking for trouble because your intakes need adequate airflow for your laptop to function how it should. And you may be surprised as I was, just how quickly your internals collects dust and dirt. Which is the kind of stuff that will drastically reduce its lifespan.
Nowadays, rubber feet are added to gaming laptops, or 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 after buying my gaming laptop, it was sat on a flat solid oak table. At the same table, I spent many hours blasting Call of Duty Warzone. Although the rubber strips elevated the laptop slightly.
But it wasn’t long until I started to see staining on the grille across the base. It was then, I made the decision the laptop needed more elevation.
The Staining After One Week Without Proper Elevation
Obviously, dust and dirt must be getting trapped and because the laptop has a grille that stretches the full width across the base with vents on the sides, there needs to be decent airflow on all sides.
However, 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.
So I thought maybe a laptop cooling pad would do the trick, and I wasn’t wrong. Even though laptop coolers are predominately used to keep gaming laptops cool. I realised they could also be perfect to act as a platform to help raise my laptop up further and allow more airflow.
And because my laptop cooling pad and most others have a mesh base this allows for the most amount of airflow possible. Since deciding to use a laptop cooler for elevation, the dust and the grime previously collected within a week is now non-existent, even after a month of use, there is 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 core temps down. But you will also be a lot more comfortable and a comfortable gamer is a happy gamer.
Finally, I can honestly say a laptop cooling pad is possibly the best additional laptop accessory I have purchased. For that reason, I would advise you to do the same if you want to take care of your gaming laptop the best way possible, and ensure it lasts longer than the 3 year average lifespan.
6. Cleaning will Improve Laptop Cooling and Stop your Laptop Overheating
Regular cleaning will improve Laptop Cooling and will minimize the chances of your laptop overheating. Dust is a gaming laptop killer and can easily prevent your fans from working how they should.
Dust is a bit like a bad smell because it gets everywhere. But a minimum of 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 lived 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 the laptop and go the full-hog and give it a really good clean inside. Using compressed air, my vacuum cleaner, and cotton buds with a small cup of hot water.
And, twice a month, I would attempt to clear dust from inside by spraying compressed air through the vents and the grille. Although not ideal because you cannot be sure you have removed all the dust.
And that why I open the laptop once a month. I would also wipe top to bottom with a soft cloth and screen cleaner.
Some would say I treat my gaming laptop better than I treat myself.
What do I say to that?
Well, it is worth every bit of the effort? And like I always say, what is the point in spending all that money on a decent gaming laptop and not give it the cares it deserves.
Gaming laptop Cleaning Tip 1
Before you begin cleaning, ensure you have a small bowl ready for the tiny screws, this will keep them safe.
Be extremely careful removing the base. Every laptop is different, but there could be several plastic clips attaching the base to the chassis and they can easily break.
Once you have removed the screws use a flat head screwdriver and a credit card to carefully pry the base open.
Gaming laptop Cleaning Tip 2
Use cotton buds, dipped into clean hot water to remove dirt from tight spaces.
Never touch the fan blades with your fingers, they can easily damage. But dabbing a soft cotton bud is ok.
Hover a vacuum hose around the edges but be careful not to touch the circuits.
Before replacing the base take out the battery and clean underneath. Finally ensure all surface areas are dry and clean before closing up.
7. Using a Laptop Cooling Pad will Help Cool Down a Gaming Laptop
A decent laptop cooling pad will help with cooling down a laptop. Although, it will only reduce your core temperatures by a few degrees.
How do I know? Because I previously tested a laptop cooler with my HP omen gaming laptop, even though my HP machine has excellent cooling. I wanted to see if laptop coolers actually work.
I first tested the cooling pad with everyday task, and I was able reduce my CPU and GPU temps by 5°C. So nothing to crazy but a reduction all the same.
Next, I tested the cooler in a gaming scenario. But this time, there was little difference as it only reduced the CPU temp by 1°C, and there were no differences in the GPU temps. Which didn’t surprise me due to the fact my laptop gets the hottest when gaming.
However, every laptop is different so your results may differ to mine. What I can say, is that a laptop cooling pad is useful in other ways, like helping to elevate your laptop allowing for better airflow.
And for the small price to pay, it’s worth its weight in gold. And, if your laptop doesn’t have the best cooling system. Adding a laptop cooler to your gaming accessories will go some way towards ensuring your gaming laptop stays cooler and lives longer.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do gaming laptops need cooling pads?
Cooling pads are a superb gaming laptop accessories and one of the We checked to see if Cooling pads Work for Gaming Laptops. And, I have realised that you can do more with a laptop cooling pad than just trying to bring down your operating temperature.
Laptop coolers also make great platforms to seat and elevate your laptop for better airflow, which is extremely important for laptop gaming. And can make gaming or typing for long periods slightly more comfortable.
But because fan cooling in the latest gaming laptops has improved immensely a laptop cooling pad may not make a huge difference. However, for those laptop gamers with slightly older laptops with inadequate cooling, could find buying a laptop cooling pad a great help.
That said, a laptop cooling pad will only improve your cooling by a few degrees, and in some instances, that not may be enough. Like, if your laptop is extremely hot when sitting idle or during normal everyday tasks. A laptop cooler will not help, as you may have bigger issues and a repair may be the only answer.
- Is it okay for gaming laptop to get hot?
Yes, it is ok for gaming laptops to get hot during high fidelity gaming sessions. Unfortunately, hot laptops are part and parcel of laptop gaming.
But the advances in laptops are huge, we can now experience life like shadowing with Nvidia Ray-Tracing technology, giving us amazing images. Much higher FPS than ever before, and faster processors with many more cores so we can do more simultaneously, quicker.
There is no better time for portable gaming but with all the advances in graphics technology, there have also been huge strides in laptop cooling solutions. Fan systems are much better. still loud but are much better equipped to handle the powerful hardware.
That said, if your laptop is kept at extremely high temps for too long, it will have an effect on your hardware. A laptop GPU temp should be between 40 – 80 degrees (Nvidia Max Temp 105), and your CPU should not exceed 90 degrees.
If they do, and the longer they do, the quicker the lifespan of your laptop will reduce. Continuously running at extreme hot temps will destroy your laptop. Consider reducing your game settings, and reducing CPU boost mode will help.
Also, adding a laptop cooling pad and cleaning regularly will also help.
- How do I keep my laptop cool?
How do I keep my Gaming Laptop Cool is a question that I asked myself several months ago. When I was concerned about why my CPU temperatures were in the 90’s.
So I got to work trying to find ways to bring this down to optimal levels. And now I am happy because my operating temps, even in high fidelity gaming scenarios, are where they should be. And still, I enjoy high FPS in games.
How did I do it?
By following the simple steps on this page, where I reduced the CPU boost mode, reduced my graphic settings in-game and purchased a laptop cooling pad. Finally, I regularly clean my laptop inside and out to ensure there is no dust or dirt preventing my fans from working.
A combination of all of the tasks above helped to keep my gaming laptop cool and ensure my laptop enjoys a long life. Which keeps me happy.
Unfortunately, gaming on laptops will generate heat, and it is something that laptop gamers have to live with. But for the most part, it is also something you can have control over.
Even though it is ok for your laptop to be hot. But, for long periods, it’s not such a good idea, and reducing your operating temps by only a few degrees, could help increase its lifespan by a considerable margin.
After reading this guide, you should have a good or a much better understanding of how to keep a gaming laptop cool. By following these 7 simple steps, your gaming laptop should be cooler and much cooler than it was before visiting my website, Jimmtech.com.
Hopefully, you can now enjoy your gaming and concentrate on improving your KD and being the best gamer you can be. Instead of worrying about your laptop overheating, or high CPU temps or hot graphics cards.
Educational Reading: Did you Know there are 28 RTX laptop GPUs?
I hope you have enjoyed reading our guide on how to keep your laptop cooler and if you have any questions related to laptops, gaming or anything in between. Please do not hesitate to contact us or drop us a comment below.
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Happy Laptop Gaming!