Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Laptop HOT and Fan Blowing -- Question

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by DBradD, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. DBradD


    Apr 24, 2005
    A little background. I have a pretty nice notebook computer: Dell D620 Core Duo 2.16 GHz, 2GB RAM. I just got a new notebook at work which is one of hte better ones out there and my D620 is almost as fast and nice as it. Running XP Pro.

    Here's the problem. Our son has started playing video games on the D620. Within minutes of starting either of his two favorite games, the fan is howling like mad and the computer underside gets extremely hot to the touch. One day, he played one of them a while and it actually shut down and wouldn't restart for a while.

    It seems to me that the computer is under-powered and will end up permanently damaged if he keeps on playing these games that keep the fan running like mad and the computer very hot. What I'd like is a little backup to give me more ammo to lay the smack down and not let him play either of those games.

    Is there something I'm missing here? Is there anything that I can do with the computer to make it OK for him to play these games? The computer is VERY fast and has plenty of RAM, so I'm surprised that his games cause such a problem.
  2. sdglock22


    Jul 30, 2008
    Whitewood SD
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008

  3. Big Al 24

    Big Al 24

    Apr 23, 2008
    Modern games test the overall performance of a computer- but they shouldn't overheat the cpu enough to cause that. I would take the laptop in if the problem persists- if he can play the games it should be able to handle it. Most game crashes are usually due to softare driver issues and poor game coding issues rather than the fact that the machine is physically stressed. If the computer wasn't capable of playing the games, he wouldn't enjoy the experience. You never know though, that cpu isn't one of the higher end C2Ds and it actually shares it's cache between the cores. Telling him that the games are overheating machine would be a valid excuse. My opinion is, if you don't want the little bugger playin' games on your laptop- don't let him.

    Try the Intel Thermal Analysis tool. It will tell you how hot your cpu is running.

    If the cpu is too hot it could be because the heatsink/heatpipe assembly has come loose. Temperatures that can damage a cpu are usually achieved by overclocking along with a high ambient temperature. Ask a Dell support tech if the laptop can't play games, and I doubt they'll say yes.

    If it's cool enough here is a program that can control the fan noise.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  4. Jdog


    Sep 10, 2007
    wasatch range
    I'm betting money that your air flow to the cpu is blocked by "dust-bunnies" on the fans and/or heatsinks. You can take it apart yourself and clean it w/q-tip and a vacume or pay a shop to do it for you. I have to clean my laptops out about twice a year. I get a little tiny screw driver and a blank sheet of paper. each time I remove a group of screws i draw a small circle on the paper..put the screws in that circle and label where those screws go so i dont forget where they go back in.

    the newer laptop cpu chips and mainboards have temp sensors that will shut down the laptop before it gets to hot and ruins stuff.
  5. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

    Mar 1, 2000
    I have an HP Pavillion laptop that runs great. But if I play CoD4, I need to lift up the rear (farthest away from me) side of the computer to increase the air flow or it will often shut down. The first time it happened I freaked! I usually place a pencil under each corner. If I do this, I never have a problem.

    Now if I play Halo2, I can do away with this. I guess Halo doesn't require as much power from the computer.
  6. d3athp3nguin


    Aug 7, 2007
    When playing a modern game on a laptop, your laptop's cooling will go to max. As Big Al said, laptops are built with an internal thermostat that will shut the laptop off if it gets way too hot. Most laptops are simply not engineered for gaming. That doesn't mean you can't play a game on it, but if anything were to make a normally functional computer overheat and shut off like that, it would be a computer game.

    Make sure your son isn't playing the game on his lap or with the laptop on a bed, carpet etc. Improper ventilation will knock out a machine quickly as well. Get a laptop cooling pad that has extra fans, or just prop one end of your laptop with a book to let more air flow under it. Buy one of those office duster air cans and give the fan vents a nice blast from it (hold the can UPRIGHT or you will be spraying freezing fluid onto it!) If it still keeps overheating, then no more games for sonny.
  7. DBradD


    Apr 24, 2005
    Thanks guys. He always uses it on a hard table. Next time I'm out, I'll buy a can of compressed air. I'll also tell him to raise the computer a little more. If those don't help, I'll contact Dell. It was originally bought for a small business, so the deal we bought includes on-site tech support.
  8. Detectorist


    Jul 16, 2008
    If it's still in warranty just call Dell. I used to work at the business unit you will call. You probably have next day service.

    The D620's are great computers Yours should never overheat no matter what game you're playing.
  9. Ranger375


    May 15, 2008
    You may want to consider a laptop chiller/cooler -- it is a device the laptop sits on with two fans that forces air to the bottom of the laptop.

    Air restriction issues still apply but the coolers do work to lower the temperature. Do a Google search and you can find some. There are only 3 that really seem to work well they are all powered from the laptop USB port.

    We have deployed them for a couple of years now and all of them have worked well.

    Make sure you do some research on them and read reviews to make sure it would be something that would work for you.
  10. Bronson7


    May 19, 2002
    You're the father! That's the only "smack down" you need.
  11. havensal

    havensal Nozzle Jockey CLM

    Aug 14, 2003
    Western, NY
    +1 on the laptop cooler.

    I have one for work. Works pretty good. Not only does it keep cool air supplied to the fans, but also helps keep the RAM cool.

    As a side note, from what I have seen, most laptops have 2 fans. One is for the CPU and the other is for the video card. Depending on what game he is playing, it may be the VC fan that is blasting not the CPU. The Intel temp program will help you determine which it is. :wavey:
  12. Big Al 24

    Big Al 24

    Apr 23, 2008
    You can also tell him to turn down game settings as well to see if that works. I think I am reading between the lines here- Do you want your son playing games on the laptop? Should he be doing something else? If you don't, I wouldn't use the computer crashing as your reason. Use the fact that you're his papa and what you say goes. Then give him a smack for me. :supergrin:
  13. kalashluvr


    Aug 26, 2008
    I use a D620 also, and there is an intake vent under the left hand side of the machine. When using a lap desk (just like using it on a hard surface), I let it hang over the edge so it can suck cold air in to cool 'er down. If I don't, it gets really hot because it's not breathing.

    Get the chiller or elevate it so there is space between the bottom and the surface.