Heat has been the natural enemy of computers since the first punch-card machine was invented. While we all know and commiserate about the annoyance of having a burning hot laptop sitting squarely on your, well, lap, few people realize just how much damage that heat is doing. We’ve even made a handy infographic to explain things!
Your computer can overheat for any number of reasons. The most common one is fan problems. When enough dust, dirt, grime, and the general detritus of life gets sucked in to the fan, it can clog the ports or gum up the bearings. If the fan ain’t spinning, the air ain’t flowing. And if the air ain’t flowing, things are not getting cooled all the way through, leading to localized hot spots. It becomes a vicious cycle: the worse the fan performs, the hotter your laptop or desktop gets, the harder the fan has to work, the more damaged it gets, the worse it cools, and repeat until your beautifully shiny brand new computer is a smoking, smoldering mess.
Another big issue we see often, mostly with desktops, is inadequate cooling. Say you overclock your processor, or plug in that fancy new video card, or generally try to make your computer faster and more powerful than when you got it. Well, the cooling system that was put in at the factory was designed to handle the components installed at that same factory at that same time. They didn’t figure someone was going to go poking around in their masterfully put together case, so maybe they made the fans a little smaller than they could have, and they made the ducts a little narrower than they could be, all in the name of saving a buck or two. Good for HP’s bottom line, bad for your newly upgraded power-house.
Far less common are overheating issues with the components themselves, though they do happen. For instance, for a long time Apple was releasing faulty MacBook Pros that had a chip-set (the processor, graphics card, and other various sets of chips on the motherboard) that liked to work on the toasty side of things. Unfortunately, this caused the motherboard to warp ever so slightly and actually begin to detach the chips form its surface. Long story short, we ended up replacing a LOT of motherboards.
Spills and debris on the motherboard can also make component heating an issue. Any time you get anything on the circuits that can change how electricity moves through them, you risk causing spot heating issues.
Bring it by LaptopMD+. We’ll have our master techs give you a diagnosis on the spot. Sometimes, it can be as simple a solution as cleaning out or replacing the fans. Other times we might actually have to fix damaged components. Either way, we’ll get your overheating laptop or desktop running cool in no time.
I desperately tried to work a Cool Running joke in there somewhere, but couldn’t do it.