What Is a Safe GPU Temperature for a Laptop?
What Is the Normal Temperature for a Laptop?
Laptops, like all electronic devices, are not designed to be used at extreme temperatures. LCD, or Liquid Crystal Display, screens can freeze if they are left in extreme cold temperatures. Generally, the safe temperature range to use a laptop is in temperatures between 50 to 95 degrees F, or 10 to 35 degrees C.
If the graphics card temperature in your laptop gets too hot, it will normally reduce its power usage on its own until the temperature goes down. If this isn’t enough to reduce the heat quickly enough, the laptop itself will shut down and you won’t be able to turn it on again until the internal temperature has reached a safe level.
Safely Storing a Laptop
You should never leave a laptop in extreme hot or cold temperatures for long periods of time. For example, if you leave it in the trunk of your car overnight in extreme cold, you could find that the frozen laptop has been permanently damaged and all of your data lost.
If your laptop has been in extreme temperatures, let it return to room temperature before turning it on. Don’t try to warm up a cold laptop with a blow dryer or a heating pad. Similarly, don’t try to cool down a hot laptop with an ice pack or by putting it in a fridge. A sudden change in temperature can be just as damaging as an extreme temperature.
Safely Using Your Laptop
Good air circulation is vital for keeping your laptop, or any other electronic device, operating effectively. Because desktop computers are larger, there is more air flow available than in a laptop and they can have more fans and heatsinks installed inside. Laptops don’t have the room for these components or as much airflow. Additionally, the batteries that power a laptop generate a great deal of heat, putting even more strain on the device’s cooling system.
To keep your laptop as cool as possible, it’s important that the vents are clear of any obstructions while you’re using it. Additionally, the case itself should be exposed to air. You should never us a laptop when its surface is covered, like when it’s still in a case or laptop bag, for example.
Placing the laptop on a soft surface, like a bed, cushion, or your lap, can interfere with heat dissipation. Even placing a laptop too close to another heat-generating device, like a printer, can cause your laptop to overheat.
When It’s Time To Get a Laptop Serviced
If you regularly use a laptop in a warm environment, you may want to consider buying a cooling stand, which will increase the airflow around the case. Some stands include fans in their design to accelerate heat dissipation.
Even a thin layer of dust can cause cooling problems. If your laptop is hot to the touch, ensure the vents and fans are clean of dust. Usually, a can of clean compressed air blown into the vents and across the fans is enough to clean the dust.
If none of these solutions help to bring the temperature of your laptop down, then you should contact the manufacturer or retailer where you bought it. If your laptop is out of warranty, you should get a technician to look at it.
Why Can’t You Leave a Laptop Plugged in and Sitting on the Bed or a Carpet?
The vents on a laptop are usually located on the side or bottom of the computer. Leaving your laptop plugged in and turned on sitting on your bed or carpet could cause the computer’s vents to become blocked. Hot air generated by the computer can build up and damage the internal components, leading to costly repairs and replacements. If you plan to leave your laptop plugged in and turned on or charging, place it on a hard surface that allows the vents of the computer to displace the hot air.
You’ll Damage the Computer
Leaving your laptop on fabrics, pillows and even carpeting can prevent your computer from venting heat properly. Heat trapped inside the laptop can cause damage to internal components like the CPU, hard drive, video card and battery. If the laptop is exposed to high temperatures for too long, you could end up having to replae damaged components.
Know the Symptoms
Your laptop has a fan that is used to remove hot air that is generated during use. A fan that is consistently running at high speeds could be an indication that it’s not venting air properly, especially if the laptop is regularly hot to the touch. Laptops are designed to shut down when exposed to extreme temperatures, so if your laptop has been turning off unexpectedly, check that the vents aren’t blocked. Dust and debris can accumulate over time and clog your laptop’s vents. Use a compressed-air canister to clean any vents that have become clogged.
You’ll Kill the Battery
Keeping a laptop plugged in for an extended amount of time or when you’re not charging the computer can damage the battery. The CEO of Cadex Electronics, Isidor Buchmann, recommends charging the battery to 80 percent capacity and then unplugging it. Run the computer off the battery until you reach 40 percent and then plug the computer back in to repeat the process. Following these guidelines can prolong the life of your laptop’s battery and allow for 1,200 to 2,000 discharge cycles. Excessive heat caused by keeping your laptop plugged in can damage the battery, placing the battery’s cells under stress at a higher voltage.
If you’re actively using the computer on the bed or floor, be conscious of how hot the laptop is and if it’s displacing the heat correctly. If you leave the computer unattended and plugged in for any period of time, make sure you move it to a hard surface like a table or desk, or purchase a laptop cooler. To reduce the risk of fire, never leave the computer plugged in, charging or turned on sitting on flammable material. If you have nowhere else to leave the laptop, unplug the power cord from both the computer and the outlet and turn the computer off completely. A computer that’s not powered on or charging shouldn’t create any heat at all.
How to Cool a GPU
While high-end graphics processing units frequently come with their own heat sinks and fans already installed right on the card, the entry level cards that would be appropriate for accelerating simple tasks on a business computer may not. Furthermore, a business computer that isn’t designed to host a graphics card may not have an adequate cooling system to remove the heat that the GPU generates, even if the GPU has a cooler. Some simple changes to your computer or your GPU card, starting with basic maintenance tasks like cleaning the case and fans, can help everything to run cooler.