Laptop overheating has become a more common problem in recent years as both the CPU chips and the video chips in laptop computers have become more densely packed with transistors, all of which generate heat. With both CPUs and graphic systems generating more heat, laptops can overheat if they are not properly designed or if ventilation and cooling is interfered with. The problem is compounded when manufacturers put desktop components in mobile systems, or when laptop design does not properly provide for laptop cooling under foreseeable normal use of the systems.
Laptop overheating most commonly signals itself by sudden, otherwise unexplained shutdown of an operating computer. If your laptop computer suddenly shuts down for no known reason, there is a high likelihood that the fail safe software in the computer is shutting it down when the computer temperature gets too high. Other signs of overheating notebook computers include constant or excessive fan operation, unexplained memory or operation errors, and inexplicable “blue screens of death.”
The problem often arises when you are using your computer intensively in ways that keep the CPU operating at high capacity and the hard drive and video systems busy as well. Gaming often leads to laptop overheating. Virus scans, compiling software and similar intensive tasks can also bring on the problem. The problem also, not surprisingly, sometimes occurs when the temperatures are high in the setting where the laptop is being used.
The consequences of overheating laptops can be quite serious. Your computer can be damaged, and may end up requiring expensive replacement of major system components, such as motherboards or graphic cards. In addition, medical researchers have reported health issues ranging from sterility to burned genitalia related to use of overheated laptops by fully clothed users.
If you have an overheating laptop and your computer is still under warranty, you should promptly report the problem to the manufacturer and seek their help. Because many manufacturers seem to engage in denial rather than cures with regard to this particular problem, you should also read the information on laptop overheating on this and related sites so you can better understand the causes, the consequences and the possible cures for notebook computer overheating.
Flash, or solid state NAND memory hard drives, are cool - in more ways than one.
One source of overheating in notebook computers has been the traditional electromechanical hard drive. Both the moving physical parts and the electronic controller can add heat in the confined spaces of your notebook computer.
Solid state hard drives have no moving parts, and put off less heat. In the past, solid state drives were too small for serious notebook use.
Today, that's changed. Intel has just announced a 120 gigabyte solid state hard drive, which brings flash drive size up to a level normally associated with notebook configurations. Toshiba reportedly has a 512 gig model nearly ready for launch - which would pack a massive half terabyte of storage in a notebook in flash form.
The problem with these drives is the cost. The Intel drive lists at $945 in quantities of 1,000, which translates into hundreds of extra dollars for any laptop equipped with one. The Toshiba drive is sure to cost much more.
All the same, the handwriting is on the wall. Given the power, operational and "coolness" of the solid state flash drives, over time more and more laptops will be going solid state. As that happens, one potent source of laptop overheating will be reduced.
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