March 23, 2010

Notebook computer myth #2

Myth#2: My notebook has performance issues because its cooling system is not efficient enough. That’s why we need those aftermarket cooling pads.

Bunch of bollocks. If your notebook works for the first week without a problem, then it is good enough – technically – for it to function for the rest of its life. There’s nothing wrong with its heat dissipation system, and you do not need a cooling pad (you know, those docking doohickeys with turbo fans purportedly be able to ‘increase your notebook efficiency’).

Most of the time, your notebook overheats and succumbs to performance issues because
a) you’re such a fucking sleazebag
b) you’re trying too hard to be cute

90% of the time, notebooks overheat because of clogged heatsink fins. Your fan sucks air from the very space you are in like a vacuum cleaner and blows out the hot air (concept of heat dissipation in a notebook), and because a notebook typically does not have an air filter, everything gets drawn in. That’s why you get clogged fins, usually with stuff like dust, lint, pubic hairs and what nots. (yes, I have seen them)

Don’t believe me? Check out the photos in the following links (I took the pictures).
Picture-1
Picture-2

When the fins get clogged, basically, the heat dissipation efficiency drops (depending on how much heat gets trapped). In the cases of both pictures above, basically nothing gets blown out. That’s why installing a cooling pad will not help. There’s only so much air gets blown out of the clogged fins. So, what happens next is quite predictable in such cases. The fan’s going to spin like mad (usually noisy), and eventually, the whole system will shut down (before everything gets toasted – it’s a safety feature). But not before experiencing major temp rise all over your keyboard and palmrest, occasionally sets off panic in some paranoid end users.

There was once, a girl in my office went around the company to look for someone to solve her notebook’s performance issues and someone in the management recommended me. It took me only 5 minutes to diagnose the whole thing with a screwdriver. She was flabbergasted when I asked her this “Say, miss… do you happen to have a purple mattress or blanket that you particularly fond of?”. She thought I was a humsup stalker or some sort until I explained the wad of purple lint cum pubic hair that was lodged in between her notebook fins, which was the main cause of the performance ‘issues’ she encountered. What an experience, eh?

So how do being a sleaze and trying to be cute come into the picture?
Aaaa… ask yourself, if the air is filled with so much dust and filth, then either you must be a consummate sleazebag for not cleaning up your workspace regularly, or you’re trying to be cute (and a moron) by using your notebook on the mattress or bed – like most teenage farts (and sadly in some cases, adults too) like to do. You know, lolling around in bed IM-ing their retarded chatroom buddies. (Just like that girl in my office with the fetish for purple mattress/blanket).

So how do we counter this? Well, you can’t prevent this from happening, but however, you can actually delay this until say, your notebook gets out-dated or something… by adhering to following suggested practices
1. Use your notebook in an air conditioned room. Preferably, one with an individual air conditioner. Individual air conditioners have built-in filters, the air is therefore cleaner. The cold air helps to reduce temperature faster, reducing the frequency of needing the fan to suck air to dissipate heat.
2. Always place your notebook in a clean, hard and flat surface (glass, marble, etc). This is to maximize the heat dissipation efficiency. Bed and soft surfaces tend to trap dust/particles, and they tend to block the vents from sucking in ample amount of air.
3. Clean your workplace at least once a day. Get your maid or wife to do it for you if you’re useless.
4. Use anti-dandruff shampoo.
5. Know your sex partners. If any of them gives you hygiene problems or even crabs, you’re going to get pubic hair loss, which might clog your heatsink fins.
6. Refrain from using your notebook near animals with fur. (Persian cats, Shihtzu dogs, Himalayan Yaks, etc)
7. If you know how to dismantle your notebook without breaking anything, you can also opt to take out your heatsink once a few months to clean it.
8. It also kinda helps if you’re bald.

Can’t think of anything more… but you get the idea.

michaelooi  | enlightenments  | 

16 Comments to “Notebook computer myth #2”

  1. ShaolinTiger says:

    Heh am using a laptop cooling pad now cos my fan completely died, manage to keep it running with CPU set to the lowest setting..

    Acer shit is fucking hard to open, need to send it to service center to replace the fan.

  2. Quinn says:

    Thank you Michael! That was really helpful! But I just bought my cooler for a cheapo RM19 and lug it back to Adelaide only to have you tell me it’s useless. Hmmmppphhh!!!! I’m gonna go get screwdriver and open it up and fix the fin issue! By the way, any good brands to recommend for laptops? Aaron and I just had a row because he was saying it like for the nth time his ugly Dell is performing better than my pink Vaio!

  3. michaelooi says:

    ST – Wow, your notebook is like running with an artificial heart… heheh.

    Quinn – Tell you a secret, almost all notebooks are made in China nowadays. They are more or less the same. Just go with the one that gives the best warranty deal.

  4. infinitium says:

    if you have a really powderful vac, stick the end into the fin exhaust area and turn on. Watch as stray pubic hairs and purple gunk get sucked out…

  5. Ah Beng says:

    Pubic hair problems? err..that can also mean they were either having cyber sex, watching porn “da fei kei-ing” or having sex while watching porn no? heh!

  6. sweewon says:

    My compaq notebook is also very troublesome if you were to clean the fan!! The other day I tried to do it on my own and after seeing so many wires I needed to “unplug”, I put the whole thing back together, and went on to check the manual. And yes basically you need to take out *almost* everything, including the LCD. Damn. Passed the notebook to my brother. HAHAHA. Is this a bad notebook design? :P

  7. michaelooi says:

    infinitium – That works, but only to a certain extend. It’s like sucking out particles at the wrong side of the filter, if you know what I mean.

    Ah Beng – Spoken like a true veteran. Good going, Ah Beng!

    sweewon – I wouldn’t call it ‘bad design’ based on your case. A notebook is not designed to be taken apart by the end user.

  8. Tan Yee Hou says:

    erm actually tried those cooler pad things (blows upwards rather than sucks downwards) and saw a CPU temp drop on the CPU temp sensor in the BIOS.

    I think what happens is that most of the rubbish pads actually sucks downwards, which kills the airflow into the intake.

    Got one of the better cooler masters and it shows a 2-3˚C drop.

  9. michaelooi says:

    When your fins are clogged (it’s going to happen one day, don’t worry), your temp’s going to spike up to 90 over deg C before it shuts down… and that 2 – 3 deg C will be just a jackshit meaningless number. Save the money. Use it to buy a portable vacuum cleaner.

  10. pah says:

    omg.. that’s alot of ‘maire’ in one’s computer…
    how the hell it got there?

  11. 2Damage says:

    I open up my notebook and clean the fan & heatsink fins every 6 months.
    Yeah, I saw Ah Spark’s fur trap inside. :)p

  12. Chichicha says:

    Add to your list:
    1.) Shaven cheebye definitely helps
    2.) Shaven armpit, that’s help too
    3.) If you don’t shave, use anti hair fallen shampoo rub and rinse your pubis every time you bath.
    4.) Buy the German made magic cleaning roll from pasar malam. That fucking stick would amaze you, it cleans cleaner than you sweep/mob/vac suck/.
    6.) Refrain yourself from doing rough oral sex as those lossened pubic hair might be pulled off by your tongue, end up scattered around on bed sheet.

  13. michaelooi says:

    pah – Beats me how the ‘maire’ got there (good god, it has been years since I heard people saying bulu in Tamil)

    2Damage – Your Spark has vitamin deficiency. Fix the dog, and you’d get an improved notebook performance in the same package.

    ChiChiCha – Boss, you’re like sharing a prep list for amateurs to start their own porn flick.

  14. Kiran Kreer says:

    Just get a new one!

    hey michael long time no see… its been awhile i read your blog. still got the charm!.. haha

  15. tbo says:

    I’ve got a Latitude D430 (C2D 1.2 ULV) that overheats like crazy. I’ve rebuilt the machine, replaced the thermal paste and cleaned out the fan (which wasn’t exactly dirty to begin with) yet it still overheats and throttles down even with light use… doesn’t matter if it’s on a flat table or on the media dock, it gets too hot to touch.

    Some laptops just have poor thermal designs I reckon :/

  16. michaelooi says:

    Kiran – Yippee! Nothing beats buying a new one!

    tbo – I know exactly what happened. But I ain’t telling you. You’ll have to contact Dell, sorry.

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