latop, external fan => works for me.

rolandr

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I had my experiences with over-heating laptops with one of my laptop dying on me.

Anyway, my Dell sometimes gives me warning that the laptop is running hot (Window). On my Ubuntu Linux side, the red triangle pop ups on the upper right-hand corner.

... anyway, one day, I didn't know what was going on. My mouse was able to move around the screen but could not click on anything. I looked on the upper corner (Ubuntu Linux) and notice the red triangle so I believe the laptop was over-heating.

I pull out my USB dual fan, and place it underneath my computer. Viola, the mouse was able to click on 'commands'. I think the fan cooled the laptop. Warning red triangle went away.
 

essellar

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Glad to hear you've got something working.

There's a reason why there's a whole market for laptop cooling trays -- for a while, there, the processors being used for laptops really weren't suitable for laptops. We all wanted the power, of course, but with the fabrication limits at the time, the chips we needed to get that power consumed far too much power and had to dissipate far too much heat. That's not a real problem on a desktop -- you can make the heatsink and fan huge -- but the physical constraints of a laptop enclosure pretty much made sure that if you didn't go to the power settings and throttle the processor back to a snail's pace, you would be endangering your chances of future progeny if you actually used the machine on your laptop. (Oh, and there was spontaneous combustion every once in a while too.)

One of my machines is a similarly-equipped Acer TravelMate 8210. Sleek. Powerful (for its day, at least). And you can fry eggs on it if it's plugged in and the CPU is set to max performance -- the built-in fan just can't keep up. A cooling tray brings it down to "merely uncomfortable to use in midsummer" (the keyboard/wrist rest still gets a little on the warm side).

Newer machines are a lot better in this regard. You can still get a gronkin' powerful "workstation class" machine that has too much power to be practical as a "real" laptop (they're certainly portable, but they're heavy and have poor battery life), but if your needs are only a little more modest you can get something that outperforms the fiery machines of old while staying cool under their own fan power and delivering battery life we used to need a "battery slice" to achieve.
 

Sharky

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Newer machines are a lot better in this regard.

Nope!

This ultra-portable thing becomes so hot it's amazing it doesn't melt. And when it does, the HDD light is flashing like crazy. Usually when it's connected to work's network!! Battery's still pretty good, it used to get 6-8 hours from one charge, but now (I suspect because it's an old install of Windows XP maybe, and hasn't been defragged for a while so the HD's on a lot more??) it does 4-6.

Alas, http://www.quietpc.com/gb-en-gbp/products/notebook-coolers/zm-nc1000-black helps.
 

essellar

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Disk thrashing is a horrible thing indeed, and the mechanics can't be overcome by reducing the size of the transistors. An SSD will fix that in a jiffy, but there's a cost involved that's just a little bit more than a Zalman pad (sigh). Defragging can help -- as can database compaction if you're replicating any stores (email, Lotus Notes databases (including your desktop, address book and bookmarks if your system is set up for roaming), version control repositories, etc.). As for the battery, well, they do lose capacity over time -- and heat is their worst enemy. If you remove the battery when it's charged and you're on mains power, you can keep the battery healthy for a very long time.
 
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