Cooling a hot laptop

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I'm writing to pass on a low-tech suggestion for cooling a PB.

In warm weather I find that my 15" Al PB can sometimes get pretty hot. I've found that a simple way to cool it is to use a bag hot/cold gel. We got it from the local drugstore. The plastic bag is full of some sort of blue gel. I put it in the refrigerator for a while then I put it on my lap under my PB. It absorbs heat so well even the top of the PB gets a lot cooler.


  • Reply 1 of 8
    drumsticksdrumsticks Posts: 315member
    Hey, that was exactly what I did for my Vaio, which I have since sold. Love that lappy. Only 1.7kg light and a battery that lasted 4 hours, and this was more than 3 years ago
  • Reply 2 of 8
    braidibraidi Posts: 12member
    One day I was installing linux on my friend's compaq laptop. Those things seem to overheat all the time. So in the middle of the installation it would always overheat and shut off. I tried so many things to get it to work. Eventually, I took a little round table, and the middle piece of wood could be removed. So then all you have are wooden sticks that criss cross. So I stuck the laptop on that so it had room to air out underneath, instead of having it sit on a flat hard surface. So then I put a thin towel over the top of the laptop, and took bags and boxes of frozen stuff and placed them on top of the laptop. I also made sure the towel wasn't covering the fan air vent. It worked like a charm and linux finally installed!
  • Reply 3 of 8
    awillawill Posts: 43member
    Originally posted by braidi

    ". . . Eventually, I took a little round table, and the middle piece of wood could be removed. So then all you have are wooden sticks that criss cross."

    One day I had a dell laptop with windows and I too put it on some sticks, crumbled up some paper and put it underneath with the wood. Grabbed some matches and lit the thing on fire. After it stopped burning it finally cooled off for the last time. After that I went and bought my first powerbook and it has been the coolest laptop I have ever owned.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    Stop putting your "laptop" on your lap.

    Apple doesn't call them laptops. Why? Because aside from making you sterile, they'll overheat.

    Your lap is 98.6 degrees to begin with. Trapping air under the PB and with the G4 chip it gets stupidly hot.

    if you merely got a Podium CoolPad, you'd have enough air to have it cool via convection alone. No icepacks needed.

    Besides, you'll end up with condensation inside the PB eventually. Not good.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    neutrino23neutrino23 Posts: 1,560member
    Actually, putting a PowerBook on your lap means it is supported on your thighs with most of the PB exposed to the air. Further, I suspect that the skin temperature of your legs is less than your body temperature by several degrees at least.

    I agree, a platform of some sort with fans would be nice, but it doesn't provide a heat sink with a temperature less than ambient.

    In very humid climates using a cold pad like this might cause some condensation.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    keshkesh Posts: 621member
    I wish people would get off the 'sterility' thing. That finding was blown way out of proportion by the media.

    Aside from that, I second getting a laptop pad, especially an elevated one. Put the back edge of the laptop on the elevated portion, and the front on the flat plane. That gives you a lot more airflow under the 'book.

    I actually built my own out of scrap wood. However, you can get nice travel-sized ones, and really nice ones with fans built in (usually USB powered).
  • Reply 7 of 8
    tekmatetekmate Posts: 134member
    I have children so I'm not worried about sterility but I do know that my PowerBook gets too hot to keep on my lap after about a half hour of use.

    I take two cd cases and put them under the back corners of the system this gives me a very slight tilt which I find better for typing and the extra air circulation keeps it much cooler.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    philscbxphilscbx Posts: 22member
    Hey Come On - I just want the switch to turn the dam fan on period - where the hell is it - I never hear the fan and it's hot as hell - Your not going to have lap on bare leggs for long.

    When it's plugged into power supply - I want the fan on - get it?

    __________________________________________________ _______

    To keep it cool - Forget all the nonsense with sticks and crap -

    Use an open air free standing magazine rack - thats wide open at the top rails - it sits there nice as hell on the pads I covered the rails with.

    The rack stands as high as the seat bottom of a chair - or higher. And it sits right next to my bed with all cubby holes filled with whats needed - except magazines.

    For extra cooling - I place a table fan on low on the floor (The floor - where the air is cooler) creating a soft breeze towards the Powerbook - it does not get any better than that.

    __________________________________________________ __

    OK - where's the (Fan On Button) Only Related Reply
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