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Laptop manufacturers: please make fans loud again.

August 31, 2009

Shocking title, I know. But quite frankly, I’m sick of seeing laptop manufacturers sacrifice so much thermal stability just to make the fans quieter. Laptop CPUs get nearly up to the boiling point of water (I’ve seen some go up to 80 C before they kick the fans on) and that’s by DESIGN. It’s not cool, and it’s even more frustrating to be out of control of the issue – with no way to select noise/cooling profiles, to allow it to keep itself cooler. It should definitely be possible to adjust laptop fan speed to make them run faster, but nothing has been spotted yet (any tools I have seen, don’t work properly or at all).

I know it’s possible, though, to control fan speed via software. WinFlash always kicks the fans up to full speed while it flashes the BIOS, by loading a driver into Windows (the same driver it flashes the BIOS with) and sets the fans to high speed while it runs. If it’s possible for that program to do it, it should be possible with another program as well.

I’m just afraid that nobody actually cares about their CPU cooling. But I’ve seen so many dead laptop motherboards caused by poor cooling of the northbridge chip (Gateway comes to mind, they let the heat sink get up to 60c before it turns the fan on at all… kicks up to high speed around 70-75!).

It’d be nice to see laptop manufacturers lower the temperature bar a bit, to something that isn’t based directly on the “maximum die temperature” specification of the IC data sheets. Or at least expose an interface that would allow standard software (like Speedfan) to access the fan control…

(Like anyone’s going to read this. I can dream, though…)

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