Laptop Heating - Discussion


I’m doing Linux From Scratch on my laptop. Even while compiling small programs, my laptop heats up to 100C. Takes barely 10 seconds for the temperature to reach 98C-99C. I haven’t yet done the GCC build that is supposed to take approx 1.5 hours if I run the laptop at max horsepower. But I won’t do that because 100C temperature isn’t safe.

I tried compiling with -j4 instead of the -j8 I was earlier using. Compilation is noticeable slower, and CPU usage is around 50%. But the temperature still touches 99C within a few seconds.

Then I went into the BIOS settings and disabled Intel Turbo Boost. This time compiling a program, it takes nearly double the time, but thankfully, CPU temperature stayed below 60C.

I was wondering what is the use of getting a fast processor when I cannot even use it. :woman_shrugging: The max clock is 3.6Ghz but I am effectively running it at 1.1Ghz since it heats up at “turbo” frequencies. My old PC on the other hand is a Pentium Core Duo from 2012 or 2013. I can run it at about the max frequency of 2.9Ghz and it doesn’t become a frying pan. (Yes understand that clock speed isn’t the only factor that makes CPU fast)

I’m thinking of using distcc to use my old PC for compilation too, but I have zero experience with that as of now.

If anyone else faced a similar situation with heating laptops, I appreciate if they give some tips to me about how to keep my laptop cool while doing these heavy stuff :pray:

Side question: Should I purcahse a cooling pad? Are they as effective a they are advertised?


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Most likely, your laptop is full of dust. You should open it up and give it a thorough cleaning. This might be enough to fix the problem.

If that isn’t the case, replacing the thermal paste on the CPU might do the trick.

I got a cheap cooling pad when I was doing some numerical quantum mechanics (DFT simulations of crystals), and had to run my computer on 100% CPU for 20+ hours at a time. It was effective for that purpose, it kept the temperature below 80°C, whereas otherwise it would reach 88 or so. Cooling pads are effective, but they are not miraculous. This is obviously a problem with your laptop that needs fixing. If you reach 100°C in a few minutes or seconds, that’s a problem that a cooling pad won’t solve.


Thanks for sharing your experience. :pray:

My laptop stays around 60C +/- 5C when I disable turbo boost and do compilation. But with turbo and 8 threads, the temperature shoots to 98C-99C within 10-15 seconds.

Should I suspect that my laptop has dust and all, if I purchased it in Dec 2020, i.e. less than three months back? I wasn’t suspecting problem with my laptop because its new. Also since its under warranty, should I visit a service centre rather than doing manual cleaning?

Is it one of those super thin laptops?

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It’s a Dell Inspiron 3000 series model. Not super thin by any standards. Fan is at the bottom and I stack books at the sides so that the fans get enough space to take in air.

I’ve noticed the same phenomenon on my most recent (and thinnest) laptop…
It’s clear they sacrificed cooling capacity in order to keep a sleek form factor…

(thank you “fruit company” for starting this whole trend…)