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Eli Schlegal

Lap top cooling pad?

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On a serious note though, I've never used something like that but I would think that despite the magic cooling crystals, since it looks kinda like fabric, it would block the vents underneath.  I'm sure I've seen laptop pads that use batteries instead of using a usb plug-in so that might be an option.

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That's what I thought too... but there was more positive reviews than negative reviews on BestBuy. So... I was hoping maybe someone here has tried something similar.

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I have two problems with passive cooling pads:

1.  They block airflow underneath the laptop.  How bad that is depends on how the cooling system of your laptop is configured, but on mine all of the intake is underneath.

2.  They only work as long as they can shed heat faster than your laptop creates it.  Once the surface gets as hot as your laptop, it will cause what we like to call melting.  And your laptop melts before silica.  On a low-watt laptop, it probably won't be an issue.  On a gaming machine with a quadcore and a GTX card, it will happen quickly.

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There are really two types of laptop pads, those that are designed to agument the cooling of the laptop and allow it run at a lower temp and prevent overheating, and those that are designed to help keep the surface it rests on, such as your lap, cooler. The former is almost always powered from the laptop usb port, while the latter can be a passive device.

Thermaltake makes both and you can get some ideas about what is available here: http://thermaltakeusa.com/Products.aspx?C=1135

Please be aware that a soft passive device can block the fan intake or exhaust port often located on the underside of the laptop, and cause it to overheat. At the least, this can cause it to shut down, at the worst, it can destroy the machine by causing the cpu chip to overheat and fail.

Hope this helps.

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Laptops have a problem they are thin and they crowd all the hardware into this thin space so heat builds up. Heat is the enemy of electronics.

Here's about a dozen or more of them:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=laptop+cooling+pad

Also see:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834998465&cm_re=laptop_cooling_fan-_-34-998-465-_-Product

Note & disclaimer: By listing these I am not making an endorsement for the website nor the  products displayed. I am simply showing examples of the products being discussed. I have not nor do I use these products. I am a customer at newegg,  however.

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I'd suggest you forget any of the passive coolers, for all the reasons that have already been outlined by others here.

Since Katrina showed me just how difficult it is to evacuate a city with a full tower desktop rig, I've been stuck using laptops myself.  There's a lot of reasons why it's simply better to use a proper desktop computer for GPU cookers like SL, but they've also been mentioned here already.

I use a Targus cooler that has an AC adaptor.  It works marginally well, and I'd love to find a better one (especially since I started using a 17" gaming lappy), but that USB power source that most of them use is a deal breaker for me.  The Targus was the only one I could find that just plugs into a regular power outlet.  I'm sure those who are more technically informed than I am can dispute this, but the impression I've been given by a number of sources in the hardware end of the industry is that using a USB port to supply current to a mechanical device (ie, the fans) isn't such a hot idea. As in, it can hurt your computer. Maybe this isn't true, but I prefer to not risk my expensive machine over a thirty dollar widget.

My two cents. Now get yourself another $1.48, and you still won't be able to afford a decent cup of coffee.

Oh, an addendum: I also use a cheap little fan that clamps onto the edge of my desk. I aim the little sucker at the underside of my laptop.  Honestly, I sometimes wonder if that doesn't work just as well.

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Why not get a laptop with a graphics card that meets the system requirements?  A dedicated graphics card puts out heat.  Period.  and the more cores and memory, the more heat.  Increased airflow moves heat away from the laptop components.  Any laptop will benefit from a cooler when ruinning intensive applications like SecondLife.  High performance laptops require it.

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I used one. It had 3 fans underneath cooling the base intakes of the laptop and it worked on USB on an extremely short cable.

It worked. I liked it. I killed my laptop much more efficiently by trying to get it drunk with my favourite wine, but the cooling pad was very good imo.

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