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Has anyone tried this?

Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:00 am
by madlee
buying a sheet of copper or aluminum and simply placing the laptop on top of that? I'm trying it with aluminum foil and it already has dropped the temperature considerably.

Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:23 pm
by michaelb
When playing a game (high cpu usage) I've put the notebook on top of an upside down aluminum pan or pot. Seemed to help some, to keep fan from turning on.

I place the pan so air can get to the inside of it. Have used large uncoated heavy duty pan meant for stovetop, with two small handles. But a pan for oven should work too.

Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:37 pm
by madlee
hmm.... got a big sauce pot and i'm trying it. I'll see how it goes.

Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:05 am
by madlee
I tried the sauce pot, complete with copper bottom and it may have worked, but it simply raised the height of the laptop to a point that made it impractical for me.

however, I did find a large sheet of aluminum in the form of a road sign. it works, but I think a sheet of copper would work better for a couple reasons.

1. it's copper, so in comparison to aluminum it conducts heat better.

2. the darker color may be more receptive to radiant heat... this is a factor since the aluminum sheet is silver in color and probably reflects some of the heat back to the laptop. that being said, it has made a big difference.

heat from the laptop no longer transfers to the desk, which acts as an insulator and stores the heat causing the laptop to get hotter and hotter.

the thickness of the road sign in comparison to the aluminum foil I was previously using makes a big difference in the above.

the next step would be to perhaps figure out a way to make a physical connection like thermal grease in a cpu/heatsink relationship to increase the cooling factor of the sheet of aluminum.

anyone have any ideas on how to accomplish this last part? what material would transfer heat from the plastic case of the laptop to the aluminum sheet below it? it would have to be easily removed.

Perhaps future laptop designs will follow the lead of the zalman tnn cases and actually make the case of the laptop part of the heatsink...

Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:46 pm
by NoiseFreeGuy
Put away your pots and pans, copper etc.

My girlfriend has a Toshiba notebook whose fan would come on every few minutes.
We just took two pieces of styromfoam (approx. 1 inch high) and placed them underneath her notebook.
The fans hardly came on at all after that. Big difference.


Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 8:15 pm
by madlee
I guess the problem with propping the laptop up is that it makes using the laptop not very ergonomic.

Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:57 am
by NoiseFreeGuy
madlee wrote:I guess the problem with propping the laptop up is that it makes using the laptop not very ergonomic.
Not at all.

The styrofoam that we used were two flat pieces.
They raised the notebook aprox. 1 - 1.5 inches.
The notebook was very stable and viewing height was pretty much the same.

Try it, you'll like it!


Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:38 pm
by jaganath
I doubt the styrofoam approach will work for every laptop. It works by increasing natural convection from underneath the laptop, but if the laptop cooling system is well-designed this will be maximised anyway. The pots and pans/copper idea is thermally sound, but kind of negates the portability of the laptop which is its raison d'etre.

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:26 am
by madlee
I guess the solution to this in the end is for laptop manufacturers to start making aluminum cased laptops. won't be cheap though. plastic is so much cheaper and stronger.

would be interesting to see them make a case that works like the zalman tnn.

maybe apple???

they are having lots of issues with heat. would seem to be a natural next step.

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:39 pm
by jaganath
maybe apple???

they are having lots of issues with heat. would seem to be a natural next step.
No, the natural next step for them is to switch to cooler-running CPU's (ie Core Duo). As you pointed out, it is much cheaper for laptop manufacturers to reduce heat production to a level where the current cooling systems are adequate, rather than sticking with the current hot chips and spending millions on expensive thermal engineering solutions (like a TNN-style heatpiped case).

Instead of looking for ever-more ingenious ways to dissipate large amounts of heat, the lesson is not to produce so much heat in the first place. Prevention is always better than a cure.