Keep Your Laptop Cool and its Video Chip Should Keep Working for a Long Time

The video chip can be found inside your laptop, usually attached to the motherboard. It is responsible for generating a display on the screen and is easily damaged and susceptible to premature failure particularly when abused.

If you disassemble an average laptop you will most likely notice a heatsink with fan covering two large chips. One will always be the CPU chip the other the graphics chip. The CPU and graphics chip generate plenty of heat once the laptop is operating. The CPU will not generate nearly as much heat as the graphics chip. You will also observe that the CPU is almost always contained in a fast release socket allowing it to be removed and replaced during an upgrade or repair. The graphics chip, however, is almost never found in a socket so cannot be upgraded or changed.

As a general rule, the hotter a chip operates at, the shorter its life expectancy, when a failure can be expected. So any measures that could be taken to keep this chip cool will extend the lifespan of the laptop.

There are some obvious measures that may be used to keep this chip cool and some less obvious ones. Make sure that you never block the air intake and air outlet being particularly careful not to use the laptop on a fluffy surface such as a bed or carpet. If you notice that the air coming out of the exhaust outlet is slow or hot then you will most likely need to have the fan and vents cleaned by a laptop repair agent. Most users do not realise that certain programs generate much more heat from the graphics chip than others. Letting the laptop idle on the Internet shouldn’t cause the graphics chip to generate much heat, however, playing a game where advanced graphics are running will in most cases cause it to generate considerable heat. Surprisingly, playing films from DVD or from the web can result in the graphics chip producing maximum heat. If this is done too frequently, and the in-take is slightly obstructed, then the chip is extremely likely to fail. So bear this in mind should you intend to play many films through the laptop.

If the wrong or an old graphics driver has been installed on the laptop then this may cause the graphics chip to overheat and will likely cause graphics intensive programs to judder or crash the laptop. The correct graphics drivers are often relatively easy to find and may usually be downloaded free from the manufacturer’s Web site.

Some laptops have the graphics chip mounted on a mini circuit board that is socketed into the motherboard; this allows for easy upgrade or repair to the graphics chip. This is generally quiet costly and is only possible on the top of the range laptops.

Look after your laptop’s graphic chip because it is either very costly or impossible to replace. Look after your laptop’s graphic chip because it is either extremely expensive or impossible to replace.

Graham Kelly is experienced at repairing broken and damaged laptops and USB RAM drives. He has spent in excess of 30 years inside the electronics industry focusing on electronic design and repair. He has published many articles relating to laptop and notebook faults to assist users diagnose and perhaps perform simple laptop repairs by themselves where appropriate. He is always happy to give technical guidance and may be contacted at Trilogic’s internet site for laptop power connector repair or memory stick repair.