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

A laptop’s video chip is found within the laptop soldered directly to the motherboard together with other components. It is responsible for generating a display on the screen and is easily damaged and at risk of premature failure especially if mistreated.

There are 2 large chips located underneath a heat sink. They are the graphics chip and CPU respectively. The CPU and graphics chip generate plenty of heat once the laptop is running. The graphics chip though generates by far the most heat. The CPU is nearly always contained in a socket that permits it to be rapidly removed and replaced should it fail or require upgrading. The graphics chip, however, is almost never contained in a socket so cannot easily be upgraded or changed.

Graphic chips are more likely to fail or have a shortened life if they continually operate at a high temperature. So any measures which might be taken to keep this chip cool will lengthen the life-span of the laptop.

There are a few obvious steps that can be used to keep this chip cool plus some less obvious ones. Always use the laptop on a tray or table, not on a carpet, bed or on your knees because this may block the cooling vents. Have the vents and fan cleaned if there appears to be a reduction in airflow or if you notice the fan operating quite often. Different kinds of packages result in different amounts of heat being generated by the graphics chip. Letting the laptop idle on the Internet shouldn’t cause the graphics chip to generate much heat, however, playing a game where sophisticated graphics are running will in most cases make it generate substantial heat. You may a bit surprised to discover that playing a DVD film may cause the graphics chip to run incredibly hot, so potentially decreasing the life expectancy of the laptop particularly when this is done regularly.

You could find that the graphics software driver is damaged, out of date or just missing. This will usually result in the graphics chip overheating combined with the laptop locking up or crashing. The correct graphics drivers are often not too difficult to find and can usually be downloaded free from the manufacturer’s Web site.

Upgrading the graphics chip on a laptop is frequently nearly impossible as it is very difficult to remove the old chip from the motherboard. You will discover though, some high specification laptops which may have the graphics chip mounted on a separate sub assembly circuit board that connects to the main motherboard. This makes it easy, thought quiet pricey, to upgrade or replace the graphics chip as required.

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