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Gaming laptops are a lot more fragile than their desktop cousins. Imagine, many of the powerful components that go into a mid or even a low-tier rig, crammed into a flat, small space, generating a ton of heat.

Gaming laptops get loud because the internal fans are cranked to the max, desperately trying to dissipate the heat before the temperature reaches a level that can damage the components. Poor maintenance, poorly applied thermal paste, and blocked vents are only a few things that can exacerbate the problem. 

AdobeStock_164438421 A man sits at a laptop and playing a video game in dark room. Young gamer playing video game wearing headphone.

While gaming laptops are nice, you always have to exercise caution with them, carefully selecting games or adjusting the game’s settings to ensure that it’s not too much for your portable rig. If your gaming laptop is extremely loud, here’s what you’re doing wrong and how you can fix it.

5 Reasons & Fixes For a Loud Gaming Laptop

1. Too Many Programs Running in the Background

While the noise coming from your gaming laptop is invariably the cooling fans, there are plenty of separate, underlying issues that kick those fans into high gear. One such issue is the number of programs you have running in the background.

A gaming laptop is designed for playing games with demanding graphics, maintaining FPS without sacrificing very much in the graphics department.

While most gamers are pretty conscientious about what’s running in the background, things slip through from time to time.

For instance, downloading new software, OS updates, or personal changes to the OS may fire up several background processes without you realizing it. Ctrl+Shft+Esc are your best friends in this instance. You can press them at any time to check out what’s going on in the background.

Any tasks running that you don’t need and losing them isn’t detrimental to the functionality of your gaming laptop, right-click and disable.

2. Your Cooling System is no Good

Manufacturers may talk a big game but, at the end of the day, they’re always looking for ways to cut costs. A business won’t make much in the way of revenue if all of its products require people to sell a kidney on the black market to afford it.

Many manufacturers are using the same materials but they’re cramming far too much into too small a chassis. It makes little sense but it’s done surprisingly often. The best way to combat it is to add a cooling fan to your gaming laptop.

It’s also a good idea to pick one that doesn’t draw on the laptop’s power. For one, a gaming laptop already burns through the battery quickly . For two, drawing power from the laptop to run itself creates yet another source of heat build-up.

Another solution is to carefully study the laptop before you buy it. Only buy from well-known, highly-reputable manufacturers. You have to know your components to have an idea about how much heat the thing is going to generate. Then, make a judgment call based on the chassis’s size, materials, and thermal paste.

3. Poor Maintenance

A $2,000+ gaming PC with liquid cooling is not the same thing as a gaming laptop in any way, shape, or form. That gaming PC will require cleaning and maintenance but, when it comes to a gaming laptop, cleaning and maintenance should be like a religion.

Clean that thing. Clean it a lot. Don’t let dust get into those vent ports if at all possible. Mid-tier and up gaming laptops have a lot going on under a very tight, constricted hood and there is nothing to cool it but air.

The point is, you have to be much more meticulous and disciplined when it comes to keeping your gaming laptop clean.

Purchase the right tools for the job and make a habit of examining the chassis and thermal paste every cleaning. Ant cracks or flaws should be addressed asap.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide for disinfecting the keyboard and breaking down gunk
  • Q-tips for applying the hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Tiny bristle, plastic dental cleaners for fine cleaning tight spots
  • Microfiber cloth only
  • Pressurized air can
  • Cleaning time should be in a well-ventilated area

4. Don’t Run What Your Gaming Laptop Can’t Handle

Now your specs and run games on your rig accordingly. Keep in mind, just because your gaming laptop is just a shade good enough to meet the minimum system requirements, doesn’t mean it will be good enough a few months down the road.

Games are always being updated, with new content as well. Those minimum requirements can change in a hurry. The truth is, if your gaming laptop barely meets the minimum, it might be best to just avoid the game or upgrade your laptop.

5. Thermal Paste

Thermal paste, or thermal compound, however you want to look at it, is used in the manufacturing process of the laptop and it’s designed to work in conjunction with the fan or the heat sink to dissipate heat.

If the paste is damaged, you notice a crack, or it’s been a year, you should strongly consider reapplying. Reapplying thermal paste isn’t all that difficult.

You should also always be skeptical of the thermal paste that comes out of the factory.

Keep an eye on it over time, just to be safe. Yeah, that means opening up your laptop, and it’s a pain, but you should do it nonetheless.

Even highly reputable manufacturers don’t always get the thermal paste applied right. You should also consider removing the thermal paste as soon as you pull the gaming laptop out of the box for the first time.

Then reapply liquid metal thermal paste (amazon link), a far superior product that will boost the laptop’s heat dissipation efficiency.

All Things Considered

Gaming laptops are great if you really need to game on the go. They aren’t the same as owning a high-end or even a mid-tier desktop, however, and it’s important to have a higher degree of focus on maintenance.

Until manufacturers come up with something more viable and just as cost-effective as fan-cooling, that’s the way it is for most gaming laptops. You get what you pay for and, it’s also a case of “if you take care of it, it will take care of you.”