This post was most recently updated on January 7th, 2020
When buying gaming laptops, I often hear the terms of heat pipes and fans. For notebook laptops, heat dissipation is a very important part. The more subliminal heat pipes and fans are naturally the better, but is this really the case? That now begs the question of what determines the heat dissipation of laptops. This post will address how various laptop manufacturers have implemented different forms of cooling systems into their laptops in order to dissipate heat.
What Determines the heat Dissipation of Laptops?
For current notebooks, a complete cooling module includes a thermally conductive material, base, heat pipe (heat equalizing plate), fins, fan, air inlet and air outlet.
The first three determine the thermal conductivity, that is, the efficiency of the core heat to the heat sink fins. The latter items determine the heat dissipation performance. That is, the efficiency of the conducted heat to be discharged from the fuselage. Therefore, it can be seen that the heat pipe is only a part of the entire heat dissipation system. The quantity of light from the heat pipe cannot judge the heat dissipation of a machine.
1. Thermally Conductive Material
The heat emitted by the heating components first comes into contact with the heat-conducting material. In the past few years, manufacturers did not pay much attention to this one.
Typical examples are Alienware’s gamebooks. The poor performance of silicone grease directly affects the heat dissipation effect. Since most of the core of the notebook are bare, thermally conductive materials are actually very useful. Therefore, in recent years, some manufacturers have begun to use better thermally conductive materials.
For example, Lenovo Y7000 2019 series uses Shin-Etsu 7921 as the factory silicone grease. Gigabyte’s new AERO 15 uses violent bear silicone grease, and some models even use liquid Gold as a thermally conductive material, such as ASUS ROG Super God X and HP Phantom Elf X. From the results, the heat dissipation of these machines is very good.
2. The Base of the Notebook
The other side that is in contact with the heat-conducting material is the base. Over time, the most effective solution currently recognized is the copper bottom contacting the core. Earlier years, even models with direct heat pipe contact were now in the historical garbage dump. Moreover, aluminium bases are now very rare.
Heat pipe (soaking plate)
The heat of the base is taken away by the heat pipe. The main factors affecting the efficiency of the heat pipe are the width, length, quantity and degree of bending/flexibility.
However, because the heat pipe has a very high heat conduction efficiency, as long as the heat pipe can completely cover the core area, it is sufficient.
The picture below is that of the teardown of the Razer Blade 13 Stealth Edition 2019. It can be seen that a CPU and GPU core are connected in series as a very thick main heat pipe. Also, two auxiliary heat pipes are responsible for the CPU and GPU respectively. For this machine, i7-1065G7 and GTX 1650 Max-Q are already very surplus.
But because the heat pipe is the most intuitive thing to notice when disassembling, many manufacturers have started to put together the number of heat pipes as a marketing tool. But no matter how many heat pipes are more efficient than heat conduction, compared to the machine below.
VC liquid-cooled, Vapor Chamber. Maybe many people heard this term for the first time at the Xiaomi press conference a while ago. In fact, this is the vacuum cavity soaking plate that has been used on high-end graphics cards for many years. I have to say that marketing this mobile phone manufacturer will always Walking in the forefront, after all, a heat pipe can also be called liquid cooling.
Back to the topic, the most famous heat-dissipating plate on the notebook is naturally the Razer Blade 15, and the new 17 also uses this design.
About Vacuum Cavity Soaking Plates
Vacuum cavity soaking plate is currently the best solution for thermal conductivity, but it is not without its disadvantages.
First of all, the cost is much higher than the general heat pipe solution. At present, the cheapest product is Lenovo Y9000X. On the other hand, because of the large area, a large area of high temperature will appear on the C surface. However, this problem is solved by adding two fans to the battery position.
3. Heat Sink Fin
Apparently, it seems that there is no major problem in the thermal conduction of the notebook. However, what really restricts the heat dissipation system is actually the discharge of heat. That is, the real heat dissipation is the biggest bottleneck of the notebook.
For notebooks, the larger the area of the fins, the better, and the material is preferably pure copper. However, due to the limitation of the internal space of the notebook, in addition to those super brick books that do not really care about volume and weight, generally thin and light gaming books basically compromise on the heat sink fin area.
4. Fan and Inlet and Outlet
The fan and the air inlet and outlet together determine the convection efficiency of discharging heat. So, in many gaming notebooks, you can see a very large heat dissipation opening at the bottom. In recent years, you can also see that many notebooks have been changed to four outlets, which is the same reason. But these are not as effective as a violent fan. sO, large size fans on thick machines can often have very good results.
Now a powerful cooling system formula has emerged: good thermal conductive material + sufficient heat pipe + large area cooling fins + large air volume fan + large air inlet and outlet area, let us look at excellent heat dissipation that meets these requirements.
Heat Dissipation on Lenovo Y7000 2019 EDT
The Lenovo Y7000 2019 can be said to be a representative of an excellent cooling system. Although the three-heat-pipe dual-fan design looks plain. However, because of the factory pre-coated Shin-Etsu 7921 silicone grease, the small heat pipe is large enough in diameter, the fan air volume is also large This makes it the best front-line notebook for heat dissipation within $1500.
The HP Shadow Elf 5Plus Cooling Mechanism
The other notebook is the HP Shadow Elf 5Plus. There are three heat pipes responsible for core cooling, two of which are connected in series, and the other is solely responsible for the GPU. The space utilization of the 17-inch model is very good, and the cooling heat sink fins and fans are very huge.
Although there are not many heat pipes, it can stabilize the huge heat of the i9-9880H + full blood RTX 2080, and the keyboard temperature is also kept very good.
Gigabyte Aero 15 heat Dissipation
This is the new Gigabyte AERO 15 that has only recently been tested. His excellent cooling performance also left me a deep impression. The reason is that the area of the fins placed at the four air outlets and the size of the two fans are not bad. The most important thing is that the C side of the AERO 15 can also enter the wind, which increases the amount of air and also makes the temperature of the keyboard very low.
The Disadvantages of the Gigabyte System
At first glance, the heat dissipation of this machine was thought to be produced by Taobao DIY. The heat pipe even blocked part of the fan. The reason for this design goes back to his predecessor.
The old model not only has a very small fan size, but also has a very small fin area, but it has to be used to hold down the two big heat users i7-4710HQ and 970M, and the result is naturally very tragic.
The new model is just a repair of the old model, without redesign. The addition of heat pipes is also very arbitrary. Some heat pipes do not know where to conduct the heat. However, it can be seen that the area of the fins is much larger and thicker in comparison, so the heat dissipation effect is still a lot better than the previous generation, but this has nothing to do with the heat pipes that go around him.
Finally, with respect to heat dissipation in 2019, few laptops dissipate heat directly. This cooling design is obviously derived from the cooling method of the 1U server. A turbofan blows the fins on the core and finally blows it out through the air outlet on the left or right. Nothing else.