How to Fix Thermal Throttling in Laptops, CPU & GPU (2022)

When a laptop is under heavy loads, it starts heating up and eventually slows down. Various reasons are attributed to slow speed and performance. Outdated processers, insufficient RAMs, and low storage are considered reasons for slow performance. But thermal throttling is another common reason for a laptop’s slowdown behavior. To perform tasks without any hindrance, everyone must be able to fix thermal throttling in the laptops, CPU, and GPU.

Thermal throttling occurs when power and performance go down owing to high temperatures. It also occurs when the processor is idle and unable to perform the required task. An efficient heat management system employing a third-party heat monitoring application and decreasing clock speed CPU can fix laptops from thermal throttling.

What Is Thermal Throttling?

Thermal throttling is the process of lowering the laptop’s performance to achieve low temperatures. Working on heavy software causes a temperature surge, affecting internal components. Thermal throttling is sometimes considered a safety feature as it avoids overheating.

While it is an effective method to prevent heat damage to internal electronic components, it also reduces performance by decreasing frame rate and clock speed. Thermal throttling can be detrimental while working on graphic designing programs, video editing, or modern games. Laptop processing power decreases as frame rates decrease and application crashes.

Causes of Thermal Throttling?

Laptops heat up intrinsically when working on heavy tasks like other electronic devices. It is because the heat dissipation to the environment is slower than normal. The heat inside the laptop builds up and damages internal components. Here, the thermal throttling starts functioning and controls the temperature through controlling processing power.

Components of laptops and computers are designed to work under temperature limitations. By crossing the threshold limit, CPUs and other components cannot perform tasks properly. For example, Intel CPUs can work up to 105 Celsius, while AMD ones can work under 90 Celsius.

In the following lines, we will discuss the cause behind thermal throttling.

  1. Poor Air Flow Causes Faster Heat Build Up

The placement of internal components and the position of vents play an important role in thermal throttling. The CPUs and GPUs are the main parts that perform most of the processes. When they are arranged and installed compactly in a laptop, heat building is easy, and dissipation worsens.

The second thing is the cooling system of the laptop. When the internally installed cooling fan cannot properly outflow the warm air through the vents, heat builds up. Defected fans in an external cooling system can have the same results.

Laptops have compact placement of components; therefore, they are more prone to thermal throttling than desktops. A computer setup has a lot of free space internally, and it can accommodate more cooling systems. But laptops cannot have this facility, so they heat up faster and frequently show thermal throttling.

  1. Extensive Work Loads and Full Utilization of CPU

When the laptop performs tasks related to graphics, video editing, and heavy games, it draws maximum power. The CPU has to work up to its maximum limit. This full CPU utilization can be harmful as thermal throttling can occur here.

So, the professional must be careful in utilizing the CPU while working with rendering-related tasks. If you are forcing the CPU to work over 95% of its capacity for a long time, then the chances of thermal throttling increase to many folds.

  1. Overclocking to Make CPU Work Faster

In overclocking, the laptop’s hardware components are fine-tuned to provide more productivity and effectiveness. Usually, it is required when a professional is working with transcoding, rendering, and currency mining. It involves adjusting the laptop’s processor, RAM, power, voltage, motherboard, and memory settings.

This overclocking brings out every jot of performance from your laptop by maximizing the frequency of CPU, space in RAM, supplying voltage, and dissipating the generated heat. If the balance is there, then you are doing very well.

Overclocking boosts performance and makes the CPU work faster without any other investment. But if you are not confident in tuning the hardware, go to a computer expert. Any little mistake while overlocking can be detrimental to your whole system.

How to Fix Thermal Throttling?

Thermal throttling is detrimental to the health and performance of the laptop. Various methods have been discussed in the following section to overcome this issue.

Method – 1: In-depth Dusting of Laptop

Dust in the environment attracts laptops and gets stuck on fans and grills. This dust accumulation suffocates and blocks fresh airflow inward the system.

Just like humans, suffocation causes breathing difficulty. Similarly, air blockage makes the laptop not take a breath and cool itself, resulting in heat buildup and low performance.

So, to remove dust, various techniques are used. The simplest one is to purchase a compressed air can and blow it through the laptop’s vents. Avoid damaging internal electronics parts and fans while passing air.

When the vents are open, and grills have no dust particles, air will easily pass and dissipates heat in the atmosphere. Therefore, no chances of thermal throttling.

Before opening the laptop and cleaning, read detailed information about the manufacturers or watch guides from YouTube.

Method – 2: Install Performance Monitoring Application

Usually, sudden slow speed and performance are considered an indicator of thermal throttling. But, still, there is no absolute indicator of this issue. Sudden slow speed can be due to damage to RAMs.

Performance monitoring programs keep checking the temperature variations consistently. This software represents CPU usage, RAM frequency, and temperature in the form of graphs. Sharp variations in the temperature graph are representations of thermal throttling.

For ideal usage and best CPU performance, the temperature is kept 15oC from the maximum designed limit. By implementing this rule, you can avoid heat-related problems, specifically thermal throttling.

Method – 3: Undervolting The Processor and Graphics Card

Undervolting is decreasing the value of voltage being supplied to the CPU or other components to reduce heat generation. It will result in lower consumption of energy sources, but the performance remains the same.

Its opposite approach to overclocking forces the system to touch its maximum performance limit and generates more heat. Undervolting is contrary to overclocking.

Undervolting essentially supplies the lower voltage to the processor and maintains stability and performance.

Undervolting is CPU and GPU are the same, but care is necessary. A small mistake in reducing the vales of voltage through BIOS can damage the data and hardware. If you can do Undervolting, then you can enjoy the best performance and control the issue of thermal throttling.

Method – 4: Reapply Thermal Paste on CPU and GPU

Thermal paste has a dynamic standing in the world of laptops and computers. It is a silver color compound applied on the lid of CPU and GPU to transfer heat to heat sinks.

There is no need to apply thermal paste when the system is new. Otherwise, small imperfections in the lid and air bubbles can affect the transfer of heat towards the heat sink.

Improper thermal paste application can also create the problem of lower thermal conductivity between CPU and heat sink.

So, firstly, open up the laptop and clean its fan, CPU lid, and other parts. Clean the expired thermal paste by swabbing the cotton piece.

Thermal throttling is controlled by applying the dropwise thermal paste over the CPU and GPU.

Method – 5: Improve Intrinsic Cooling Through Cooling Systems

If you changed the thermal paste and still it is not working. To avoid thermal throttling, it’s time to purchase a cooling system for your laptop. It is highly recommended to use higher quality CPUs such as i7 or better one. Otherwise, you will end up damaging the machine and its performance.

There are different tips available which, if employed properly, can work better. The first one is to arrange a laptop stand and laptop cooler. It will extensively remove heat from internal components and provide intrinsic cooling.

If you have a good budget, then go for water cooling kits. As the water has more thermal conductivity than air, it performs better in the case of gaming laptops. Copper-based heat sinks are also available in the market, which is attracting many users as well and help in fixing thermal throttling.

FAQ’s

Is My Laptop Experiencing Thermal Throttling?

It is pretty easy to notice thermal throttling in your laptop as it starts getting slow suddenly. Sometimes when it heavily impacts the system, even small mouse movements get skipped or freeze on screen.

Thermal throttling in high-quality CPUs is scarcely observed. But it is observed when you are working with graphics, rendering, and currency mining. Due to thermal throttling, rendering time will increase and reduce the frame rate.

Who Should Be Worried About Thermal Throttling?

Even if you are not experiencing thermal throttling frequently, you need to be worried about it. Though a little bit of thermal throttling will not damage hardware but it indicates that your system requires more cooling for better performance.

Every professional gamer and graphics expert should be worried about it; if this is ignored for a long time, the system may crash while working on important tasks.

Conclusion

The positive point of thermal throttling is that it lowers the performance by lowering the power supply and eventually results in low heat generation. It hinders the working of the processor to its maximum capacity.

In this article, we have discussed different methods to fix thermal throttling in laptops. Efficient cooling and heat managing can surely decrease the chances of thermal throttling. It is accomplished by implementing any of the methods mentioned earlier.

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