Question Advice for people with gaming laptops that get too hot...

This could work in a desktop, too, but there are a lot of different options available with a desktop that won't hurt your performance.

First of all, this assumes that you keep your laptop clean. If not, clean it first and see what happens.

Anyway, I'm fortunate right now in that my current gaming laptop doesn't have heat issues, but the overwhelming majority of my previous laptops did have that problem. I'm someone who obsesses over heat, so I keep good track of it. The problem with gaming laptops is almost always the CPU. In fact, I've literally never had a GPU overheat. The problem with CPU's overheating is that, for one thing, it's bad for your hardware. It's not going to last as long. For another thing, your computer will start throttling that CPU to bring the heat down, which will cause serious drops in your FPS because your computer has no subtlety when it decides to throttle. Some laptops will even shut down.

So you have two basic ways to fix this (and none of them involve those wind pads they sell, which actually accomplish nothing). The enemy here is the CPU's Turbo. You need to keep it from doing that. Unfortunately, turning this off in the Bios is not possible on most laptops (you can do it on most desktops, though), so you need to do it another way.

Go to "Power and Sleep Settings" and select "Additional Power Settings". Next to whatever power plan you have selected, click on "Change plan settings". Now click on "Change Advanced Power Settings". A little box will open up called "Power Options". Scroll down through the options there and select "Processor Power Management" and then "Maximum Processor State". Next to "Plugged In", change the 100% to 99%.

Assuming your laptop is relatively clean and in good working order, that will fix your heat problem. It will, of course, also drop your FPS in CPU bound games, though it usually isn't that bad. Gaming laptops are about little sacrifices, and this may be one you have to make. And while your FPS may drop, it will become much more stable, which actually makes for a better playing experience.

To get back lost FPS, change the graphic settings to be easier on the CPU. Reduce shadows and water quality. Reduce the visible distance. Reduce the number of polygons on the screen (how dense vegetation is, etc).

The other easy way of controlling the heat is to set your maximum FPS. It's not as reliable, though, and you'll just have to play with it to get it where you need it. Some games allow you to do this in the settings. If you have Nvidia, you can go to the Nvidia Control Panel to the Manage 3D Settings and change "Max Frame Rate". Controlling the heat through max FPS usually works, but you will have to go through that process with every game, and often your max FPS from this method is basically the same that you would have gotten if you had lowered the power to 99 percent. But the advantage to this method is that you might be able to hit a sweet spot where you are getting very good FPS at an acceptable temp, when changing the power setting will sometimes leave a decent amount of performance on the table.
 
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I'm not a laptop guy, but looks like great advice—thanks :)

I assume the Settings instructions are for Windows 10?
If yes, can someone with Win11 please post any differences?
Yeah, Windows 10. The only thing they might have changed, I'm guessing, are the first two screens. The rest of it has been the same for many years. If you can find your power plans, you should be good to go from there.
 
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