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Cwell88

Linus's Intel laptop sample video and CPU temps

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi All,

 

This is my first post here, so I hope I have the right forum. It's sort of a general subject in that it involves multiple component interaction and general/received wisdom about laptop cooling.

 

I just finished watching Linus's video on that Intel sample laptop and was extremely intrigued by the letter he received from the Intel engineer who was happy to see high temps on the 11th generation CPU inside. Here's the video in case you want to take a quick look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfd3cO2gVHE - the CPU heat comment begins at 11:30 and is in relation to the XPS review. Apparently Intel engineers feel that running at 100 degrees C is optimal for CPU performance and that CPU heat that high doesn't impact the survival of their CPUs over their lifetimes. The comment mentions "leaving performance on the table" at lower temps. I'd guess AMD engineers would say the same thing.

 

This is especially relevant to me right now because my old MSI GT70 2PC is, after six solid years, ready for retirement. The i7-4810MQ in it is still great for basic photo, audio, and browsing tasks, but the GTX 870m is not great for newer games. Looking at new laptop reviews and discussion, especially on Reddit, the practice of undervolting new CPUs seems incredibly common, especially on gaming laptops where temps regularly hit 90+ degrees on many models. It seems crazy to me that undervolting would be necessary on these new powerful CPUs, especially since their boost clock speeds are part of the appeal: when needed they can really fly. At the same time, keeping temps below 90 degrees C is something I've always heard is desirable. Get above that temperature and you risk component failure. On top of that, I had to return a Zephyrus G14 because the exterior got hot enough to nearly burn me when I touched some of the function keys. The top side of that thing near the monitor gets HOT HOT HOT.

 

But is that still the case in 2020? I decided to load up Dark Souls III, which is the last AAA title I could get to work on my MSI machine, and realized that I was regularly peaking at 95 degrees on my CPU and roughly 89 or 90 on my GPU, depending on what part of the game I was in (this after just 20 minutes). I imagine other games have pushed my machine to that level in the past and I just never noticed (even Wasteland 2 gets me into the high 80s). And yet, this thing is six years old and could continue to work for photo editing and audio production with very few issues. Maybe some slow down here and there, but nothing that constitutes component failure. In case anyone is curious, I clean my fan and grills on the regular.

 

And despite the general consensus about 90 degrees as an upper limit, newer MSI, Asus, Acer, and HP machines seem designed for 90+ temperatures. Even with the newer cooling systems that could push a small motorboat through the swamp.

 

What do you all think about running your laptops at those temps? Is it time to update our thinking about temp limits and component failure, at least where mobile processors are concerned? Appreciate any and all discussion on the topic, and of course I'd love to see Linus and the team discuss this subject if they happen to read this and feel inspired.

 

Cheers!

 

 

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On 9/21/2020 at 6:30 PM, Cwell88 said:

Hi All,

 

- snip -

There "desirable" and what's actually true. Look at airflow for example, ask and most people will swear that having positive pressure in your case is desirable. In reality it doesn't matter.

 

Laptops always run warm and they always sound like a jet engine under load, you might as well have it pegged at 99 and have the most performance vs having it at 80, leaving performance untapped and still have it screaming. 

 

On a desktop lower temps are desirable for overclocking headroom and because you have the ability to keep it quiet and still have performance.

Edited by LogicalDrm

Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I don't mind warm temps and have been comfortable with things running above 90 degrees from time to time. I don't even mind the loud fans, especially since my system is very quiet when I browse the net, use Office, watch videos, listen to music, etc. I think it makes sense to pull as much juice from the thing as possible, especially if it's built to survive that kind of heat.

 

But it leaves me wondering about users who buy $1,500 USD laptops, then underclock them in order to keep temperatures in the 70s or 80s. Part of me thinks the limits for these things have changed, but that hasn't really been acknowledged in a public way, which is why that Intel response was so interesting: "hey, uh... we don't release these things and let them bake because they can't handle it." I've had two laptops crap out on me recently, both related to heat issues (a G14 and an HP Omen 15 2020 model), but I feel like those most be the exception to the rule given how positively they've been received. And both DEFINITELY heat up. The G14's surface gets hot enough near the panel that I'm convinced you could cook on that thing.

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So there are multiple things to consider. Intels shutdown temp on desktop CPUs has been 105C for a long time. Their desktop CPU coolers have aimed to 75C under common loads. This meand that they will go 80C under heavy load, which is expected. On laptops its been 90C+ under heavy loads for quite some time.

 

Most users think 80C, or even 70C as hot when its not. So need to have cool temps comes from some predefined preference, maybe comparing what humans can stand to what hardware can stand. Or car engine temps or something. As without actually looking into what hardware can stand, where you would get such preference?

 

On laptops, I feel like problem with temps isn't the CPU or GPU heating, or cooling solution not being able to compensate. The problem is how and where laptops will be used. Having hot object on your lap or under your fingers for long periods is not great. Having high temps near batteries is not great. Batteries heating up means they will drain faster. So any cooling on laptops going forward will be to make user experience better, and increasing battery life. Those are the key aspects if CPU heating up doesn't matter for performance.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 hours ago, LogicalDrm said:

So there are multiple things to consider. Intels shutdown temp on desktop CPUs has been 105C for a long time.

...

On laptops, I feel like problem with temps isn't the CPU or GPU heating, or cooling solution not being able to compensate. The problem is how and where laptops will be used. Having hot object on your lap or under your fingers for long periods is not great. Having high temps near batteries is not great. Batteries heating up means they will drain faster. So any cooling on laptops going forward will be to make user experience better, and increasing battery life. Those are the key aspects if CPU heating up doesn't matter for performance.

Thanks for your reply!

 

I'm beginning to think the same way. As long as thermal throttling isn't driving the performance of the computer down, then maybe 80+ ad 90+ temps on laptops aren't such a big deal. I'd like my laptop to last for 5 years if possible since I don't have a ton of money, but my old MSI is still kicking after 6 years of audio editing, gaming, and generally pushing it to its limits. If the build is solid, I guess there's no reason to be alarmed by the occasional 90-95 degree spike.

 

The biggest problems I've encountered with my last two laptops has been either the surface temperature on the laptop (the top of the G14 around the function keys felt like an oven after just 10 minutes of random benchmarks) or the temperature of the power supply after heavy use (the Omen 15 2020 brick literally burned my hand after 30 minutes of playing around in Forza 4). As the internals get more and more powerful and the chassis get smaller and smaller, I become more concerned about heat on the keyboard or potential power-related issues, like hot batteries or whatever the hell happened to my Omen that caused its brick to become a frying pan.

 

Thanks again for the reply. It's helped me think through which laptop I might actually buy now that I've had bad experiences with a couple. Surface temps are on my radar more than they were... as well as a decent power supply. So glad that thing didn't burn my place up.

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