The ULTIMATE Laptop Cooling Comparison – Pad vs Vacuum vs Stand

The ULTIMATE Laptop Cooling Comparison – Pad vs Vacuum vs Stand


What are the differences between running your
laptop on different cooling pads, with vacuum coolers, a simple stand, or just normally
on a table? I’ve tested 10 different laptops in a number of different configurations to
show you which cooling solutions actually help improve performance and temperatures. Let’s start out with a brief look at all
of the different cooling options we’ll be looking at here. You can find updated prices
for all of them linked in the description. I’ll be testing with nothing, so just the
laptop sitting on a table which will be the baseline. I’ll test a basic metal stand
which just raises the machine up off of the table, this should allow more air to get in
below the laptop which is where air is pulled in. I’ve got 3 different cooling pads, all from
Thermaltake. Cooling pads raise the laptop up like the stand, but they also have a fan
which blows cool air into the bottom of the machine where the air intakes are in the laptops
I’m testing. The cheapest of the three is the V20 at just
$20. It’s got a 200mm fan, and the design is pretty basic, the laptop sits on top and
you plug it in via USB. Next up is the A23 for $5 more. It’s got
a smaller 120mm fan, connects via USB, however it has legs at the back allowing you to choose
from three separate heights. In theory, being higher should improve airflow, I’ve tested
it with the legs out at maximum length. The third cooling pad is the Massive 20 RGB,
and this is the one I’ve had the longest, I use it in all my laptop reviews during the
thermal testing. Like the smaller V20, it’s got a large 200mm fan, however the pad itself
is larger and supports bigger laptops, oh plus it’s got RGB lighting which will undoubtedly
boost performance. The last cooling solution we’ll compare
are these vacuum coolers from Opolar. Basically they get powered by USB Type-A like the cooling
pads, but you put them up against air exhaust vents and they suck air out of the system.
They can be a little annoying to position correctly. There’s a temperature display
on top, and you can adjust the fan speed, I did all testing at maximum speed. Given most gaming laptops have two exhausts,
I bought 2 of them so we can have one on both exhausts. If a laptop had 4 exhausts like
2 on the side and 2 on the back, I placed them on the back rather than the sides, as
the air coming out seemed hotter there. These are the 10 different laptops that I’ve
tested with these cooling options and there’s a pretty good variance of specs, there are
Intel and AMD processors, as well as Nvidia and Radeon graphics. All testing was done with an ambient room
temperature of 21 degrees Celsius, and I’ve tested by running the Aida64 CPU stress test
with just CPU only checked, and the Heaven benchmark at max settings at the same time,
so the same consistent workload is being run on all 10 laptops. We’ll go through the results of each laptop
one by one, then go through which coolers made the biggest difference. Let’s start out with the Lenovo Y540. I’ve
got the CPU temperatures shown by the purple bars, and the GPU temperatures shown by the
red bars. We can see with just the table and no additional cooling, the temperatures are
warmer. Even using the basic stand that just raises it up offered an improvement similar
to the cooling pads, while in this instance, the vacuum coolers gave the best result. These are the average clock speeds from those
same tests. There’s not too much of a performance improvement with this laptop when better cooling
is on offer, however there was a small clock speed change. Next laptop is the Acer Helios 300, no vacuum
cooler results here, I tested this months ago so can’t recall if I simply forgot,
or if the coolers had issues attaching. Anyway the stand improved temperatures by a couple
of degrees, then there was some extra gains to be had with the cooling pads. Like the Y540 with same specs before it, there
was just a small clock speed boost to be had by improving cooling, though clock speeds
are higher here as the Helios 300 is both undervolted and overclocked out of the box. The Acer Nitro 5 is next, this time I was
able to test the vacuum coolers, and while they were offering a little improvement compared
to using nothing, it wasn’t that big of a difference, even just using the metal stand
beat the vacuum coolers here, while the cooling pads offered the best results. There’s not really much difference at all
to the clock speeds here, and that’s because thermals weren’t a limitation. Let’s check
out something that thermal throttles next to see the difference. These are the temperatures with the Gigabyte
Aero 15 OLED. It’s got a CPU thermal throttle limit of 90 degrees Celsius. It wasn’t possible
to remove thermal throttling on the CPU from this machine with any of these cooling options,
so it was always sitting at 90, however the GPU did see a drop in thermals. For the first time so far, there’s a larger
difference to the clock speeds with the Aero 15. This is because of the thermal throttling.
Although all of these cooling options weren’t able to flat out prevent thermal throttling
under this stress test, they do still help lower it, which is why the clock speed improvements
are greater here compared to the other machines tested so far. The Eluktronics MAX-15 was also thermal throttling
on the CPU in this test, but with a higher 95 degree limit. To be fair, this one does
have the power hungry 115 watt RTX 2070, though interestingly that got slightly warmer with
most of the coolers in use. The warmer GPU seems to be a result of the
clock speeds increasing by almost 150MHz. It seems that when better cooling is available,
it’s able to start boosting higher, despite the temperature rising a degree. Otherwise
the CPU clocks didn’t change as much as we saw with the Aero, which is interesting
given both were thermal throttling there, so less of an improvement to CPU performance
comparatively. And now for something completely different.
The MSI Alpha 15 uses both AMD processor and graphics. It wasn’t thermal throttling,
however the cooling options were able to give us a nice improvement, 5-6 degrees lower on
the CPU, and 4-5 lower on the GPU. As there was no thermal throttling, it’s
not much surprise that the clock speed differences were fairly minimal on this laptop. The ASUS Zephyrus GA502 is another Ryzen based
laptop, however this time it’s paired with Nvidia graphics rather than Radeon. All of
the cooling options helped, however CPU temperatures only lowered 1-3 degrees, but the GPU saw
a bigger 3-5 degree drop off. The clock speed differences were quite strange
here, basically zero change to the GPU, however with any cooling added there was a significant
improvement observed to the CPU performance. The power limit of the Ryzen 7 3750H was sitting
at around 22 watts with the table, but with all coolers it was able to boost to 35 watts,
so it seems that the power limit dynamically adjusts if adequate cooling is provided. Next is the Dell G3, and there were excellent
improvements here, with up to a 10 degree improvement on the CPU and 11 on the GPU with
the biggest cooling pad in use. Although the vacuum coolers weren’t quite as good as
the cooling pads, they still did better than the stand. Again like many other laptops tested here,
there were some clock speed improvements as cooling improved, but they were small as there
wasn’t thermal throttling taking place. The Razer Blade Pro was the only 17 inch laptop
featured in this roundup, I’m just now realising. There were some minor improvements to be had
with the cooling pads, but interestingly the best results came from just using the metal
stand with no extra fans. The Blade Pro 17 has 4 fans inside it already, so it’s a
bit unique. With cooling pads there’s some debate with regards to blowing extra air into
the laptop, depending on the machine there’s the potential for it to result in the internal
laptops fans performing worse, and this seems to be the case here. As a result, the clock speeds with just using
the plain old simple stand were the highest, granted the differences were small either
way. I wasn’t able to use the vacuum coolers with this laptop due to there being no external
exhaust vents to latch on to. Next up is the Lenovo L340, again no vacuum
results unfortunately as there are no air exhaust vents to connect them to. The CPU
has a throttle limit of 85 degrees Celsius here which was consistently being hit regardless
of cooling solution, however there were some pretty big improvements to the GPU, with up
to a 10 degree drop with the biggest cooling pad. There were some pretty huge gains to be had
from improved cooling in terms of clock speeds. As that lower 85 degree throttle limit is
always being hit, improving the cooling will increase performance by lowering the amount
of throttling present. Now let’s look at the average temperatures
for all 10 laptops, with the exception being the opolar vacuum coolers which had 7 data
points because I couldn’t test 3 of the machines. The key take away seems to be that doing pretty
much anything, like just raising the back of the laptop up as the metal stand does,
is enough to make most of the improvements. Although there was a difference between the
three cooling pads, it’s super small, which seems to confirm my suspicion that all cooling
pads are more or less equal in terms of performance, which makes sense given they all perform the
same basic task of blowing some air. The vacuum coolers did quite well in terms of CPU temperatures,
however there was a smaller difference to the GPU compared to other methods. These are the average clock speeds for these
same tests. Given the clock speeds vary a fair bit by machine, it’s hard to compare
the vacuum cooler here due to having less data points, but with the machines we were
able to use it on, the clock speeds weren’t great comparatively. Better results were seen
in terms of performance just by using the stand, while again the cooling pads made the
largest difference. Next let’s have a listen to how loud all
of these different cooling methods get, given most of them blow additional air, some extra
noise is going to be expected. Interestingly, the stand and first two cooling
pads were a little quieter compared to just leaving the laptop running flat on the table,
it would seem that being closer to the surface raises the noise level. Realistically there
wasn’t too much difference, except for the vacuum coolers, which were noticeably louder
in comparison to all other options. I was running the vacuum coolers at max speed, but
lower would make them even less viable than they already are. So with all of that in mind, which cooling
technique should you use? The best cooler for your specific laptop will depend on the
laptop itself. I think for most people, a cooling pad or stand are far easier to use
than vacuums. They’re not only easier to set up for more consistent results, but the
vacuum coolers were also noticeably louder compared to the other options. Additionally,
on average over the 10 machines tested the cooling pads gave the best results both in
terms of thermals and performance, and they don’t cost that much either, again links
to all prices can be found in the description. There was definitely a bigger improvement
to thermals compared to performance, but that might just be because I had a smaller number
of laptops hitting thermal throttle limits. If your laptop is actually thermal throttling,
then performance will improve more. Either way, additional cooling is still beneficial,
reducing the operating temperatures would be good for promoting longevity. Let me know which cooling solution you’ll
be using for your laptop, if any, down in the comments, and if you’re new to the channel
make sure you get subscribed for future tech videos like this one.

100 thoughts to “The ULTIMATE Laptop Cooling Comparison – Pad vs Vacuum vs Stand”

  1. my theory a while ago…it disrupts the air which is already considered while designing the laptop…you prove it somehow,
    using pads might lower it only couple of degrees but best results is raising the back of the device to let it breathe well
    good video…
    cheers

  2. Why not just use cooling pads and vacuum coolers at the same time, assuming the laptops are plugged in for power…

  3. @Jarrod's Tech what are the noise level for cooling pad fans? Are they as load as fans in gaming laptop so around 50db or less then that?

  4. i was waiting for this since a month man

    even tho u said me the results i was exited
    thanks alot man !!

  5. I just got a new laptop a month ago and I've been looking for laptop cooler reviews that aren't bogus. So far this one's the only one that shows proper graphs and even one specifically for my laptop. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. were these the High temps recorded my HW Monitor? I have a regular degular chinese amazon cooling pad: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01J18006K/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    that I use with my Y530 GTX 1060+8750H, and it brings my CPU temps in multi-hour Destiny 2 sessions from 90-95c to consistently high 70's/low 80s with spikes up to 90-95 (No UV). Curious to know if your CPU temps listed were averages, or the highest during testing. I am waiting for my Y740 2080 to arrive in a week to see if my rando- cooling pad can make a difference on it's beefier graphics/CPU ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. There's this cooler called IETS gt300 that has 2 built-in blower fans, I love how it comes with rubber seal so the air cooling the laptop won't go anywhere, nice vid as always!

  8. I'm just wondering if you will do a review on the new Lenovo Yoga Slim 7? I know its not a gaming laptop, but it will be a great video to show the new Vega graphics.

  9. Anyone have a decent gaming laptop at home which will not throttle it's CPU right out of the box with no additional cooling assistance other than being placed normally on a flat desk top? ๐Ÿ˜€ After watching Linus's portable refrigerator upgrade… XD

  10. Cooling pads also makes laptop surface more cooler and this is for me most noticeable. Best way to drop CPU temperature undervotling and underclocking it.

  11. Another great video. Very thorough information not found anywhere else. One of the best channels on YouTube.

  12. Sir ,u r best YouTuber out there.
    I can't even imagine how much time u have spent to calculate these results.

    Sir,I have a Question.

    1 fan cooling pad or 4 or 5 fan cooling pad?what is basic difference?
    Which cools better?

  13. It's quite surprising how well the simple stand works, versus the active coolers. I thought the active coolers would have had much better results. So the price/performance win would go to the stand. Plus the lack of extra fan noise is a bonus as well.
    Great work Jarrod!
    Stay safe, Brother.

  14. Hi, I have a MSI prestige 15, thanks to your recommendation BTW I love it, and I saw you use one on the video but you didn't show the results, do you know which would be the best solution for it? Thx

  15. Iโ€™ve tested this before. Placing something underneath the laptop to let it breathe is better than these cooling pads and vaccumms. The best part of it? ITโ€™S FREE!

  16. Wow, this is some serious tedious work – thanks man! I always thought that basically – lifting your laptop up about 1" is good enough, no need to buy some bulky pad. Interesting to see, laptop dependent, a cooling pad might squeeze out some more performance. I still prefer the cleaner look of just using a minimal stand with my XPS15.

  17. Did your G button on dell g3 work? I have a g3 3590 an It doesn't. I even have the i5 9300h and I thermal throttle down to 2.5 ghz.

  18. Comparing temperatures of different pads/stand/nostand when the clock speeds are different for each make no sense. Should have made the clock speed and turbo constant for all laptops and then compared the temperatures over periods of time.

  19. would a non-gaming ultrabook (https://www.asus.com/Laptops/ASUS-ZenBook-14-UX434FL/) have a stronger benefit from using cooling pads, since they are so thin and airflow is not as good as gaming laptops?

  20. I was just literally just thinking about this! How the fuck do you always upload a video exactly when I need it?!

    A1 quality content right here! ๐Ÿ‘Œ

  21. My laptop literally sits on my wallet. Raises a bit of Height, helps cool better, plus I always have it with me lol

  22. Great work. Personally I highly recommend lifting the laptop. Free yet effective way to drop CPU+GPU temps. Some cheap cooling pad don't even drop temps.

  23. In my country Thermaltake cooling pads are very hard if not impossible to find, and since all the brands we find at the stores for this category are basicly garbage, the generic vacum cooler always performs waaayy better than them.

  24. I bought a cooling pad some years ago, but after 2 days of use my cat chewed the cable and it became a stand.
    But now I think a stand is better, no extra noise and it doesn't takes up an usb port.

  25. This is the video I have been waiting for!!!! Your channel is great. I bought my laptops using your reviews which are freakin amazing. Great work!

  26. For my Lenovo Flex 14 I designed and 3D printed a riser bar that splits in half. I carry it with my laptop and use it mostly when I game. That alone lowers temperature like 4~5 degrees. Using a cooling pad lowers like 10 degrees.

  27. Dude I was literally just looking for a video like this… How do you always manage to make what people want when they want it lol

  28. I think the reason why the cooling pads increase heat sometimes was becuase the air vents were on the bottom of the laptop, so when you put the fan under it, it would miss with venting and blowing.

  29. To be honest i just put a box to left the laptop on an angle it gave a huge difference from 85 cpu temp to 75

  30. the most efficient is by far just having the laptop raised. It makes air go into the laptop a lot easier.

  31. When i was a kid i had this old laptop that would overheat like crazy. Got so hot you could barely use the keys.(at the time there was no such thing as gaming laptops, the ones that did exist were hyper expensive aliens and 99% of stores did not have them) So my 12 year old me had a briliant idea. No joke , there was this ice packs ( plastic case whith ice inside used to keep food freezed) and i would take them out of the freezer and straight up put them under the laptop. Not only the ice was cold , the laptop was also raised. It helped, though now i would think twice before puting wet stuff bellow my laptop, but that not something 12 year old me would think. Just a funny memory

  32. why do you have so less subs? you made a huge effort making this video. all ur videos are showing your dedication! keep it up!

  33. Jarrod, I used to have that Vacuum cooler, and one issue I had was that with the back vents of my old Alienware, it wouldnโ€™t form a tight seal when the laptop was opened up. Did any of these laptops have that same issue?

  34. I was JUST thinking about whether or not a stand vs a cooler was worth it for a portable gaming setup!! Once again you have read the mind of the people Jarrod. Bravo

    Oh also, I donโ€™t know if you remember but in your review of the ASUS GA502DU you mentioned that the vents at the bottom were blocked by some sort of solid film, and this may have been hindering the cooling. Did the GA502 used in this test have the same blockage, or was this a model with proper open vents? Thanks!

  35. I have that Steklo x-stand for months now ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
    awesome comparison! Yet another proof though that undervolting is far more beneficial than paying for a cooling pad which also makes a laptop less mobile if you travel a lot. I'm baffled when I see people advising cooling pads lol, usually they barely help. A passive one is decent thought because it takes far less spaceweighs almost nothing and is completely silent.

  36. While gaming without gaming pad I have my 8750H running at 3.9Ghz and 95*C. When I use the gaming pad the temps are with 15*C lower but the CPU runs only at 2.0 – 3.0 Ghz and my framerate drops significantly. What is the problem and the possible solution to run at the maximum capability of the cpu?

  37. I'm with default cooling solution, but a question, my i7-9750h is always at 3985MHz clock speed with 90 degrees, is that a good clock speed? ๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ˜‘

  38. So budget laptop cooler is a stand? Plus it is also silent.
    This video is really great as it points out how much we will be benefited in performamce by spending on cooler. These amount of testing really need so much work and time. You also upload your videos frequently. I wonder how you manage time.

  39. Excellent review which indicates that all the laptops used for this test will cook while pushed.

    So, the question now is which 17" laptops have the best thermals. Based on your reviews and others many laptops will throttle down due to thermals. Will you consider doing thermal comparison tests for mainstream 17" laptops?

  40. I have noticed that with a cooling pad, it is possible for the pad to take away from your overall system power (seems like 10-15 watts between cpu and gpu) I noticed this with a coolermaster 3 fan pad on an asus gl703 vm with i7-7700hq and full gtx 1060 6gb and 32gb dual channel RAM.

    Let me know if you've noticed this at all in any of your models.

  41. Thanks for this Jarrod, did you by any chance notice that the palm rest areas get hotter on the razer blade when using just the metal stand? I have that exact same stand and whilst the system temperature might be better with it, I find the palm rest and battery area of the razer blade (mines a 15) get much warmer when using it. Not sure why that's the case, it may be that the hot air from the exhaust is able to travel to the underside of the laptop when it is raised as opposed to the rubber feet blocking it if it were flush against the table.

  42. I have the Acer Helios 300 (2019) and been using the Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad.
    It's got 5 fans, blue LEDs, dual usb ports, 6 adjustable heights, two stoppers to help from slipping and holds up to 17". Works great.

  43. Will you also make a video of the g15? When can we expect that and what do you think the price is going to be?

  44. thx for vid ive been using some small boxes on back corners to give more air to laptop like a stand but thx for knowing cooling pads are not much of improvements

  45. I only use my laptop in bed and I tried 3 different stands, before buying Cheap Amazon metal laptop stand. It's freaking best ever. It's comfortable to use gaming laptop in bed and it definitely helped with temperatures. The flat surface is mech so air goes freely.
    Thank you for video on this, I suspected these cooling pads are more of a gimmick. Best solution is just to raise laptop and let it do its thing.

  46. I usually use a stand like the one you you featured but my concern is the stand has so little surface area against the laptop, using a stand on a metal constructed laptop might bend the underside of the laptop since all of them are so thin to save weight and the material used are usually soft.

  47. I liked this video.โค๏ธ
    Whether the Asus Vivibook Gaming (F571GD) thermals are good or not ?
    Is this laptop is good buy or not ?

  48. i have razer blade 15 with the exact same spec as the blade 17 in your video, can i use it as reference? will it be the same?

  49. Asus g14 is in your possession and you are doing these videos? Man talk about priorities the whole tech world is literally waiting for your review.

  50. Yo Jarrod, random question that has almost nothing to do with the video.

    When you disable background apps for your battery test do you do a mass disable of every single app or just close everything but the essential ones? I'm barely getting 4 1/2 hours of use from my Y7000 at around 65% brightness and hybrid mode on, which is a far cry from your 6 1/2 hours web browsing. If possible I'd like specifics on what you do so I can replicate it and get that 6 1/2 batt life for school haha.

  51. where the F are sponsors, this is one of the channels that don't get the attention that deserves, thanks for the testing @jarrod

  52. Hi jarrod! Hope you will make a video soon on what are the things to do after purchasing a laptop๐Ÿ˜€

  53. Please do review(price and varients) of Asus a15 and a 17 (release date in India April 4, would be released everywhere else).
    Hands on review later

  54. my MSI GE63 with undervolted CPU and GPU, (RTX 2070 and i7-9750h)
    both doesn't go higher than 70C-79C with turbo on. (just normally on a table)

  55. The amount of effort you put into every video just shows… Your videos actually have proper important content without any bs.

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