Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How often should a laptops cooling fan kick on?

  1. #1


    Posts : 111
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 with Bing 64-bit 9600 Multiprocessor Free

    How often should a laptops cooling fan kick on?


    My laptops cooling fan has kicked on once since I've had it and that was a little bit after turning it on for the first time. How often should a laptops cooling fan kick on?

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  2. #2


    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 573
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu


    It depends how hot it is running, not the most insightful comment I know, but there is a sensor on the motherboard that monitors various temperatures of components, (mainly the processor & graphics chip), and turns on the fan, (and controls the speed), when required.

    If you are concerned about this you can check the output of these sensors yourself - I use priform's Free Speccy (Speccy - System Information - Free Download) but others are available
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  3. #3


    Posts : 111
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 with Bing 64-bit 9600 Multiprocessor Free


    Quote Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
    It depends how hot it is running, not the most insightful comment I know, but there is a sensor on the motherboard that monitors various temperatures of components, (mainly the processor & graphics chip), and turns on the fan, (and controls the speed), when required.

    If you are concerned about this you can check the output of these sensors yourself - I use priform's Free Speccy (Speccy - System Information - Free Download) but others are available
    Thanks for the info.
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  4. #4


    N. Calif
    Posts : 2,586
    W10 Pro (desktop), W10 (laptop), W10 Pro (tablet), W10 (laptop)


    Under ideal conditions, the fan should never turn on. In reality, it will turn on as needed. It only becomes a problem if it runs almost continuously.
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  5. #5


    Under ideal conditions, the fan should never turn on.
    I agree, but this is a notebook so right off the bat the conditions are far from ideal.

    It is the computer case that is responsible for providing adequate cooling. Considering tower PC cases, with support for multiple large fans and lots of vents to create a nice "flow" of cool air channeling through the case, are still challenged to keep the components inside cool, it is no wonder a notebook case starts out inadequate.

    Notebook makers can pack PC performance into a notebook case, but they cannot pack in the cooling - not while meeting the demands of road warriors (the primary notebook consumer) who insist on light weight and super thin notebooks.

    Also, PC cases allow for easy access so users can thoroughly clean the interiors of heat trapping dust. Notebooks, with their proprietary designs, do not! At least not for the "normal" user.

    For these reasons, IMO, there is no such thing as a good "gaming notebook" or "desktop replacement" - but that's for a different discussion.

    For sure, if your fan is running more often and louder/faster than normal, you need to look at cleaning. Remove all the access panels, covers, battery, slide-in cards and drives to expose as much of the interior as possible then blast out the dust with compressed air, or a can of compressed dusting gas. Just be sure to hold the fans stationary while blasting (I use a wooden Popsicle/glue stick) so you don't over-spin and damage the bearings. And if using canned dusting gas, be sure to hold the can level to avoid spewing frozen liquid gas.

    If using an air compressor (the only way to go, IMO) just be sure the compressor is fitted with a suitable in-line moisture and particulate filter and set the PSI to 80psi or less.
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  6. #6


    Posts : 38
    Windows 8


    I've got the same questions before though my fan speeds always maintain a steady speed when in mid 50 degrees C

    I also noticed that fans rev like crazy after playing a relatively heavy game.

    so I guess the fans just maintain a safe temp while under load then cool the hardware down after, for power saving purposes
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  7. #7


    so I guess the fans just maintain a safe temp while under load then cool the hardware down after, for power saving purposes
    Not sure what you mean by "cool the hardware down after".

    It works pretty much like the thermostat for your whole house, or even window air conditioner.

    When the temperature reaches some pre-determined "high" point, the thermostat signals the air conditioner to come on. When the room cools down to some pre-determined "low" point, the thermostat signals the air conditioner to turn off.

    The main difference here is the fan is a variable speed fan. So when the CPU is just a little on the warm side, the fan spins slowly. When demand pushes the temp a little warmer, the fan speeds up. When the temp gets hot, the fan runs a full speed.

    Same thing as it gradually cools off, the fan speed slows down. In most cases, the fan never stops completely because the heatsink relies on some air movement to carry the heat away.
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  8. #8


    Posts : 38
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by Itaregid View Post
    Not sure what you mean by "cool the hardware down after".
    Apologies, I may have used the wrong description for it.

    what I meant was, as to my observations on my notebook, the fans only go all out after exiting a game or some heavy work load.
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  9. #9


    Posts : 179
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64 with Media Center


    In my experience, the reason fans go all out when exiting a game is due to the cores already hot, then all of the sudden CPU usage goes to 100% on all cores while the game is exiting (use task manager running on background to monitor this) and as such fans go to max while temps reach their highest recorded temp.
    Last edited by theveterans; 21 Dec 2014 at 13:20.
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  10. #10


    A lot happens when you exit a program. Current status is often saved, and many opened files are closed and saved to disk. This all increases demand on RAM and the CPU for a few seconds - creating a heavy workload. Remember, the 100s of millions of CPU transistor gates are flip-flopping - changing "state" from high (1) to low (0) - several billion times a second (3 billion @ 3GHz). So a CPU can go from cold to overheated and back again almost instantly so the fans need to react almost instantly too.
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How often should a laptops cooling fan kick on?
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