Let Your Laptop Overheat and Most Likely Your Video Chip Will be Frie

The video chip can be found within your laptop, usually connected to the motherboard. Without a video chip a laptop would not produce a display on its screen and is prone to failure particularly if the laptop is mistreated.

There are 2 large chips located underneath a heat sink. These are the graphics chip and CPU respectively. The CPU and graphics chip generate plenty of heat once the laptop is running. The CPU will not generate nearly as much heat as the graphics chip. The CPU is almost always contained in a socket that allows it to be rapidly extracted and replaced should it fail or require an upgrade. Unfortunately, upgrading or changing a faulty graphics chip is impossible or very difficult since it is directly soldered on the motherboard.

As a general rule, the hotter a chip operates at, the shorter its life-span, when a failure should be expected. If the laptop and especially its graphics chip are kept as cool as possible then this should help increase the life expectancy of the laptop.

With a bit of thought you ought to be able to keep your laptop operating cool instead of hot and damaging the graphics chip. Make sure that you never block the air inlet and air outlet being specifically careful never to use the laptop on a fluffy surface like a bed or rug. Have the vents and fan cleaned if there appears to be a reduction in airflow or if you notice the fan working most of the time. Many users do not realise that certain programs generate much more heat from the graphics chip than others. Games make use of a lot of advanced graphics features so will create much more heat than say a word processing program. You will most likely a bit surprised to find out that playing a DVD film will cause the graphics chip to run incredibly hot, so potentially reducing the life span of the laptop particularly if this is done regularly.

You could find that the graphics software driver is damaged, out of date or simply missing. This will usually result in the graphics chip overheating along with the laptop locking up or crashing. Most laptop manufacturers provide a free service where the correct driver or drivers can be downloaded to help keep it operating exactly they intended when designed.

Some laptops have the graphics chip installed on a mini circuit board that is socketed into the motherboard; this allows for easy upgrade or repair to the graphics chip. This is generally quiet costly and is usually only possible on the luxury laptops.

Always treat your laptop carefully, being aware that if it is getting too hot then the graphics chip might fail immediately or will have a shortened life. If you are fortunate, an overheating graphics chip will cause the laptop to cut out and shut off yet most of the time immediate permanent damage results that will stop the laptop from powering up in the future.

Graham Kelly is skilled at repairing broken and damaged laptops and USB RAM drives. He has spent over 30 years inside the electronics sector specializing in electronic design and repair. He has circulated several articles relating to laptop and notebook faults to assist users diagnose and possibly carry out simple laptop repairs by themselves where appropriate. He is always happy to give technical guidance and can be contacted at Trilogic’s internet site for laptop motherboard repair or USB flash drive data recovery .