How many fans does a laptop need?

Fan tuning in the laptop: Always well cooled

Thomas Rau

Fan tuning is fine work: The air whisk should cool reliably, but not constantly buzz in a disruptive manner. With these tools you determine the speed yourself.

EnlargeSo that the laptop doesn't get too hot: The right tools for fan control
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It's annoying: you want to concentrate on your notebook. But every minute the fan in the laptop turns up, whines briefly and then calms down again. Finally silence? No, a short time later the fan concert starts all over again.

The fan is particularly noticeable in times of silent notebooks with SSDs. But an optimal fan control can also provide more performance in the notebook. This is particularly interesting if you have a slim notebook with a high-clocked processor: If the processor is not cooled sufficiently, it slows down by "throttling" - a high-clocked Core i7 may then no longer be faster than a slower Core i5. want.

EnlargeSo that the notebook processor can always give full throttle, it must be sufficiently cooled. Check whether this is the case with your notebook using the stress test of the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility

You can test how well the cooling in the notebook works under load with the Intel Xtreme Utility tool. To put the CPU under load, select the "Stress Test". Select “CPU” there and define a duration for the test. That should depend on how long and how often you normally run strenuous programs on the notebook - for example games. If you click on "Monitoring" in the top right corner of the tool, the program window is reduced and you can easily monitor the progress of the CPU temperature and throttling.

Fan tuning: Shut down the air whisk

To keep a fan that is too loud or to constantly change the speed of rotation, you should first update the BIOS: Even in a new BIOS, you will usually not find any settings to directly influence the fan. But the notebook manufacturers often adjust the rotation speed or temperature limits at which the fan starts in an update. If you want to slow down the notebook fan without a loss of performance, use the Notebookfancontrol tool.

EnlargeWith NotebookFanControl you can turn the fan of the notebook down, if the tool supports your laptop.

After starting, select the appropriate configuration for your notebook. To do this, open the list of supported notebooks in the top line to the right of the input window. If your model is not listed, try a variant that is as close as possible to your device. Then press “Apply”. Now select a target speed for the fan and activate "Fan control service enabled". Then you should definitely keep an eye on the CPU temperature and the throttling: A quiet fan is counterproductive if it causes the notebook to heat up too much and the processor therefore has to switch back. Programming professionals can write their own config file for their notebook. The author of NotebookFanControl describes how to do this in the instructions for the program.

EnlargeYou can also turn the fan down with Windows on-board tools. However, only at the expense of computing power

Control fans without tools

You don't necessarily need any special tools to turn the fan quieter. This also works with Windows on-board tools: To do this, you limit the maximum clock rate of the CPU in the energy options. When the processor runs at a lower clock rate, it gets less warm and the fan is used less often. Disadvantage: the notebook's performance drops. Computing-intensive activities such as games and image or video editing may then no longer run smoothly or require significantly more time.

To limit the clock speed, go to the power options in the control panel. With the power plan active, click Change power plan settings -> Advanced power settings -> Processor power management. There you enter under "Maximum processor performance" as a percentage value with which clock rate the CPU may run in the future. You can determine the clock rate separately for mains and battery operation. The percentage refers to the maximum possible clock rate, with Intel CPUs including Turbo Boost: A processor that manages 2.4 GHz in Turbo Boost mode runs at a maximum of 1.2 GHz if you select " Enter 50% ”.

A little digression - the desktop PC also thanks you for installing a new fan with less noise and longer life: