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7 Steps to Reduce Your Laptop’s Fan Noise & Increase Speed

7 Steps to Reduce Your Laptop’s Fan Noise & Increase Speed

It can’t be helped: dust builds up in desktops and laptops. There is no getting around it, no matter how clean your area is. All those dust particles you see every now and then in the air get in through your vents and build up into a nasty web of dust.

All of which is why your fan runs fast and loud.

Here are some crucial, easy steps you can take (right now!) to silence your laptop’s fans, maximize your speed/performance, and ensure your laptop lasts for a few more years.

1. Check yo’ temp

Before we do anything involving taking apart your rig/system, even before going to town with a can of compressed air, It is essential that you download a program that monitors your heat levels.

Why?

There’s no way of knowing if your heat temperatures (unless your laptop’s bios mention it) have increased if you don’t know what those temperatures are in the first place.

A handy app that does just that is called RealTemp. It keeps track of your processors’ temps–no muss, no fuss. It monitors these temps in real time and lets you see these numbers in your tray. Record them and keep them close.

It is also important to know the system’s hardware and performance. On a PC, press CTRL+ALT+DEL, then click “task manager” and move to “performance tab” to see the resources (processor, ram, storage) your laptop is using. Are they touching the top bar, 100% usage? If so, your laptop needs some treatment and hardware/software upgrades.

Before moving ahead with upgrades (RAM, storage, etc), it is important to know your system’s hardware specifications.

  • Processor (CPU)?
  • Memory (RAM)? DDDR 2/3/4? RAM’s frequency?
  • Storage (HDD, SDD) is installed?

You can use a wonderful free app called CPU-Z, which will tell you all about your laptop’s hardware. A small yet precise app.

2. Defrag!

When was the last time you defragged your laptop? If you have Windows 8 and 8.1, it’s done for you automatically. If you don’t know what defragging does, it’s sort of a digital “cleanse through” of your entire system. Clearing away the cobwebs, so to speak.

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A lot of times the files you delete, switch around to new folders, and change the names of leave little traces of “original versions” behind. These bits and bobs of left-behind traces add up over time.

Understand it like this. You have a 250 GB storage and it’s filled up to 200 GB. These used spaces are not lined properly in rows and columns but are scattered throughout the hard disk, which takes a longer time to access the file. When defragged, these used spaces get in-line (in rows & columns) so the system can now quickly access it as they are placed at the proper place for the system to access. I have been defragging since Windows 98, XP & 7. Luckily, with Windows 10, I didn’t need to as it’s fast as the cheetah. That’s how fast it is.

Defragging your system once a month or so (if it isn’t set to automatic) removes these little traces and gives your system’s HDD/RAM a swift kick in the pants with a brand new “refresh.”

3. Take apart the rig

Now that we’ve determined temp levels & defragged the system, it’s time to crack open your rig. Depending on your brand, manufacturer, version it’s best to look online for directions on opening up your precious.

Overall, though, most people will be doing the same thing: screwing the back/bottom and removing the protective cover.

Once we’re inside, it’s time to take a can of compressed air and go to town. It’s best to burst a spray or two of air, rather than one long continuous stream of air, as it’s safer on your mechanical instruments (which can actually be ruined under long streams of air, which eventually liquidize and “melt” your components).

Now, this next part is important: Go to YouTube with your laptop’s make and model, and research “how to open ***laptop-model-no***”.

I cannot stress the importance of this because everyone’s models are important. I have an Acer Aspire 5745G laptop. The components and placement of hardware are drastically different from someone who has an Acer V7.

Everyone’s rigs are different. However, the dust bunnies and collections of gunk, dust, and what-not will generally be the same. No matter your setup, eliminate that pestering dust with a quick spray of your canned air. If you need to use a brush, do it but carefully.

4. Clean inside-out

Did you know that, according to a 2002 report, some toilets are cleaner than keyboards? I also heard one time that telephones were dirtier than toilets. Gross.

How much bacteria, grime, and dirt lurks on your fingertips each and every day? Just imagine all those dirty dust-mites and dead skin-cells smeared over your keyboard and mouse. How many microscopic bugs are we crushing on a daily basis as they scurry across our keyboard? A truly important question is this: how often do we put our fingers near our mouth? So. Keeping a clean keyboard is important for your health, right?

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Once the laptop base (top & bottom) is out, it is now wise to depart each part (tip: take pictures and/or videos, so you don’t forget which part was where) and clean it properly with a brush and coffee filter. Make your baby as new as when it was shipped.

This also has psychological benefits: having a cleaner “station” helps me feel more professional and in control of my choices. Is there a downside to feeling more professional? I don’t think so.

5. Apply thermal paste to CPU

For those who don’t know, thermal paste is ESSENTIAL towards maintaining and cooling the CPU. “Platinum” thermal pastes like Artic Silver 5 can keep your CPU processor a nice 0-20 degrees cooler.

Yes, 0-20 degrees does make a difference–especially when you’re gaming, rendering graphics, using software like Photoshop and AutoCAD. Without thermal paste, your CPU will overheat. It’s as simple as that.

And, when it gets overheated, the fan will become louder, performance will get slow and the computer will start to lag & hang.

I mentioned AS5 earlier for a good reason. Depending on who you ask, it’s the most efficient paste there is, and I agree. Amazon agrees with me (and we all know that Amazon doesn’t lie). At least, 5K reviews & 5 star ratings don’t.

If you want to see a step-by-step guide to applying thermal paste, check out this helpful video.

Here’s the before and after thermal paste snapshot (test is done via Prime95 small FFTs & RealTemp) for my 6-year-old Acer Aspire 5745G laptop having intel i5-430m processor.

Before (thermal paste change & cleaning)

heat_test_before

    After (thermal paste change & cleaning)

    heat_test_after
      • See the difference? That’s a noticeable 10 degrees’ decrease (lower is better) and distance to TJMax has increased (higher is better) a lot.
      • Hear the difference? Earlier it sounded like an old-truck-engine but now it’s smooth like the jaguar. Thankfully, I can now hear sound from my laptop’s audio. It feels as the fan noise has reduced to almost half, just like the old days.

      6. Add a SSD disk

      It’s a fact that SSDs have been “obliterating” HDDs for the past few years.

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      SSDs are better than HDDs. That’s fact. Most of the laptop can handle SSD installation unless it is more than a decade old. The only requirement, I believe, is the connectors on the motherboard should match with connectors of SSD.

      To see for yourself just which SSD has consistently outranked them, the Samsung 850 EVO (that’s the one I replaced HDD with on my Acer 5745G laptop) has been #1 for a number of years. Twelve thousand reviews can’t be wrong.

      I never thought that SSD would make such a huge difference in speed and fan noise. I cannot think of using HDD now, not even for servers and hosting. I have never been happier with this little change. And, I am also hoping for a tech-future where we can shift between laptop/computer like we do with smartphones, with all data in the cloud.

      7. Upgrade OS

      It may sound untrue to many but after upgrading from Windows 7 to a completely fresh installation of Windows 10 has done wonders for my Acer Aspire 5745G. The start, hibernate, shutdown, opening/closing of files/documents have become insanely fast now.

      This could be because I upgraded Aspire 5745G’s RAM from 4GB to 8GB, replaced HDD with SDD, changed thermal paste of processor and graphic card, cleaned laptop inside-out. But, undoubtedly having a fresh installation of Windows 10 rather than an upgrade from Win 7 or 8 will increase the laptop speed (that’s based on experience on using these Win95, Win98, WinME, WinXP, WinVista, Win7, Win8 and finally Win10 over last 15 years). These changes drastically improved my laptop performance, speed and fan noise. I was about to drop the idea of buying a new (expensive) laptop.

      I can pledge that upgrading to Windows 10 was a very wise decision. It’s faster than all Windows OS (8, 7, Vista, XP, 98) that I have used to date.

      Tip: Consider a desktop

      I say this for one reason only: desktops let you use up to eight fans to keep your entire system cool, running smoothly, and with as few hiccups as possible when it comes to heat dissipation and dust build up.

      And it’s easy to clean, open and upgrade/change hardware.

      (Not to mention that, on the whole, desktops are much more powerful than laptops.)

      Generally, the common (and most effective) fan set up is:

      • Two intake fans in the front
      • An exhaust fan on top
      • An exhaust fan in back

      Quite simply: fans push heat through your system.

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      On the level, you can use whatever fan setup in your PC that you want. Just keep this in mind: heat rises.

      That’s why an outtake/exhaust fan (which pushes hot air OUT of your system) on the top of your desktop is a smart choice for keeping your baby’s insides fresh and cool.

      If you want maximum temperatures from fans, using minimum energy (and sounds)…check out Linus’ tech tips on YouTube for all your fan needs (like which fans to get, how many fans do you need, what the “best” fans are, and more!)

      Sure, the videos are dated, but guess what? The fans (and info) aren’t.

      Yes, I like desktop fans. However, for people with laptops, you can’t go wrong with laptop coolers!

      Laptop coolers are just that: they sit on your lap and cool your baby down.

      Finally, after you have done all of the above, run Prime95 (only with small FFTs) & RealTemp again. Compare the new temperature levels against the pre-clean levels. See the difference?

      Because everybody’s system is different, I highly suggest you browse the internet for helpful videos that will guide you step by step of the way. If you aren’t careful, the steps you take in cleaning your laptop may affect your performance for the worse. That is why I highly recommend watching videos, so you can see how other people do it and follow them step-by-step, even pausing and going back if needed.

      Featured photo credit: Luis Llerena via stocksnap.io

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      Last Updated on January 13, 2020

      11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

      11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

      Whether at work or at school, people these days are under tremendous pressure to perform, perform and perform! Stress and pressure can have adverse affects on the well-being of a person, and need to be controlled.

      Now, this doesn’t mean you make a dash to your nearest therapist. There are a number of wonderful and smart apps that you can use on your phone. These brain training apps have been scientifically designed to target specific areas of the human mind and control harmful emotions such as anxiety, as well as to improve memory and sharpness of the brain.

      Here are 11 iPhone apps that you will not only enjoy but also find useful in keeping your mental health balanced at all times.

      1. Lumosity

      This app consists of games that focus on improving the user’s memory, problem-solving capability, attention span, and thinking. There are three games in each session, and they challenge the brain by changing every time. The user has to complete the games while playing against a clock.

      Free of trial. $15 per month for the full version.

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      Luminosity Mind training apps-Lifehack

        2. Fit Brains Trainer

        This brain training app has 10 sets of games that work on different areas of the brain and improve memory as well as concentration. A user is required to finish a particular task from each category on a daily basis and the app tracks the progress by a color coded graph.

        Free.

        Fit Brains Trainer Mind training apps-Lifehack

          3. CogniFit Brain Fitness

          Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this fun app improves a person’s cognitive abilities, which includes memory and concentration. The progress made by the user over a period of time can be tracked. Users can also play challenge rounds with their friends. The app also modifies the difficulty level to suit the profile of the user and provide recommendations based on the results. Spending 20–30 minutes a few times every week can give measurable improvement in the performance of a user.

          First four games free, then $13 a month.

          cognifit-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

            4. Brain Fitness Pro

            The makers of this app claim that it can improve the IQ of a user, and improve intelligence and memory. The app is fun and is user friendly, and 30 minutes a day can fetch you results in less than three weeks.

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            Buy for $3.99.

            5. Happify

            If nothing else makes you happy in life, this app will. Well, this is what the developers claim at least. This app comes loaded with lots of quizzes, polls and gratitude journals, which work on the fundamentals of positive psychology. The app also helps to control stress and emotions to make you feel better.

            Free to use.

            Happify-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

              6. Clockwork Brain

              You will like the little gold robot that comes in every time to explain the next game you are going to play. While the games are not much different to those offered in apps such as Luminosity, the look and feel reminds me of a workshop from old times.

              Free.

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                7. ReliefLink

                Initially created as an app for suicide prevention, it has found its use as a great app for tracking the mood of the user by taking measure of all things relevant to the user’s mental health. In case the user experiences high emotional stress, the app has a coping mechanism that includes voice-recorded mindfulness, exercises and music for relaxation. There is also a map that informs the user of the nearest therapist and medical facilities for mental health treatment.

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                  8. Eidetic

                  Eidetic is a memory enhancement app and uses a ‘spaced repetition’ technique to help users memorize information such as important phone numbers, words, credit card details or passwords. It also notifies you when it’s time to take a test to see what you remember, so that you retain information in your long-term memory.

                  Eidetic - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                    9. Braingle

                    Braingle helps to maintain the sharpness of the brain and improve the reasoning ability of a person through riddles and optical illusions. It is different from other brain training apps that employ memory and reaction based tests. You can also compete with your friends and family members in figuring out the fun riddles.

                    Free.

                    Briangle- Mind Training Apps-LIfehack

                      10. Not The Hole Story

                      If you have a penchant for solving hard riddles, then this app is a must-have for you. Filled with exclusive riddles along with a simple-to-use interface, the app gives you riddles that you have to solve through a book. You will be given hints along the way, and when you give up, the answers will be revealed. This app will encourage you to broaden your thinking and put your mind to a challenging test.

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                      Free.

                      Not the hole story - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                        11. Personal Zen

                        This fun brain training app follows the journey of two animated characters who travel through a field of grass. Personal Zen is a nice app meant for reducing anxiety and trains the brain to focus on the positive aspects. The developer’s advice is to use the app for 10 minutes a day to see the best results.

                        Free.

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                          Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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