The reviewed our fair share of gaming laptops on Linus tech tips and while recent models have really tried to up the mobile gaming ante with features like 4k displays SLI and full-blown desktop-class GPUs. Like the GTX 980 pushing the performance envelope so much means that heat management is a constant challenge and has always been so many laptop coolers on the market can be pretty hit or miss.
However after we notice the well-reviewed polar LC 05, we wanted to put it to a test to see if this little guy contain the fiery demons it’s not a couple of our high-end notebooks until skull candy enough features a sixth generation Core i7 processor and Thunderbolt. Most laptop cooling solutions out there today take the form of a pad that you set your laptop on which cools things down with the series of USB powered fans on the inside the polar LC 05 takes a different approach though as it’s a vacuum style CPU cooler. Which attaches to the side of your laptop and sucks additional air out giving the computers built-in exhaust fans a boost polar included a pretty solid attachment mechanism that includes an adjustable adhesive pad that stick securely to the bottom of your laptop. But it is a little bit difficult to remove due to the adhesive being so strong and a pair of string loaded arms that clamp the cooler into place there’s a limit to how far these arms will go so they might not fit a really bulky laptop.
There are also three flexible shrouds to form a seal around the laptop vent I picked gray as the other two colors were goody nursing home green and old person denture base then lastly there’s a squishy filter to keep out dust. The cooler is clearly designed for notebooks with side air vents as you might have difficulty mounting it if you’re only events on the back of your laptop just a heads up the whole thing is powered via USB and includes four rubber feet just in case you have a thin laptop and the cooler makes it so that you couldn’t balance it. On a table otherwise the build quality isn’t too bad with an unfortunately glossy black design with some silver accents around it and a ball bearing fan on the inside the cooler is controlled by the three buttons on top. Which are present for fan speed up fan speed down and switch the switch is between on automatic on manual and off the auto setting uses a temperature sensor to determine what speed to run it at all the manual setting allows you to pick from 12 13 different fan speeds.
Maybe a bit excessive but for those of you who were real you want that granular control I guess you might appreciate it but how does it actually perform to answer that question. We used a pair of gaming notebooks first off was our new EVGA SC 17 laptop featuring an Intel core i7 sky like mobile processor a 980 MGP. This thing can put out a lot of heat when gaming especially on the bezel between the top of the keyboard and the monitor which can actually become kind of painful to touch due to the high heat levels so this laptop. It seem to be a great candidate for some extra cooling we also tested our venom black book featuring a Haswell core i7 processor and a 9 7pm graphics card much like the se17.
The black book can get pretty hot both on the inside and to the touch so we were curious. The polar would handle this smaller yet still very powerful laptop we use our Crysis 3 skybox load test to heat up our GPU and our CPU for the se17. We ran the game at 4k at high settings and then for the black book we use 1080p resolution but cranked the settings up to very high we decided to first run the cooler all the way up to max just to see what it was capable of and while it was actually rather surprisingly awesome. The results did vary on the SC 17 temperatures on our GPU and CPU only dropped 34 degrees Celsius and the front bezel was nearly the same scorching temperature. However there was a much more noticeable difference on the smaller black book as our basal temperature dropped around seven degrees Celsius and our CPU and GPU ran nine to 10 degrees colder a very significant improvement after switching over to automatic mode the polar did a nice job with recognizing when to kick things up a notch. But again the results varied quite a bit between the two laptops it didn’t seem to make a dent in the se17 temperature in fact the poll results were similar to when we just used the VGAs fan boost option that roughly doubled the speed of the built in fans. Even when we combined the polar with fan boost we only saw a one-degree improvement on what we got using just you know fan boost.
However the Polar’s auto mode did cool off our black book a fair amount about 6 degrees on the bezel and seven degrees on the GPU and a full 10 degrees on the CPU funnily enough the polar did an unquestionably better job on the black book even though the black book CPU and GPU temperatures with default cooling were higher than those of the SC 17. Well we can’t say with complete certainty what’s responsible for the huge difference in our results the smaller body of the venom black book may have meant there was a smaller volume of hot air for it to pull out which would benefit a lot or that the smaller space made it easier to apply pressure in order to pull the air out.
It’s quite likely that the se17 may have just had a more aggressive built-in cooling solution for its higher-end GPU and the polar couldn’t really supplement that very well so just like any random CPU cooler for your desktop your mileage may vary in terms of how you’re using it and what you’re using it for a 26 bucks.
The polar LCO five is probably worth trying out if you have an average size two smaller laptop that always seems to be a little bit too hot for comfort especially if you like to take your games on the road tunnel bear is the easy to use VPN app for mobile. And desktop it lets you total up to 20 different countries allowing you to browse the internet and use online websites and services as though you are in that different country there’s also the anonymity of it they’ve got apps for iOS android pc and mac.
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