Do Laptop Cooling Pads Really Work in 2022?

Cooling Pads are one of the more enticing products you will find online which claim to help you boost the performance of your machine. The main advantage that presents itself with the idea of using a cooling pad is to boost performance levels without having to physically intrude into the laptop itself. However, it is understandable to speculate the claim made by cooling pad manufacturers on performance benefits, after all, it is you who will be spending money on it. So, do laptop cooling pads work? We shall soon find out.

One interesting fact to note here is that the usage of cooling pads by laptop owners is continuing to increase. The global market for laptop cooling pads was evaluated at around US$270 million for the year 2017 and continues to grow at a projected CAGR of 5.9% through the period of forecast (2017 to 2025).

Such a claim gives off the impression that cooling pads must have some positive effect on performance. Or at least people think they do.

Do Laptop Cooling Pads Work?

Cooling pads work by reducing the overall temperature of your CPU by a significant degree enabling you to extract maximum performance from your laptop. Their purpose is to cool down your laptop without opening it up and losing the warranty. Moreover, an added ergonomic benefit is reduced neck pain from looking down at the screen.

Testing Laptop Cooling Pads To See If They Work

Up until now, from everything you have read, it appears that cooling pads help to reduce laptop temperatures. However, you might be wondering to what extent do laptop cooling pads work as we still have not looked at any benchmarks.

To put an end to further speculation let us test one of these cooling pads to see how well do they actually work and what can we conclude from our findings.

For this experiment, we shall be using a general cooling pad which should cost around USD $30, something similar to the Kootek Cooler Pad Chill Mat 5. Moreover, the laptop specifications include:

  • CPU: Intel(R) Core i5-5200U @ 2.20GHz
  • GPU: GF 8600M GT
  • Dimensions: Laptop thickness ~ 24 mm

The test would comprise of two parts. In the first part of the test, we shall see what the CPU and GPU temperatures appear to be without using a cooling pad at no load versus full load conditions.

After that, we shall notice to what extent these temperatures appear to change once we implement the cooling pad.


Before the test begins please keep in mind that the machine being tested is known to overheat even running at idle. This however does not have to be the case with your laptop neither is this a prerequisite to purchasing a cooling pad.

Laptop cooling pads, in general, are known to reduce the temperature by around 10 degrees, more than 10 degrees in some cases. However, we will get to that later.

Do Laptop Cooling Pads Work? Testing Laptop Performance Without Cooling Pad

For the testing purpose, the software we will be using is SpeedFan and the CPUID HWMonitor. Before we begin the test, please note the standard operating procedures we would be following.

  1. Place the Laptop on a flat surface such as a tabletop or glass.
  2. Wait for the system temperatures to stabilize.
  3. Next, note the temperatures of the CPU and GPU while the system runs at idle.
  4. Load the system with a game application.
  5. Wait a few moments for the system temperatures to stabilize.
  6. Note the temperatures of the CPU and GPU while the system runs loaded.

Temperature Of System At Idle:

do laptop cooling pads work
SpeedFan: Temperature readings at Idle

Now, we take the readings first using the SpeedFan software, and the average CPU temperatures at Idle without using the cooling pad was 60°C.

Similar reading were seen using the CPUID HWMonitor software:

do laptop cooling pads work
CPUID: Temperature readings at Idle

Once the temperatures stabilized, the CPU was recorded at an average of 59°C, while the GPU was recorded at an average of 57°C.

Temperature Of System Under Load:

Now, we run a video game to record the new temperatures of the system.

After launching the app, we wait a few moments before recording the new temperatures.

Within minutes the CPU temperature rose by approximately 20°C.

do laptop cooling pads work
SpeedFan: Temperature readings under load

Notice how the GPU temperature increases only a few degrees. The reason for this is that the GPU in this laptop has a lower operating range(max 65°C) as compared to the CPU.

do laptop cooling pads work
CPUID: Temperature readings under load

Once the temperatures stabilized the CPU was recorded at an average 80°C, while the GPU was recorded at an average of 63°C.

Read More: Best Laptops for Programming Students in 2022

Do Laptop Cooling Pads Work? Testing Laptop Performance With Cooling Pad

Now, we will repeat the exact procedure as before with just the difference of actually using the cooling pad this time.

Before we begin the test, please note the standard operating procedures we would use are as follows:

  1. Place the Laptop on top of the Cooling Pad.
  2. Wait for the system temperatures to stabilize.
  3. Next, note the temperatures of the CPU and GPU while the system runs at idle.
  4. Load the system with a game application.
  5. Wait a few moments for the system temperatures to stabilize.
  6. Note the temperatures of the CPU and GPU while the system runs loaded.

Temperature Of System At Idle:

We will now leave the system running on idle for a few moments before we take the reading to let the temperature stabilize.

SpeedFan: Temperature readings at Idle

At idle CPU temperature are no longer higher than what they should be as indicated with a green tick-mark. More importantly, a significant decrease in temperature is visible. The CPU temperature with a cooling pad at idle is approximately 48°C.

Temperature Of System Under Load:

SpeedFan: Temperature readings under load

Similarly, the CPU temperature under loading conditions has also decreased significantly. The approximate CPU temperature with a cooling pad under loading conditions is 72°C.

With the implementation of the system cooling pad, we observe that the temperatures have not only fallen significantly but the CPU now clocks at a greater frequency than prior to using the cooling pad.

Read More: Best Laptops with DVD Drive in 2022

So Do Cooling Pads Work? Conclusion

The summarized test results can been seen below as:

CPU Temp
GPU Temp
CPU Temp
(under load)
CPU Temp
(under load)
With Cooling Pad48°C55°C72°C58°C
Without Cooling pad59°C58°C80°C63°C

After the application of the cooling pad, we can clearly see that CPU temperature has gone down approximately by 10°C. Also, a reduction in GPU temp is also visible and would be greater if the GPU were a bit larger.

Now on the basis of our test results, we can conclude that indeed cooling pads offer you a cheap and quick way to boost performance by lowering the temperature of your system.

The lowering of temperatures equates to better performance i.e. a higher frame-rate and less throttling of your CPU.

havit RGB Laptop Cooling Pad
Havit RGB Laptop Cooling Pad

Cooling pads offer a cheap fix to your heating problems which are non-intrusive, meaning you would not have to open up your laptop to get your heating issue resolved.

Laptop fixes are highly risky and can be very costly. Also, you can lose your warranty after having your laptop opened.

One more thing to add here is that the amount of temperature reduction in laptops varies from laptop to laptop. So, some users could experience a greater difference in temperatures while using a cooling pad while some might not.

The main reason here being the laptop design itself. Some designs allow for better expulsion of heat from the internals thus experiencing much better results from the same cooling pads.

Who Needs A Cooling Pad?

There are certain circumstances where using a cooling pad would prove incredibly beneficial and during that situation, a cooling pad offers an affordable solution to those unwelcoming problems.

As you already know, cooling pads offer a cheap alternative so buying one should not break your wallet. Besides, even if you do not really need one because your laptop appears to be running at permitted temperatures it would still be a good idea to use a cooling pad to run your system at a lower temperature.

A laptop running at lower temperatures will have its fans spinning at a lesser speed, delaying the build-up of dust inside the laptop, keeping those narrow air-vents clear. Thus, increasing the overall life-span of the laptop.

Moreover, at lower temperatures, the laptop should perform greater than how it would normally do without consuming extra power.

If you happen to own a gaming laptop and would prefer to overclock your system, well in such a case you would have to improve your laptop’s cooling capabilities. These laptops come with pre-planned thermal flow capacity for the given specifications.

Hence, over-clocking your laptop would mean acquiring a cooling pad to keep temperatures within the permissible limits.

Powerful laptops generally overheat as manufacturers have squeezed high-performance hardware components into a thin laptop case. Those laptop users who face the issue of overheating systems can benefit from a cooling pad.

Then comes the case where users with older laptop models could use a cooling pad to keep their systems safe from overheating if they are not yet ready to have those laptops replaced.

Lastly, if you are someone who chooses to use your laptop in bed or while relaxing on a couch without having to place that radiator hot laptop on your lap then a cooling pad would be of great use to you. If it’s not useful for the laptop, at least it will be more comfortable for you.

Some cooling pads also come with extendable legs to allow you to comfortably relax in bed, all the while using your laptop without experience any of the heat.

What To Look For In A Cooling Pad Before Buying One?

There are a couple of things you could take into consideration before you go on buying one for yourself.

Firstly, a decent cooling pad would cost you around USD $30 and buying anything above that would be overkill. However, you could look for some options for that price if they suit you well.

Look for a cooling pad that allows you to adjust the speed of the fans, this would prove beneficial as you could adjust fan speed according to the workload.

Moreover, the lower fan speed also equates to less noise hence try to look for a cooling pad that comes with that option. Also, note that there aren’t software available on the internet that would directly allow you to adjust speed as most of these cooling pads come with an external power source.

Check the dimensions of your cooling pad to see what would better suit you. Just as laptops come in different sizes so do these cooling pads, so be sure not to buy an enormous cooling pad for a tiny laptop.

This almost wraps up the article. Thank you for reading. Please share this article with your friends and comment your queries down below.

Now, before you go be sure to check out the FAQs as they might help you out in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a laptop cooling pad do?

A laptop cooling pad is designed to expel excess heat from your laptop in order to improve performance and the life span of the system. However, you can use it to your advantage in more than one way.

Do you need a cooling pad for a gaming laptop?

gaming laptop is unlike a regular laptop, it is a heavy, powerful piece of hardware that enables its users to run programs that require huge amounts of computing power. Most importantly they produce a great amount of heat.

Now that heat needs to be expelled from the internals to run the system at its maximum potential and this is where a cooling pad could assist someone using a gaming laptop to keep the system running under permissible limits.

What can I do to keep my laptop from overheating?

The cheapest solution to avoid this overheating problem in a laptop would be to get yourself a cooling pad and use your laptop on it. This way you would not have to open up your laptop because dust can block some of the air channels on the laptops. Moreover, if you plan on opening up your laptop to clear up those air channels make sure it does not revoke the warranty.

Will a cooling pad increase performance?

In our test, the results show us a 10°C reduction in core temperature. Now when it comes to gaming this would be beneficial as lower temperature equates to a greater number of frames per second. Moreover, the lower temperature your system runs the better the overall performance you can squeeze out and elongate the lifespan of your system.

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Thanks a lot for your info!


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