With all the back to school sales going on, I decided it was a good time to get a new laptop. I ended up purchasing a Lenovo G505s – an A10 based laptop. One of the first things I loaded on my new laptop was a copy of StarCraft 2. When running StarCraft 2 (on medium settings) I found the fan gets running pretty fast in a very short time. I’m sure the laptop will run fine with its stock cooling hardware but I decided to go ahead with a 1 day project to build a laptop cooler.
My original plan was to build an acrylic wedge shaped box with some holes under the vent holes of my laptop to force air into the laptop heat sink. After making a trip to my favorite plastics store scrap bin I was disappointed to find that the maximum length of most of the 1/4″acrylic scrap was less than 12″ in width. My new laptop is 14.5 inches wide so it was a bit small for what I wanted to put together. While browsing the plastic remnants I came across some 14″x15″ Multi-wall polycarbonate sheet. The width of the sheet was almost perfect for my application and I could use the same tools I had at home for working with acrylic.
From my computer junk box I sourced a couple of 80mm fans and a fan speed control. I worked a little magic with a router to create a passage through the multi-walled sheet.
The fans were mounted with some socket head screws through the panel. I used a 12V switching power supply from a surplus store to run the fans and a push on push off switch to control power. With a little help from some packing tape to hold everything together- diy laptop cooler.
The airflow path of the laptop cooler becomes a little easier to see from a profile view. The air from the fans enters the passages in the polycarbonate sheet from the top. The passages in the sheet direct the airflow 90 degrees from the fan. The rear edge of the two polycarbonate sheets is sealed with packing tape so that all the airflow exits at the front edge under the laptop. The exit holes in the sheet stop approximately where the bottom cooling holes in my laptop are.
Running a 3D burn in test I measure about a 8.5 degree C drop in GPU temperatures with the laptop cooler fan at 100%. With the fan running in silent mode (about the same noise level as the laptop fan) I get a drop of about 6 degrees.