Jan 292010

Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down. And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there. I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air.

Wait, no, wrong story.

I game on a laptop. Well, it’s not so much a laptop as a small desktop with an identity crisis. I replaced my Frankenstein of a desktop with it because a) I wanted to game out in the living room and stop being such a shut-in, and b) the desktop was a fire-hazard waiting to kill me in my sleep.

An old picture I found of the old desktop taken from behind. Made mostly of yardsale and fleemarket parts, the power-supply didn't fit overtop of the CPU fan, religating it to a precarious perch atop the case.

The laptop, a stylish Toshiba Qosmio x305, became my new means of gaming. Its gaudy, metallic-flame design on the lid was always good for a laugh. The thing is massive and loud (both audibly and visually). I quickly realized that it needed good airflow to operate well, so I began placing it on an old notebook binder to give it a flat surface. The heat issues gradually climbed, and it was eventually cutting itself off, even with flat surfaces. One day, I came back from the bathroom to find it had cut off, and that the plastic sleeve on the binder had MELTED.

How hot was it getting, exactly? Well, if the sensors inside are to be believed, the machine was reaching 105 degrees Celsius before cutting out. If you’re not of the metric persuasion, let’s just point out that water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. Yup. That hot. After some reading around, I found I wasn’t alone in this, and that according to a Toshiba tech, the laptop is set to cut off before it can damage itself. Thus, it is rated to operate perfectly fine around 100 degrees. I found this pretty hard to swallow, but they’re the guys who built it, so whatever.

I invested in a cooling pad. A good one. This thing could keep a drink cold, and it worked great. The laptop became married to the pad, unable to continue running for more than half an hour without its arctic associate. Fast forward a few months, and it’ll still cut out with the pad if anything even remotely blocks the pad from getting good air flow. I finally decided it was time to void what was left of my warranty and bust the beast open to blow out the dust. I did and was amazed to find that the thing was nearly pristine.

Toshiba Qosmio X305 - It's very... red.

Fast forward again to a few days ago. The thing is running like garbage. I’m running around collecting carrots for the daily cooking quest. The area is nearly barren. My graphics are turned all the way down. Game play is jerky. I’m fed up and blaming Windows Vista, as I’ve never seen the piece of garbage run well and think “screw it, I’m getting Windows 7,” and I do so.

Imagine my wonder when the upgrade is complete, all of the software is in place, and I’m running around a packed Dalaran with my graphics turned up to medium without so much as a stutter. I admit to myself that I hadn’t actually expected it to work, and was just looking for an excuse to get rid of Vista. It’s running smooth, I’m holding a giddy conversation with my favorite Bossy Pally when all of a sudden — *black*…

WTF, mate?! Right… the heat. I give it the requisite few seconds, reposition it on my lap for optimal air, and give it another go. It boots up about 5 times faster than normal. I’m feeling cocky again. I load into WoW super-fast like no one’s business. I apologize and go to do some mindless questing — *black* Son of a Fel Reaver! Okay, we can do this. I brush any and all dust from the fan vents, make sure the fans are turned to full, and we go at it one more time.



And so here we stand. My computer is running the fastest and most efficient it has ever known, and can’t seem to handle it. I’ve dialed back the speed, but it’s no use. The video processors (of which it has 3) can’t take the heat anymore. I’ve ordered an extraction fan to stick on its rump, which will try to suck heat off of the video card, but my hopes are low. I suspect I’m going to have to rip it completely apart again (an exercise in masochism if ever there was one) and apply new thermal grease. Maybe I’ll find where those extra screws from last time go.

So, at any rate, Skip is AFK until such time as he can get this garbage sorted out. That is unless the netbook will run WoW… maybe… no… maybe?

Your Fortune Cookie:

I looked at my kingdom, I was finally there, to sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel Air.

8 Responses to “Holy Flaming Laptops Batman!”

Comments (8)
  1. Ophelie says:

    Excuses, excuses!

    Me: Lets do something together for Singles Awareness Day.
    Calhi has gone offline.

    Hurry up and fix your stuff, I misses you ;(

    • Skip Cocoa says:

      Well, the good news is I figured out how to deactivate the twin power-house graphics chips, who are the volcanic culprits. With those turned off, it falls back on the less powerful integrated chip. The integrated is still an nVidia 9400M, so it runs WoW pretty smooth at the lower settings. I feel frustrated not being able to run this rig at its full potential, but if it keeps at this performance level, I should at least be able to play.

  2. Kris says:

    i have the same labtop and mine had been fine tell a little bit ago but i just put something under it so it can breath and its working fine but i have all of my wow settings all of the way up

    • Skip Cocoa says:

      Since this article, I’ve found that the twin nVidia 9700 that comes on the upper-end x305s aren’t in the best place for ventilation. Since the laptop is mostly comfortably trying to run at such high temperatures, it has the potential to degrade the thermal paste/padding/grease/etc on the 9700s the longer they let themselves run hot. If I’d taken better care to keep it ventilated in its youth, it wouldn’t have been a problem. But once they start running hot for a while, they degrade, which makes them worse at dissipating heat, which makes them run hotter, which makes them degrade more, all in a vicious downward spiral.

      I’ll eventually rip the card out and try to do some refurbishing with thermal grease and the like. I just keep putting it off because the machine is a pain to work inside. It’d be nice to run it full-power again. It’s a great machine, when its running well.

  3. Audrey says:

    Thanks for helping me to see things in a dieefrfnt light.

  4. Mae says:

    You can earn some extra $$ from your site, i see couple opportunities here.
    You should search in google for:
    Yoogurn’s money making

  5. Sufyan says:

    - – yeah it’s so encouraging to speak with other pnetars that are going through the same struggles and striving to be better pnetars so thanks for your comment bro. does your worship service promote family worship too? right now, our setup is kind of tough b/c our nursing room is really only available right when our EM worship starts since KM moms use that room before that. so staci goes in there with isaiah to feed at the start of our worship. i was with emilee and noah in the main sanctuary myself but it became too tough so i told staci to take emilee with her to the nursing room where she can view the worship service as well. but i’ve been telling staci to come back into the sanctuary as soon as she’s done so that we can worship together as a family. i’m a small group leader too so it’s very challenging for me to pay attention to my kids, listen to the sermon, etc. and when one of our kids have to go to the bathroom, then i’m missing a good chunk of the sermon too so that’s tough. we usually sit in the back since our kids can be a distraction to others but you know how it is when you sit all the way in the back it’s very hard for kids to stay focused on the speaker, praise, etc. however, i’m praying that they will learn to worship as they see other church members and us worship together. and i have seen noah sing praises, recite the Lord’s prayer, etc. as for them staying quiet not sure if that’s possible until they mature more. until then church members will need to endure through the joy of children singing in their own languages.

  6. Robin says:

    If you are interested in topic: earn online by
    clicking definition of insanity – you should read about Bucksflooder first

Leave a Reply



Help me, Skip! How do I get a sexy little picture next to my comments like you?