[2020/21] Top 7 Gaming Laptops with the best cooling systems
While most people look at the spec sheet when choosing their next gaming laptop, it is very important to research the cooling solutions that have been implemented, in order to combat thermal throttling, which is the worst thing that could happen to a gaming laptop. Thermal throttling happens when the device reaches temperatures so high that the computer itself lowers its CPU and GPU clock speeds, in order to bring its temperatures down. This is often a sign of poor cooling, so researching beforehand can save you headaches, and grant you the security of having chosen the best device for you. We have tested numerous gaming laptops and have prepared our Top 7 Gaming laptops with the best cooling solutions for 2020/21.
One more thing to keep in mind is that this article is not describing the best laptops, in terms of price/performance ratios. Another thing is that the way we test these devices are not descriptive of real-life usage scenarios, since even the most demanding games don’t ramp up the hardware to 100% all the time. However, the tests, show us a general level of stability and effectiveness of the cooling systems that are implemented in these devices.
№7 MSI GL65 10Sx – not that the temperatures are low, but the frequencies it maintains are crazy high
For the first machine in this list, we have the MSI GL65 10Sx. As you will see in the teardown video that we will leave below, the air vents on this device are absolutely massive, and when paired up with a cooling solution that comprises of 7 heat pipes, which are quite beefy. Four of those cool down the GPU, VRMs, and graphics memory. Two more are cooling down the CPU, and the last one is dedicated to keeping the CPU voltage regulators’ temperatures in check.
In our stress test, the device was able to reach an insane clock speed of 4.19GHz average across all four cores. However, with an average temperature of 95°C, we wouldn’t advise you to push it that far. In terms of comfort while gaming the hottest spot on the device was the middle of the keyboard with a recorded temperature of 54.4°C. Also, the 115W version of the RTX 2060 manages to reach a frequency of above 1800 MHz, which is the highest we’ve seen on a laptop with this particular GPU.
Below is a detailed teardown video of the MSI GL65 10Sx:
MSI GL65 Leopard
- Intel Core i5-10300H
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop)
- 16GB RAM
- 512GB SSD
№6 ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G732 – deals with the high TDP very well
It’s always amazing when we can see devices like this, with the ability to deliver both in terms, of hardware and reasonable dimensions. As far as the cooling on the device is concerned, it features a 6 heat pipe design, that helps cool down the CPU, GPU, VRMs, and graphics memory.
What this gaming laptop does a great job at is to maintain high enough clock speeds, with reasonable temperatures. With the addition of liquid metal instead of the conventional thermal paste, the device is able to keep its processor running at 3.00 GHz after 15 minutes of our stress test, which proves the effectiveness of the cooling system inside the laptop. In terms of gaming comfort, the highest outside temperature that was recorded was 42.4°C. This is particularly impressive, considering the fact that it comes with a full-blown RTX 2080 Super inside.
Below is a detailed teardown video of the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G732
№5 HP Omen 15 (15-ek0000) – good balance, fairly quiet during gameplay, not very hot on the outside
The cooling solution that is implemented inside the HP Omen 15 consists of two heat pipes that are shared between the CPU and the GPU. There is one additional heat pipe with a smaller diameter that is only connected to the GPU and from there it goes to its own heat sink. In the photo below you can see that the VRMs and memory are also cooled and hidden by a heat spreader, so there shouldn’t be any issues, in regard to cooling.
In our stress test, the HP Omen 15, provided a really quiet environment, by dropping its CPU frequency to 2.81GHz. While that might seem low you should know that no other device would work at such low temperatures. The same was the case in our gaming session. You can hear the fans, but they are still a lot quieter than the competition that is out there. In terms of comfort, the hottest spot on the laptop was just 48°C, which is more than decent for a gaming notebook. Once again, here we’re not talking about ultimate frequencies and temperatures, but the comfort of quiet gaming.
Below is a teardown video of the HP Omen 15 (15-ek0000):
HP OMEN 15
- Intel Core i5-10300H
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop)
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB SSD
№4 ASUS ROG Strix G15 G512 – budget setup, but it has liquid metal applied to the processor
In terms of cooling, this device only has two heat pipes which are shared between the GPU and the CPU. Fortunately, the VRMs and the memory are cooled by thin metal covers as well. The laptop, unlike some of its biggest competitors, has only two heat skinks.
In our stress tests, the device shot straight through the 100W power limit that saw it launch into the 4.00GHz territory. In fact, it was the first notebook that broke the 4.00 GHz barrier on a six-core processor at Prime95 we tested. As for our real-life gaming tests, its’s temperatures remained stable and we monitored no sudden changes in clock speeds even after 30 minutes of gaming. As far as comfort was concerned, the laptop was decent both in terms of heat and noise. In this case, the adequate CPU temperatures led to relatively low GPU ones.
Below is a detailed video teardown, showing off the cooling of the ASUS ROG Strix G15 G512:
ASUS ROG STRIX G15 G512
- Intel Core i7-10750H
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti (Laptop, 50W, 128-bit)
- 8GB RAM
- 512GB SSD
🥉 №3 MSI GL75 – high airflow
And the third spot on the podium goes to the MSI GL75. When looking at the device upside down we can see a good amount of ventilation grills, that ensure that fresh cold air is entering the device in order to cool it down. The air enters from the bottom and leaves from the 4 sides of the device. The fans on the device get pretty loud, even without pressing the max fan button. When you press it however the laptop gets its temps lowered even further.
Below is an image which shows the way the air travels inside the MSI GL75
In terms of temperatures, the maximum outside temperature that we got was 46.5°C, which is reasonable. Even more impressive than this, is that when you max out the fans, the GTX 1660 Ti we had inside of the notebook, got up to 1726 MHz with a temperature of only 62°C.
🥈 №2 Acer Predator Helios 700 – behemoth cooling setup
As we have said in our in-depth review (you can read it here), the Acer Predator Helios 700 is basically a desktop pc that is disguised as a laptop. With its enormous dimensions and beastly hardware, it’s the ultimate mobile gaming machine. But with components of this magnitude, you need an adequate cooling setup that is able to keep up with the temperatures that this device generates.
With a cooling system of this magnitude, you can be sure that the device will receive proper control of the temperatures and will not throttle under heavy load. Actually, the cooling, itself does a decent job, but Acer’s design that allows you to pull down the keyboard to unleash the beast is second to none. This makes the RTX 2080 inside of the Helios 700 to reach frequencies as high as 1783 MHz with a temperature of …wait for it… 62°C.
With the maximum temperature on the outside measuring at 36.1°C we can see that the cooling solution that is implemented here does its job more than fine. Actually, this can be considered the best cooling setup in this article, if it wasn’t for its size.
Below is a teardown video of the Acer Predator Helios 700:
Acer Predator Helios 700 (PH717-71)
- Intel Core i9-9980HK
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop)
- 64GB RAM
- 512GB SSD + 2000GB HDD
🏆 №1 Lenovo Legion 7 (15) – vapor chamber
And this is exactly, where the Lenovo Legion 7 (15) shines. One of its best improvements is in its cooling department. What Lenovo has done here is to forego the traditional method of cooling which includes lots of heat pipes. Instead, they have decided to add a huge vapor chamber and two heat pipes to keep the VRMs and the graphics memory in check.
Moreover, the laptop isn’t that loud, as well. Which is something very impressive, given the beast hardware inside. However, the keyboard deck does heat up a little, especially in its middle portion, where the temperatures exceed 50°C.
As you can see in the photos above, the middle of the keyboard can get up to 52.3°C in our stress test. The latter can be easily forgiven, considering that it is able to effortlessly handle the Core i7-10750H and the RTX 2080 Super Max-Q inside of a chassis that is only 19.9mm thick and weighs 2.25 kg.
Below you can see a video teardown of the Lenovo Legion 7 (15):