NBR Forum Spotlight: Proper CPU Cooling, Gaming, and Lots of Storage

by Reads (9,209)

Welcome to the NotebookReview Forum Spotlight, a biweekly series where we highlight the hottest and most important topics in our forum. The NotebookReview forum is the largest Internet forum dedicated to the discussion of notebook computers, including Macs and tablets. You can sign up for free by clicking here.

Some Intel Core i7 Chips May Have Uneven Heatsinks

Forum member @iunlock did an investigative tear-down of an Alienware notebook with the issue. There are photos galore, so have a good look. The photos are specific to the Alienware notebook. However, the overall point is that you should be aware of the thermal performance of your notebook. The thread has many good tips on monitoring and measuring thermal performance.

An uneven heatsink in an Alienware notebook

An uneven heatsink is a problem no matter what you’re doing, especially if it’s gaming. It’s critical that the surface of the heatsink remain in firm, consistent contact with the processor. The processor won’t be effectively cooled otherwise. If so, the processor can overheat and throttle performance below acceptable levels.

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Will Notebook Hard Drives Ever Exceed 2TB?

Forum member @kenny1999 asked this question. For now, the answer is that there’s no sign of a larger notebook-specific hard drive coming to market. The 2.5-inch drives that notebooks use topped out at a 2TB (2,048GB) capacity several years ago. That’s not to say you couldn’t find a larger 2.5-inch hard drive. Recently, 5TB portable hard drives became available for purchase, replacing 4TB as the top capacity. However, those drives have a 15mm height. Notebook 2.5-inch bays typically max out at 7mm or 9.5mm, meaning the 15mm drives simply won’t fit.

The Samsung 860 EVO 2.5-inch SATA storage drive

The good news is, however, that solid-state drive (SSD) development is continuing at a rapid pace. Samsung’s 860 EVO 2.5-inch SATA drive is now available in a 4TB capacity. It was going for $1,795 on Newegg as we wrote this. (The shipping was free, though.)


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What Features Are Missing in Notebooks?

The notebook industry has seen some significant changes over the past decade. For example, modern notebooks generally don’t come with optical drives or ExpressCard slots anymore. The simple reason is that the vast majority of users no longer need them. However, that’s not to say every feature that’s been left out has been a good thing.

Razer’s Project Valerie multi-screen notebook from CES 2017

Forum member @Mr. Fox asked the question of what we’re missing in today’s notebooks. That was 2015; almost three years later and the thread is still going strong. Some of the recommendations by forum members included:


  • Bringing back physical display latches (as opposed to using magnets).
  • The revival of traditional snap-in docking solutions.
  • Integrated water cooling for the CPU and GPU.
  • The return of 16:10 format displays instead of the current 16:9 standard.

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The New Final Fantasy XV Gaming Benchmark Now Available

Final Fantasy XV PC Benchmark

Square Enix has released a free benchmark you can download. You can use the results of the benchmark to see how well you can run the company’s new Final Fantasy XV. The download page has rankings for scores. According to the benchmark page, you’ll need a minimum score of 6,000 to run the game with a “High” performance standard, and double that for an “Extremely High” standard. The minimum score to run the game is 2,000.

Several of our forum members have already reported in with the scores from their notebooks:

@thegreatsquare – Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor, Nvidia GTX 980M graphics: 5408

@Falkentyne – Intel Core i7-7820HK processor, Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics: 7460

@HaloGod2012 – Intel Core i7-7820HK, Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics – 8069

@Raidriar – Intel Core i7-2920XM, Nvidia GTX 980M graphics – 3747

@Kevin – Intel Core i7-6820HK, Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics – 6641

Forum member @Atma created a discussion thread.



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