I’ve got an HP EliteBook 8540p, with the i7 quad core processor (if you find this blog post and it’s 2015, don’t laugh because that wasn’t a bad setup when I got it in 2010). Over the last few months I’ve struggled with constant overheating, particularly the GPU which easily reaches temperatures of 75-80° C. Whenever I was brave enough to start a graphics intensive job (like watching a YouTube clip – yes, sadly I considered that “graphics intensive”!), the temperature rose to above 80° C and the laptop immediately shut down to self-protect. Solution: having a desk fan running constantly keeping the air around the laptop moving. Mildly annoying to say the least..
I eventually got a can of compressed air and thought I’d be able to blow the cooling ducts and heat sink clear of any dust. Surprisingly not much came out, so I was starting to wonder if I had to re-apply thermal grease between the CPU/GPU and the heat sink. Luckily I tried something else first: new drivers! More specifically the BIOS driver and the graphics driver. I remembered installing new drivers a few months ago, but didn’t connect that with the start of the overheating problems. Now the GPU is running at a cool 60-65°, the cooling fans are no longer driving me mad and my hair is slowly starting to grow back.