Tag Archives: problems

The Problem With Gaming Laptops

Several years ago, I was spending a lot more time playing computer games than I am now. Every few months I was lugging my desktop PC to a friends’ house for a LAN day, where 4-8 of us would network our computers together for a bit of gaming fun.

We’d spend several hours playing together, from racing games to strategy games & first-person shooters. We’d eat too much junk food, including the mandatory pizza binge. We’d share a lot of laughs, and finish late in the evening… before lugging all our equipment back home again.

HP Envy 17 - problem with gaming laptopsAround that time, I decided that I wanted to start my own business. So as part of that decision, I went and purchased an HP Envy 17 3D – a high end, $3000 laptop with an i7 processor, 8Gb RAM, 2x 1Tb hdds (RAID), a 2Gb Radeon video card, 17″ screen a slot-loading Bluray player.

The Gaming Laptop Problems Started Soon After

Suddenly I was free. I could take just my laptop and gaming mouse in one bag. That was it! I was able to take my gaming laptop to LAN parties without having to worry about unplugging my desktop, without having to make multiple trips to the car at both ends of the trip… and I could be out the door in 60 seconds.

Nice!

However my joy was shortly lived. If I played games on that laptop for more than about 45 minutes, it heated up very badly. In time, it got so hot that I had to use an external keyboard to avoid burning my hands on the keyboard!!!

And the NOISE from the fans – it sounded like the gaming laptop was trying to launch itself to Mars! It was a constant hum that got seriously annoying very quickly.

Both hard drives were cooked due to the heat – one while the machine was under warranty, the other one a few months after the warranty period.

A friend of mine worked at HP, and he was able to weave his magic & arrange for my CPU fan to be replaced (it was out of warranty before I knew it). That seemed to improve things for a while, but within about 6 months we were right back where we started.

For a while, the HP Envy 17 sat on my desk with its keyboard removed (to provde more air flow) and it acted as my processing machine. However after a while, there was nothing left for it but to remove it to spare parts, which I’m about to sell on eBay.

I understand HP have since revisited their cooling systems and the new machines are much, much better. But I have to admit that all those problems have made me very hesitant to ever buy another gaming laptop again!