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Blog Hijack!, posted by Derek

I know, I know.  I post a burst, talk about how I’m gonna do more, and disappear.  Then return to hijack.

I do actually have a post coming up on the strange trip I’ve been on for the past 3-4 months.  See, my laptop (an ASUS G50vt from Best Buy) went wacky on me.  Of a sudden, possibly tied to power issues, possibly not, my laptop started get hot.  Like, super hot.  When I bought it, it had a warning that said “This is a notebook, not a laptop.  Don’t put it on your lap.  It’ll light your junk on fire.”  Something like that, I forget the exact words.  Maybe it said don’t put it on a flat surface.  Whatever. 

So it’s always run hot.  It’s a gaming laptop.  I expected it to be hot – it’s cramming a fair chunk of power in a portable(ish) box.  But now it was going up to 200-220 degrees pretty much instantly on launching a game.  Mass Effect 2 was unplayable due to stuttering.  I could play maybe 10 minutes of TF2. 

This happened 12 months ago or so, when it was under warranty, and I sent it off to Asus.  They fixed it (they blew it out and reapplied the thermal paste from what I can tell).  Now it’s not under warranty.  So it’s been sitting idle (mostly) for months, which led me to the land of Xbox Live (a scary place), found me a spectacular new community (Sword and Shield Gaming, aka SSG) that Im proud to have become a part of, and gotten me a new gamertag (SSG Wookiee) – but that’s for later.

Here’s the now: Due to stuff happening (a beta, let’s say), I *NEED* my laptop to work.  So I broke down and took it in to a local guy.   Who blew it out, reapplied thermal paste, and updated the drivers.  And it seem to work.  It was running at 110 or so when it used to be 160.  Good sign.  He launched WoW and let it run for 30 minutes with no issues.

So I get it home, try to fire up TF2.  It crashes.  Try to run LoTRO.  No good.  Same for DDO.  Eventually I look around, and see that he updated to the newest generic windows drivers – my card is showing as VGA Card.  My resolution is maxed at 1024×960 (my native is 1366×768).  And things won’t launch.  But it’s still cool.

So, I go to ASUS.  I get the ASUS gpu drivers, I install them.  I can play games, but after 15 minutes of DDO, I’m at 205 degrees.  Which seems bad.  TF2 is too sputtery to play.  L4D has a weird lag every time I turn that I attribute to the gpu.  My friend at work suggested it might have an integrated GPU that had been running WoW okay, but couldn’t do other stuff, but no. 

So now I’m confused.  And hoping this hijack will turn in to someone saying “Hey, do this!”  My current plan, once the 8 gig beta finishes (it’s trickling in right now, probably another 24 hours), is to start rolling back ASUS drivers, and possibly go back to the native drivers and make games work.  But….  Anyone else have more brilliant thoughts?


  1. I’ve had the same bloody issue with my gaming laptop. The video card overheats, things start stuttering, and then crash.

    So, for me:

    1) New non-generic drivers. Device Manager -> Find out if it’s an integrated card or not. Even if it is an integrated card, get the part number. Find the newest driver for the part. It might be from your computer manufacturer, or (as in my case) there might be a newer one from your graphics card manufacturer.

    2) Cooling pad. The kind you connect with a USB cable and set your laptop on. Helped a ton.

    3) Opening the system up and cleaning up the fan area.

    On my old system, which had similar issues, I used a 3rd party application to manually increase the fan speed, which worked out all right as well.

    Posted on 01-Dec-10 at 3:29 pm | Permalink
  2. GrantClaunch

    Here’s a way to mod your laptop for water cooling, but also still make it portable:

    Posted on 01-Dec-10 at 5:56 pm | Permalink
  3. Derek

    Carlos: I ended up settling on the nVidia drivers, but not the ones ASUS provides – they seem to give me the closest. I haven’t gotten a cooling pad, though I probably need to.

    Grant: You wanna come set that up for me? ;)

    Posted on 06-Dec-10 at 11:24 am | Permalink

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