The thermal module in a laptop is responsible for cooling the CPU and other components. It typically consists of a fan and heat sink and may include a cooling pad or another device. In simple words, a thermal module is a device that helps to regulate the temperature in a laptop. It is usually located near the processor and helps to dissipate heat away from the processor.

Thermal module can also help to prolong the life of the laptop by preventing the hardware from overheating.

If you want the longer the answer and some explanation along with it? Then let’s dive right into this tech guide on laptop’s hardware components.

How do thermal modules work in laptops?

As explained, thermal modules are devices used to regulate laptops’ temperature. They work by monitoring the temperature of the laptop and then either cooling or heating the laptop as necessary.

The figure below represents how a low profile heat sink shows the surface temperature contours and swirling air flow trajectories from a tube-axial fan works.

Low profile heat sink - thermal modules
Low profile heat sink. Source: Wikipedia

The heat sink helps to transfer heat away from the laptop’s components and into the surrounding air. The fan helps to circulate air around the laptop’s components and helps to keep the laptop’s components cool.

Now don’t confuse the heat sink with thermal modules even though from top they both do the same task of keeping the hardware temperature normal.

However, the main difference between a heat sink and a thermal module is that a heat sink only dissipates heat, while a thermal module also protects the components from excessive heat.

In a layman words, thermal module has additional job to guard the hardware from overheating and user from explosion otherwise every device may become like Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

It’s a joke please don’t take it seriously!

How to improve thermal module performance in laptops?

There are a few ways to improve thermal module performance in laptops:

  1. Keep the thermal module clean and free of dust. Set up a schedule to clean it at least twice in every six months.
  2. Properly install thermal module on the motherboard and make sure it is seated correctly.
  3. Apply fresh thermal paste and make sure it is properly applied.
  4. Keep an eye on the cooling fans and make sure they are working properly.
  5. Don’t use the laptop in a hot environment.
  6. Don’t use the laptop on a soft surface.
  7. Make sure that the thermal module is not obstructed/covered by anything.

Or simply don’t use a laptop instead buy a PC.

Additional note: don’t allow your friends to smoke near your hardware. Apple!

Drawbacks of using a thermal module in a laptop

Now, you might wonder why thermal modules have drawbacks when they provide so many benefits, like keeping the components safe, making the laptop’s life longer, and protecting us from explosions due to overheating.

Well, they lay on its features/usefulness itself.

The main drawback of using a thermal module in a laptop is that it can add significant bulk and weight to the device, making the laptop more difficult to cool. Which can lead to overheating and potentially damage the internals of the laptop.

Without proper ventilation thermal module cases the laptop to reach significant-high temperatures, leading to again component damage and shortened component lifespan. Additionally, thermal modules can be expensive, and they are not always necessary for a laptop to function properly.They are hard maintain, difficult to remove, which makes them challenging to keep clean. Additionally, they can be a fire hazard.

Similar to using steroids but without proper care they lead to some life changing affects and can permanently damage our body system.