Nowadays, many laptops have dedicated video cards from Nvidia and ATI.
Its a good idea if you want to play graphics-intensive games on your laptop, or if you need the video power for other reasons.
However, I’ve also noticed that many of these laptops don’t have their cooling system designed properly, which dramatically shortens the life of the laptop.
Here is an example of what a normal laptop CPU fan and heat sink might look like:
but when you add a high speed Graphics Processor (GPU), then it needs to be cooled as well as the CPU.
Ideally, the components will be arranged, so that 1 heatsink is used to cool both the CPU and the GPU.
But you get problems when laptop makers decide to take an existing laptop design, and just “bolt on” a GPU, giving it its own heatsink, but using the same fan to cool both heatsinks… placing one heat sink behind the other… so that the air leaving the first heat sink, then goes through the second heat sink.
What happens now, is that dust gets trapped at the entrance of both heat sinks.
This means that blowing compressed air into the heatsink exhaust vent won’t really clear much dust.
In particular, the dust thats “trapped” between the 2 heat sinks will just be pushed from the second heat sink onto the first one (and eventually back onto the second one during normal operation).
In these cases, the only way to clean the cooling system on these laptops, is to open the bottom of the laptop case, and pick away at the dust “by hand”… a slow, dirty and nasty job!