Watch Dell’s thermal expert explain the intricacies of laptop cooling


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Modern gaming laptops need to maintain the delicate balancing act of jamming as much hardware as possible into designs that are as thin as possible, all while keeping it from overheating.

With Alienware’s new x17 gaming laptop, the company says it pulled out all the stops to push the performance envelope in such a thin design, including the use of four fans with Dell’s patented dual opposite outlet (DOO) design. We had a chance to interview Dell’s thermal engineering technologist Travis North about what it took to create this tiny, yet powerful notebook. The series of interviews runs quite long for those who want to nerd out so we broke it out into three separate pieces. You can watch all three below.

The first part revolves around that four-fan DOO design. 

In segment two of our talk with Travis North, we discuss Alienware’s new Element 31 thermal interface material, and how it’s different than what the company used before.

In the final segment of our interview, Travis North dives into to question of why it’s even worth make a gaming laptop so thin?

For even more in-depth interviews with industry experts (and a whole lot more), be sure to subscribe to PCWorld’s YouTube channel, where this series debuted first.

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