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What is Thermal Throttling? The battle between heat and performance that is fought on your computer | Technology

Today we are going to dedicate a few minutes to a quality that is already in all electronic devices and that has its positive side and the occasional disadvantage. Do you know what Thermal Throttling is? We tell you.

Tech buffs may have heard of this feature, but there are many people who are not clear about the risk their computers, tablets or mobiles run if they are not taken good care of or why the performance starts to drop suddenly.

The Thermal Throttling It is, as its name suggests, a matter that concerns the temperature of the machine and more specifically we are talking about a throttling that the device can suffer if the components reach a very high temperature.

All the components that are in our phones, computers or tablets generate heat when working. It happens in all devices, but if that heat is not controlled or grows excessively, the hardware ends up breaking down faster. This is where Thermal Throttling comes to the rescue.

If your computer is out of date but right now you cannot change it, there are many ways to improve its performance without spending money, or very little. Sight!

This increase in the temperature of the components of the machine, mainly the processor or the graphics card, has been generating headaches since the first computers. Although some use it to “cook” with the processor.

This problem can arise for several reasons: because there is a failure in the device, because its design is not adequate or because we are not maintaining it as we should. For example, it would be convenient to frequently check the status of the fans that dissipate the heat from the processor and the graphics card and clean the dust that accumulates on them if we can.

Above all, it is important to use the device in a place where it can ventilate well, which is not near other appliances that also give off heat. Some users even change the thermal paste for a better quality one to improve the internal temperature.

Thermal Throttling, less performance to control heat

The more work we send to the computer or the more speed we demand of it, the more temperature it can reach. In the case of desktop computers, the main solution that was given years ago were cooling systems, by air or by liquid with which to expel heat outside the machine and keep the inside of the device at a suitable temperature.

However, this solution is not feasible for all devices. In the most compact such as mobile phones, tablets or ultra-thin computers that we can take on a trip, the space is so small that the components are very close together concentrating the heat even more and without being able to have large cooling systems. Another item that often suffers from heat performance issues is NVMe SSDs that do not have a heat sink.

For these cases, the solution that has been developed in recent years is the processor limitation. Chip manufacturers have implemented the process by which CPUs are programmed to deliberately reduce their clock speed when they reach a dangerous temperature known as TJMax or Thermal Junction Maximum.

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Part of the performance of the device is sacrificed, its working speed, which may annoy users, but it is a necessary measure if that temperature can be kept at bay. Most likely, computers will not burn or explode, but that extra temperature over time ends up damaging the components and reducing the useful life of the device, which in the end is expensive.

Processor manufacturers have chosen different ways to apply Thermal Throttling. Some gradually reduce the clock speed of the chip as the temperature of the chip rises and others prefer to let the system work at maximum performance until it reaches that maximum temperature, those 100 degrees Celsius, for example, and then cut performance.

The CPU is the brain of the computer. Windows 10 offers us different options to optimize its use if we want to avoid overheating, or improve its performance.

Overriding this security system to have maximum performance in a computer is not possible and it would not be recommended either, but there are techniques and tricks, such as the ones we have mentioned before, that we can use to prevent the machine from getting hot while working and have to sacrifice part of the performance.

Another trick that some users use is undervolting, a system to reduce the voltage of the affected component. it is common to do this on laptops, but this technique can also be used on Android, although it should always be part of a larger series of modifications to reduce the energy consumption of the machine.

If you want to check if your computer is applying this “throttling” due to heat problems, one way to detect it is with programs like Afterburner or HWiNFO. Its graphs indicate the temperature and frequency of the GPU to see when one goes up and the other goes down.

It is very important to know the health of the battery of our laptop, and to apply tricks so that it maintains its capacity as long as possible.

The devices are increasingly prepared to fight against the increase in temperature, they come onto the market with better designs and technologies that control this problem without, for this reason, consumers noticing a worse user experience. Even so, it is important to know this possibility to detect it and ask for technical help if we see that the performance worsens drastically.

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