I need to make sure to connect my monitor to my laptop, whilst it is quiet enough for me to work. I'm thinking of getting a 4 meter cable so that I can place the laptop under a nearby couch, whilst in clamshell mode. Is that enough ventilation? Can you think of any other way to minimize the noise of the fans whilst the laptop is in close proximity?
Laptops have been designed to work within a safe temperature range, normally 50 - 95°F (10 - 35°C). This range refers both to optimal usage temperature of the outside environment and the minimum temperature the laptop should be warmed to before using.
A good temperature for your computer's CPU is around 120°F (50°C) when idle, and under 175°F (80°C) when under stress. If you're using a laptop, you should look for CPU temperatures between 140° - 190°F (60° - 90°C). If your CPU heats up beyond about 200°F (93°C), your computer can experience glitches, or simply shut down.
Two devices are used to help regulate internal temperatures—a heat sink is a passive device to absorb heat by conduction and different fan designs (axial and centrifugal)-that work by convection—are used to increase the airflow to the heat sensitive components.
It is important to operate the computer in a well-ventilated and dust-free location for proper operation. Dust can build up inside the case and reduce what little airflow exists.
Operating your laptop in a cool environment will minimize the fan activity overall. In a proper environment, fans will only be necessary for intensive computer operation such as for graphics and heavy computation.
Operating a laptop in clamshell mode turns off the screen (a heat source) reducing the amount of generated heat to less than necessary for open operation.
A simple upright (card) baffle between you and the fans should allow you quiet work time at your remote screen without using any long data cable between them (which also increases heat generation.)
If the fans are able to be configured and your laptop uses a hard disk, swapping it for a non-volatile memory card will quieten things down.
Attaching a simple device to your monitor like a Raspberry Pi running a virtual screen e.g. VNC will let you put your laptop in a different room...
Good points have already been made about power options and dust build-up. On my gaming notebook a special program is installed which allows me to configure even more options (lower power usage, lower fan activity). Maybe there is a program available for your model.
- Most notebooks shouldn't make noise all the time, only when there is heavy CPU activity. If the fan is always noisy I would guess the heat sink and/or fan is clogged and needs to be cleaned. I have done this with several notebooks with great benefit. (In two cases the notebook crashed if it wasn't propped up. The users just accepted this from an older notebook.)
- I wouldn't recommend putting a notebook under a couch. Stan already stressed the importance of a well-ventilated and dust-free location. The floor below a couch is neither.
- You could use a notebook stand which allows better airflow from the bottom side. Most notebook stands available online seem to be suited to achieve this.
- Regarding clamshell mode: Some newer notebooks have the exhaust at the back between keyboard and screen so the air will get out in front of the screen, not behind the notebook. I don't know how good the ventilation will work if you operate such a notebook in a closed state.