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Every time I open a (php) project in Netbeans or PHPStorm, the CPU temperature goes up (I can hear the fan speed change, it starts running fast and hot air comes out) always reaching ~70°C, which as I suspected, is too much. At that point I kill the IDE and the temperature goes back to normal, ~30-40°C.

Apparently what causes this is that these projects have too many files, with lots of namespaces and cross-references, and the IDE tries to scan them all as fast as possible.

All this happens in my new i7 laptop. My old i3 desktop does not heat up with those IDE's.


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What operating system are you using / What other specs does it have? I use Ubunutu on an HP Probook i5 at work and I put it through hell (Java IDEs, Maven, Multiple VirtualBox running without it batting an eyelid... it sounds like there may be more at play than simply your hardware, which should be quite capable. – Toby Jackson Jul 16 '13 at 22:53
The laptop has 8gb RAM. I'm Using Fedora 17 64bit as host, and the IDE runs inside a VirtualBox VM with Ubuntu 12.04 server edition 64bit. – ChocoDeveloper Jul 16 '13 at 23:04
Assuming you're correct about the file system scan, lsof or strace would help show thefiles its scanning, and identify any possible loops in code that it might get thrown by. Top would also indicate if the issue is CPU or IO bound - if CPU; check how much free memory is available, the IDE may be garbage collecting, if its IO bound, put the machine somewhere cool and let it run for a while to finish. – Toby Jackson Jul 16 '13 at 23:14
Of course yes, or at least mine can.Try cleaning the laptop – Suici Doga Jul 11 at 11:29

In general, yes, laptops can be used for development with IDEs, but I've found that my HP dv7t Quad Edition also often runs pretty hot when running Eclipse, MATLAB, and/or a web browser with several open tabs. I've also noticed that my laptop always seems to run hot if I'm running a VM.

If you find your laptop is running too hot, you should consider using a laptop cooling pad with fans to supplement your laptop's built-in cooling. Also ensure that you are not covering any of the vents on your laptop--this generally means keeping it on a hard, flat surface rather than on your lap or some other cushioned surface.

Keep in mind that you have two things working against you when using a laptop vs. a desktop:

  1. Desktop and laptop CPU designations are not equivalent. For example, the desktop i7-2600k is clocked higher and performs considerably better than i7-2720QM, according to Power and cooling requirements along with marketing are likely responsible for these discrepancies. Even so, the laptop CPU still may be inadequately cooled, and the cooling system's capacity will diminish over time as the fan degrades and dust builds up on the cooling system components.
  2. Inadequate cooling for laptops is so prevalent that there is a name for the medical condition sustained by many laptop users: toasted leg syndrome. Studies have confirmed the overly hot operation of many laptops with thermal images, and some have even found that laptop heat can cause damage to--ahem--men's reproductive cells.
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