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I have an Acer TravelMate laptop.Recently I installed Portal 1 and whenever I play it, the CPU gets hotter and hotter until the computer is forced to shut down.

With normal use (and even when there's a higher CPU and/or RAM use, since the game isn't actually very RAM or CPU-consuming) it's at about 50 ºC which is perfect according to SpeedFan, but when I start playing it starts increasing and I have to be constantly alt-tabbing out of it to let it cool a bit, and when it gets to 80 ºC more or less the fan starts making a lot of noise and the bottom of the laptop gets really hot.At that point, if I keep playing, the game lags and the computer turns itself down abruptly to prevent damage to the CPU.

I'm playing with the video settings suggested by the game according to my system.

I'm pretty sure it's a hardware problem since some months ago I could play Half-Life 2 and it's episodes perfectly, without overheating or any other kind of problems. It's not happening with other games either.

These are the specs of my laptop:

Graphics Card
Intel® HD Graphics with 128 MB of dedicated system memory

Processor
Type : Intel® Core™ i3-380M processor
Speed : 2.53 GHz
FSB : 1066 MHz
Cache : 3 MB L3

Memory
4 GB DDR3

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prob a bad cpu. try other games, see if it does the same thing. –  Sickest Feb 16 at 16:02
    
1) Does the laptop also shut down when you do other CPU intensive tasks? (e.g. run prime95). If it does then the problem is with the CPU cooling (and no game specific). 2) If it does not, then the same question with a graphic benchmark and one with both combined (sadly both your GPU and CPU are on the same die, making it harder to diagnose). 3) How old is the laptop? Is there any dust on the heatsink? When did you last clean the cooling (fans and heatsink)? Did you ever reseat the cooling and if you did, did you reapply fresh thermal paste or a fresh pad? –  Hennes Feb 16 at 16:10
    
The only way dust is ever a factor in a cpu/gpu, is if the it stops the cpu's fan from functioning. And he stated the cpu fan starts spinning really fast, so that's probably not a factor. –  Sickest Feb 16 at 16:19
    
@Hennes 1) Ok, I've just downloaded prime95, but since I don't know much about this stuff, can you tell me which test(s) I'm supposed to run? 3) The laptop is almost 3 years old.When I told him about this, a friend of mine suggested that it might be a problem with dust on the heatsink or fans,but since I know almost nothing about hardware I didn't dare to open it and check myself.I was thinking of taking it to the store where I bought it.I haven't ever cleaned the cooling or reapplied thermal paste before. –  DaRk_St0rM Feb 16 at 16:35
    
Any of the prime95 test will stress the CPU. Any of them should do. As to opening it: if you do not feel comfortable then to do try it. However it is usually quite simple if you first download the maintenance/technicians manual and/or keep pictures of the disassembly process. It often involves a lot of screw though. –  Hennes Feb 16 at 16:39

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