Sooo.. I have had this laptop for about ~3 years now. 1 first year it was all cool, I could play games and all, without any fps drops or throttles.
then would get too hot, and drop all frequencies of my gpu, causing it to lag.
What could be the problem? Is Acer cooling system really that bad?
Have you ever (gently) cleaned the insides of your laptop to get the dust out? Or, have you changed the surface the laptop sits on when you play to something with less access to air, like a soft pad?
I used cooling pad for sometime, but it didn't help. I haven't tried opening my laptop, because it is really too complicated (thanks acer), you have to dismantle everything, which really worries me. Laptop sits on desk everytime and no, I don't use it on sofa or bed
Pads can only do so much if heat is trapped inside the case. At the very least, you can try blowing some compressed air though the fan. Just make sure you keep the fan blades from turning, otherwise they could spin too fast and cause damage. Toothpick works pretty well. If you notice a lot of dust come out, or if temps improve a bit, you know it'll be worth it to get in there and do a thorough cleaning. Here's a pic of how bad things can get over time, especially if pets are nearby:
Yes, there's paste on the CPU and GPU which forms a thin layer to fill in any microspaces between them and the heat sink/pipes that sit directly on top of them. Some people will tell you to change the paste every few years on general principle. Others will say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I would recommend waiting to see how your temps look after cleaning. Changing the paste on a laptop can be tricky.
And something else, make sure the fan(s) in your laptop still work. I should've thought of it earlier, but they do fail sometimes.