Originally Posted by scoobied
... My problem is that the laptop overheats when using Mint - the cpu fan doesn't cut in and the laptop shuts down to protect the system. According to a swift google this seems to occur with mint (possibly particularly with Acer's) and maybe with other distro's too.
My guess is that it is possible (and possible is not the same as easy, necessarily) to fix this, to a point.
Most CPUs from the last quite a few years have different power states; the states that have lower power draw, also have low performance, but you can arrange to only use the higher power states when you really need them, and/or when the temperature is under control.
For KDE 4 there are various perf profiles System Settings > Advanced > Power management, but you are probably using Gnome? (which should still be possible, I just don't know how exactly that you'd do it), although you could argue that this is just a work-around.
The fan itself is probably something like an ACPI function or, maybe, something to do with BIOS settings. The trouble is, unless you find someone who knows about this, maybe using another distro is the easier way forward.