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View Poll Results: How much would you spend on a water cooling system for (Retina) MacBook Pro
$50 4 3.64%
$100 7 6.36%
$150 2 1.82%
$200 2 1.82%
$250 1 0.91%
$50 - but only if I don't have to open my MacBook Pro 3 2.73%
$100 - but only if I don't have to open my MacBook Pro 5 4.55%
$150 - but only if I don't have to open my MacBook Pro 1 0.91%
$200 - but only if I don't have to open my MacBook Pro 1 0.91%
$250 - but only if I don't have to open my MacBook Pro 2 1.82%
Nothing. I'm not interested. 82 74.55%
Voters: 110. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Dec 11, 2012, 11:07 AM   #26
Queen6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switon View Post
Hi Queen6 and dusk007,

Queen6: Yes, you are probably right that failures are primarily the result of thermal stress on the motherboad's other components and not the CPU and GPU. Let me ask about UltraFan? It sounds like this works well and you have been using it (and its predecessor SMB Fan Control) for more than 4 years now. Do you recommend it? I think maybe I'll give it a try, especially since it does not continuously run the fans at a high speed but only ramps them up in an effort to maintain a specified temperature -- is this correct?

Middle East, Qatar, Tropics ... my I'm impressed!
Thermal stress is without a doubt a primary failure mechanism for electronic systems under high cyclic thermal load without any temperature stabilisation. UltraFan is the way to go as it offers both automatic/dynamic and manual modes of temperature control and it`s developed by one of our very own here on MacRumors, i fully recommend as the app can and does make significant impact to temperature control. SMC Fan Control is a separately developed app and extremely stable, however lacking significant functionality in comparison to UltraFan.

Both apps tend to complement one another i use UltraFan to dynamically control temperature and SMC Fan Control to monitor fan RPM and when used in isolation the app has some useful presets and power profiles. This being said with the development of UltraFan, i am now starting to remove SMC Fan Control from system start up, it`s hardly worth uninstalling and is always of use when analysing a Mac`s thermal performance. Combine UltraFan with the likes of Rain Design`s Mstand, the net result is very impressive. The caveat of course is the system it`s self; my own 2.3 Retina does not throttle regardless of load with no software or external cooling solutions, equally many others document a different story

I work in the energy sector (Oil & Gas) so we tend to get around, i generally change location every 2-3 years, and as a result have lived in some more than memorable places, like Korla on the boundary of the Taklamakan desert, Takla Makan means "go in and you will never come out" truly an amazing place, being one of the very few from the west to live longterm in the city...
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 12:14 PM   #27
smellalot
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I'm happy to see some people that are truly interested in this topic

Quote:
Originally Posted by switon View Post
Given that caveat, let me begin by asking, "Just what are you cooling with your water cooler?"

but in this case one would have to ask why one is using a rMBP for computations that perhaps would be better served on a full sized workstation or server?
There are two, no actually three ways of cooling:
- cooling the incoming air
- cooling the case
- cooling parts on the way from the processor to the fans

My first try will be cooling the case. I'll simply try and see how it works out. To make this short and simple to explain: I have an old kitchen oven made of cast iron. One day when the fans of my MacBook were spinning like crazy (while converting a movie) I put it on said oven. The fans became silent for a few minutes, until the upper part of the oven was heated up. This tells me one thing: if I can keep that oven (or MacBook stand) at room temperature, it will be enough to cool my MacBook.

Actually the big question is: how fast is heat transferred from the CPU/GPU to the bottom part of the MacBook. If it's fast enough all you need is a decent cooling plate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen6 View Post
I would pay right enough, however i don't see anyway you can do this with a water cooled cooling stand, as you would need to reduce the temperature significantly to achieve any real cooling effect beyond what a traditional powered cooler with a large fan already does. This and the advances Apple is making with making Mac`s run cooler likely make this a hard one to sell.
Yeah, I want to make it super quiet, not super cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justperry View Post
I am in a hot climate and if I do any heavy load I switch on this small (4"-10cm) fan, I have an older Powerbook though and I don't want it to run too hot.
If I don't use the fan Temps on Proc. go up to 65 Celcius, if I use it a lot less, also one of my fans makes screeching noise, have to take it out someday, might be possible to repair.
As others and I have pointed out. I don't care about the temps. I have no problem with running the Mac at 65 C.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dusk007 View Post
@switon

You seem to mostly ignoring the primary cooling goal the op stated.
- The cooling system will keep your MBP cool enough to keep the fans running at minimal RPM even when it's under heavy load (gaming, video processing) for hours.
You write a lot about temperatures but the only thing that he wants to achieve is lower the fan speeds.
Thanks for pointing that out. But of course, lower fan speeds equal lower temperatures.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 01:04 PM   #28
switon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smellalot View Post
Thanks for pointing that out. But of course, lower fan speeds equal lower temperatures.
Are you sure? In my crude experiments, lower fan speeds equated to higher temperatures under Apple's fan control algorithm. Maybe we are confusing the no/medium/high load cases. Basically, what I found is that Apple's fan control algorithm attempts to play-off noise with temperature using the fan speed as the controlling variable. So, at medium loads the fan control algorithm will actually lower the fan speeds and thus raise the temperatures in order to minimize the noise.

Good luck with your design.

Interesting about the "old iron oven" experiment that you did. Of course, an iron stove has an absolutely gargantuan thermal capacity, and so I can imagine that it would initially suck heat from the rMBP allowing the fans to slow. Equally I'm somewhat surprised that it didn't continue sucking heat and keeping the fans slow?! In my experiments, I didn't have anything near the size and heat capacity of an iron oven at my disposal, so I never saw this effect of cooling the bottom case, rather what I found is that the airflow through the rMBP provided the vast majority of heat removal from the rMBP.

Regards,
Switon
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:13 PM   #29
TheRdungeon
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I'd be pretty interested if it kept it cool enough not to have to use the fans. Even if it kept the fans at 3000rpm would be good, my '11 15" spins up way too easily with the dedicated gpu in use
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:32 PM   #30
smellalot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switon View Post
Are you sure? In my crude experiments, lower fan speeds equated to higher temperatures under Apple's fan control algorithm. Maybe we are confusing the no/medium/high load cases. Basically, what I found is that Apple's fan control algorithm attempts to play-off noise with temperature using the fan speed as the controlling variable. So, at medium loads the fan control algorithm will actually lower the fan speeds and thus raise the temperatures in order to minimize the noise.

Good luck with your design.

Interesting about the "old iron oven" experiment that you did. Of course, an iron stove has an absolutely gargantuan thermal capacity, and so I can imagine that it would initially suck heat from the rMBP allowing the fans to slow. Equally I'm somewhat surprised that it didn't continue sucking heat and keeping the fans slow?! In my experiments, I didn't have anything near the size and heat capacity of an iron oven at my disposal, so I never saw this effect of cooling the bottom case, rather what I found is that the airflow through the rMBP provided the vast majority of heat removal from the rMBP.

Regards,
Switon
Yes, that is right. Apple will keep the noise at a minimum while accepting higher temperatures. And I find Apple's default fan management to be working very well.

I made a quick temp-rpm-diagramm. The fans start kicking in at around 60 C or slightly above. So 60C is the number on which one can calculate the temperature difference from CPU to outside. You also have the TDP of the CPU and GPU. Anyway it's impossible to make a decent calculation since you don't know the W/(m^2*s) of the MacBook.
Of course if you want to cool below 60 C because then your deltaT becomes smaller and smaller.


Yeah, that old oven gives me some confidence that the heat transfer inside the MacBook might actually be fast enough.
Of course it didn't keep sucking the temperature. It got pretty warm on top. In other words the heat wasn't transferred fast enough into the whole oven. So the deltaT from MacBook to oven became too small. But had I water cooled it...

Edit: BTW, I made that drawing on my iPad, which always stays cool and quiet
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:43 PM   #31
switon
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RE: iron stoves and fan speed curves...

Quote:
Originally Posted by smellalot View Post
Yeah, that old oven gives me some confidence that the heat transfer inside the MacBook might actually be fast enough.
Of course it didn't keep sucking the temperature. It got pretty warm on top. In other words the heat wasn't transferred fast enough into the whole oven. So the deltaT from MacBook to oven became too small. But had I water cooled it...

Edit: BTW, I made that drawing on my iPad, which always stays cool and quiet
Just how "big" was your iron oven? I have a picture in my mind of one of the antique ovens that one finds in a farm house in the Midwest USA...something that weighs hundreds of pounds of essentially pure iron. Of course, iron is a much poorer conductor of heat than aluminum, but I'm still amazed that with so much iron available (2.2 lbs per kg) that it would not continue to cool the MBP and keep its fans slow.

Switon

P.S. From your graph, your rMBP seems to behave slightly differently than mine, as I would not have drawn exactly the same curve --- but, of course, they must be behaving the same assuming we're using the same 10.8.2? Shouldn't they?
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 04:04 PM   #32
smellalot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switon View Post
Just how "big" was your iron oven? I have a picture in my mind of one of the antique ovens that one finds in a farm house in the Midwest USA...something that weighs hundreds of pounds of essentially pure iron. Of course, iron is a much poorer conductor of heat than aluminum, but I'm still amazed that with so much iron available (2.2 lbs per kg) that it would not continue to cool the MBP and keep its fans slow.

Switon

P.S. From your graph, your rMBP seems to behave slightly differently than mine, as I would not have drawn exactly the same curve --- but, of course, they must be behaving the same assuming we're using the same 10.8.2? Shouldn't they?
I don't have a rMBP. I have a regular MBP from 2010. I'm not exactly sure about the max of 105 C. But I measured at 92 C and above from there the line can't be much different.
Keep in mind, this is for constant CPU stress. When measured over time the CPU temps go up to around 90 C, then the fans start to spin up.


The oven looks like the one in the picture. So it's not huge and also most of the inside is air. I don't know the kind of oven you're thinking of. Maybe you can post a picture?
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 05:01 PM   #33
switon
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RE: MBP vs rMBP...that's it...

Hi,

Oh, I thought you were planning this cooler for the rMBP, not the MBP. Your fan speed curve probably differs from mine because you were using a different computer, different fans, different air intakes, etc. The rMBP has intake holes along the side edges which I believe the MBPs do not.

Yes, the iron stove I was thinking about in my mind looks similar to the one your are showing. Your stove is beautiful, by the way.

Switon

Last edited by switon; Dec 12, 2012 at 06:59 AM. Reason: remove irrelevant info
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:28 AM   #34
Queen6
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So adding more to the mix; If you are concerned about temperature and want to reduce it elevation of the rear of the machine helps, as sitting flat on the desk only reflects the heat back to the base of the Mac. You can buy passive aluminium coolers like Rain Designs Mstand or iLap. Most powered coolers are designed for PC notebooks and don't work overly well with Mac`s if at all. One cooler that does work efficiently is the Moshi Zefyr 2, as it`s principle of cooling is specifically designed for Apple portables, by blowing the air horizontally across the base of the computer, however don't expect miracles.



Link: Moshi Zefyr 2
A cheap USB fan can achieve the same if strategically placed, not as elegant mind, nor as easy to put in your notebooks case but they do help to reduce case temperatures.

You can use software to override Apple`s own cooling algorithm by manually taking control of fan RPM and setting up power profile presets with SMC Fan Control 2.4, or here with UltraFan which allows you stipulate a preset temperature and the software will automatically raise and lower fan RPM`s to keep the system at the predefined temp, which i personally feel is a far more elegant solution. At the end of the day you want to control your system temperature, not your fan rpm`s. For me SMC is now pretty much redundant with the latest release of UltraFan having manual control of the fans RPM, and subsequently i am starting to uninstall it from my own Mac`s. SMC FC is a great app, however although it`s recently updated, functionality is limited compared to some newer apps, equally SMC Fan Control is rock steady stable and a finished product.

Strictly speaking Apple`s own cooling algorithm works, albeit at sacrifice of increased temps for quieter operation. This has always been the Apple way and is really nothing detrimental to the system, i have one MBP from 2008 all original barring a recent fan change that has an uptime of over 30K hours. The latest MBP`s need less assistance in remaining cool; for some it`s simply disconcerting the heat generated and transferred to the case, although it`s perfectly normal as the aluminium acts as a heat-sync. i have to deal with elevated ambient temperature so at times a software solution is useful. Apart from the passive cooling the Mstands bring they also offer a very sound ergonomic solution. A passive cooler and UltraFan will maximise the cooling, there is little else you can do short of reducing the ambient temperature or the system load. If I know i am going to push a system i will close all apps that are not essential as this can and does make an impact to system temperature.

High temperatures in general is not overly harmful to your systems, what is far more detrimental is thermal stress, where temperatures rapidly fluctuate by significant margins over a short period of time. Anyone striving for great longevity should look to minimise rapid temperature changes, here UltraFan is your best friend.

Using a RainDesign Mstand, a Moshi Zefyr 2 and latest version of UltraFan I can reduce temperature by over 20C when transcoding an MKV video file, and that is something worth thinking about;
  • Apple default cooling algorithm 99C - 103C (still on Mstand) fans 4K and escalating
  • Mstand, Zefyr & UltraFan 79C - 82C fans at 5.8K

Recently i have been experimenting with a CoolerMaster Notrepal E1 cooling pad, it has a single very large fan 23CM (9") running at 800 rpm, and most importantly moving a significant 91.25 CFM, this is far more than most other powered coolers i have tried.




The fan by far takes up the majority of the coolers body, runs slow and quiet.

As it`s designed for a PC portable i didn't have any high expectations; the cooler runs quiet as in silent, perfect size for a 15" MBP, has USB expansion, single speed with on/off button and lifts the machine a good couple of inch`s of the desk. I chose my Late 2011 2.4 i7 15" MBP, it`s connected to an external display, runs 24/7 and is generally north of 70C (158F) on any given day. Any software solution only results in the MBP doing a fair impression of a "Turbojet" which we all love to loath, as workloads rise and temperatures increase.

The important part cooling; well as ever with a Mac a mixed bag, the elevation definitely helps versus being flat on the desk. I have little expectation of any cooler reducing a Mac`s internal temperature significantly, what the Notepal E1 was able to do was systematically reduce fan rpm by a good 1K without any increase in internal temperatures, which is a big step forward. With this cooler and a software solution (UltraFan/SMC Fan Control) it`s possible to have a moderate load and a relatively quiet system, and that counts for a lot. The major downside to the Notepal E1 is the size, it`s clearly designed to be "planted" on the desk. when using the 10 degree angle i use a piece of that rubber you can buy for car dashboards, just to ensure the MBP doesn't slip and slide about, just seems prudent with such an expensive notebook perched on the edge of the desk. The Notepal E1 also unusually blows a stream of cool air out of the front to cool the hands which is well unusual, nevertheless not unpleasant on a hot day.

I still rate the Moshi Zefyr 2 as the best powered cooler for a Mac portable simply due to it`s continuous horizontal air flow, however the pricing and availability make it a tough choice. 1K reduction in fan speed may not sound that big a deal, however if that keeps the Mac below the "Turbojet' threshold then it`s a worthwhile investment for anyone seeking the quieter life

The downside of the Moshi cooler is it`s very pricy at around $80, however it`s by far the best portable solution if that`s what you need. What i have observed over the years is the best solution is a combination of software, and powered cooler, on my Late 2011 15" MBP (2.4 i7) running both internal & external display`s i run; Ultrafan set to 66C, AdBlock and it sits on a CoolerMaster NotePal E1 this results in a reasonably cool and quiet system. My Retina is better behaved thermally and i just run UltraFan, AdBlock and it sits on a Rain Design Mstand.

Note: the CoolerMaster Notepal E1 moves a very considerable volume of air, over 91 cubic feet per minute (CFM) a regular PC cooler moving say 40 - 60 CFM will have little to no effect on an Apple portable. My recent observations are undertaken in an ambient temperature of 25C to 28C, so you may not need to go all the way to achieve a cool, quiet Mac

The old adage still applies; it`s easier to keep a system cool, than cool-down an already hot machine, or more literally "sooner rather than later". This being said it`s not strictly necessary, equally it`s nice to know that there are options for reducing temperature out there.

Last edited by Queen6; Dec 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 10:35 AM   #35
Queen6
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I have both 15" Retina and 2011 15" Unibody: the Retina runs cooler and quieter with fans spooling up later than the 2011 MBP. Cooling the case alone i believe wont work, the key is reducing the air intake temperature, this should be easier to achieve with Retina thanks to the forward placed cooling intakes, the standard machines rear mounted air intake/exhaust is likely going to be harder to deal with.

Apple`s cooling algorithm works to a point, yes it does offer close to silent operation under low to moderate load, however as fans in general are slow to spool up at higher loads/temps the system tends to become thermally saturated with CPU temp slowly building and past the 90C mark. This is where the likes of UltraFan really work as the application helps to reduce thermal saturation by removing excess heat sooner rather than later.

I did consider modifying a Rain Designs by installing a 20cm high capacity tower case fan, however i now see that a little more thought needs to go into it, in order to direct the airflow to the MBP cooling intakes. Equally to have any significant impact i fear you will require a such a volume/velocity of airflow it will simply render the idea impracticable...
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 03:10 PM   #36
switon
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RE: Thanks...and...

Hi Queen6,

Thanks for the great information concerning UltraFan and your Cooler Master. I think I'll give UltraFan a try, based upon your recommendation.

Thanks so much!

Regards,
Switon
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 03:32 PM   #37
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Pure alcohol won't damage electronic's
Liquid alcohol cooling time
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