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Old Jul 7, 2010, 06:38 PM   #1
akarmenia
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MacBook Pro Unibody Laptop Cooler

Hi everyone,
The 2009/2010 MBP have the vents at the back of the laptop, so which of these coolers is best at removing the heat dissipated from them?

http://store.antec.com/Product/noteb...5-75017-2.aspx

http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=2581

Does anyone know how the antec works? I think it would be better since it lies at the back of the laptop, but I don't understand how it would help a laptop with vents on the sides...

Cheers.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 06:44 PM   #2
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Why do you think you need a laptop cooler?
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 06:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Why do you think you need a laptop cooler?
Playing games in windows 7 produces more heat than I'm comfortable with for hours on end :P
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 06:47 PM   #4
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Coolers really are not necessary. Your MBP may indeed feel warm at times, depending on what you are doing, which is perfectly normal.

According to Apple, it technically is a notebook, not a laptop. Just keep it on a solid, wood surface. It works for me.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 06:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by akarmenia View Post
Playing games in windows 7 produces more heat than I'm comfortable with for hours on end :P
If your MBP gets too hot, it will automatically shut itself down.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 06:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxon48 View Post
If your MBP gets too hot, it will automatically shut itself down.
While I hope so too, it seems to me that if an external fan were to cool down the laptop it would take the pressure off the internal fans, which work at 4500rpm during games when the GPU is 75-85C.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 06:52 PM   #7
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While I hope so too, it seems to me that if an external fan were to cool down the laptop it would take the pressure off the internal fans, which work at 4500rpm during games when the GPU is 75-85C.
Then take a gander at smcFanControl, a useful (and free) little doodad that can increase/decrease fan speed whenever you need it.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 07:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxon48 View Post
Then take a gander at smcFanControl, a useful (and free) little doodad that can increase/decrease fan speed whenever you need it.
Yeah, I heard about this neat tool. I was hoping to cool the computer without tweaking the fans (I'm assuming the laptop knows what it's doing with them more than me). I did however try a command line app and it is certainly a good idea, but win7 already boosts the fans up after the heat starts up.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 07:03 PM   #9
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I personally don't want to alter the fan speeds and let the computer work on the presetted intervals.

I am afraid speeding up the fans will lower their life span since I assume they only spin so many times during their life time.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 07:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris2k5 View Post
I personally don't want to alter the fan speeds and let the computer work on the presetted intervals.

I am afraid speeding up the fans will lower their life span since I assume they only spin so many times during their life time.
Yeah that's what I meant. It's the same with overclocking CPU/GPU. I noticed the fans never reach full speed even during intense use.
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 01:36 AM   #11
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@OP

There are a few threads on here about coolers. Worth searching, try MRoogle.

IMHO coolers don't work well with Macs as you've spotted. Coolers are designed to push more air into bottom vents. Macs don't have any. Very little heat is dissipated through the base on a Mac, it nearly all comes out through the vent.

Worth getting more info before spending your $$$$$

Of course if you do get one and have a good experience, post it on here so we all know it works!
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 02:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pax View Post
@OP

There are a few threads on here about coolers. Worth searching, try MRoogle.

IMHO coolers don't work well with Macs as you've spotted. Coolers are designed to push more air into bottom vents. Macs don't have any. Very little heat is dissipated through the base on a Mac, it nearly all comes out through the vent.

Worth getting more info before spending your $$$$$

Of course if you do get one and have a good experience, post it on here so we all know it works!
Thanks for the tips Pax, I certainly will. I think I'll get the cool master u2 if anything. I can adjust the fan positions to the rear left of the laptop, where the heat is. But I agree having air inflow vents on the underside of the laptop would greatly aid the cooling process. I'll keep you guys posted!

http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6612
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 02:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxon48 View Post
If your MBP gets too hot, it will automatically shut itself down.
Your computer will get too hot long before it shuts down. The CPU's shutdown temp is usually 20*C higher than its maximum safe operating temp.
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 04:49 AM   #14
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The cooler won't help, the small one will obstruct the vents and the bigger one is useless since it's cooling the lower side that doesn't even have a hole
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 09:10 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by saxon48 View Post
According to Apple, it technically is a notebook, not a laptop.
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 09:33 AM   #16
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Here are the results I got from playing Counter-strike Source in Windows 7:

Before CSS (Idle):


Starting CSS:


Highest Temp:


Fans kicking in:


In general there is an increase in temp of 40C for CPU/GPU, and generally the GPU is kept below 80C.

EDIT: For some reason, the above temperatures are incorrect... The real CPU readings are actually higher.
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Last edited by akarmenia; Jul 9, 2010 at 09:23 AM.
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 09:59 AM   #17
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I see why you want a laptop cooler. Some people just want it to be a little cooler (my hands get really hot when i'm playing games) so i recommend the zalman nc3000. based on where the fan is coming in, this new zalman product is actually pretty decent for the mbp's. it was released this june

i think I"m going to get it depending on if more reviews come in
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 11:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris2k5 View Post
I personally don't want to alter the fan speeds and let the computer work on the presetted intervals.

I am afraid speeding up the fans will lower their life span since I assume they only spin so many times during their life time.
Don't worry about the life of the fans. i ran SMC fan control to boost my fans to 3600rpm at all times in my 1st gen MBP. I used it that way for over 4 years and never had an issue.

Plus, it only costs about $50 total to replace both fans from ifixit.com. And with the new unibody design, accessing and replacing fans takes all of 5 minutes.
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 11:31 AM   #19
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When it gets really hot here in Socal I will get out the gel pack that I keep in the freezer. I stick it under the mbp and watch temps just plummet. Of course it only lasts for a while but it proves that more heat than one would expect moves through the base.
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 08:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sn0warmy View Post
Don't worry about the life of the fans. i ran SMC fan control to boost my fans to 3600rpm at all times in my 1st gen MBP. I used it that way for over 4 years and never had an issue.

Plus, it only costs about $50 total to replace both fans from ifixit.com. And with the new unibody design, accessing and replacing fans takes all of 5 minutes.
Thanks that's reassuring to know. I think that fans running at that speed are not too bad considering they can reach 6000rpm.
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 09:18 AM   #21
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MacBook Pro Temperature Benchmark

Hey guys,
I bought the Cooler Master Notepal U2 today and decided to do a benchmark test to see its effect. I ran my MacBook Pro i7 on Windows 7.

Here are the results while idle without the cooler:

Temperature:
Thumb resize.

Fans:
Thumb resize.

Stats:
Thumb resize.

Then I ran the test with 100% CPU without the cooler:

Temperature:
Thumb resize.

Fans:
Thumb resize.

Stats:
Thumb resize.

Things to note were that the CPU reached the maximum 105C, the fans increased slowly to reduce the temperature to a stable 90-100C.

Then I used the cooler and did the same test:

Temperature:
Thumb resize.

Fans:
Thumb resize.

Stats:
Thumb resize.

As you can see in the temperature reading, there is hardly any difference with or without the cooler in regard to the internals. However, with the cooler on the fans did not reach the same speeds and reduced their speed to 2000rpm quicker when the test was over.

So overall the cooler keeps the laptop exterior cool and reduces the stress on the internal fans. The stand angle itself isn't too bad as I thought it would be, and I can type just fine. Please note that the tests duration may differ a minute or so when CPU is 100%, and I let the cooler test run a little longer after the test had ended to see how quickly the temperature would decrease. But it seems that the cooler doesn't do anything noticeable for the internals.

I placed the fans on the cooler in the hottest areas of the laptop (rear left).
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Last edited by kainjow; Jul 9, 2010 at 09:15 PM. Reason: timg
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 12:33 PM   #22
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A very useful and interesting post. It looks like the Core i7 displays exactly the same behaviour as previous Macs. My 2009 C2D 13" does exactly the same thing. I have discussed with other posters on here with various models and they mostly (all?) show the same thing.

The Intel datasheets more or less say "don't exceed 105 C; preferably design the system to sit at 95 C max". The CPU will throttle at 105 C to keep itself below this temperature. At 125 C it will shut down. I can't remember the exact wording. Apple seems to use these words exactly and has designed a cooling fan algorithm which allows the CPU to go right up to 105 C, but only for a couple of minutes, then the fans ramp up to bring it down to about 95 C.

I guess Apple's idea is that most high CPU loads are transient - no point in ramping the fans up as in most cases the CPU will go idle again very quickly.

I think that the temperature labelled "CPU" on your charts is the CPU heatsink. And again it shows exactly the same behaviour as other Macs I've seen:- at idle the CPU heatsink is about 5 C cooler than the CPU die; at full load it's about 25 C cooler than the CPU die. My C2D shows almost identical numbers.

There's some debate on these forums about whether Apple uses the heatsink temp or the CPU temp to control the fans. I'm firmly convinced it's the latter. The fact that all portable Macs seem to show this same 105 C / 95 C behaviour and it lines up exactly with the Intel specs is what convinces me.

Also there's some debate about the quality of Apple's thermal paste application. I don't know about its absolute quality, but its consistency from Mac to Mac is remarkable - the 5 C idle / 25 C full load temperature difference is very consistent from Mac to Mac.

I note also that you see a tiny bit of CPU throttling when the CPU is at max just before the fans kick in. This drives some Mac users to apoplexy. Apple's cooling algorithm isn't perfect, the CPU is having to do a tiny bit of internal housekeeping to keep its temperature safe. That's the first time I've seen it confirmed that this actually goes on. Of course it only happens for a minute or so, then the fans keep the CPU nice and cool

Your cooler does seem to have helped the fan a bit, it's running at 3500 vs 4000 in the two tests. Some difference, whether it's "worth" it I guess is a matter of personal preference.

Thanks again!
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 04:11 PM   #23
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Like I've said to many other people:

Your MacBook or MacBook Pro can take care of itself. Its designed to keep itself cool with no interfering from the user.
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 08:52 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pax View Post
A very useful and interesting post. It looks like the Core i7 displays exactly the same behaviour as previous Macs. My 2009 C2D 13" does exactly the same thing. I have discussed with other posters on here with various models and they mostly (all?) show the same thing.

The Intel datasheets more or less say "don't exceed 105 C; preferably design the system to sit at 95 C max". The CPU will throttle at 105 C to keep itself below this temperature. At 125 C it will shut down. I can't remember the exact wording. Apple seems to use these words exactly and has designed a cooling fan algorithm which allows the CPU to go right up to 105 C, but only for a couple of minutes, then the fans ramp up to bring it down to about 95 C.

I guess Apple's idea is that most high CPU loads are transient - no point in ramping the fans up as in most cases the CPU will go idle again very quickly.

I think that the temperature labelled "CPU" on your charts is the CPU heatsink. And again it shows exactly the same behaviour as other Macs I've seen:- at idle the CPU heatsink is about 5 C cooler than the CPU die; at full load it's about 25 C cooler than the CPU die. My C2D shows almost identical numbers.

There's some debate on these forums about whether Apple uses the heatsink temp or the CPU temp to control the fans. I'm firmly convinced it's the latter. The fact that all portable Macs seem to show this same 105 C / 95 C behaviour and it lines up exactly with the Intel specs is what convinces me.

Also there's some debate about the quality of Apple's thermal paste application. I don't know about its absolute quality, but its consistency from Mac to Mac is remarkable - the 5 C idle / 25 C full load temperature difference is very consistent from Mac to Mac.

I note also that you see a tiny bit of CPU throttling when the CPU is at max just before the fans kick in. This drives some Mac users to apoplexy. Apple's cooling algorithm isn't perfect, the CPU is having to do a tiny bit of internal housekeeping to keep its temperature safe. That's the first time I've seen it confirmed that this actually goes on. Of course it only happens for a minute or so, then the fans keep the CPU nice and cool

Your cooler does seem to have helped the fan a bit, it's running at 3500 vs 4000 in the two tests. Some difference, whether it's "worth" it I guess is a matter of personal preference.

Thanks again!
Wow Pax that was a very thorough and in-depth reply to my post. Thanks for all your interesting comments. It seems the laptop knows what it's doing more than it leads us to believe. I must say the only real benefit from the cooler is simply a cooler underside at the end of the day. But clearly that doesn't do much for the laptop. So the final verdict, at least with most coolers with similar designs to the u2, is that they do not lower internal temps.
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 09:21 PM   #25
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I've been through the entire process that you have.

Cooler
SMCFancontrol
Hardwood Desk
Laptop Elevation Devices

...All not the complete solution

If you feel like your computer is getting extraordinarily hot, the issue may be dust. I opened up my unibody MBP, easily removed clumps of dust, blew on the bits of dust everywhere, declogged the grill/vent full of dust you can only see after you open the computer... and BAM. 30-40 degrees farenheit cooler on idle. And much less noise even during heavy gaming or 3D rendering on OSX and Windows 7.
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