Is the Macbook Air a cooler running laptop?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by eifer, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2008
    I'd like a laptop that doesn't run so hot (I have a late 2008 Macbook Pro). I have an iPad but honestly, it's just much more convenient for me to use a laptop. I figure that since the Air has slower CPU, it may run cooler. Is this accurate? What are your experiences with this notebook?
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2008
    It has a ULV processor which means ultra low voltage. Less voltage=less heat. Plus the SSD doesn't spin like a HDD and generate heat. It definitely is cooler than your current notebook.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2012
    Very, very cool. Coolest running laptop I've ever had, as a matter of fact. Not that it doesn't get warm - it does, during heavy loads. By and large, it's ice cold, especially around the palm rest and trackpad area. I've had this computer for nearly two weeks and still haven't felt it warm in that area.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2013
    Do you have the i5 or the i7?
  5. macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Total TDP for a 2008 MBP (CPU+discrete graphics) is ~63W.

    Contrast that with the analogous TDP for a 2013 MBA, which is 15W.

    Running cooler is a function of clock speed, yes, but perhaps more important is how efficiently the "wires" in the chipset conduct electricity. The smaller they are, the less energy is required to send a signal reliably, resulting in lower power requirements and reduced heat dissipation. To that point, 2008 Penryn CPUs used a 45nm etching process, while the current MBA's is 22nm.
  6. macrumors 6502

    Nov 17, 2011
    I'll confirm that - my 11" (i5/8/256) is cool as a cucumber under light use (Word, Powerpoint, web browsing) so much so its like its not turned on at all.

    However, launch a bunch of apps and a Parallels session at the same time, it will warm up just a bit. Takes quite a bit to make the fans kick in (you have to be trying). This is one cool machine!
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    It's cool under normal use but when you game the top left hinge gets SUPER hot at times, to the point where you can't even touch it.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2012
    I still haven't heard the fans yet!
  9. macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2012
    Even though it is a ULV processor, you still get the full kick to 2.6GHz when using heavy stuff, so it is not a slow processor; the base clock has only been set low for even greater power savings.

    My MBA has been always cool to the touch, since the day I got it on July 13th.

    I have run iTunes movies and Amazon movies on 1080p. Have transfered around 1TB of personal stuff from a USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 drive and slightly got warmed. I also use Adobe flash. I also use Time Machine.

    I wonder if my MBA has any fans at all, I've not ever heard them. Perhaps Apple went fanless this time! (jk). But yea, it is a very low temperature laptop.

    Buy with confidence, this is a great laptop with great battery capacity life thanks to the goods guys at intel. :)
  10. macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2010
    Glen of Newmill, Keith, Scotland
    I am only a light user as far as programs go, no games or CAD etc, but as I am retired it is on from 0700 to 2300 connected to the internet, on my lap, and in use most of the time.

    I have just replaced my basic 2010 11" with a new i5, 4/128 11" model that also runs Parallels, and although I thought my old one was quick, this one is way faster and more responsive. The fans used to come on at times on the 2010 and the base could get warmish, but now they have never come on at all and the base is as cool as the lid.

    However I am certainly not getting 9 hours battery with continuous use, more like 6-7, although that was only around 4 hours on the old model.

    The backlighting has made a great difference for me as I use it in bed a lot with lights off for my wife, and before I had to angle the screen down for light when using the keyboard.

  11. macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2011
    How is the temp when streaming 720p+ video?

    My current MBP gets super hot and the fans go crazy when doing that.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2009
    I went from 2011 13" to 2013 13", the new one has 8GB/i7/512GB SSD, and have heard the fans kick on once or twice and that was while editing 1080p video. The i7 is a bit warmer than the i5 (Neighbour has one), but overall it's cold as.

    I have managed to get 12hrs from the battery in OSX with light use, but about 7hrs max running windows and Family Tree Maker.
  13. macrumors regular


    Apr 24, 2012
    Almost two weeks so far with my 11"/i5/8/256 and I have yet to hear the fans. And no heat, either.
  14. Stealth777, Jul 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2013
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Completely Agree

    Coolest running laptop I've ever used for normal use, but when gaming immediately gets pretty hot. I was testing it against 13" retina mbp tonight, here's my finding -

    Heat on Air

    It was surprisingly hot playing COD for 4 mins.

    A little follow up. In iStat menus, highest temp CPU proximity on the retina reached was 126f on the Air it was 172f. Quite a bit hotter!

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