Modifying a 12" PB for better cooling

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by jeff.macaddict, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. jeff.macaddict macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #1
    Three months ago I bought a brand spankin new PB G4 12", and had to deplete my life savings to buy it. I just got a job, and in a year will have the $3500 I need to buy that 15" or 17" PB I have always wanted.

    Since my little PB, a great machine, but nonetheless, it wont see as much use as it did, I had an idea for it. I wondered if I could modify it, as I do so often with my computer stuff. If i say, added a bunch of ventilation, would the fan that was inside in combo with all the new holes help the PB to run cooler? Would it stay cooler longer? Or is it just a waste of effort?

    Are there any efforts already in progress to help cool the PB's?
     
  2. mymemory macrumors 68020

    mymemory

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Location:
    Miami
    #2
    Dude I have a 12" too and I see no problem with the cooling. Why you want to cool the machine any way? is not going to bring you any differnce in the performance.

    I have 2 Powerbooks G3 500 (Pismos), they have been very hot before, specially when they have being rendering for 7 days in a row and they work just fine today.

    Open holes? why? :confused:
     
  3. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Why the heck would you want to modify it? It runs cool enough to not be too hot now and, while adding holes would cool it slightly, it would just mean that the fan may not come on so often anyway - as the temperature is controlled in software. Hence, if Apple thinks x degrees is cool enough, the fan will only come on to reduce the temp to that amount before turning off again.

    This makes even less sense if you are using it less as it means it won't be used as often, not as much for processor-intensive stuff, and therefore not get so hot anyway.

    Plus you'll kill any resale value. If you're going to modify it, at least stick in a better HD or custom backlit keyboard or something that actually adds functionality.
     
  4. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816

    blue&whiteman

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    #4
    if temp is such a big issue then just use thermal paste. under heavy use I have seen cpu's go down as much as 10c compared to a paste free cpu. get the silver based stuff, its about 5$. most that use thermal paste do so to keep an overclocked cpu at the temp is was before the oc.
     
  5. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #5
    um, this coming from someone who had to "deplete life savings"? :confused:

    that PB is worth something, you know. you can sell it and use that money to subsidize your next purchase..? you'll be able to afford your 15/17" PB faster that way too.

    no one will buy a modified PB, that much i can tell you...
     
  6. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Anything you do will probably void your warranty. Not a good thing if you ever have a real problem.
     
  7. rfgecko33 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2003
    #7
    more harm than good?

    my worry would be that modifications you make to the powerbook may actually work against you. a new vent that you place could conceivably reroute the airflow in a way that only serves to make the machine run even hotter. the cooling of a laptop is a complicated design problem to start with. a 12" powerbook is not the machine i would want to start experimenting on.
     
  8. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2003
    Location:
    NJ
    #8
    i don't think you could end up doing much good, you'd just end up with a powerbook with a ton of holes in it and it wouldn't be cooler and would look like a pc laptop

     
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #9
    No need to molest your PowerBook. Buy a RoadTools Pivot pad for twenty bucks. It raises the PB off the desktop by about a half inch, improving the aluminum's natural radiational cooling properties. It also tilts the keyboard a bit forward and of course it pivots nicely too.
     
  10. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #10
    While I'm all for computer mods, laptop modifications can get a little hairy

    They are precisely engineered for optimal space and cooling. Messing with stuff could easily make the cooling even worse.

    In this case, I would suggest getting something like an iCurve. It would increase airflow around your computer, and looks quite cool.

    If you want to do something more hands on, I would recommend doing some sort of cool paintjob. Personalize it however you want. Much safer.

    Now, if you do choose to hack away at the body, you are going to have to post some pics. I would be very impressed to someone who has successfully done some powerbook modding.
     
  11. altair macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #11
    Hehe, Apple hires engineers specially trained in the cooling of computers, and they spend many many hours figuring out the best and most efficient way to do such. Not to be to blunt, but dont think you can do better than them :)


    Altair
     
  12. BrandonRP0123 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #12
    Don't modify it. The only thing I've done to my 12" is work with the feet. They kept falling off (the back two) so I bought some sticky-backed rubber feet from the hardware store and that raised the back about an 1/8th of an inch and provided for more secure feet. I kept the originals (after I searched the carpet for about 5 minutes for one of them) so that if I ever sell it I can pull off the sticky-backed and put the originals on the hind quarters.

    Having the back end raised slightly helps the airflow underneath the unit. I have a buddy with a 17" and he's replaced all 4 rubber feet with non-stick furniture glides.

    It amazes me that all three powerbook models have the same feet - given that the feet were falling off the 17" and 12" just weeks after they were received by their new owners last year - you would think apple would take this into account for the aluminum 15". The TiBook has those rectangular feet, IIRC, that are almost impossible to skid off.
     
  13. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #13
    Sure, they do, but I would not necessarily count on engineers to think of everything or to never make a miscalculation. I've seen my 12" PB display begin to artifact after playing Medal of Honor for an extended period. I figure that's the best warning I'll get for the need to allow the machine to cool down for a while before any heat-related damage is done.
     
  14. BrandonRP0123 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #14

    Define 'artifact' ? It sounds to me like its more defect than artifact. Do you have apple care?
     
  15. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #15
    despite all of the skeptics out there, if you have the disposable PB then i say go for it!!! altair makes a valid point that apple has good engineers, but as an engineer myself i must point out that there are always corners cut to meet a ceartain price line or time constraint. so they might have designed the best they could given the certain limitations, but if you have the time/knowledge to do some thermal calculations and flow rates through the computer then im sure you could do a better job. one-off mods can always have the optimal output that you want, but when engineers design something for mass production they are usually limited.

    as for myself, i have done some mods to the cover of my old iBook (just taking off/painting etc. if i could afford to keep it (i have to sell it soon) then i would do some more fun things (like change the LED that 'breathes') and for my 12" PB i really want to open up the cover and paint the apple from the inside (trust me, it looks a LOT cooler than when you paint the outside) unfortunatly i cannot afforad to lose apple care. i also want to get a back lit keyboard into it.

    as for yours i would start by considering why your PB is hot. the outside is designed as a heat sink, if you make the outside cool, will you be trapping all the heat on the inside and thus overheat the proccessor? so if you chop everything off is there going to be enough surface to dicipate the heat. id consider changing the materials and shapes of the internal fans and the types of fans. it would all be a big project, but if you have the time/money to sacrifice, then you could have the 'coolest' PB . . .
     
  16. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    The thing I still can't understand is why? It works really fine as it is.
     

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