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macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 6, 2020
My mom recently gave me her old 2015 MacBook air with the 1.6ghz i5, I was dissatisfied with the performance of the cooling system even after cleaning and repasting. I decided to add thermal pads between the heatsink and the bottom panel so the bottom panel will act as a heat spreader. I realize 2015 is a bit to new for the early Intel forum but this mod should work on any 11 or 13 inch MacBook air from between 2010 and 2017, they all have similar heatsinks in basically the same spot.

Running cinebench R20 with the fan on stock settings it still eventually gets hot enough to thermal throttle. I installed macs fan control and set a maximum temperature of 90 degrees Celsius. It will now sustain 2.5ghz indefinitely at a temperature between 77 and 79 degrees Celsius. It scored 619 points in cinebench R20 running in 10.13 high sierra if anyone wants to know.

2mm seems to be about the right thickness for a 2015 or 2017 13 inch. I only had 1mm pads so I just stacked 2 of them.

WARNING, there is a reason apple did not do this from the factory, the bottom panel right below the processor gets hot enough to scorch or burn you with prolonged contact. The extra heat in the bottom panel may also effect battery life. If you decide to do this mod or something like it keep those things in mind.


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