2017 MBP 15” - Recommend me laptop coolers?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bykaraanne, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. bykaraanne macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2018
    #1
    yes, the batt life is quite bad.
    yes, it heats up. But I needed a laptop so I got one (since y’know, we didn’t get the 2018s and everything). On Dropbox / Illustrator / Zoom yesterday. Bah.

    So can anyone recommend me a cooling pad/fan/mat that’ll work well with my computer? I did some research, but the reviews are polarising. Also, will the fans help since MBP has no “exhaust holes”?

    I remember reading here that I should get a fan instead of those keyboard protectors.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Queen6, Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018

    Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

    Joined:
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    #2
    Very much a "canned" response from the days when the 15" MBP ran extremely hot, equally some points may be of use to you:

    Being an owner & user of the 15" MacBook Pro since forever; Over the years the 15" has frequently struggled with it's thermals, especially when an external display is connected as the dGPU engages by default, internal temperatures soar, equally there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the systems temperature;

    • Elevate the rear, aluminium passive coolers generally work best (I use RainDesign`s mStand & iLap), even small portable risers such as ORICO's Creative Laptop Stand can make a difference, very handy for those on the "go".
    • Increase base fan RPM to 3K or as much as you are comfortable with (MacsFanControl or SMC Fan Control)
      Limit the dGPU`s usage with gfxCardStatus
    • Swap out Chrome for Chrome Canary as it can be more optimised for OS X and may extend battery run time, reduce thermals etc.
    • Swap out VLC for Movist as again it`s a reduced load on CPU/GPU
    • Uninstall or block Flash
    • Install an ad blocker Wipr or AdGuard works well
    • Powered coolers are very much a "mixed bag" when it comes to Mac portables, you need one that has a high capacity (100 CFM minimum) and preferably a large single fan, this can help to keep the 15" internal fans below 4K which for many is good enough as often it`s this point and beyond where the fans become intrusive and annoying. Don't expect a powered cooler impact internal temperatures, beyond a couple of degrees
    • Older notebooks can benefit from cleaning of the cooling system
    • Retina`s can benefit from cleaning of the cooling system sooner rather than later, as the heat syncs are far smaller and loose efficiency faster, due to build up of dust/debris etc.
    • Replacing the thermal paste has been hit & miss, some with very positive results, some with no improvement over stock. Personally I would only do this on a Mac Portable that was either very old, or one that I can confirm was definitely running a lot hotter than stock.
    • If your MBP has a discrete GPU, it will fire up when an external display is connected as default, temperatures will rise rapidly.
    • Consider a specific vertical stand when using a MPB in "Clamshell" mode allowing for greater circulation of air. Some recommend inverting the MBP in the stand with the exhaust at the top & intake at the bottom (Retina)
    • Another option for static setups is a USB powered fan strategically placed so it blows across the MBP keyboard deck (air flow L-R above & below the keyboard)
    The key to a quiet life with a 15" MacBook Pro is making incremental changes that can and do add up to reduce thermals. From my experience over the years if your going to push a 15" hard the fans are going to max out fast, with associated temperature & noise. If your using it with a moderate load, life can be made quieter. For the most part your MBP runs hot as that`s how Apple designed it, this is the trade off for thin & light...

    Like it or loath it, there's good reason why the majority of Windows MBP counterparts have significantly more cooling & vents, nor is it due to their design teams being inept. Apple simply places form over function first in many circumstance. My newest W10 notebook CPU temperature can spike as high as 90C, equally once the cooling system spins up even under full load on all six cores at 3.9GHz the CPU remains in the range of 70C...

    The 2015 15" MBP has more aggressive fan curve than the older models, likely to stave off another round of mass dGPU failure. There is no way to disengage the dGPU when an external monitor is connected, all one can do is take small steps to reduce the overall temperature to a level where the fans will not spool up to an unacceptable level, generally 4K+ RPM.
    The old adage still applies; it`s easier to keep a system cool, than cool-down an already overly hot machine. This being said it`s not strictly necessary, equally it`s nice to know that there are some options for reducing temperature out there, and a quieter life.

    Q-6
     
  3. vseera macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    #3
    Hmm was looking to get a 15” 2017 now that the 2018 models haven’t been released. This news about it heating up so much like this makes me pause.
    Does it normally heat up so much on daily use?
     
  4. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #4
    The 2016 / 2017 design is much better thermally, so I wouldn't be overly concerned. If your going to push the computer hard it's going to get hot unless it has a very substantial cooling system and in notebooks that generally equates to higher noise levels.

    Q-6
     
  5. vseera macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    #5
    Thanks for the reply. Guess that makes sense. I was a bit concerned as I was reading some things about it being too hot to the touch after streaming a few videos online.
     
  6. Hanson Eigilson macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2016
    #6
    If the noise or short battery life is annoying you it's possible to undervolt, disable turbo boost and limit cpu package power consumption with volta: http://volta.garymathews.com/faq.html
    I use it and for me it has been fantastic, I have 55mv undervolt and 10w package limit when on battery, but it does require you to partially disable SIP which is not ideal.
     
  7. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #7
    User probably had Flash installed which will drive any Mac's CPU temperature through the roof. Typically streaming is decoded in hardware now and operating temperatures are low.

    Q-6
     
  8. bykaraanne thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2018
    #8
    Thanks - this is super helpful. :)
    Daily use, not too bad. But when running Zoom / Illustrator / Dropbox, it’s quite bad. That said, I’ve never had such a “powerful” MacBook Pro, I’ve only ever had the normal 13”, so the heat was a big scary, especially on the first day when you’re syncing lots of Dropbox files, charging and doing other installations at once. I’ll know how bad it heats up doing Illustrator work over time. In the meantime, I’ll use the laptop elevators.
    Thank you!
     
  9. Queen6, Jun 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018

    Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

    Joined:
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    #9
    I always undervolt my Windows notebook's as they are performance based., makes a significant difference in power consumption & thermals.

    Q-6
    --- Post Merged, Jun 9, 2018 ---
    Want to be scared by MBP temperatures, try rendering on a 2011 15" if well setup and situated it's CPU will sit at 103C 24/7 Apple's cooling solution at it's finest :p

    Q-6
     
  10. vseera macrumors regular

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    May 27, 2011
    #10
    Haha, it getting hot running Dropbox is not reassuring! :p
     
  11. bykaraanne thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2018
    #11
    Lol, why Apple!! It scared the bejeezus out of me.

    Hmm, to be fair, I had 12k+ large design files syncing to the MBP, which surely the MBP wasn’t too happy about. Haha. It has since not heated up considerably.

    I will try more of Illustrator and maybe some Sims 4 this next week and update ya. I still had to get it, it’s still relatively powerful and gives me portability. I am able to fit it into my backpack made for a 13” MBP so... whaddya gonna do about it right.
     
  12. bykaraanne thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2018
    #12
    Here to update for maybe lurkers who are following this:

    My laptop stand is not here yet, but I’ve tested it running all my daily apps for 2 full work days. Illustrator with big file, Dropbox in background, Spotify, Chrome with many tabs, including audio/video.. and in air conditioned areas (I worked at a cafe for a few hours) the laptop remained cool-ish to touch even with everything on max. No laptop stand/elevation.

    Today in normal Singapore weather (about 33 deg c), with similar jobs and plugged in (cus I was at home), it heated up quite a bit but not alarmingly. It cooled down quite quickly, though still warm-ish to touch once the charging was full (still left it plugged in).

    I did use all the tips though.

    Gotta say, I love the 15” and the touchbar. Don’t love the keyboard, makes me type waaaaay slower (I’m a fast typer) and more mistakes. If they fix the keyboard in next gen I will be quite sad haha.

    Ok bye!
     
  13. vseera macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    #13
    Maybe you don't like typing on the keyboard due to the humongous trackpad? Just thinking because when I checked one out in store, the huge trackpad actually put me off buying the machine. It just doesn't look like it will be comfortable to reach the keyboard and my palms were ON the trackpad while typing.
     
  14. bykaraanne thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2018
    #14
    Naw. The trackpad was fine once I disabled the swiping left and right (that was WAY annoying, kept undoing stuff and going “back” on pages mid-type). Yes the trackpad is huge.

    It’s the travel of the keyboard now I get what everyone’s complaining about. Maybe I’ll get used to it soon. :)

    I’m Glad I bought the 15” 2.9 instead of waiting though, it was worth the buy.
     

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13 June 7, 2018