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2020 Air Heatsink Modification Thread

srkirt

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2020
242
154
Barcelona
[QUOTE = "EValentino, publicación: 28412131, miembro: 1214649"]
¿Qué tipo de fondo es el de la segunda imagen? Nunca había visto algo así antes.
[/CITAR]
 
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Loog

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2020
153
154
Hello friends !! Every day I learn more about this laptop.
This morning I sealed the entire tunnel well but this time I put the plastic sleeve without the original cover. I have closed with plastic tape the slits of the plastic to test where to open and where to close. I have also placed a heatsink made by me all in copper and with this you could touch the case, I mean that being a plastic case between the MBA and the case there is more space than with the original cover.
After tests and tests covering the fan and opening on the opposite side, above the cpu, everything covered except the inputs of origin I have detected what is the real problem ...
The problem is the thickness of the laptop ... as soon as the source air runs (you can try it with the incense smoke) that is the problem, that's why that heatsink is so ridiculous and I don't know what material it is ...
When I have placed the housing and I have covered the original inlets and I have only let inlet through the housing and outlet through the turbine I have realized the amount of air that fan makes !!! a lot of flow !! but within the original design it hardly seems that neither air enters nor air comes out ... and that is why, because the supposed tunnel is so thin.
Now I have sealed all the corners and I have left the original holes and its original cover and it is great.
Guys, the cooling problem of this laptop is that the inlet and outlet holes do not allow the air to circulate well because that fan has flow but it hardly absorbs and of course it hardly goes out. I think that canceling the piece that is rectangular and has 5 0 6 holes already work much better.
Forgot to mention that it is also important for both 2019 and 2020 that there is no space between the heatsink and the original cover !!! that's why the lid heats up and that's why the air doesn't circulate well. When I placed the coins, I forced the heatsink to separate from the cover and more air flow passed, but in order to do well, there would have to be two small stops on both sides of the heatsink since this would not cover the flow that the coins would cover.

Thanks Jordi for the inspiration to do this update to the MBA 2018. As you can see the performance for Cinebench has increased from 604 originally to 698. The biggest difference is that the fans don't hit full blast and sit around 4.5 - 5k and temp is solid 96 deg (97 on second run) with full CPU load.

A heart dropping moment when the unit failed to power on after the mod was done. Again, thanks to Jordi for the tip to add main power and then give it another go.

So the mod was as per Jordi advice, this is C101 copper 0.5mm thick cut 20mm x 25mm then sanded on 100 micro mesh to take off rough edges. Light paste of MX-4, total cost was less than £10 for the whole thing and I have plenty of copper spare as well as heatsink compound.

Idle temp is now around 40 - 45 deg with no fan.

Update ... make that 36 deg.

Thanks for the tip!!
 

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srkirt

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2020
242
154
Barcelona
[QUOTE = "Registro, publicación: 28413428, miembro: 1212829"]
Gracias Jordi por la inspiración para hacer esta actualización del MBA 2018. Como puede ver, el rendimiento de Cinebench ha aumentado de 604 originalmente a 698. La mayor diferencia es que los fanáticos no alcanzan la máxima explosión y se sientan alrededor de 4.5 - 5k y temp es sólido 96 grados (97 en la segunda ejecución) con carga de CPU completa.

Un momento desalentador cuando la unidad no se encendió después de que se realizó el mod. Nuevamente, gracias a Jordi por el consejo para agregar potencia principal y luego darle otra oportunidad.

Entonces, el mod fue según el consejo de Jordi, este es cobre C101 de 0.5 mm de grosor cortado 20 mm x 25 mm y luego lijado en 100 micro mallas para quitar bordes ásperos. Pasta ligera de MX-4, el costo total fue menos de £ 10 para todo y tengo un montón de cobre de repuesto, así como un compuesto de disipador de calor.

La temperatura de inactividad ahora es de alrededor de 40 a 45 grados sin ventilador.

¡¡Gracias por el consejo!!
[/ CITAR]
BRAVO !!!
 
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Loog

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2020
153
154
[QUOTE = "Registro, publicación: 28413428, miembro: 1212829"]
Gracias Jordi por la inspiración para hacer esta actualización del MBA 2018. Como puede ver, el rendimiento de Cinebench ha aumentado de 604 originalmente a 698. La mayor diferencia es que los fanáticos no alcanzan la máxima explosión y se sientan alrededor de 4.5 - 5k y temp es sólido 96 grados (97 en la segunda ejecución) con carga de CPU completa.

Un momento desalentador cuando la unidad no se encendió después de que se realizó el mod. Nuevamente, gracias a Jordi por el consejo para agregar potencia principal y luego darle otra oportunidad.

Entonces, el mod fue según el consejo de Jordi, este es cobre C101 de 0.5 mm de grosor cortado 20 mm x 25 mm y luego lijado en 100 micro mallas para quitar bordes ásperos. Pasta ligera de MX-4, el costo total fue menos de £ 10 para todo y tengo un montón de cobre de repuesto, así como un compuesto de disipador de calor.

La temperatura de inactividad ahora es de alrededor de 40 a 45 grados sin ventilador.

¡¡Gracias por el consejo!!
[/ CITAR]
BRAVO !!!
Temp now even lower since I went for some food and left the device for 15 mins ... now 36 deg :)
 
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srkirt

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2020
242
154
Barcelona
I keep trying the wind tunnel ... this time I have not been successful.
CAUTION: Today the MBA was not starting me, neither by disconnecting the battery nor with the voltage ... I opened the cover and turned the turbine a bit and nothing ... But I found the suction !!! the heatsink that is too tight on the cpu locks it and protects itself, so be careful not to over tighten the Intel chip.
I have the laptop made **** ... I could neither return it nor would it be guaranteed because it shows that I have manipulated it inside ...
But I have fun !!!
[automerge]1588093665[/automerge]
It is normal that we have the cpu hotter without air because our radiator dissipates more.
 
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Loog

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2020
153
154
I keep trying the wind tunnel ... this time I have not been successful.
CAUTION: Today the MBA was not starting me, neither by disconnecting the battery nor with the voltage ... I opened the cover and turned the turbine a bit and nothing ... But I found the suction !!! the heatsink that is too tight on the cpu locks it and protects itself, so be careful not to over tighten the Intel chip.
I have the laptop made **** ... I could neither return it nor would it be guaranteed because it shows that I have manipulated it inside ...
But I have fun !!!

Thanks for the tip I'll be sure to keep and eye on the CPU, especially with the bimetal different expansion rates of copper and aluminium. I've not tightened mine too much I hope ... fear of stripping the threads!!

I'm leaving my mods here, my MBA is out of warranty anyhow, I would have considered doing this on the 2020 i7 I had but lost faith and may just move to the MBP 13 when these come out or the new MB12" with ARM. I'm quite happy with the 2018 now having run both units side by side, the power difference wasn't worth the £2000 for me anyhow and happy with this life hack to squeeze a little more out of this model.

I've been following your experiments with great anticipation of what will come next. I think the shim is the least risk with the greatest reward. Thanks once again.
 
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srkirt

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2020
242
154
Barcelona
In the end I am going to put so that you make a donation to me in PayPal ... I am unemployed ... That is why I spend so much time disassembling and assembling things.
[automerge]1588094220[/automerge]
[QUOTE = "Loog, publicación: 28413609, miembro: 1212829"]
Gracias por el consejo, me aseguraré de vigilar la CPU, especialmente con las diferentes tasas de expansión bimetálicas de cobre y aluminio. Espero que no haya apretado demasiado el mío ... ¡miedo a despojar los hilos!

Dejo mis modificaciones aquí, mi MBA está fuera de garantía de todos modos, habría considerado hacer esto en el 2020 i7 que tenía, pero perdí la fe y podría pasar al MBP 13 cuando salgan o el nuevo MB12 "con ARM Estoy bastante contento con que el 2018 ahora haya corrido ambas unidades juntas, la diferencia de potencia no valió las £ 2000 para mí de todos modos y estoy feliz con este truco de vida para exprimir un poco más de este modelo.

He estado siguiendo tus experimentos con gran anticipación de lo que vendrá después. Creo que la cuña es el menor riesgo con la mayor recompensa. Gracias una vez más.
[/CITAR]
Thanks for the tip I'll be sure to keep and eye on the CPU, especially with the bimetal different expansion rates of copper and aluminium. I've not tightened mine too much I hope ... fear of stripping the threads!!

I'm leaving my mods here, my MBA is out of warranty anyhow, I would have considered doing this on the 2020 i7 I had but lost faith and may just move to the MBP 13 when these come out or the new MB12" with ARM. I'm quite happy with the 2018 now having run both units side by side, the power difference wasn't worth the £2000 for me anyhow and happy with this life hack to squeeze a little more out of this model.

I've been following your experiments with great anticipation of what will come next. I think the shim is the least risk with the greatest reward. Thanks once again.

Thanks to you !! your words make me feel very good !!
 
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EValentino

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2020
7
13
In the end I am going to put so that you make a donation to me in PayPal ... I am unemployed ... That is why I spend so much time disassembling and assembling things.
[automerge]1588094220[/automerge]
[QUOTE = "Loog, publicación: 28413609, miembro: 1212829"]
Gracias por el consejo, me aseguraré de vigilar la CPU, especialmente con las diferentes tasas de expansión bimetálicas de cobre y aluminio. Espero que no haya apretado demasiado el mío ... ¡miedo a despojar los hilos!

Dejo mis modificaciones aquí, mi MBA está fuera de garantía de todos modos, habría considerado hacer esto en el 2020 i7 que tenía, pero perdí la fe y podría pasar al MBP 13 cuando salgan o el nuevo MB12 "con ARM Estoy bastante contento con que el 2018 ahora haya corrido ambas unidades juntas, la diferencia de potencia no valió las £ 2000 para mí de todos modos y estoy feliz con este truco de vida para exprimir un poco más de este modelo.

He estado siguiendo tus experimentos con gran anticipación de lo que vendrá después. Creo que la cuña es el menor riesgo con la mayor recompensa. Gracias una vez más.
[/CITAR]


Thanks to you !! your words make me feel very good !!

I think that if you make this mod yourself and sell it so that customers only have to install it on their machine you can make good money with this! This is just what the Air needs.
 
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Pugly

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2016
261
200
Thanks to everyone for this mod. I'll probably do this down the line, I'll see what kind of temps I get on the i5 2020 when I get it. I'm curious in how the 2020 compares to my 2015... I wonder if sustained loads will be still faster with the older Air because of the more consistent cooling. I'll have to see how it handles Logic. All the high-end tests are based around video... audio is slightly less demanding.

This seems really like a really simple mod for anyone with some computer building experience.

I might wait until it's out of warranty. Although it wouldn't be too much hassle to remove the copper before sending it back to Apple.
 
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Loog

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2020
153
154
I think that if you make this mod yourself and sell it so that customers only have to install it on their machine you can make good money with this! This is just what the Air needs.

Well I've got engineering contacts so not really an issue. I guess it depends what people would want and how much they are willing to pay for this. What would people want here, just the shim or shim and paste ?

I reckon these may fly off the shelves if priced right, problem is China will flood the market with these quickly and small runs of bespoke work cannot compete.

I'll ask some questions and come back with minimus numbers and costs.
 
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EValentino

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2020
7
13
Well I've got engineering contacts so not really an issue. I guess it depends what people would want and how much they are willing to pay for this. What would people want here, just the shim or shim and paste ?

I reckon these may fly off the shelves if priced right, problem is China will flood the market with these quickly and small runs of bespoke work cannot compete.

I'll ask some questions and come back with minimus numbers and costs.

That would be insane bro! Maybe you could give people the choice? With a nice "how-to" video I can see this becoming a hit :)
 
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intelligence

macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2015
181
272
Thanks Jordi for the inspiration to do this update to the MBA 2018. As you can see the performance for Cinebench has increased from 604 originally to 698. The biggest difference is that the fans don't hit full blast and sit around 4.5 - 5k and temp is solid 96 deg (97 on second run) with full CPU load.

A heart dropping moment when the unit failed to power on after the mod was done. Again, thanks to Jordi for the tip to add main power and then give it another go.

So the mod was as per Jordi advice, this is C101 copper 0.5mm thick cut 20mm x 25mm then sanded on 100 micro mesh to take off rough edges. Light paste of MX-4, total cost was less than £10 for the whole thing and I have plenty of copper spare as well as heatsink compound.

Idle temp is now around 40 - 45 deg with no fan.

Update ... make that 36 deg.

Thanks for the tip!!

Would you be able to post exact steps on how to do this? Maybe as a Medium post or something like that? I can imagine there will be a great interest in places like Hacker News etc.
 
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Loog

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2020
153
154
That would be insane bro! Maybe you could give people the choice? With a nice "how-to" video I can see this becoming a hit :)
Call made and all squared away, I'll send over the CAD drawing tomorrow and await the pre production samples. probably be a week or so. I'll need some volunteers who are willing to test these out. I'll start a new thread on this once these are ready.
[automerge]1588102603[/automerge]
Would you be able to post exact steps on how to do this? Maybe as a Medium post or something like that? I can imagine there will be a great interest in places like Hacker News etc.
The posts from Jordi are really comprehensive if you go back in the thread a few pages. I guess part of the free trial of these will include a post your steps ... but it is really quite easy.

Open case, remove battery connector, remove heatsink, clean both surfaces, check fit of shim (dry) before proceeding, blob of thermal paste on cpu + heatsink, shim into heatsink, clean off excess paste when you push this in (if you've put too much on) fit and tighten. Add battery power, re assemble MBA, add power from mains, power on and fingers crossed you've no screwed your device up :eek: all good :apple: :)

I'm sure we can get a good write up on this between us here.
 
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srkirt

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2020
242
154
Barcelona
You have disappointed me, I have some ideas and I share them without profit and now you are going to do business with my idea ... Well, it's good not to publish anything else of my wits.
 
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Loog

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2020
153
154
You have disappointed me, I have some ideas and I share them without profit and now you are going to do business with my idea ... Well, it's good not to publish anything else of my wits.
I think you miss understand, my intention are to to get a small supply of these made from a local engineering firm so people can easily use this design, all references will return to you. It's community feedback.
 
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kinchee87

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2007
247
128
New Zealand
MacBook Air: i7/16GB/1TB

TL;DR: Sealing up the wind channel appears to only offer limited performance improvements.

I only got my iFixit toolset yesterday night, so I couldn't do the heat sink mod. I decided to open my MacBook Air anyway to see what I'm dealing with. The first thing I noticed was that the heat sink on my i7 looks quite different from the i3. It looks like corrugated cardboard but in metal form. I think the centre foam pad that is stuck to the inside of the bottom case is there to press against the heat sink and force all the air to go through the heat sink.

DSC09484.jpg
DSC09494.jpg


DSC09504.jpg
DSC09510.jpg



Wind Channel Mod
Based on @Jordi Padreny's experiments with the wind channel, I sealed the area between the fan and heat sink to see the effect on performance. The idea is to restrict the fan to draw all its air from behind the heat sink, thus maximising airflow through the heat sink for hopefully higher cooling effect. I cut strips of corrugated cardboard from my Amazon box and lined them against the metal separators next to the batteries (indicated by red boxes below). I found that performance was worse when the cardboard strips were taller than the metal separators, compared to them being the same height.

DSC09511.jpg
DSC09529.jpg


DSC09523.jpg



Results
I used Intel Power Gadget (v3.7.0) to monitor the temperature and CPU/GPU frequencies, and used its built-in tests to load the CPU (All Thread Frequency) and GPU (Maximum Frequency). I let each test run until the frequency stabilised, and then maxed out the fans to test the full wind channel effect. I then let the frequency stabilise again (usually goes up). My battery was charged to 100% and plugged in, and I set my screen to maximum brightness and always on.

I ran the tests before and after the mod, and back-to-back to minimise differences in ambient temperature. What I saw was that the wind channel mod had a very slight effect on CPU (+70 MHz at best) and GPU (+30 MHz) performance (Forgot to take a screenshot of the original GPU performance). Would be interesting to see if the benefit improves with the heat sink/shim mod.

Original.png
Wind-CPU.png
Wind-GPU.png
 
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srkirt

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2020
242
154
Barcelona
This is the true performance of an i5 MBA 2019 with the tunnel unfinished and thinking of laying a pipe line.
 
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RiaKoobcam

macrumors regular
Apr 17, 2020
225
287
I think you miss understand, my intention are to to get a small supply of these made from a local engineering firm so people can easily use this design, all references will return to you. It's community feedback.

Yeah, the idea of 'cooling a laptop down by increasing thermal conductivity with a copper shim and thermal paste' isn't a new one. That's why you can buy packs of precut copper shims on Amazon - people have been doing it since the early 2000s as far as I'm aware

I think what Loog meant Jordi is that instead of people buying a pack of random shims from Amazon (like you did), they could buy them made-to-order for the Macbook Air, from a firm based in Europe. This whole thread was a community effort to improve the heat sink of the 2020 Macbook Air. The fact that you've managed it on a 2019 MBA is great, but you didn't invent anything that didn't already exist.

Your experiments have been very useful to show what does and doesn't work on the 2019, but replacing a big fat glob of thermal paste with copper and Artic Silver is a very old trick. Someone even suggested it to you and gave you the link on Amazon where you could buy them.

There are now multiple guides from multiple users providing pictures, dimensions and tips so people can follow along at home.

Sorry man
 
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srkirt

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2020
242
154
Barcelona
[QUOTE = "RiaKoobcam, publicación: 28414901, miembro: 1213283"]
Sí, la idea de 'enfriar una computadora portátil aumentando la conductividad térmica con una cuña de cobre y pasta térmica' no es nueva. Es por eso que puede comprar paquetes de cuñas de cobre precortadas en Amazon: la gente lo ha estado haciendo desde principios de la década de 2000 hasta donde yo sé

Creo que lo que Loog quiso decir Jordi es que, en lugar de que las personas compren un paquete de cuñas aleatorias de Amazon (como usted lo hizo), podrían comprarlas a pedido para Macbook Air, de una empresa con sede en Europa. Todo este hilo fue un esfuerzo de la comunidad para mejorar el disipador de calor del Macbook Air 2020. El hecho de que lo hayas logrado en un MBA 2019 es genial, pero no inventaste nada que no existiera.

Sus experimentos han sido muy útiles para mostrar qué funciona y qué no funciona en el 2019, pero reemplazar un gran bulto de pasta térmica con cobre y Artic Silver es un truco muy antiguo. Alguien incluso te lo sugirió y te dio el enlace en Amazon donde puedes comprarlos.

Ahora hay múltiples guías de múltiples usuarios que proporcionan imágenes, dimensiones y consejos para que las personas puedan seguirlas en casa.

Lo siento
[/CITAR]
Yeah, the idea of 'cooling a laptop down by increasing thermal conductivity with a copper shim and thermal paste' isn't a new one. That's why you can buy packs of precut copper shims on Amazon - people have been doing it since the early 2000s as far as I'm aware

I think what Loog meant Jordi is that instead of people buying a pack of random shims from Amazon (like you did), they could buy them made-to-order for the Macbook Air, from a firm based in Europe. This whole thread was a community effort to improve the heat sink of the 2020 Macbook Air. The fact that you've managed it on a 2019 MBA is great, but you didn't invent anything that didn't already exist.

Your experiments have been very useful to show what does and doesn't work on the 2019, but replacing a big fat glob of thermal paste with copper and Artic Silver is a very old trick. Someone even suggested it to you and gave you the link on Amazon where you could buy them.

There are now multiple guides from multiple users providing pictures, dimensions and tips so people can follow along at home.

Sorry man
Look friend, I have been in computer science since the 90's and I had never done this about the wedge ... it occurred to me to see the thickness of thermal paste that came from origin and I thought of filling that thickness first with a can of Red Bull and then I got a copper heatsink with some sheets that are what I use for that purpose. You will also see that I am making a tunnel with sheets of these. These sheets are not sold on Amazon. From the beginning of the thread I have not seen anyone name the word copper wedge ... I do not feel like arguing but I had the idea in this forum.
I am sending you a photo of the heatsink where I get the sheets ... if you want a photo of a can of Red Bull I can also send it to you ...
 

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Comment

Robotronic

macrumors member
Sep 11, 2014
47
73
The first thing I noticed was that the heat sink on my i7 looks quite different from the i3. It looks like corrugated cardboard but in metal form. I think the centre foam pad that is stuck to the inside of the bottom case is there to press against the heat sink and force all the air to go through the heat sink.

Now this is interesting! I'll be even more interested to see if the underside of your heatsink is milled out like it is on the i3. The bottom case/cover of my i3 also has that spongey pad over the heatsink, which I also assumed creates a seal against the heatsink fins to direct air through the heatsink.

Based on @Jordi Padreny's experiments with the wind channel, I sealed the area between the fan and heat sink to see the effect on performance. The idea is to restrict the fan to draw all its air from behind the heat sink, thus maximising airflow through the heat sink for hopefully higher cooling effect. I cut strips of corrugated cardboard from my Amazon box and lined them against the metal separators next to the batteries (indicated by red boxes below). I found that performance was worse when the cardboard strips were taller than the metal separators, compared to them being the same height.

I've been meaning to post my thoughts on this type of mod, I know others have tried it. I would advise against it. The heatsink is mod is one thing, you're just increasing the efficiency of heat transfer from the CPU to the heatsink. But modifying the way air flows through the chassis could have unintended consequences. The fan likely does draw some air around other components in the chassis, including the batteries. Sealing off those component from airflow could cause them to run hotter. Batteries are especially susceptible to heat. I would leave the air ducting alone, especially since it doesn't seem to do much.
 
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RiaKoobcam

macrumors regular
Apr 17, 2020
225
287
Look friend, I have been in computer science since the 90's and I had never done this about the wedge ... it occurred to me to see the thickness of thermal paste that came from origin and I thought of filling that thickness first with a can of Red Bull and then I got a copper heatsink with some sheets that are what I use for that purpose. You will also see that I am making a tunnel with sheets of these. These sheets are not sold on Amazon. From the beginning of the thread I have not seen anyone name the word copper wedge ... I do not feel like arguing but I had the idea in this forum.
I am sending you a photo of the heatsink where I get the sheets ... if you want a photo of a can of Red Bull I can also send it to you ...

I think what you've done is something called 'multiple discovery'. Just because you were not aware of it, doesn't mean it wasn't already done (other people in this thread have posted their results with copper).

People have talked a lot about copper shims in this thread, there have been tutorials about them. You might well have been the first person to try a can of red bull, I do not know.

Anyway, good luck to you and good health!

 
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srkirt

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2020
242
154
Barcelona
I think what you've done is something called 'multiple discovery'. Just because you were not aware of it, doesn't mean it wasn't already done (other people in this thread have posted their results with copper).

People have talked a lot about copper shims in this thread, there have been tutorials about them. You might well have been the first person to try a can of red bull, I do not know.

Anyway, good luck to you and good health!

Check the thread and you show me that someone spoke of a copper plate before me ... that easy.
 
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EValentino

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2020
7
13
Check the thread and you show me that someone spoke of a copper plate before me ... that easy.
I think you did a great job Jordi, but I think this wheel was already invented, so it's not like anyone is stealing your idea. Cooling computers down in creative ways has been around for over 20 years. This is not to burn you, but you seem to take all of this kind of personal.
 
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Loog

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2020
153
154
Nice write up kinchee87, i'd would certainly be interesting to see the profile under the CPU compared to the i3. If there is anyone who can post pics of their i5 / i7 when they are doing these mods with dimensions it would be helpful to know if 'one size fits all' !

I look forward to your next post for the mod, depending on the outcome of the results this may make me regret retuning my 2020 i7
 
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kinchee87

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2007
247
128
New Zealand
@Robotronic The consequence of limiting the airflow over the batteries didn't cross my mind, but below is a screenshot of the temps from Macs Fan Control just before I stopped the wind channel stress test. Do you see anything out of the ordinary?

Wind-Fan.png

@Loog The rest of my Amazon care package should be coming this afternoon, so hopefully I can take some measurements tonight. The weird thing is that I don't own a proper ruler 🤪 just a paper one that came with my Moleskine notebook haha.
 
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