• Did you order new AirTags? We've opened a dedicated AirTags forum.

ilikewhey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 14, 2014
1,955
2,246
nyc upper east
Go ahead, everything is for the better of the community here :)

Hope you end up buying a MBA -> the mod really makes a difference. I wonder if we added a heatpip similar to the MBP what type of performance/thermal optimizations we'd see. I think we did max out performance that Apple/Intel crippled at the binary but still curious. Even if performance stayed the same but temps never exceeded 75C would be interesting.
i won't be buying one personally but my office will most likely supply me one since the air seems to be the go to model for the office. as i stated previously in this thread my 2018 is struggling with the routine, so i'm gonna see how the 2020 does. if anything i'll have to haul my soon to be personal 2020 mbp just like i did before.
 
Comment

kinchee87

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2007
248
129
New Zealand
here is my template

starting guide to modification for heat dissipation improvement

please fill this out like a survey and i'll consolidate them

1) convincing argument on why you should do this

2) the before and after results with temperature charts

3) the recommended thermal paste you used

4) ?? copper? aluminium block for the gap?

share your worthwhile pictures of the process would also be appreciated.
I've consolidated the mods I did to my 2020 i7 on my blog and you're welcome to use it to start your guide. An attribution would be nice, but I'm not fussed.
  1. Wind channel mod
  2. Heat sink mod
  3. Heat pad mod
My answers to your template:
  1. Do this mod if you keep complaining about the heat or fan noise.
  2. See my blog posts
  3. I used ARCTIC MX-4, but I have nothing else to compare against
  4. I used copper, but others have tried with homemade sheets of aluminium to good effect
Here are some posts from this thread that have interested me:
 
Comment

vyruzreaper

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2015
118
113
A few have asked - so posting here...

Here is all I bought to make this mod happen (I'm based in US).


What I bought for the mod:

Thermal Pad

Screwdriver set for MBA

Sandpaper to smooth out shims

Thermal paste cleaner

Thermal Paste

Copper Shims
 
Comment

srkirt

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2020
250
165
Barcelona
A few have asked - so posting here...

Here is all I bought to make this mod happen (I'm based in US).


What I bought for the mod:

Thermal Pad

Screwdriver set for MBA

Sandpaper to smooth out shims

Thermal paste cleaner

Thermal Paste

Copper Shims
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1068.jpeg
    IMG_1068.jpeg
    363.4 KB · Views: 240
  • IMG_1090.jpeg
    IMG_1090.jpeg
    512 KB · Views: 238
  • IMG_1076 2.jpeg
    IMG_1076 2.jpeg
    464.3 KB · Views: 242
  • descarga (1).png
    descarga (1).png
    68.9 KB · Views: 258
  • IMG_5990.jpg
    IMG_5990.jpg
    489.9 KB · Views: 255
  • IMG_5997.jpg
    IMG_5997.jpg
    364.6 KB · Views: 252
  • WhatsApp Image 2020-04-17 at 13.49.45 (6).jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2020-04-17 at 13.49.45 (6).jpeg
    113 KB · Views: 269
  • descarga.png
    descarga.png
    70.4 KB · Views: 287
  • IMG_0024.jpeg
    IMG_0024.jpeg
    407.2 KB · Views: 281
  • IMG_6051.jpg
    IMG_6051.jpg
    344.2 KB · Views: 261
  • Like
Reactions: ilikewhey
Comment

srkirt

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2020
250
165
Barcelona
+ Photos...
 

Attachments

  • IMG_5936.jpg
    IMG_5936.jpg
    194.8 KB · Views: 116
  • IMG_5983.jpg
    IMG_5983.jpg
    332.3 KB · Views: 134
  • IMG_5986.jpg
    IMG_5986.jpg
    444.5 KB · Views: 142
  • IMG_6015.jpg
    IMG_6015.jpg
    404 KB · Views: 171
  • IMG_6012.jpg
    IMG_6012.jpg
    260.5 KB · Views: 183
  • IMG_1073.jpeg
    IMG_1073.jpeg
    421.1 KB · Views: 183
  • IMG_1201.jpg
    IMG_1201.jpg
    477 KB · Views: 148
  • Like
Reactions: ilikewhey
Comment

IngerMan

macrumors 68000
Feb 21, 2011
1,877
769
Michigan
I got my 10 copper shims today 20 x 20 x.3. It’s funny every thing looks much bigger by the pictures.

I am still a few weeks out on my MBA i7 delivery. Man these things are the size of a cheezit but much thinner. 😂

I also got the artick 1.5mm thermal pad 150mm square Now this was impressive, it feels like the weight of lead.
 
Comment

SeñorNewton

macrumors newbie
May 1, 2020
22
34
USA
@srkirt gave a great pic of how to prep the copper shims. Also, @vyruzreaper mentions sanding them smooth. Not sure if they are saying the same thing, but when I left my glossy smooth, it didn't seem to work as well. I used 800 grit to sand them (scratch them), which I assume increases the surface area contact by a tiny bit.

Anyway... I have not had my fans come on when using the laptop off of the dock. When I am on my dock and the MBA is driving an additional couple of 27" monitors, the temp won't get below 60 C. However, the fans are still sub 3,400 RPM, which for me is inaudible.

Could Apple have done better off the assembly line with fit, finish, paste? Probbaly. We can make them better with minimal time and cost. Some of us here are going for every tidbit of performance, and that's cool too.

This is a very capable machine that will drive three screens (built-in, +2 more) for 7-9 hours a day while I have every office app open, a dozen safari/edge tabs open, throwing in some video chatting, playing music, and the fans stay inaudible. I feel like I am pushing this past the point where one would go from an Air to a Pro (I sold my 16" MBP), but as I have said before, I can't go back to the touch bar.

Thanks to all those that have been modding their systems for the entertainment and/or betterment of us all.

This random internet stranger thanks you.

Edit: Also @RiaKoobcam :)
 
Last edited:
Comment

RiaKoobcam

macrumors regular
Apr 17, 2020
225
288
@srkirt gave a great pic of how to prep the copper shims. Also, @vyruzreaper mentions sanding them smooth. Not sure if they are saying the same thing, but when I left my glossy smooth, it didn't seem to work as well. I used 800 grit to sand them (scratch them), which I assume increases the surface area contact by a tiny bit.

Anyway... I have not had my fans come on when using the laptop off of the dock. When I am on my dock and the MBA is driving an additional couple of 27" monitors, the temp won't get below 60 C. However, the fans are still sub 3,400 RPM, which for me is inaudible.

Could Apple have done better off the assembly line with fit, finish, paste? Probbaly. We can make them better with minimal time and cost. Some of us here are going for every tidbit of performance, and that's cool too.

This is a very capable machine that will drive three screens (built-in, +2 more) for 7-9 hours a day while I have every office app open, a dozen safari/edge tabs open, throwing in some video chatting, playing music, and the fans stay inaudible. I feel like I am pushing this past the point where one would go from an Air to a Pro (I sold my 16" MBP), but as I have said before, I can't go back to the touch bar.

Thanks to all those that have been modding their systems for the entertainment and/or betterment of us all.

This random internet stranger thanks you.

Me also. Even though I'm using a 2019 and have no thermal/fan issues, I've ordered the parts to do the mod on mine pretty much because I'm bored. I'm hoping to maybe take a short video of taking off the back case of the 2019 and removing the heat sink, which can hopefully go on the front page and show people it's not scary.

Next time somebody cracks open the back of a 2020, could they take a quick video? I asked if I could mod my partner's 2020 i3 but she's not so keen on the idea 😂

I figure a quick video tutorial will help people who've never done any PC building/home maintenance of their Macs before, especially because the 2020 MBA is so simple to access compared to previous generations
 
Comment

ilikewhey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 14, 2014
1,955
2,246
nyc upper east
I've consolidated the mods I did to my 2020 i7 on my blog and you're welcome to use it to start your guide. An attribution would be nice, but I'm not fussed.
  1. Wind channel mod
  2. Heat sink mod
  3. Heat pad mod
My answers to your template:
  1. Do this mod if you keep complaining about the heat or fan noise.
  2. See my blog posts
  3. I used ARCTIC MX-4, but I have nothing else to compare against
  4. I used copper, but others have tried with homemade sheets of aluminium to good effect
Here are some posts from this thread that have interested me:
as someone who went to law school, citing sources and shepardize is all i know
 
Comment

excelsior.ink

macrumors member
Apr 15, 2020
60
57
I have a question for you, because all of you have experience with overheating. This is the Power Gadget showing the activity with Google Meets running in a meeting, Slack, Edge (Chromium based), Safari and Xcode running (idle). This is brand new MBA i5 I received it yesterday and I think it finished indexing already. Is my laptop overheating? It is not hot to touch and running quite smoothly. No audible fan noise. After reading all of these review it exceeds my expectations. But can I do better by applying the mod?
Screenshot 2020-05-21 at 10.24.38.png
 
Comment

vyruzreaper

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2015
118
113
I have a question for you, because all of you have experience with overheating. This is the Power Gadget showing the activity with Google Meets running in a meeting, Slack, Edge (Chromium based), Safari and Xcode running (idle). This is brand new MBA i5 I received it yesterday and I think it finished indexing already. Is my laptop overheating? It is not hot to touch and running quite smoothly. No audible fan noise. After reading all of these review it exceeds my expectations. But can I do better by applying the mod?
View attachment 917262


That's why I did the mod. The i5 can't handle VC apps for a lot of us. Some have no issued but I did. With the mod, I don't run hotter than 90C with slack, vscode, tons of tabs, and ppt/xls running simultaneously.

My Average temps for my use case POST mod have been in the 50-60C.

Before that, I was in the 70-85C range and VC apps would hit 100C within minutes of use.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RiaKoobcam
Comment

Loog

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2020
161
163
That's why I did the mod. The i5 can't handle VC apps for a lot of us. Some have no issued but I did. With the mod, I don't run hotter than 90C with slack, vscode, tons of tabs, and ppt/xls running simultaneously.

My Average temps for my use case POST mod have been in the 50-60C.

Before that, I was in the 70-85C range and VC apps would hit 100C within minutes of use.
The exact reason I did this too, VC was a killer for temp while CPU usage was <25%, it runs cooler on balance 45-55 deg and around 75-85 deg on VC and has now got some additional power headroom for longer durations of stress.

While I have the 2018 which does run cooler than the 2020, under full CPU load using intel power gadget I can sustain maximum turbo frequency which means I get to use 100% of the resources at any time without thermal intervention being applied.
 
Comment

RiaKoobcam

macrumors regular
Apr 17, 2020
225
288
With the (unmodded) 2020 i5 I had, both video conferencing apps I tried (Zoom and MS Teams) sent the temps to 100c and the fans to 8k rpm within 5 minutes. Even a two-person Facetime was pretty bad for heat/noise, so the fact the mod is helping people with an actual, everyday task compared to a synthetic benchmark score is great
 
  • Like
Reactions: Loog
Comment

excelsior.ink

macrumors member
Apr 15, 2020
60
57
With the (unmodded) 2020 i5 I had, both video conferencing apps I tried (Zoom and MS Teams) sent the temps to 100c and the fans to 8k rpm within 5 minutes. Even a two-person Facetime was pretty bad for heat/noise, so the fact the mod is helping people with an actual, everyday task compared to a synthetic benchmark score is great
True. But mine seems to be fine. Indeed it gets to 100C but I hear no fans and seems to sustain the load. Maybe Apple fixed it in a later revision. I will test more in the default configuration and in a few days I'll open it and check.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RiaKoobcam
Comment

sundialsoft

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2010
161
53
Scotland
I have been using the 2020 MBA i5 for two weeks. Only ever heard the fan when I was doing initial app downloads, setups and backup. It's a dream machine. Keyboard is not as good as my old 2015 MBA and old 2013 MBP.
Main downside is having to get sorted with some adaptors. My 4k USBC monitor is great for usb-a but I need a lightning to USBC and I've bought a RJ45 to USBC just to up backup and download speeds.

I'm a developer so use Xcode and some graphics apps for 2d buttons etc. Also use photos a lot and my browser is Safari.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Daino92 and reacher
Comment

srkirt

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2020
250
165
Barcelona
[QUOTE = "SeñorNewton, publicación: 28488776, miembro: 1215184"]
[USER = 1212547] @srkirt [/ USER] ofreció una excelente imagen de cómo preparar las cuñas de cobre. Además, [USER = 980628] @vyruzreaper [/ USER] menciona lijarlos sin problemas. No estoy seguro de si dicen lo mismo, pero cuando dejé mi brillo suave, no pareció funcionar tan bien. Utilicé 800 granos para lijarlos (rascarlos), lo que supongo que aumenta un poco el contacto del área de superficie.

De todos modos ... No he tenido mis ventiladores encendidos cuando uso la computadora portátil fuera del muelle. Cuando estoy en mi muelle y el MBA maneja un par adicional de monitores de 27 ", la temperatura no será inferior a 60 C. Sin embargo, los ventiladores todavía están por debajo de 3.400 RPM, lo que para mí es inaudible.

¿Podría Apple haber tenido un mejor desempeño en la línea de ensamblaje con ajuste, acabado y pegado? Probbaly. Podemos mejorarlos con un tiempo y costo mínimos. Algunos de nosotros aquí vamos por cada bocado de rendimiento, y eso también es genial.

Esta es una máquina muy capaz que manejará tres pantallas (integradas, +2 más) durante 7-9 horas al día mientras tengo todas las aplicaciones de oficina abiertas, una docena de pestañas safari / edge abiertas, lanzando algunas conversaciones de video, jugando música, y los fanáticos permanecen inaudibles. Siento que estoy empujando más allá del punto en el que uno pasaría de un Air a un Pro (vendí mi MBP de 16 "), pero como he dicho antes, no puedo volver a la barra táctil.

Gracias a todos aquellos que han estado modificando sus sistemas para el entretenimiento y / o mejoramiento de todos nosotros.

Este extraño de internet al azar te lo agradece.
[/CITAR]
@srkirt gave a great pic of how to prep the copper shims. Also, @vyruzreaper mentions sanding them smooth. Not sure if they are saying the same thing, but when I left my glossy smooth, it didn't seem to work as well. I used 800 grit to sand them (scratch them), which I assume increases the surface area contact by a tiny bit.

Anyway... I have not had my fans come on when using the laptop off of the dock. When I am on my dock and the MBA is driving an additional couple of 27" monitors, the temp won't get below 60 C. However, the fans are still sub 3,400 RPM, which for me is inaudible.

Could Apple have done better off the assembly line with fit, finish, paste? Probbaly. We can make them better with minimal time and cost. Some of us here are going for every tidbit of performance, and that's cool too.

This is a very capable machine that will drive three screens (built-in, +2 more) for 7-9 hours a day while I have every office app open, a dozen safari/edge tabs open, throwing in some video chatting, playing music, and the fans stay inaudible. I feel like I am pushing this past the point where one would go from an Air to a Pro (I sold my 16" MBP), but as I have said before, I can't go back to the touch bar.

Thanks to all those that have been modding their systems for the entertainment and/or betterment of us all.

This random internet stranger thanks you.
Always everything with sandpaper and water and glass-ceramic liquid.
Lapping
 
Comment

Mochi_D

macrumors newbie
May 21, 2020
11
11
Hey everyone, new user here who's been lurking this thread since the first few posts. Does the i5 heatsink have the same design as the i7 with the "corrugated" style passageways?
 
  • Like
Reactions: IngerMan
Comment

IngerMan

macrumors 68000
Feb 21, 2011
1,877
769
Michigan
Hey everyone, new user here who's been lurking this thread since the first few posts. Does the i5 heatsink have the same design as the i7 with the "corrugated" style passageways?

I believe so. @vyruzreaper commented he has a i5 and he posted a picture a few pages back and it looks corrugated to me. Hopefully he will confirm i5 and corrugated.

I wish the MBA postures would put their machine spec in the signature, it would save typing and searching 😬
 
Comment

srkirt

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2020
250
165
Barcelona
You weren't even going to change the title of the thread?
How you put problems with cooling with Macbook Air 2018/2019/2020 It will become the forum with more visits of the club ... because of the heat and moisture that create these imperfect machines, the technician Louis Rossmann is working up to the top ...
 
Comment

SeñorNewton

macrumors newbie
May 1, 2020
22
34
USA
Hey everyone, new user here who's been lurking this thread since the first few posts. Does the i5 heatsink have the same design as the i7 with the "corrugated" style passageways?
I am on an i5 and have the corrugated heatsink. The processor may not be enough information to reliably know one has a corrugated heatsink. As I completely missed when I first started this and a few folks had to point out to me, I have a copper heatsink instead of an aluminum one. Some with an i5 have a aluminum heatsink.
[automerge]1590063910[/automerge]
I believe so. @vyruzreaper commented he has a i5 and he posted a picture a few pages back and it looks corrugated to me. Hopefully he will confirm i5 and corrugated.

I wish the MBA postures would put their machine spec in the signature, it would save typing and searching 😬

Good call! I just added my info to my signature: "2020 i5, copper corrugated heatsink. Shimmed 5mm. MX."

After this week, that may say shimmed to 3mm though. I don't think I had quite the same gap to fill and I am not seeing the ice-cold numbers that some are w/ shims.

I am also wondering if back covers are different as well as Apple continues to tweak their impotent, initial design choices.
 
Comment

Mochi_D

macrumors newbie
May 21, 2020
11
11
I am on an i5 and have the corrugated heatsink. The processor may not be enough information to reliably know one has a corrugated heatsink. As I completely missed when I first started this and a few folks had to point out to me, I have a copper heatsink instead of an aluminum one. Some with an i5 have a aluminum heatsink.

Interesting that it varies...thanks for responding though. One more thing to consider between the i5 and i7 models I guess. >.>
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.