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MacNN reports on a newly published Apple patent application which details ongoing research into alternative cooling systems for notebook computers.


141726-2-patent-5.gif


Specifically, Apple explores the possibility of a liquid cooling system for their notebook computers.
Current MacBooks use air cooling, driven by internal fans; while this is sufficient, it is thought that future components -- such as faster video cards and quad-core CPUs -- may force Apple to use more efficient (and possibly quieter) cooling. Active and passive methods are being suggested.
Apple suggests that the heat could be dissipated through an aluminum plate located behind the computer's display. This positioning would help reduce the amount of heat transmitted to the user's lap. This issue has received some press after Apple warned that "prolonged contact with your body could cause discomfort and potentially a burn."


Article Link: Apple Exploring Liquid Notebook Cooling Systems for Cooler Laps
 

JG271

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2007
784
1
UK
Hey, why not boil water and surf the web at the same time!
I would buy a macbook that made tea/coffee so fast!:p

If they can't get watercooling on desktops right, apple shouldn't consider doing it on a portable!
 
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MacFly123

macrumors 68020
Dec 25, 2006
2,340
0
Sounds good to me. I am glad that they recognize potential future hurdles and are already hard at work on them. Can't wait for Snow Leopard and Open CL etc. :D
 
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aaarrrgggh

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2007
159
24
Toshiba had a better patent

Toshiba designed (and I think actually built) a laptop that didn't need the pump for the heat pipe; it was pure convection; water heats up, transfers through the hinge, cools on the back of the screen and falls back down a separate pipe. Wouldn't work if it wasn't oriented with the screen above the keyboard, but that is not exactly the design case. (OK, maybe on a plane or train...)

If you can get enough of a temperature gradient, you might even be able to pull off a phase change with minimal external pumping energy, which would let it work without gravity.
 
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kmcrawford

macrumors member
Mar 9, 2008
49
0
To be honest, the heat is crazy that comes off of my Macbook Pro! If you're wearing shorts your legs will be burnt in no time with that thing.
 
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platypus63

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2006
167
0
Zanzibar Land
I'm still rocking a liquid cooled dual 2.5 G5. It's a great machine, got faster with leopard, and center of my home recording studio. Maybe I just got lucky with one that has good plumbing.
 
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MrCrowbar

macrumors 68020
Jan 12, 2006
2,114
320
that's actually a pretty neat idea. The back of the display is a large surface with usually nothing touching it, so you got great airflow.

Might get tricky getting watter through the hinges...
How about a copper heatpipe? And LCDs usually don't like hot temperatures...
 
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joejoejoe

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2006
1,427
106
does this mean quiet laptops???

very exciting if this is where they're headed.
 
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bdkennedy1

Suspended
Oct 24, 2002
1,275
528
I guess they didn't learn their lesson from the leaking G5's. Personally I don't want anything water-cooled sitting in my lap.
 
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bryanc

macrumors 6502
Feb 12, 2003
335
0
Fredericton, NB Canada
I'd certainly consider it but...

considering that the only time I've had a serious laptop failure was after spending an hour walking to work with my PowerBook in my backpack at -46, I'd want to know what effects this sort of system might have on the sensitivity of the system to cold.

Cheers
 
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The Flashing Fi

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2007
763
0
I just wish component makers would just make components that generate less heat, I know, its a crazy idea... ;) I love my Nvidia chips, but even with a computer or laptop idling - its warm.

They are doing just that. When they do a die shrink of a component, it generally will produce less heat.

They then use the fact that it produces less heat to crank up the clock speeds more, bringing the temperatures up to where they were before the die shrink, but at a faster speed.

And if you look at video cards, mid range video cards use less energy and produce less heat than high end video cards from 3-4 years ago while offering better or equal performance. It's a combination of better architectural improvements (ie, better methods at processing the data) and the die shrinking.

;)

Manufacturers can definitely "make" components that use less energy by lowering the voltage and clock speed (if you lower the voltage but not the clock speed, the component will become unstable). You can do it with any CPU and video card (well, they generally make the video cards so you can't adjust the voltage, but you can still lower the clock speeds which will lower temperatures). The problem is, when you do this, the component won't be as fast.
 
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realfx

macrumors member
Apr 9, 2008
34
0
horrible idea, horrible.

does anyone have links to people who have tried it.
 
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