Cooler for MacBook

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Texas_Toast, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Texas_Toast macrumors 6502

    Texas_Toast

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    #1
    Is there some product out there that attaches to the bottom of your laptop - of reasonable size - that will cool down my laptop?

    It is over 100F ever day here in Texas, and I can't help but my laptop overheating when I use it in this heat.
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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  3. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502

    Texas_Toast

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    #3
    I looked on NewEgg and saw a million choices and figured I would ask here for something tried and true... :rolleyes:

    If you don't know, MBP are metal and thus act as a heat sink, and so they absorb tons of heat from the sun, from ambient temperature, and on and on. I can't always keep my MBP in a 65 degree controlled environment. Yesterday I was running errands and my car went to over 120 really quick when I ran into Target. And even when Iw as working outside last night, it was 95 degrees at 10:00pm.
     
  4. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #4
    Anything cooler than the sun will absorb heat from the sun. Being made of metal has nothing to do with it.

    If you're looking for something to keep your computer cool while you're using it, you have a ton of options - virtually anything that's roughly the same footprint as your Mac. But if you're looking for something to keep it cool while it's sitting in your car on a hot day, I'm not sure such a product exists (if it did, car manufacturers would buy them all and install them in seats!).

    I also live in Texas and I don't think twice about leaving my MBP in the car for even up to several hours if I need to - but it isn't running under such circumstances, so an external cooler or heat sink really isn't needed, nor would it be any help even if I did have one.
     
  5. chscag macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Agree. I likewise live here in Texas and there is no way I would leave any of my Apple devices in my car and turned on while I was out and about. The temp in your car even with a windshield shade can easily reach 120 F in the middle of Summer.
     
  6. RootBeerMan macrumors 6502

    RootBeerMan

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    #6
    I bought my wife a cooling pad for her MBP at Walmart. Cost about $15, has dual fans, is light and is powered by her USB port. Helps out a lot and has a good pitch to it for laptop use. Also very quiet. Can't recall the brand off the top of my head, but it's a wedge shaped device.
     
  7. supermariofan25 macrumors regular

    supermariofan25

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    #7
    Being made of metal doesn't help, metal is a very good conductor of heat and so it heats up more then other materials would under sunlight. This can have is advantages in a cool environment where the metal can help take heat away from the processor, but if the metal is already hot then that's definitely not gonna help the CPU cool down.
     
  8. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #8
    Radiative heat transfer ("under sunlight," as you put it) is completely independent of material - it's based on temperature difference, and only on that. Read more about the Stefan-Boltzmann equation.

    But your computer doesn't get hot in your car because the sun is shining on it, it gets hot in your car because the sun's radiation heats the inside of your car, and the glass lets very little of that escape. The effect on your computer is the same as putting into a warm oven; that is interface heat transfer, and it's not a function of the object's material, but of BOTH objects' material.

    The fact that the case is metal DOES improve conduction, as you pointed out - but that simply means if you heat one side of the metal, the other side will also get hot. With regard to transferring heat from one medium to another, say from warm air to something else, the fact that the computer is metal has much less to do with it.
     
  9. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502

    Texas_Toast

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    #9
    Well, I used it all day last Sunday at a local park. I was in the shade, but it was over 100 degrees in the shade. I think I may have melted some of the internals of my MBP...
    --- Post Merged, Jul 29, 2016 ---
    That's what my thermometer says!
    --- Post Merged, Jul 29, 2016 ---
    So you think it helps?
    --- Post Merged, Jul 29, 2016 ---
    Sorry, but that is totally wrong!!

    My aluminum MBP gets hot in my car MUCH MORE because it was in the sun than because my care was hot.

    Doubt this?

    Put on some short shorts, and go sit on the metal hood of a car and tell me how it feels!! (Then go sit on a piece of styrofoam - also in the sunlight - and tell me how it feels.

    Metal is more dense than stryofoam, thus is CONDUCTS heat much better.

    Yes, the closed environment of your car gets hot, but gases do not CONDUCT HEAT the way a solid does.

    That is why metal and stone retain heat so much better than wood, styrofoam and so on.

    My MBP get wickedly hot in my car first because it was in the sunlight and it is metal, and then secondly because it was hot in my car. (My car seats are clothe, and in a 120 F car they don't feel hot. But even on a Texas Winter day, when my metal laptop is in the sunlight, it gets hot as hell!
     
  10. RootBeerMan macrumors 6502

    RootBeerMan

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    #10
    Yep. It cools from the bottom up and makes a pretty noticeable difference in the temp. She normally uses on a desk/table and it keeps hers a lot cooler. A cheap solution for a common problem.
     
  11. finsfanscott macrumors newbie

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    Miami
    #11
    Actually folks are mixing a couple different heat transfer issues. As TOMORROW mentioned above, radiative heat transfer is solely a function of temperature difference. That's what heats up the items in your car. The block of styrofoam and the Macbook in your car are exactly the same temperature after similar exposure in the car, even if one is in the sun and the other in the shade, provided they are both in the car long enough for the car to reach equilibrium (the example of a couple hours should be sufficient). The example given above (sitting on a hot hood) is an example of CONDUCTIVE (not radiative) heat transfer. Heat and temperature are not the same thing. The block of styrofoam and Macbook at the same temperature do not have the same amount of heat in them (based on mass), nor are they able to transfer that heat at the same rate (thermal conductivity). The Macbook (or hood of your car) FEELS hotter because the metals are able to TRANSFER their heat to your skin faster/better than the block of styrofoam. The mass of the hood (and Macbook) allow them to store more heat energy (and subsequently transfer it to your butt) than a similar sized block of styrofoam.

    However, you are right to be concerned about high ambient conditions, they can certainly take their toll on temperature throttled processors and battery life.

    Good luck staying cool!
     
  12. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #12
    You're talking about two different courses of heat transfer.

    If you leave some objects in your car long enough, they will all come to the same temperature, regardless of material - even styrofoam. That is the radiation/convection I mentioned previously, and with regard to your want for a cooler.

    What you're describing here is heat transfer from a hot object to your skin, in which case the material WILL make a difference. Touching a 120 degree metal plate (or hood of your car, if you'd rather) will transfer heat to your skin more quickly than touching a 120 degree piece of styrofoam - but that doesn't change the fact that they are both the same temperature, and will both come to the same temperature inside your car.

    A better test would be to use an infrared thermometer - the metal and styrofoam will show you they are exactly the same temperature.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 1, 2016 ---
    Well said. Wish I had read this before my reply.
     
  13. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502

    Texas_Toast

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    #13
    Thanks for the thermodynamics lesson - very well said!! :apple:

    I'll have to look into one of those coolers to place on the bottom of my Macbook, but considering I don't have a/c in my car and it is only Aug 1st, heat is going to be a problem for a couple more months...
    --- Post Merged, Aug 1, 2016 ---
    My larger point - and finsfanscott can correct me if I am wrong - is that because the aluminum case on my MBP RETAINS heat so much better than a piece of styrofoam - even if they are technically the same temperature - means that all of the internals on my MBP also retain heat more, thus causing an enormous amount of stress on them.

    It is going to be like 102 F today, and my car will get between 120-140F Even if I leave my MBP inside all day, if I take it with me later today it will get hot quickly even if it is in the shade. And if it is running in those temperatures then it will get quite a bit hotter - or have more heat - than if it was running inside where it is 70 F.

    I think I need to move to Seattle or Canada for half the year!

    I do know that I am glad that I didn't buy a new MBP, because I would have ruined in my current situation.
     
  14. RootBeerMan macrumors 6502

    RootBeerMan

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    #14
    OP, this is the one I got for my wife. More expensive than I remembered, (or I got it on sale) but well worth the price. They carry lots of others, of varying prices so it won't be hard to find something.
     
  15. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502

    Texas_Toast

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    #15
    Okay, thanks.
     

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