Cooling the RMBP. A Mission.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by glaseryaniv, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. glaseryaniv macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2012
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    Tel Aviv, Israel
    #1
    Hi all,

    Did some searching for this topic, but couldn't find a decent thread about it.
    I am waiting for my rmbp 2.3/16 (ordered on 26/6, through EDU) here in Israel. I am a working Cinematographer and Video Editor, and this will not only be my first laptop, but also my very first mac (owned, that is - I have worked on macs a lot). I work with intense pro software like Avid MC, FCP X and FCP 7, some Color and a little Motion. I'm also planning on purchasing a copy of Aperture, since I found working with it is fun, and sufficient to my photo-editing needs. My setup is going to be the 15" retina display, a 21.5" AOC 1080p monitor (DVI) and sometimes a 42" Panasonic 1080p HDTV (for entertainment and some FCP monitoring for clients).

    Now, I know the rmbp has good thermals, and is silent, but since I will be working it pretty hard (it will be my main computer), I was wondering if anyone has bought/knows of a good cooling system for the laptop. Be it just an elevated stand or a full-blown fan system (see what I did there??), I would like to know what your setups are and if there are any specific products you could recommend. Thanks!!
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    Cooling pads don't do anything to improve the performance or lifespan of the machine, if that's what you're buying it for.
     
  3. glaseryaniv thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Then what will? elevation? I don't know about improving performance, but I will like to increase the lifespan...
     
  4. Drask macrumors regular

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    Feb 3, 2012
    #4
    That the hotter your notebook runs, the more likely it is to suffer some kind of component failure, not saying it will, but a cooler can help you prevent that.

    @OP: I'm not sure about the cooling system on the rMPB since it has nothing on the bottom as usually the cooling systems target for.
     
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #5
    Fatigue of electronic components manifests itself after decades, not after years. Unless you are planning to use your retina MBP for 10+ years (doubtful) then you don't need to worry.

    The odds of heat-induced damage from temperatures not exceeding the failsafe cutoff temperature are miniscule. They're certainly not large enough to give a complex cooling solution any more than a chuckle.
     
  6. glaseryaniv thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    So what you're saying is that working with the rmbp day in, day out on heavy HD projects, sometimes in prores 422, sometimes 4444, rarely even 4/5k just sitting on a desk would be cool enough? Do you use the computer for such intense activities as a main computer?
     
  7. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    #7
    There are / will be programs that allow you to manually control the cooling fans, setting minimum speed higher will result in cooler temps - at the expense of battery life and operating noise.

    SMC Fan Control is one example.

    Elevating it will make some difference, as will keeping the lid open while using an external monitor. Small differences mind you.

    I'd try the simple things first, and monitor your temperatures using iStat or SMC Fan Control first. The cooling system in this generation is a step above, and may be adequate for your workload.

    Wish I could say the same for my cooling system! Spent a July in Israel, and it is NOT a fat guy friendly environment! :p
     
  8. markp99 macrumors member

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    New Hampshire
    #8
    Hi Yaniv,

    I notice when my RMBP gets HOT the fans do kick in to assist. The fans are normally silent, but when cranking they are clearly audible.

    The bottom of the RMBP can get hot to the touch. To improve airflow under the notebook, I have added spacers - I simply rest the RMBP on 3 plastic twist-off caps from Coke bottles. Easy.

    Not sure if this is necessary, but it surely can't hurt!

    Good luck
     
  9. glaseryaniv thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    No, it most definitely is not! :p This is one of my main concerns. I live in Tel Aviv, and it gets VERY hot here in summer. Now that I actually PAID for my mbpr, I will not be able to afford A/C all-day-long for the rest of the summer. Thanks for the input!


    Thanks! I have to ask, what applications heat it up the most for you? do you do any intense video encoding/decoding work?
     
  10. koyoot Suspended

    koyoot

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    Jun 5, 2012
    #10
    Changing the Thermal Paste.

    Im wondering if this is possible on Retina MBP. Anyone tried it?
     
  11. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    #11
    For the record, I was also in Tel Aviv, heat aside, I loved it there.

    While higher temps to cause failures to increase, I believe it will be ok as LNG as you don't leave it inside a car in the sun. Just keep an eye on the temps while running, and take things from there.

    Edit: Why change the thermal paste on a machine still in warranty? It's extremely unlikely you will net any better performance that would justify voiding your warranty right now.
     
  12. importraverxx macrumors member

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    Aug 1, 2010
    #12
    You have nothing to worry about. I live in Final Cut Pro X and I have used my Retina every single days so far, always exporting and rendering. Sometimes exporting my project over night. The fan will come on during export or transcode but its not going to break down or anything. I'm in Thailand these past 2 weeks and its pretty hot and humid here an I don't have any problem.

    These apple products are pretty tough even though it looks pretty. Just use it and enjoy it man, absolutely nothing to worry about. Like earlier poster said unless you are planning on use this laptop for 10 years...

    Ps: just buy applecare if you worry and want to be sure for the next 3 years.
     
  13. glaseryaniv thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    That sounds like a very bad idea. Unless I want to void the warranty + the AppleCare I purchased for it. And besides, it is very unlikely this will make any difference. Changing the thermal paste is only usefull in older computers, cases where the thermal paste had dried up with time.

    ----------

    Damn, always wanted to try that. Along with my 2 year old. :D
     
  14. koyoot Suspended

    koyoot

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    Jun 5, 2012
    #14
    From what i know, Macbook Pro is nowhere sealed, so, you wont loose your varranty.

    At least, thats on CMBP. I've changed Thermal Paste at one service and then had to bring MBP to resellers service for repairing the Hard Drive. Varranty i have still ;).

    So POSSIBLY there is a way to change the thermal paste.

    Edit. On CMBP The temps went down by 5-8 Celsius Degrees. The temps are more constant, but thats still on CMBP. RMBP has better cooling system, so it might be there bigger impact.

    BUT the only problem is - Varranty.
     
  15. Fortimir macrumors 6502a

    Fortimir

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    #15
    Making much ado about nothing.

    The MBPr is very efficient in removing heat. When I'm doing exports and transcoding, it's crazy how hot the exhaust is, but that's good. That's heat that has been removed.
     
  16. Psilocin, Jul 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012

    Psilocin macrumors member

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    Jun 20, 2012
    #16
    While the cooling fans may not pump the air into the mbp like it would with a pc laptop, it will still work to cool the bottom side of the aluminum unibody chassis. May not seem like much, but it will make some difference under heavy work loads. Mainly want to place the fans below the top of the keyboard by the screen where the CPU/GPU sits.

    Elevation will definitely help as well as it limits the chance of any dust on the desk from getting sucked into the vents.

    Of all the components, the battery is by far the most heat-sensitive component of the laptop. It's probably the main reason why they placed the battery near the front by the vents so the heat doesn't get to it.

    What makes you think Apple isn't already using some propriety thermal paste that is as good, if not better than Artic Silver 5? If they can design products like rMBP with asymmetrical fans, then they must have tested hundreds of thermal pastes compounds to find the best one. Plus, it's not worth voiding the warranty.
     
  17. koyoot Suspended

    koyoot

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    #17
    Its not about the thermal paste but the way its applied on the processors.
    http://my2011macbookpro.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/too-much-paste.jpg check this out.

    It happens EVERYTIME on EVERY Macbook Pro. iFixit Teardown shows that nothing changed in the way of applying the thermal paste. Its not just Apple, but every company in the industry applies it that way. I assure you that THIS was the only thing that made 2011 MBPs to run hot. In fact, people who reapplied the thermal paste on MBP's seen lower temps and no sign o thermal throttling on these comps.
     
  18. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #18
    I completely agree. Apple has put R&D into it to find they best possible thermal compound and replacing it with something that you "think" might be better is just foolish. Plus doing so is sure to void your warranty if Apple finds out. You might get lucky and they might not find out but why take the chance when it is still under warranty. After the warranty is over then replace the thermal compound.
     
  19. Idefix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #19
    Best way to cool it: get a small desk fan and orient it so that it cools both you and the elevated laptop. Fans are a lot cheaper than a/c.

    If you want to use the laptop on your lap, heaven forbid--it's a portable, not a laptop ;) then you may want to get a thermal pad to protect your legs.

    That can be as simple as a rigid placemat or a commercial pad with usb fans. Be sure to get something with fans that blow air at the bottom of the laptop, rather than sucking air away from the bottom of the laptop (these don't have as much cooling power.)

    As you can still use the same small fan blowing at you and the laptop from the side.
     
  20. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #20
    Too much is made of replacing the thermal paste at best you are only talking 5-7 deg C at worst someone lacking the skills may damage their machine irrevocably, my own Mid 2012 rMBP, Late 2011 15" 2.4 i7, Early 2008 15" 2.4 Penryn all perform within their design spec.

    Those that want to strip their machines and replace the thermal paste all power to them, however this is not some panacea that will resolve all your cooling issues, and their are risks for the uninformed.
     
  21. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #21
    If you are concerned elevation of the rear of the machine helps, as sitting flat on the desk only reflects the head back to the base of teh Mac. You can buy passive aluminium coolers like Rain Designs Mstand or iLap. Most powered coolers are designed for PC notebooks and dont work overly well with Mac`s one cooler that does work efficiently is the Moshi Zefyr 2, as it`s principle of cooling is specifically designed for Apple portables, by blowing the air across the base of the computer.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Link: Moshi Zefyr 2

    As also stated you can use software to manually override Apple`s own cooling algorithm by manually taking control of fan RPM and setting up power profile presets with SMC Fan Control (needs update for 2012), or you can look at UltraFan which allows you stipulate a preset temperature and the software will automatically raise and lower fan RPM`s to keep the system at the predefined temp.
     
  22. dougaha18 macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2012
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    Chicago
    #22
    I have used the NZXT Cryo LX for years with my PC and it always kept my temps down. I plan on using it with my rMBP when it comes in. It has 3 big 120mm case fans in it and runs quiet.

    There are a lot of options similar to this one too. Cooler Master and Zalman make some pretty good ones from what I've heard.
     
  23. austinguy23 macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Just purchase AppleCare for the peace of mind.
     
  24. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #24
    Keep it out of dusty environments. Use the computer on a hard surface. If you look at reviews and comments on any of these cooling pads, no one ever reports their computer running more than a couple degrees cooler if that. This is pretty consistent. I doubt you're going to find a lot of information this early on how well the thermals hold up when subjected to this kind of constant use. Prior generations didn't always do so well. There was a thing with the 2011s and transcoding where the chargers couldn't supply enough power, and doing this lng enough would eventually drain your battery even while plugged in. I think Apple eventually compensated for it via throttling under such conditions. You can search Apple's discussion boards. Threads on the topic should still be there. I haven't read about any significant problems with the new ones yet. There are comments about display inconsistencies, but this is to be expected.


    There are a few people on here who do this kind of stuff. Most of them don't use laptops for it. In the case of the rMBP, it's too early to find a lot of information on that topic.

    I believe they list specs for acceptable ambient temperature and humidity range for the equipment if you read the literature or spec sheets online. I'd have to look for them. I would suggest you plug your charger in through a quality surge protector. I do this with all expensive electronics.
     
  25. sireShonBohn, Jul 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012

    sireShonBohn macrumors regular

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    #25
    There's probably no ambient air cooling solution that isn't going to get saturated and force the system to throttle down to save itself. In Anandtech's review they determined that CPU throttling occurs after about 20 minutes of intense use. That means the cooling system has been saturated and there is no other option but to reduce the load on the CPU. So what will a thermal pad do? Probably the best case is it will allow the CPU to throttle after 25 minutes instead of 20. So the system will throttle at the same high temp and stay there as long as the CPU load remains unchanged.

    In extreme conditions things could be different, and different CPU's will behave differently. In my experience the rMBP has very good throttling, it gets really hot but it hits a wall and won't go past it. (If it did there would be smoke). I think a desk or room fan will do more because that will help reduce ambient temps by ensuring good air circulation.
     

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