Do skins (icarbon etc) cause increased heat?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by will0407, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. will0407 macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2006
    After finding that my speck case causes extra heat on my 11" air, i'm tempted to replace it with an icarbon skin. Are these just just as likely to cause increased heat as it's still covering the aluminium surface?

    (i cant not have anything on it as im too picky about keeping it spotless!)
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Putting any cover on any piece of electronics does not in itself increase heat; it decreases the computer-generated heat's ability to dissipate.
  3. will0407 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2006
    ok i understand that, but you know what I mean!lol

    So, worded correctly, will an icarbon stop the macbooks ability to dissipate heat?!
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    It will not "stop" the ability to dissipate heat, but as I said... it will affect it adversely. The iCarbon skin is basically an insulator.
  5. meistervu macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    It certainly would make the MBA warmer

    We are talking about putting a piece of vinyl (not real carbon fiber) on the MBA aluminum surface which is a really good thermal conductor. The vinyl thermal conductivity is certainly is a lot lower than aluminum. So you end up with the warm aluminum surface being insulated by this layer of vinyl.

    It's not a question of if, but how much warmer the MBA will be. There are a lot of plastic laptops out there and I am sure the MBA with a thin layer of vinyl will be better at dissipitating heat than them. So I am sure the MBA will be fine with a layer of vinyl glued to its surface.
  6. nnguyen macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2011
    i use full body invisbleshield on all my apple products.. including most of the gens of mbp and mba. current own a 13 i7 256gb mba with fully body on it by zagg, no heat issue here. maybe cause both my ssd/screen is samsung :) lol.
  7. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009

    Like most any intervention you choose in life, there will be positive and negative effects.

    The negative is that I believe that a MBA will keep more heat trapped. Above certain thresholds, the fans should assist in venting heat away. The effect will be negative if the fans cannot dissipate the increased amount of retained heat or if the MBA will chronically spend a significantly higher percentage of its time at higher temperatures but lower than what is required to trigger the fans (causing chronic, subacute damage).

    The positive is that your computer will have some degree of greater protection against scratches with the use of a skin or Speck case. I believe the Speck case will offer better protection than the skin from cosmetic damage as well as even from some bumps.

    A lot of us obsess about our MBAs and making everything ideal, which causes us to think in more relative terms (i.e. would the skins make the temperature worse). We should, however, probably also think in absolute terms (i.e. what damage is actually done by the skin and NOT is it worse than without a skin).

    I don't think in an absolute sense my Speck cases have produced machines that are at high risk of failure, mainly because my fans don't seem to run often with or without the case on my MBA. The temperatures are seem to be reasonable using software to interrogate the temperature sensors.

    My MBP 17", however, runs fairly warm in general. The Speck case by incrementally increasing temperatures, may cause greater incremental damage/risk but I still don't think the machine is at high risk of component failure. I monitor temperatures more closely, however, on the MBP.

    Of course, I have absolutely ZERO data to support the above. So, use the skin/case at your own risk.
  8. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Jun 20, 2010
  9. glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    Here we go again with the techies being over techy

    Does it insulate it?

    Enuf to do damage?

    Airs inhale and exhale thru the keyboard and hinge, the body is not a heat sink as the primary way to control heat...

    Put on two layers if you wish....
  10. qwerf123 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    As the person said above, it has no real impact so just install it/get it if you prefer it.

    Ignore those fools over complicating it!!!

    I've got one on mine and it is awesome and I have no regrets getting it. I noticed no overheating or high temperatures at all.
  11. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    No problems and a friend of mine uses it and the heat is about the same
  12. will0407 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2006
    OK, i think ill take the plunge on a white skin with the black apple logo.
  13. PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    This is really funny and honestly disturbing: People are thumbs-downing the absolutely correct answer. It's as if some die-hard Mac fans can't take the truth; slapping material on top of your Macbook will insulate it. It may be a small amount, but it will still act as an insulator.

    The iCarbon isn't going to increase the heat in any significant way. You likely won't even be able to measure a degree of temperature difference. So in practice, there should be no problem. If you were to slap any old sticker on the Macbook, it could potentially cause some issues though (ex. you throw a sticker which really does keep the temperature insulated, and you'll have a more real heat increase if you do that all over the bottom of the Macbook). I think iCarbon is designed for minimal insulation.


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