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jayryco

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 5, 2022
77
237
My main thoughts around this is the buildup of dust on the inside of the cooling system of the MacBook Pro's, specifically the 14' and 16' models. I personally own the 16inch model.

Are there dust covers on the inside or will the cooling system freely pull dust inside allowing it to buildup? Additionally, should the MacBooks be opened to be cleaned on any kind of semi-regular basis like every 6-12 months? Has anybody ever opened theirs up to find a large buildup of dust?

I know some might say leave it alone and if your MacBook is not overheating then its not a problem, but I regularly edit high bit rate 4k footage and work with large photoshop files so maintaining optimal thermal performance is good peace of mind and ultimately I would like to protect my investment from any thermal degradation (the fans spin up quite a bit during a hard session)

Anyways, only looking for good constructive advice here please.
 

Shazaam!

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2009
181
132
Proctor VT USA
Screenshot 2023-07-26 at 11.51.36 AM.png


You will get dust build-up inside and it will over time cause an increase in operating temperatures. How much and how hot depends on how dusty the operating environment. The dust builds up first on the fan vanes so using compressed air to clean just forces debris deeper into the machine. Apple designs the cooling system with enough margin to tolerate dust build-up.
 
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jayryco

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 5, 2022
77
237
View attachment 2237621

You will get dust build-up inside and it will over time cause an increase in operating temperatures. How much and how hot depends on how dusty the operating environment. The dust builds up first on the fan vanes so using compressed air to clean just forces debris deeper into the machine. Apple designs the cooling system with enough margin to tolerate dust build-up.
oh wow, thanks for the info. That's quite a bit - how long do you think it took before that much build up?
 

dmccloud

macrumors 68040
Sep 7, 2009
3,013
1,766
Anchorage, AK
My main thoughts around this is the buildup of dust on the inside of the cooling system of the MacBook Pro's, specifically the 14' and 16' models. I personally own the 16inch model.

Are there dust covers on the inside or will the cooling system freely pull dust inside allowing it to buildup? Additionally, should the MacBooks be opened to be cleaned on any kind of semi-regular basis like every 6-12 months? Has anybody ever opened theirs up to find a large buildup of dust?

I know some might say leave it alone and if your MacBook is not overheating then its not a problem, but I regularly edit high bit rate 4k footage and work with large photoshop files so maintaining optimal thermal performance is good peace of mind and ultimately I would like to protect my investment from any thermal degradation (the fans spin up quite a bit during a hard session)

Anyways, only looking for good constructive advice here please.

Like most Intel/AMD processors, Apple Silicon can run comfortably in the 90-100C range. The systems are designed so that when thermal max is being approached, the system will first kick the fans into a higher speeds, then throttle down the SoC if needed. If the fans were not spinning when the system got warmer, that's where you'd have issues rather than any perceived thermal degradation.

As far as cleaning the fans out, I wouldn't recommend doing that yourself, primarily because most users will not have the proper tools to even open the case. As far as a timeframe for semi-regular cleaning, it's really not possible to even provide one because there are so many variables that can affect how quickly the fans might get clogged (environmental factors, humidity, ambient temperatures, the presence of cats or dogs if using the device at home, etc.).
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors G3
May 31, 2007
8,246
18,088
Florida, USA
One nice thing about the newer Apple Silicon Macbooks is that the fans only spin when the machine is fairly loaded. So instead of having fans sucking dust in full time, they'll only do that when you're actually doing a render or heavy editing.

I wouldn't worry much about it unless you live in a very dusty environment.
 

Kottu

macrumors 6502a
Sep 21, 2014
657
705
I remember how much dust intel macbooks had. Maybe because of travelling to different places. Every other year, I used to open the back panel and clean them. As M macs don’t spin much, perhaps won’t collect much but, removing the back cover isn’t easy like it use to be.
 

borgward

macrumors member
Jul 8, 2021
58
7
View attachment 2237621

You will get dust build-up inside and it will over time cause an increase in operating temperatures. How much and how hot depends on how dusty the operating environment. The dust builds up first on the fan vanes so using compressed air to clean just forces debris deeper into the machine. Apple designs the cooling system with enough margin to tolerate dust build-up.
 

borgward

macrumors member
Jul 8, 2021
58
7
Remove the right fan and then clean it, use compressed air (don't let the fan spin), brushes, etc, vacuum so that you don't blow dust further into the interior of the machine. Vacuum it's heat exchanger. Use vacuum to carefully remove dust from the left fan heat exchanger. Removing the left fan is an exercise of last resort.
 
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Samorap

macrumors newbie
Feb 2, 2019
28
11
This is what I found when I opened my 2012 MBP 15" to replace the battery last month. I didn't remove the fans. I used compressed air to blow the dust bunnies out.
 

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