Looking for 15" rMBP cooling fan

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Atisha, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. Atisha macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Can anyone recommend a good cooling fan for 15" rMBP (2012) with a dGPU?

    I have searched for threads on here and they mostly turn into debates over whether rMBPs need a fan or not. Mine does, so I'll address that briefly. I have used an elevated Rain laptop stand since day one with the rMBP, recently I had the logic board (for GPU) and monitor replaced at the Apple Store, and I use Macs Fan Control to keep the fans at max speed in Windows 7 and Yosemite for games. Furthermore, my old 2007 Mac Pro (which can't upgrade past Lion) runs Skyrim MUCH better in Windows than my 2012 decked out rMBP.

    The Macbook overheats, the performance in games stutters, I know that it overheats because the GPU and CPU temps are around 100 degrees when it stutters, and the stuttering temporarily stops when I pause a game. The conditions for stuttering in Skyrim are running the game at 1440x900 on high settings, and the stuttering was much worse before installing Macs Fan Control on Windows. So there is not much more to say about that, an Xbox 360 from 2005 and Mac Pro from 2007 run Skyrim better than a 2012 rMBP with dGPU solely because of ventilation.

    I have seen what looks like a good product called TILT Stealth but since it is a kickstarter it is always out of stock. I would greatly appreciate any recommendations which take into account the location of the rMBP's "air shafts." Thanks!
  2. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    Cooler Master NotePal E1 is a good start as it has high air flow 90CFM, with a single large fan (230mm) Ideally you want as much air flow as practical. Problems few manufacturers give any data on the capacity of their coolers.


    Another from Cooler Master, also rated @ 90+ CFM

    Some general 15" MBP cooling observations;

    Being an owner & user of the 15" MacBook Pro forever; Over the years the 15" has frequently struggled with it`s thermals, especially when an external display is connected as the dGPU switches on as default, internal temperatures soar;
    • Elevate the rear, aluminium passive coolers generally work best (I use RainDesign`s mStand & iLap)
    • Increase base fan RPM to 3K or as much as you are comfortable with (MacsFanControl or SMC Fan Control)
    • Limit the dGPU`s usage with gfxCardStatus
    • Swap out Chrome for Chrome Canary as it`s way more optimised for OS X and will extend battery run time, reduce thermals
    • Swap out VLC for Movist as again it`s a reduced load on CPU/GPU
    • Uninstall or block Flash
    • Install an ad blocker Ublock extension works well
    • Powered coolers are very much a "mixed bag" when it comes to Mac portables, you need one that has a high capacity (100 CFM minimum) and preferably a large single fan, this can help to keep the 15" internal fans below 4K which for many is good enough as often it`s this point and beyond where the fans become intrusive. Don't expect a powered cooler impact internal temperatures, beyond a couple of degrees
    • Older machines can benefit from cleaning the cooling system
    • Replacing the thermal paste has been hit & miss, some with very positive results, some with no improvement over stock. Personally I would only do this on a Mac Portable that was either very old, or one that I can confirm was definitely running hotter than stock.
    The key to a quiet life with a 15" MacBook Pro is several incremental changes that do add up to reduce thermals. From my experience over the years if your going to push a 15" hard the fans are going to max out fast, with associated noise. If your using it with a moderate load life can be made quieter :) For the most part your MBP runs hot as that`s how Apple designed it, the trade of for form over, function, thin & light...

    The old adage still applies; it`s easier to keep a system cool, than cool-down an already hot machine. This being said it`s not strictly necessary, equally it`s nice to know that there are options for reducing temperature out there :apple:

    More on cooling


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