Looking for good cooling pad (with fans) for MBP 15

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by quickmac, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. quickmac macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2011
    I have a mid-2009 Macbook Pro 15 inch unibody. Lately I've been running applications like Folding@Home and Steam for Mac. I'd like to run Folding@Home most of the time as it is shared computing for a great cause (protein folding/unfolding for disease research) but the program ramps up heat and fan speeds to the max.

    I swear iStat Pro is wrong seeing some of the temps being shown. I've run similar intensive programs for hours and while hot and full speed fans the Mac kept running and never crashed.

    I currently have an Aeolus aluminum cooling pad with a 7 inch fan. But the fan speed isn't fast enough to make a big difference.

    So I'm looking for a better 15inch MacBook Pro cooling pad preferable with either a high speed large fan or 2 high speed smaller fans. It'll be on a desk.

    Any recommendations? Much appreciated!
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Is your computer shutting down due to excessive heat generated by your machine's processor? If so you should take it in for repair. If not, you don't need a cooling pad because it's not going to help you.
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    The bottom of the MBP is flat. Cooling pads are most effective on laptops with holes in them. You're wasting your money.
  4. quickmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2011
    Nope has never shut down on me. The high heat is only when running intensive tasks like the Folding@Home program.

    I would assume a cooling pad would help air flow in my situation. (High heat due to processing power being used but not shutting down)
  5. macchiato2009 macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2009
    MBP are made of alu, contrary to older laptops made of plastic

    MBP are designed to evacuate heat

    so cooling pads are useless
  6. quickmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2011

    I do love how Apple designed the MBPs to use the body and casing to dissipate and manage heat.

    However I respectfully disagree with those saying cooling pads are useless. MBPs are well built and designed to handle high heat well but a device designed the promote air flow underneath the laptop (and in some cases move air with an additional fan) has to have some small effect on the temperature levels.

    Like I said my MBP has run at high max processor speeds for hours doing Folding@home without an issue (other than high speed fan running) and likely the CPU is throttling to manage the load.

    Perhaps it is more appropriate to say I am looking for a cooling stand (with a fan) than a cooling pad. I have one now but the fan is a bit slow and weak, anything that moves air under the laptop has to be helpful.
  7. bdodds1985 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2011
    So you can cool off the aluminum body? Put it on a desk. Seriously, you are wasting time and money. When the MBP gets hot, the fans kick in at a higher RPM. what good will a fan do blowing on the bottom of the MB? Elevate the computer if you need to, that's all you need.
  8. quickmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2011
    Well I did a number of stress tests and temp tests. What I found as others have stated is that in some cases a cooling stand fan does not really do anything. It might have lowered the temp by 0.5 degrees maybe. However I am still a firm believer that the elevation due to a stand does promote airflow IF there is air flowing under the stand...wind blowing, fans nearby, etc. That's just how it works with ambient temperatures.

    That said based on what others have stated, it doesn't appear I need to buy another cooling stand with a stronger fan as the fan blowing upwards onto the bottom of the case likely does little to nothing. It's the surrounding air and fact it is elevated that may help a small bit.

    I did (a no duh moment here) realize that if I kept my MBP on the integrated graphics card and not discrete graphics (I have the mid-2009 with manual switching of graphics) that I can keep the laptop about 2-3 degrees cooler on average in general...a def benefit when running Folding@Home for extended sessions.

    Thanks for the feedback. I still say air movement around the laptop in the ambient environment does help cooling...but as has been said a stand with an upward facing fan does nothing much.
  9. mickpearcey macrumors member


    Jun 25, 2011
    I use a Coolmaster U2... it packs 2 silent fans.

    I purchased it as a prop more than for the ventilation but it does a good job.
  10. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    Try the Rain Design iLap to just lift the laptop off the surface of you desk so it will at least cool faster. It may not help run at lower temps but it will dissipate faster once your intensive apps are done. Another new addition to this field is one by TILT. Both of these will keep your groin cooler too!
  11. yabai macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2007
    I've been through a few, including the Moshi Zephyr 2 and Tilt, and the only one that made any difference at a full load was the Cooler Master Storm, which I'm currently keeping under my Late 2008 Macbook Pro. It's loud at full fan speed, but it makes a difference when using Handbrake or another CPU-intensive app. The Tilt and Zephyr kept temps a little cooler under no load, but made no difference at full load.
  12. EtherealMAC macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2011
    I am completely on board with the thread starter here.

    Although I agree that the case of MBPs are designed to dissipate heat, I can vouch for the using cooler pads to IMPROVE the cooling. Please mind I wrote IMPROVE, I am not claiming it FIXES cooling problems. And yes, it does IMPROVE heat dissipation enough for it to make a difference.

    I have been using the Targus Chill Mat for years now, here's the link:


    And it does help for keeping the mbp coolER (mind i worte cooler, not cool). The reason is that since the aluminium bottom does dissipate heat, having constant cool airflow passing under the MBP helps it dissipate the heat, as opposed to having it in contact with wood or glass which would only contribute to making the aluminium bottom even hotter. Using this mat i can even do final cut pro stuff putting the computer on my lap.

    I use a combination of this mat PLUS smc fan control, you have to set the fan control kick up at 5000 rpm WAAY EARLIER than the default, around 50 degrees C, leaving 6000 rpm for around 80 C or so. The rationale is to pump the fans sooner so to not let the computer reach such high levels. It is easier to do this than to have it kick the fans only when it goes over 80 C, it is harder to cool down the machine after it is already too hot, specially because OSX will throttle down cpu speed once it reaches it. You ll see that is f you do so, the machine will alternate between 5000-6000 at around 80 C, going back and forth.

    It also helps if the room where u use it is air conditioned or if its winter.

    When using the chill mat, iStat shows it helps. Mind you, I only turn it on ( as well as SMC fan control) when i know I will be doing intensive tasks, such as HD 1080 video on final cut pro. Having the fans run at 5000 rpm constantly will reduce their life cycle, so use with caution ( In my case I have AppleCare so I am less worried about it).

    You'll also see many posts in this forum advising you to reapply thermal paste in order for the cpu to be cooler. If you do as I suggest and still get high temperatures, then maybe you should consider DIYing the thermal past thingy. Personally I haven't done so cause I dont wann screw my AppleCare warranty and also cuz by using the abovementioned menthod I dont get over 80 C too oftenm and If i do I have nerver seen it go over 95 C ( i got this only once). I read somewhere that the machine will turn off if it surpasses 105 C ( or wa sit 110 C? I dont remember), so 80 C or so is safe.

    About the mat in itself, I'm happy with it as it is specially designed for macs, as opposed to most other mats that are designed for pc laptops that have air intake/exhaust on the bottom or on the sides or wherever. The only donwside of the mat is that the plug where the usb power cord connects is a little flimsy, so i had to open it and DIY re-solder it in order for it to keep the power plug working. Maybe my mat was just lemon tho, i dunno.

    Hope it helps!!!
  13. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    I've used 2 cooling pads, the Zalman NC1000 and a Cooler Master Notepal Infiniti. The CM blows air in some strange pattern and intakes from the rear, it actually worsened my early 08 MBP's temps. The Zalman's fans blow upwards and intake from the bottom but did nothing for the temps. Having the MBP on these pads improved temps, turning the fans on did not. Long story short, keep the MBP elevated to allow some airflow underneath but artificially improving circulation with fans does nothing. A stack of erasers or something will do the job, no need to splurge on a fancy cooler.

    My brother recently got the Tilt (kickstarter project) cooler. It was designed specifically to cool the MBP. It did not work at all.
  14. colettesaxby macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2009
  15. cool11 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    I would like to see, an effective cooling base, specific for mbp.
    Am I asking too much?
    Most of the existing pads on the marker target to ugly pc laptops.

    I wish there were cooling pads for rmbp, that really cool the computer, but it would be designed the apple's way.
    Aluminum in silver color, identical dimensions, well-built, etc

    In the past I saw some 'kickstarter' projects but I don't know if they moved forward.

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