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Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air doesn't have a fan, and instead uses a passive heat spreader to conduct heat away from Apple's energy efficient M2 chip. Curious to know if performance could be further improved with an active cooling solution, Frore Systems installed its own novel solid-state active cooling system into the laptop and subjected it to several benchmarks, with some impressive results.

15inch-macbook-air-purple.jpg

Frore Systems is a startup with $116 million in funding, and its flagship product is the AirJet Mini, a virtually silent thermal solution with a piezoelectric cooling chip that its makers claim performs better than fans. Inside the AirJet are tiny membranes that vibrate at ultrasonic frequencies, pulling air into inlet vents at the top of the AirJet that exits through the bottom as high-velocity pulsating jets.

As shared by The Verge, head-to-head benchmarking tests initially showed the 15-inch MacBook Air with the AirJet Mini installed performed only slightly better than a standard MacBook Air, but the modified laptop pulled ahead significantly as the tests wore on and the fanless MacBook Air's throttling kicked in to keep the temperature down.

airjet_mini_frore_difference.jpg.jpg

Despite its slight dimensions, the 2.8mm thick AirJet took some work to install into the MacBook Air's slim chassis. Frore had to mill 0.3mm off from the laptop's lid to create adequate space for the airflow system, and also removed the speakers, Wi-Fi antenna, and internal keyboard connector in the process. For the rest of us, buying a MacBook Pro with a fan is definitely an easier option.

airjet-cooling-macbook-air.jpg

Another issue that wasn't addressed in the tests was the real-world impact of such a system on battery life. The Verge says the AirJet Mini drew five watts from the MacBook Air's USB-C port in the makeshift setup. Frore says its AirJet Mini chips require one watt of power when properly integrated into a laptop, and the system draws as little as 0.1W or 0.2W when idle, with the AirJet Minis themselves staying turned off until or unless they need to blow.

The AirJet system will debut in a $499 barebones Zotac mini-PC that requires constant connection to a power source, a use case in which battery life won't be an issue. But the startup has also prototyped 4K webcams, doorbell cameras, LED light bulbs, and more. It's too early to tell whether Frore's cooling system will be the next big thing in PC cooling tech, but the startup says the AirJet Mini is already in mass production, with larger and smaller versions in development.

Article Link: M2 MacBook Air Gets Speed Boost With This Novel Cooling System
 

iZac

macrumors 68030
Apr 28, 2003
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UK
This seems like a public tech demo that the company has rolled out to news and social media channels to try and get some publicity, and it worked! I'm sure they'll attract a manufacturer. It's unlikely to be Apple, but watch this space for a Samsung laptop (or phone) with an "AirJet" installed ;)
 

ItsASpider

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2021
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This reads like an Ad. Who would pick the Air for long running extensive workloads? I use it for programming and the compilation is short enough to not hit a thermal limit.
How is this an ad? "Hey Apple, this basic optimization in your hardware design would make your laptop much better."

The only reason they don't properly cool the Air's is because that would harm the value of the Pro.
 

darngooddesign

macrumors P6
Jul 4, 2007
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Atlanta, GA
How is this an ad? "Hey Apple, this basic optimization in your hardware design would make your laptop much better."

The only reason they don't properly cool the Air's is because that would harm the value of the Pro.
Meh, if you need a laptop with a fan, buy a MacBook Pro. If you want the thinnest and lightest Mac laptop, buy a MacBook Air. Heck, you can even get the base MBP for only $200 more than the equivalent Air And that thing comes with more than $200 in upgrades.
 

arobert3434

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2013
253
254
This reads like an Ad. Who would pick the Air for long running extensive workloads? I use it for programming and the compilation is short enough to not hit a thermal limit.
Looks like a 13% increase in sustained CPU freq. Not massive but not trivial either. I think the point is more who would pick an Air, if you could have compact size, silence, and good sustained performance in one package? I'd suspect many would be tempted, though not necessarily at the given price point. The technology sounds awesome though – fanless fans!
 

Elusi

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2023
188
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A neat trick they might want to pull soon when the competition catches up and the base M-series starts seeing a larger performance delta between its passively vs actively cooled implementations.

But this start-up trying to hold a public media campaign to get Apple's attention is weird. Can't they get a hold of Apple for a private discussion or have those already taken place and gotten nowhere? Hmm..
 
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polyphenol

macrumors 68000
Sep 9, 2020
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Sure, but this is just a demonstration intended to show what their product can do. Just imagine this replacing fans in MacBook Pros after some further R&D.
I understand your suggestion.

But, in my reality, I virtually never hear a fan in either my M1 MBP or my M1 Mac mini. If I do, something is going wrong. (I'm not sure if they almost never run, or they are operating at levels which I simply don't notice. If I can't hear anything, that is good enough.)
 

crsh1976

macrumors 68000
Jun 13, 2011
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Interesting bit of tech, definitely interested to see how it could benefit beefier systems that rely on loud fans (not on Macs per se, gaming PC notebooks could definitely use some help tho).

Doesn't seem useful for a MBA, but let's take this as a proof of concept of sorts.
 
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EmotionalSnow

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2019
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I understand your suggestion.

But, in my reality, I virtually never hear a fan in either my M1 MBP or my M1 Mac mini. If I do, something is going wrong. (I'm not sure if they almost never run, or they are operating at levels which I simply don't notice. If I can't hear anything, that is good enough.)
There are people though that push their MacBooks far enough to hear the fans. So, if these are an improvement and don't negatively impact the rest of us that nearly never hear the fans then I see no reason not to use them, besides cost potentially.
 

erikkfi

macrumors 68000
May 19, 2017
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This seems like a public tech demo that the company has rolled out to news and social media channels to try and get some publicity, and it worked! I'm sure they'll attract a manufacturer. It's unlikely to be Apple, but watch this space for a Samsung laptop (or phone) with an "AirJet" installed ;)
No, in order for Samsung to use it, Apple would have to use it first. Then Samsung would run ads making fun of them. Then they’d use it.
 

toobravetosave

Suspended
Sep 23, 2021
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There are people though that push their MacBooks far enough to hear the fans. So, if these are an improvement and don't negatively impact the rest of us that nearly never hear the fans then I see no reason not to use them, besides cost potentially.

Cost is a big one. It’s also another part to break/replace and potentially could just be a larger passive cooling solution instead.

Also will be less needed as efficiency goes up.

This is just an advertisement
 
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