Serious Cooling for MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by silverblack, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. silverblack macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #1
    Even though I never experienced any 2nd core shut down, my MBA does run quite hot on medium to high workload. FYI, I did have Coolbook installed and extra thermal paste removed, but they don't seem to do much anyway.

    I am slowly getting annoyed by the fan noise (why did it rev up to 6000+rpm when cpu was at 60C?!). Also, the high temperature can't be doing any good to the computer battery in a long run. So I decided to pick up a cooling notebook stand.

    Initial results (1/2 hour of use):
    - the computer runs a lot cooler. Even when I pushed the cpu (to 90C), the body stayed cool and the fan kept quiet. After a few minutes of full cpu activity, the fan did speed up eventually. However, it seems to stay at 2500rpm under normal use now.

    (I will update next week after I have a few days to fully test it out)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    Jun 3, 2006
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    One Nation Under Gordon
    #2
    Well yes, a cooler works. The thing is, my Air spends most of it's actual working time off a desk. The only time it's on the NC1000 is when it is charging...

    ... which is, come to think of it, like half a day since it takes nearly 10 hours to charge from empty. And empty is what it gets every time I take it out, even if I have work still to do.
     
  3. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #3
    As Sesshi wrote, it won't be easy to cart one of those mobile.

    If it works at your desk and that's where the Air resides most of the time, I'm sure it'll do the trick.

    On another note, my Air takes two hours to charge empty to 80% and another two from 80-100%:D
     
  4. silverblack thread starter macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #4
    I can't stand to sync files between multiple computers, so I like have only one computer, which is the MBA currently. At work, it sits on my desk all day. My Coolbook setting (AC) allows it to throttle to 1600 MHz. Thus it can get quite hot and the cooler stage is very helpful in lower the temp. At home, (on battery) Coolbook limits it to 1200 MHz as all I do is browsing. It runs very cool already (<50C) and no need to use any external cooler.
     
  5. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #5
    When I had the air it took 5-6 hours to charge to 100%... both airs that I had actually.. that's a bit too long to wait..

    Also if the air is on a desk used most of the time.. its much better to get a mbp imo.
     
  6. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #6
    As has been reported numerous times in other posts, it will take that long at first but after a few cycles, it gets down to four hours.

    You've never kept one long enough to verify this so your opinion is:p
     
  7. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #7
    Yeah, sufficient number of people have posted consistent figures to indicate that my Air is probably faulty. Unfortunately, since unlike a serious, non-toy computer they won't actually come to me to sort it out I have to make time for yet another Genius visit to get it sorted out.
     
  8. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #8
    What's going on with your keyboard, silverblack? Have you got some sort of cover over it?
     
  9. silverblack thread starter macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #9
    I absolutely disagree. If I need a computer on the desk all the time, I would get a mac pro. I would never get the MBP, because IMO, a portable laptop should not weigh more than 3 lbs. I'll never want to take a 5+ pounder everywhere with me.

    On the other hand, my MBA goes everywhere I go. When I'm at my desk, it's connected to an external monitor, running extended desktop. When I leave my office, it leaves with me. When I'm at home, it connects to bandband wifi. When I'm on the couch and my bed, it's browsing MacRumors.
     
  10. silverblack thread starter macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #10
    That's the iSkin keyboard cover. It protects my computer from spills.
     
  11. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #11
    Can't you just call Applecare, get RMA & stick it in a box and send it in like the states?

    I loathe the wait behind 20 kids who can't reset their iPods at the "genius" bar so understand your reticence.
     
  12. Particular macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #12
    I have never seen my CPU ever go anything near 91

    Everytime I see the fan kick in its around 60-65 at most.. and the fan is @ 6500RPM... is that normal?
     
  13. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #13
    I've seen mine get that hot just a few times while preforming extended stress test using Handbrake. That said, I've never seen my fans get over 6200.

    But kicking on at even 59 with progressive increases is normal. Does it go straight from 2500 to 6500 with no stepped increase doing normal tasks?

    I've only seen this when running YouTube vid's. It'll be at 58-9º and then all the sudden proc. kicks up and fan goes into hyper spin (6200) until you stop playing vid and leave site. Then slowly ratchets back down to normal.
     
  14. jlanuez macrumors 6502

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    Sep 13, 2006
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    USA
    #14
    Could this keyboard cover be holding in the heat?
    It can't be helping.
     
  15. Tensakun macrumors 6502

    Tensakun

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    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Akashi, Japan
    #15
    iSkin good?

    Wow, they've got'em out already for the Air. Don't wanna go too far off-topic, but how do you find the cover affects the KB's 'punchiness' and general feel? Does it affect the KB lighting's activation or appearance?
     
  16. silverblack thread starter macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #16
    See Post #5 of this thread
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=474618

    So I opened up my MBA and checked. Guess what, there was too little thermal paste and the cpu's were NOT touching the heat sink. I rectified the problem. Results: it now max out at around 70 C even at very high load.

    I will go back and use the MBA for a couple of days without the cooler pad, will report back whether I need it at all.
     
  17. silverblack thread starter macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #17
    This was only the cover for the regular macbook (pre-Nov 07), but they share the same keyboard, so it fits on MBA too. The only minor issue is the volume keys were moved after Nov07, but no a big deal. It used keyboardmaestro to remap the keys.

    As to how it feels, it just takes a little bit of getting used to, like everytime you switch to a new keyboard. But after that, it's like typing on normal keyboards.

    Why do I want it, I find it lowers the keyboard clicks a little, and it looks better IMO. Most importantly, it protects against dust and spills.

    I don't notice any difference in heat dissipation.
    For the keyboard backlight, I don't think it is transparent enough for the light to shine through. But I like having my backlight turned off anyway to conserve battery. I don't work in the complete darkness, I can always see the keys from the screen light.
     
  18. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    Mar 4, 2006
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    #18
    Well, just my opinion, but I'd say that's a no go. Air is taken in through the keyboard, if you've got a skin over it then, at the very least, you're adding to the problem.

    Personally I've never, ever spilt anything in a keyboard anyway :S
     
  19. silverblack thread starter macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #19
    I've always have my iSkin cover since day 1 of having my MBA. I am confident to say that I don't have a heat problem anymore after I reapplied the thermal paste properly. So it wasn't related to the cover.

    As to the need, I am constantly cleaning off the dust from the cover, once every couple of days, which would have all gotten inside without the cover. As for the spills, I am sure no one ever plan to split or spill anything on their computers. But I don't think many people can avoid ever having coffee or even water around their computers. Well I have spilled coffee on my desk a number of time, luckily not on my computer... yet. I have known someone who had spilled water, and it damaged the computer beyond. repair.
     
  20. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
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    One Nation Under Gordon
    #20
    No problem, get accidental damage insurance from the manufacturer...

    ...Oh yeah, you can't.

    I'd say it's not a spectacularly great idea to cover the keyboard, but hey, whatever works for you to keep the pretty computer looking pretty. Hope you have Applecare at least as that sucker may give up the ghost sooner.
     
  21. silverblack thread starter macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #21
    After I re-opened and checked to make sure the thermal compound is properly applied, I monitored the temperature in the last couple of days, with and without, the cooling pad. Here are the conclusions:

    Under normal load of browsing and streaming video (and battery powered), my MBA stayed cooled for most of the time (< 50C) without external cooling pad.

    However, at high load, such as handbrake to compress a movie (ac powered), the cpu did reach 80+ C, and the bottom of the MBA felt really warm w/o the cooling pad. Use of cooling pad was able to cool the enclosure base back to 35C.
     
  22. jlanuez macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #22
    Agreed, some of these "accessories" are useless at best, casue harm at worst.

    I remember being all excited about using some MarWare products on my 17" McBook Pro and those were the wordt things ever.

    The Marware "Screen protector" cloth that you left on the keybord when closing the lid, actually left marks on the screen due to the stitching!

    Some of these after market accessories, just stink.

    .
     

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