Unibody cooling - where are the vents/exhaust?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Sn0wball, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. Sn0wball macrumors regular

    Apr 30, 2009
    I don't have a MBP as yet (waiting for Arrandale), but from looking at images of the 15" unibody MBP taken from all sides the one thing that has struck me compared to PC notebooks is that I can't actually see a cooling system - no vents for intaking cool air, and no exhaust holes for expelling warm air?

    Furthermore, the MBP sits flush on your desk and has no 'feet' lifting it up off of the work surface (usually to allow cool air to circulate underneath and be sucked into the computer through any air-intake vents).

    I can only assume some sort of air intake and exhaust system is on the back?

    How does this thing keep cool? Or does it generally run toasty?

  2. SA22C macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2010
    Top Gear Test Track.
    The fan exhaust lives behind the screen hinge, so the only thing you have to remember is to keep the rear of the computer free of any obstructions so that proper airflow is maintained. That said, the entire lower enclosure can get quite warm. My 13 inch MBP has never gotten 'hot' per-se, but during some Bootcamp gaming the fans do kick into high gear and temperature goes up. Nothing compared to the old MBP's though.
  3. Coldmode macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2010
    Quite a bit of heat escapes through the keyboard, too.
    Also, the unibody construction basically turns the whole machine into a giant heat sink. I keep mine in a case from Speck, and even with that on I've only ever had the thing hot when playing Dragon Age in BootCamp. And I agree with SA22C, the heat issues were much more profound on the old MBP.
  4. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    Not really. The heat sink is on top of the motherboard, so yes heat can escape from the keyboard, but the enclosure isn't really a heat sink. When the bottom heats up, its because the heat sink does a poor job, so they heat travels through the motherboard (heating all the other chips that may not be able to with stand extreme temps) , and warming up the bottom caee. On the older non unibody MBPs, the bottom case had a heat sink screwed into it, to the CPU, and GPU faced the bottom, so the heat traveled from the heat sink into the bottom assembly. Apple's cooling just takes the cool air it can get from the small vents, and then passes it through the heat sink, and expels it through the rear. (it takes in air from the rear and expels it through the rear. Most Windows notebooks suck cool air in from the bottom casing, and sends it through hot metal (the fins of the heat sink) and thats usually the rear of the system. Or sometimes the side.
    PCs use larger better heat sinks and better cooling methods. (eg sucking fan through the bottom) than Macs.
  5. w4rmk macrumors regular


    Feb 13, 2006
    And the MacBooks do have small rubber feet that let's thrum sit slightly off a flat surface.
  6. Sardine Jack, Aug 23, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017

    Sardine Jack macrumors newbie

    Sardine Jack

    Aug 23, 2017
    I destroyed a MBP by using it while supine on a beach lounge chair.

    Salty perspiration from my chest entered thru the hinge vent and did nasties to the components.

    Now, when using the replacement MBP while in a lounge chair, there is a towel under it.

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