Video Review: The SVALT D's Built-In Fan Sets it Apart From Other MacBook Docks

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    The Svalt D is a MacBook dock with a unique feature - a built in cooling fan that's designed to keep a MacBook's temperature down when used in clamshell mode with an external monitor. Keeping the MacBook cool helps prevent processor throttling due to the high temperatures a MacBook is subjected to when in clamshell mode.

    We went hands-on with the Svalt D to test the claims that it reduces temperature and speeds up performance, and we were impressed with how it worked.


    Made up of a two-pound block of aluminum, the Svalt D is an attractive, sturdy stand that matches well with Apple's line of MacBooks. The Svalt D houses a small stand that moves air through a MacBook, and thanks to an adjustable rubber foot, it's compatible with all of Apple's notebooks.

    To test the Svalt D, we exported two different videos from a MacBook, with and without the dock. Without using the dock, exporting a video took 15 minutes and caused the temperature of the MacBook to rise to 121 degrees Fahrenheit. With the stand, our video exported in 14 minutes and the stand kept the MacBook at 105 degrees Fahrenheit, a 16 degree difference.

    Our one complaint about the Svalt D concerned the two modes of the fan. There's a normal mode and a silent mode, but switching between them requires using a special standalone cable, which is a bit of a hassle and an extra expense. Luckily, both modes are relatively quiet and don't make as much noise as a MacBook fan, but the silent mode is definitely a better choice for users who want the quietest possible performance.

    In our opinion, the Svalt D is a solid dock that lives up to its claims, keeping your MacBook cool when it's used with an external monitor. The Svalt D is available in Silver and Black and can be purchased from the Svalt D website for $149.95. The Silence Adapter is available for $8.95.

    Note: MacRumors received no compensation for this review.

    Article Link: Video Review: The SVALT D's Built-In Fan Sets it Apart From Other MacBook Docks
     
  2. stiligFox macrumors 65816

    stiligFox

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    I really wish I would've had one of these back when I used my MacBook Air as my main computer. I'd keep it docked and man that thing would get so hot...
     
  3. 4God macrumors 68020

    4God

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    Seems counterintuitive though if the fan is blowing in the out vent...Don't the Macbook Pro fans blow outward and this stand fan is blowing inward???
     
  4. Avenged110 macrumors 6502

    Avenged110

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    Newer MacBooks push air out through the left and right sides of the rear vent. The center seems as though it's another intake.
     
  5. Dilster3k, Aug 4, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015

    Dilster3k macrumors 6502a

    Dilster3k

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    A waste of money doesn't cut it.

    Close enough. (3:20)

     
  6. DogHouseDub macrumors 6502

    DogHouseDub

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    #6
    USB powered fan by Thermaltake - $15

    Ikea napkin holder - $2

    done :)

    regarding where the air is blowing - the bottom case draws heat away from the components so it can be more efficiently dissipated (much like an audio amplifier). Keeping the air moving along the bottom of the case is a great way to decrease the internal temp - no need to force air inside the case itself, IMO. Even resting the Macbook upside down can help substantially.
     
  7. SnarkyBear macrumors regular

    SnarkyBear

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    $150??!? For that price I expect a TOP QUALITY dock.

    But then you have to pay extra for an external converter for silence mode? Because installing a switch would have been WAY to complex and costly? And the external attachment that you have to switch in and out manually?

    Seems bush-league to me. Something I would expect on a $8.99 dock from Walmart.
     
  8. justperry macrumors G3

    justperry

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    That's what I did except my fan was half the price and just a regular 240Volt one, has more airflow.


    The price of this is just ridiculous, although it's probably expensive to make. (In a CNC Machine)
     
  9. unplugme71 macrumors 68030

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    Blowing forced unfiltered air into a MacBook? I'll pass. At least the built in fans aren't powerful enough to suck in anything to worry about.

    Also, I don't know if it does, but it would suck to have the internal fans spun faster than they may be capable of.

    I rather just leave my MacBook Pro on a block of aluminum that dissipates the heat for me and only costs $20 or get a USB chiller pad.
     
  10. inhalexhale1 macrumors 65816

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    LOL

    $8.95 for a cable, that lets you use a "low setting" on a $150 fan. Come on!
     
  11. auhlixer macrumors regular

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  12. ckWTB macrumors member

    ckWTB

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    #12
    I hope the following information helps clarify a few things:

    Silence Adapter
    The Silence Adapter is an optional accessory for sound sensitive environments, it is not a standard accessory or required for typical office environments.

    Laptop Cooling Configuration
    The laptop’s active built-in cooling system is the laptop’s primarily method of cooling. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display includes two large cooling fans that exhaust hot air out at both ends of the rear vent located under the screen hinge. A primary cool air intake is located at the center of the rear vent (between the two exhaust vents). A heat sink attaches to the CPU/GPU chips and transfers heat through a heat pipe to heat radiators located at the fan exhausts. The current 13-inch Retina differs from the 15-inch Retina model in that it has a single large fan on one side of the rear vent, while the older 13-inch Retina have two smaller fans. The 13-inch and 11-inch MacBook Airs have a single small fan on one side of the rear vent.

    In addition to the active cooling, aluminum laptops also uses passive cooling through the laptop’s aluminum enclosure that functions as a large heat sink. The enclosure absorbs heat from the internal heat generating components (processors typically contributes the most heat) and then transfers that heat to passing air or other nearby heat sinks. This passive cooling is a secondary method of cooling, with slower and smaller contributions to cooling the CPU/GPU components.

    By driving cooling air directly onto the CPU/GPU chips through the laptop’s primary intake you can achieve immediate and significant cooling. There is an air gap between the fans and exhaust vents through which the waste heat is driven out, so that the internal fans do not spin fans and exhaust their waste heat as normal. Overall this airflow supports and supplements the laptop’s built in cooling system.

    If you want to see the layout of cooling and other laptop components for yourself then I recommend check out iFixit://www.ifixit.com/Device/Mac_Laptop
     
  13. swrobel macrumors member

    swrobel

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    So, just to be clear, this thing isn't a dock by any definition. It's a stand with a fan.
     
  14. BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020

    BillyBobBongo

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    Works for all MacBooks? Wonder if it can fix the useless WiFi on my MacBook Air when it's in clamshell mode! ;)
     
  15. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    When is a dock not a dock? When it is a SVALT D.
     
  16. ckWTB macrumors member

    ckWTB

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    I hope the following will help clear up the use of the term performance cooling dock: A dock is a structure designed to connect one object that is typically mobile (a laptop) to another object that is typically stationary (desktop workstation) for the purpose of moving substances between the two objects, such as loading cargo onto a ship, loading packages onto a truck, sending astronauts from a space station to an escape vessel, sending electricity through cables to power an electronic device, or sending cool air through an aluminum cradle heat sink into a laptop. The laptop is docked within the SVALT D to move cool air from the dock into the laptop. The SVALT D is a performance cooling dock in which all aspects of the device has been designed to effectively send cooling air into the laptop, such as the cradle’s shape and exhaust vent padding have been designed specifically to mate and seal around a MacBook air intake vent.
     
  17. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    That is a stretch if there ever was one.
     
  18. BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020

    BillyBobBongo

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    Paragraphs! Damn that was unpleasant to read.

    Sounds more like a 'Cooling Station' to me.
     
  19. ZipZap macrumors 603

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    What, its a passive dock...;)
     
  20. ZipZap macrumors 603

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    My guess is its the CNC'ing of a large chunk of aluminum that is the driver of the cost. Still, that's just tool expensive. They could have put a fan speed controller on it as well. I recommend that next time SVALT does a Kickstarter so that they can get real feedback from users. Clearly, they developed this in a vacuum. I am sure we will see a knock-off on eBay before you know it.
     

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19 August 4, 2015