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nlynch77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2013
46
2
I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE ATTEMPT THIS.
Apple disinherited me after installing an Optibay anyways, shortly before kicking me out of the house when my warranty ran up. I have nothing to loose except my machine.

THE PROJECT
Browsing the great wide 'net one day, I stumbled upon CjPhan's Physical Ventilation Mod, which reminded me of the reduced fan speed/body temp I noticed while gaming without the back cover on.

This set the gears of creativity in motion, ultimately leading me to perform surgery on my Macbook Pro via power tools.

I used a 5cm circular cutting tool attached to a drill and bored two holes directly above each fan, intended to provide significantly better airflow to each fan. For protection, I cannibalized a crappy Sony headset for its metal grilles. I trimmed these grilles to size and taped the circumference to prevent short-circuits/physical damage from sharp edges. I positioned a section of the metal grilles over each heatsink, in an added effort conduct heat to each grille to further reduce temps.

I tested temperatures using yes > /dev/null on tabbed Terminal windows to activate individual cores, then letting my Mac sit for 6-10 minutes to measure an average temperature with Temperature Monitor.

Temperatures Before (Celsius, ±5 degrees):
Idle: 65
1 core: 70
4 cores: 80-90
8 cores: 90-100

Temperatures After (same conditions):
Idle: 40
1 core: 50-60
4 cores 80-90
8 cores: 90-95

Thermal Paste Replacement
8 cores: 85 degrees, fans idle less that 3500

Observations:
Fans idle less than 3500. Nothing else to say. My poor abused Macbook Pro is almost inaudible no matter how hard I run it. Time to do some Handbrake encoding for hours and see if I can get the fans to go decently high.
 

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nlynch77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2013
46
2
PS. I would love some feedback from the others who have done this modification as well. Maybe an Apple engineer or someone.
 

mykem

macrumors regular
May 20, 2008
117
0
It looks more like a metal (aluminium, titanium or magnesium) dome tweeter with its protective mesh on:

H1214_27TBF-Gb.jpg


Personally, I think it's a bit overkill but if you use your laptop for gaming, then it might prove useful. Me, I simply turn the heat down in winter or the air conditioning up in summer.
 

johnnnw

macrumors 65816
Feb 7, 2013
1,214
21
Am I reading this wrong or is there almost no difference in temperatures before/after besides when idle? The idle temperature was never a problem anyway so my question..why?
 

Interstella5555

macrumors 603
Jun 30, 2008
5,219
12
This seems...crazy to me for a 10/15 degree temp drop, wouldn't reapplying the thermal paste have a more significant effect?
 

nlynch77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2013
46
2
Well I realized how useful it was when the fans stopped screaming while playing Hawken online, allowing me to hear the game decently. And it removed the embarassment of having my fans scream in the middle of class, which happens once in a while. All of those reduced temperatures correlate with quite lower (thus quieter) fan speeds.
PS. mykem that might be the same type of mesh, I did cannibalize some speakers.

Met a few tech-savvy girls with this too, quite a conversation starter.
 
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XandeR803

macrumors member
Jul 25, 2008
72
0
This seems...crazy to me for a 10/15 degree temp drop, wouldn't reapplying the thermal paste have a more significant effect?

I suspect load temperatures wouldn't change much due to turbo boost using all available TDP. I'd be interested in looking at rendering benchmarks to see if it's measurably faster after the mod.
 

nlynch77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2013
46
2
Do you have a preferred benchmarking program? I've never bothered using them.
 

Toby Ziegler

macrumors regular
Mar 28, 2011
185
44
Gallifrey
Seem like a fantastic way to suck in a crapload of dust as well. Keep a compressed air can handy because you'll likely need it often.

Whatever floats your boat I suppose, but I wouldn't dare try that myself.:eek:
 

nlynch77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2013
46
2
Thermal paste replacement makes a huge difference. Almost scary when it's running 800% CPU usage and the fans are barely running.
 

nlynch77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2013
46
2
Just thought I would let everyone know, almost 8 months down the road and my Macbook Pro is still working beautifully. Eat your heart out, non-believers!
 

Atomic Walrus

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2012
878
433
Just thought I would let everyone know, almost 8 months down the road and my Macbook Pro is still working beautifully. Eat your heart out, non-believers!

I love it, and I'm glad you bumped this post since I never would have seen it otherwise.

Have you tried a full fan test just for fun? With SMC Fan Control you could set the fans at 100% and run the load tests again.

Apple's fan controller only ramps them up high enough to avoid approaching 100C, so after your mod it's not surprising you didn't see temp improvements; instead of getting better temps the fans were staying since that's how the fan controller operates.

Running the test again with fans maxed would provide the data to prove that it actually changes thermal performance. I guess for control you'd have to run the test with the openings covered (hard to do) and fans at 100%, but honestly I have to think that when you ran the load test pre-mod they were probably at 100% anyway.
 

jont-fu

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2008
148
55
What about other temps, like airport card, northbridge, battery?

I reckon they could be different as the air circulation inside the chassis is altered. But presumably they are not too hot as your machine is still running fine :cool:

PS. is this 13" or 15"?
 

nlynch77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2013
46
2
jont-fu, this is the 15-inch, evidenced by the two fans. I've noticed that the case doesn't seem to cool off as easy, the corner by the Magsafe charger gets pretty damn warm after a long time working hard. But normal Macbook Pro's seem to do that too.

Atomic Walrus, the fans behave differently now. Previously, doing something to make the computer hot would result in the fans spinning up for the duration of the activity, ie. for the entire time you're playing Assassin's Creed or encoding something with Handbrake. When it's done, the fans turn off.
With this mod, the fans take a long time to spin up to their max speed (I think because they have so much more cooling ability, it takes longer to overwhelm it) and when they do, they only come on in bursts. They'll flare for about 30 seconds and slow down again, and do that until it reaches an equilibrium.

btw, to assess the computer with the vents closed, all I need to do is place it on something flat like my table that restricts fan airflow. That's how I did much of my testing, running it on something flat for a while, then propping it up and watching the temperature fall.
 
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nateo200

macrumors 68030
Feb 4, 2009
2,857
6
Northern District NY
Optibay got you disowned? I got damn near an applause at the Genius bar :D Of course I figured itd void it but after the 3rd or 4th time I got tired of switching the optibay with the optical everytime just to get a fan fixed. Anyways this mod is pretty boss....
 

nlynch77

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2013
46
2
I meant that installing an Optibay disowned me from my Apple warranty.
And anyways, I leave my Optibay in when I go to a Genius Bar, my SSD starts up a lot of conversations. It's not like it matters, they know it's modded the second they turn it over :p
 

CjPhan

macrumors newbie
Oct 13, 2011
7
5
Wow. I completely randomly stumbled upon this through some emails I had from 2011. I had no idea it inspired all of craziness! Hope you guys are all happy and well during this Pandemic
 
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