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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Quick cooling test


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Osiris22x

 
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There have been a few people over the months talking about various cooling products/techniques for their Powerbooks when using them at home on a desk. Some people refuse to run with the lids closed, some use fans and cooling plates, some just keep it up off the table.

Lately, I've been running my Powerbook with the lid closed, and just sitting on the table. This wasn't intentional...I just kinda forgot about the cooling aspect over time. So today I picked up my Powerbook and it didn't feel any warmer than when I used to prop it off the table, and leave the lid open.

So based on this, I decided to run some quick tests to satisfy my own curiousity. I ran XBench over and over again, and monitored various temperatures throughout my Powerbook on a graph, over time. I then opened the lid, propped it off the table, etc....each time measuring the temperature changes.

Before I show what I found, please understand this was quick and dirty, just my own curiousity, and is by no means official nor perfectly accurate.



As you can see, the temperature didn't change much just by opening the lid. But once I propped it off the table (about a half inch) the temperature dropped a bit. While I didn't test for it, I'm pretty sure the extra cooling would have still shown, even with the lid closed, but off the table. The last test was with the lid open, off the table, with a fan blowing on low, about 4 feet away. This obviously provided the biggest change in temperature.

Based on this, I will continue to run my Powerbook with the lid closed and probably sitting on the table. I will however, go buy a USB fan and just keep it blowing on my Powerbook during long-term stationary usage. I'm glad I tested this before running out and buying one of those "Powerbook stands" that claim to cool it down. I think a simple $10 fan will do.


Oh and one last note, the XBench score went up a bit, on the last test. Apparently the temperature drop was enough to speed things up a little.

Roger Michaels
Apple Certified Consultant
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iSheep
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Wow - very interesting, slightly more convinced to get an iCurve now though
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Osiris22x

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheep
Wow - very interesting, slightly more convinced to get an iCurve now though
I wouldn't bother. For less money you can get Antec's laptop cooler which uses active fan cooling, and will keep your Powerbook running a good 10 degrees cooler.

Roger Michaels
Apple Certified Consultant
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Cloudane
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Cool experiment. (Pun wasn't intentional!) Shows that some form of cooling does help, whilst also as good as blowing away the FUD about powerbooks overheating if the lid's closed etc.
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Osiris22x

 
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Member Since: Feb 25, 2004
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Mac Specs: 15" MacBook Pro, 13" MacBook Black, 15" iMac G4, 24" iMac (soon!)

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Yep, I agree. Steve Jobs even personally said the new Powerbook lineup was designed to run with the lid closed without any problems. I've gone a month now with the lid closed, and the heat never gets any higher than usual. I've also felt the screen afterwards (on the inside) to see if I was exposing the LCD to excessive heat, and it felt just fine...

Roger Michaels
Apple Certified Consultant
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