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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Hardware Hacking > Clamshell Cooling Mods?

Clamshell Cooling Mods?
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Sep 22, 2007, 10:39 AM
 
My list of upgrades/modifications to the Clamshell continues to grow. I did, however, think of one area I'd like to improve upon, if at all possible: cooling. Any ideas on how to improve the cooling in the iBook without either drilling holes in it or putting in a stonking great fan? The fan as it stands is quite quiet, though I am tempted to swap it out for a quieter one, if I can find it.

The cooling as it stands is fine, but I'd like to see if I can get it to run cooler, if at all possible—I think reading up on cooling the Cube has warped my fragile mind. So... Anyone have any ideas? I suspect heatsinks are largely out, as there's no real room for airflow inside the case, which means heatsinking would not be a viable option. I could be wrong, however...
     
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Sep 25, 2007, 04:05 PM
 
No heatsinks, no fans, no holes doesn't leave you much. Except water cooling.

You could put it in your fridge.........
     
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Sep 25, 2007, 10:43 PM
 
If you could figure out a way to pull in air from the vents at the top of the bottom case and blow it out through the same vents, that might work...

But remember that the clamshell design doesn't have any fans. So, you'd have to find a way to fit a fan in the case, as well as figuring out how to connect power to it without drawing too much power away from anything else.

Unless you were planning on overclocking the processor past instability and need extra cooling to keep it from crashing, I don't think that additional cooling is necessary... I don't have any problems with overheating on my own laptop.

Battery life is shorter with the XGA display, but that's about the only degradation I've seen since doing all these upgrades.
     
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Sep 26, 2007, 01:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
No heatsinks, no fans, no holes doesn't leave you much. Except water cooling.

You could put it in your fridge.........
hahhaha that brings back memories...

my old laptop would heat up like crazy, and even when the fan turned on it would still overheat and eventually lock up. so what i used to do was stick it in the freezer!!! it used to work though, and my laptop would be cold and ready to use in 15mins
     
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Sep 26, 2007, 12:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
But remember that the clamshell design doesn't have any fans. So, you'd have to find a way to fit a fan in the case, as well as figuring out how to connect power to it without drawing too much power away from anything else.
Whenever I'm using my clamshell, there's a faint hum from underneath the top right of the keyboard. I thought this was a fan that was making the noise, but having read your post, I suspect it's the hard-disk that's responsible. Hopefully, the new 7,200RPM one that I replace it out with will be quieter. Ultimately, though, I intend to replace the HD with a SSD once they become something approaching sensible in price--I'd pay ~£80 for one of a decent size, especially for the power-saving and total silence it would provide. That's still some time away, though.

Unless you were planning on overclocking the processor past instability and need extra cooling to keep it from crashing, I don't think that additional cooling is necessary... I don't have any problems with overheating on my own laptop.
I've never had any problems with overheating, as I have no intention of overclocking the clamshell--it seems like I'd be asking for trouble, especially considering that the gain would be minimal. It just gets somewhat warm on my lap, and I thought maybe I could find a way of lowering the temperature, partly to prolong the life of the components, and partly because I wasn't sure whether this was normal or not. That said, I've never actually used a laptop for any length of time before, so it could be a perfectly normal temperature and I'd never know because I have no basis for comparison.

Thanks again for your input, shifuimam.
     
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Sep 27, 2007, 04:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Koralatov View Post
Whenever I'm using my clamshell, there's a faint hum from underneath the top right of the keyboard. I thought this was a fan that was making the noise, but having read your post, I suspect it's the hard-disk that's responsible.
Top right would be the power button and DC in-board. If it's humming or buzzing, the in-board might be going out. Try replacing it with a different one, or try just re-seating it (it's connected to the iBook via a four-pin male connection). Also make sure it's not the AC adapter, if you have access to a second power adapter. The hard drive is on the far left of the machine, directly under that end of the keyboard.

That said, I've never actually used a laptop for any length of time before, so it could be a perfectly normal temperature and I'd never know because I have no basis for comparison.
Yeah - any laptop is going to get warm. It's just what happens. Compared to the Dell D620 I have from my employer, the iBook doesn't get that warm at all. You could try liquid cooling, but again, I don't know how you would connect it to the power supply.

Thanks again for your input, shifuimam.
No problem!
     
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Sep 27, 2007, 04:19 PM
 
If you plan to fit a 7200rpm HD, then some extra cooling might not be a bad idea. These drives do run hotter, and they didn't exist when the clamshell was designed. I want to put one in my MacBook, but space is tight, so I will keep an eye on the temp until I'm happy. Not sure what I can do about it short of cutting a big hole in the top case and mounting another heat sink.
     
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Sep 28, 2007, 07:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Top right would be the power button and DC in-board. If it's humming or buzzing, the in-board might be going out. Try replacing it with a different one, or try just re-seating it (it's connected to the iBook via a four-pin male connection). Also make sure it's not the AC adapter, if you have access to a second power adapter. The hard drive is on the far left of the machine, directly under that end of the keyboard.
You're absolutely right. It's actually the top left that the humming is coming from. My brain misfired when I was typing my original post and typed right instead of left. I'm reasonably certain it's the hard-disk: it only makes that sound when plugged in, as the hard-disk is spun up. When I'm on the mains, I set it for best performance. When it's on battery, I set it for best battery life and the noise is gone. I'm pretty certain it's not the adaptor, but I have no way of confirming that for sure.

Yeah - any laptop is going to get warm. It's just what happens. Compared to the Dell D620 I have from my employer, the iBook doesn't get that warm at all. You could try liquid cooling, but again, I don't know how you would connect it to the power supply.
Like I say, I think my concerns were partly due to inexperience; having spoken to a few of my laptop owning friends, it seems pretty universal. Some of them even report their (PC) laptops getting almost uncomfortably hot on their laps. I think I'm best off just leaving it as it is, seeing as it's normal and not actually a problem.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
If you plan to fit a 7200rpm HD, then some extra cooling might not be a bad idea. These drives do run hotter, and they didn't exist when the clamshell was designed. I want to put one in my MacBook, but space is tight, so I will keep an eye on the temp until I'm happy. Not sure what I can do about it short of cutting a big hole in the top case and mounting another heat sink.
That was another part of my motivation for the original post, but seeing the difficultly that fitting any extra cooling would present, I think I'm going to risk it. Seeing as the iBook gets pretty light usage, I think I should be okay with a 7,200RPM and no cooling.
     
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Oct 3, 2007, 11:27 AM
 
The 7200rpm in my MacBook seems just fine.
     
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Oct 3, 2007, 12:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The 7200rpm in my MacBook seems just fine.
Glad it worked out for you! I'm hoping it'll work fine in the Clamshell too. I imagine it should be fine though—I'm under the impression that 7,200RPM laptop drives don't run anywhere near as hot as they used to.
     
   
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