Thermal Pads for MacBook Air?

Would you open up the back and install thermal pads in a MacBook Air?

If there was this much improvement, you would’ve thought that Apple would’ve installed them.

This, YouTube video discusses the MacBook Air M3 performance Drop due to thermals


1 Like

I wouldn’t, no. Then again, I wouldn’t buy a MBA for performance either. I buy Air’s when I need a computer for travel (which I rarely do now).

That’s the computer world in general. Most PCs aren’t designed for the most efficient cooling, be it desktop or laptops. Only the high-end machines tend to worry about it.

@SteveU75 I have an old fan-based external Belkin laptop cooling pad (not like the pads in your video) that I used to use with my Windows laptop at work and at home. No more Windows for me but Adobe software can sometimes warm up my fanless M1 MacBook Air, especially during hot summer months. When that happens I just plug in the laptop cooler with the MBA sitting on it and that brings the temperature back down into an acceptable range. Mine looks like this:


The thermal pads increase the temperature of the metal case. Without fans, the heat is uneven so can result in hot points as the saturation point around two minutes mentioned in the article is approached. Obviously the people who do this are okay with that, but that’s the downside that is probably the reason Apple doesn’t ship the Airs like this.

If they were worried about cooling it, they could just put fans in it as well. Supposedly my MBP has fans, but I have never heard them. It does get quite warm at times too, still never hear them.

I think Apple is good with the current performance of it. They want you to to buy MBP if you want performance.

Fans in the Air would’ve compromised thickness and weight.

Air logic board and heat management:

Pro logic board and heat management (fans sit in the circles and fan assembly is thicker than the board.)

The Pro would have compromised battery life vs. the Air if it didn’t have equally thick battery cells on the other half of the laptop. The Air is able to spread its thinner battery cells over two thirds of the laptop (weight-balanced in the middle third of the case.) If the Air had the Pro’s board in it, even though it would be forced to be thicker it’d also have worse battery life.

Smart tradeoffs in both laptops. I agree with your main thrust: Apple’s fine with the performance and you should get the bulkier Pro if that’s important to you…

1 Like

Definitely not. It would likely compromise the warranty for a start.

The convergence in hardware design between the fanless M1 MacBook Air and iPads that have never needed fans was a major reason I bought an M1 MacBook Air!