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Simple MacBook Air mod brings MacBook Pro performance

Simple MacBook Air mod brings MacBook Pro performance

by Vyncent ChanNovember 29, 2021
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The Apple M1-powered MacBook Air may come with the same processor as the 13″ MacBook Pro, but testing has revealed that the two laptops do not perform on the same level. The main reason is due to the cooling design of the MacBook Air, which relies on a passive solution, while the MacBook Pro gets a fan to help dissipate heat better. If you are irked by the lesser performance from your laptop, this MacBook Air mod might just be right up your alley if you want to close the gap.

MacBook Air mod delivers performance on par with MacBook Pro

MacBook Air M1 mod cooling

This mod literally closes the gap by using thermal pads between the MacBook Air’s tiny heatsink to the bottom cover, allowing for better heat dissipation. Of course, this is still a passive solution, but the much larger surface area allows for much better performance, to the tune of 20% better Cinebench R23 multi-core scores.

Looking at the results of this simple MacBook Air mod, Apple could probably have added a fan to improve the performance. However I do believe that the reason this was not done is to offer a slight gap between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, considering that there’s little else to justify the RM1000-ish gap between the two models.

Another thing to keep in mind is that while you will be getting better performance, this mod will make it less comfortable to work with it on your lap, as the bottom cover is now serving as a large heatsink. It will also most probably void your warranty, but you might able to remove the thermal pads cleanly before sending it in for warranty, and hopefully the Apple geniuses will be none the wiser.


Pokdepinion: I wish our gaming laptops had full aluminum shells so I could try this as well…

About The Author
Vyncent Chan
Technology enthusiast, casual gamer, pharmacy graduate. Strongly opposes proprietary standards and always on the look out for incredible bang-for-buck.