An inventive MacRumors The forum member has successfully retrofitted a water cooling system on his 15-inch Intel-based MacBook Pro, thus eliminating fan noise and improving performance.
MacRumors forum member “theodric” explained that the noise from their MacBook Pro fans had become disturbing during conference calls, so they ordered an M1 MacBook Air, and decided to mount a water cooling system on the computer.
theodric used cheap parts such as Bitcoin ASIC miners from AliExpress, an Aquastream XT Ultra water pump and a Zalman radiator and reservoir from 2005 to make the system.
High-transfer heat transfers were added between the case and various motherboard components to dissipate heat away from the MacBook Pro and into the water-cooling system. The thermal shield from the bottom of the case was also removed, as well as the feet, to ensure full contact with the new cooling plates. The pump, which requires Windows software to operate, was run via a virtual machine, and a Raspberry Pi was used for monitoring.
Theodric says that they “have barely heard the fan since I started using it” and have seen reference points improve significantly under the system. See theodric’s full post for more information on the ambitious project.
Although water cooling of a Mac presents a challenging project, with the advent of Apple silicon chips, which are capable of running much cooler than Intel chips, it is very unlikely that we will ever see an official Mac with water cooling in the future. . . Still, there are still cooling upgrades to come for the Mac, with the next model due to a thermal upgrade that is apparently the new 14-inch MacBook Pro.
The upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro is expected to use the improved thermals of the current 16-inch MacBook Pro model, with a larger heat pipe, extra heating pads and a 35 percent larger heat sink to increase the machine’s performance potential and allow it to run at cooler temperatures.