Early reviews of the M2 MacBook Air have come out, and limited performance has been a common refrain. Now a YouTuber has found a solution that uses just $15 in materials.
After the patch was tested, the modified MacBook Air M2 reportedly even beat the MacBook Pro M2 in some benchmarks.
In order to make the MacBook Air as thin and light as possible, Apple designed these laptops to operate without any internal fans. A MacBook Air will always be perfectly silent unless it’s playing media or giving you a notification or other alert. The latest MacBook Air M2 is quite popular and Apple clearly knows its customers.
The only downside to such a thin and light device is the heat. In the new MacBook Air case, the M2 chip can handle heavy workloads almost as well as its fan-powered sibling, the M2 MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air can be configured in exactly the same way, but it still can’t match the long-term performance of a MacBook Pro on tough tasks. At some point, a thermal limit will be reached, then the system will slow down so it can start cooling to prevent overheating, which could damage components.
Coming back to the solution, the Max Tech YouTube Channel illustrates installing inexpensive thermal pads inside the MacBook Air chassis to aid in cooling. It seems unlikely that $15 worth of thermal pads will make a significant difference. but they apparently do. While this may allow Apple’s budget-priced MacBook Air M2 to outperform the MacBook Pro M2, performance tests only lasted a few minutes.
Over time, the thermal pads won’t be able to outperform the active cooling system built into a MacBook Pro M2. For tough workloads that last around 15 minutes, thermal pads work wonders. After that, heat builds up and throttling still occurs.
To try it yourself, you need to open the case of your new MacBook Air M2 and make some changes. Changes are not permanent and are relatively easy to make, but doing so will void your warranty. That means it’s probably not worth the risk of damaging a new computer or losing Apple’s warranty for that short-term gain. It’s certainly an interesting experience though. External cooling solutions can have a similar effect and many laptop stands include cooling fans for this purpose.